The Battle Of The Somme

Just another history lesson of World War One…..a conflict that few Americans know anything about and even fewer care.

I read constantly….my library contains about 2000 books and not one of them is a work of fiction.  This is a review of the Battle of the Somme book…..

On 1 July 2016, a few Canadian Armed Forces personnel, mostly Newfoundlanders, journeyed to a monument in the north of France. They went to commemorate the centenary of Beaumont Hamel, one of many engagements which comprised the much larger World War I campaign known as the Battle of the Somme. As the padre intoned prayers in her lilting Newfoundland accent, the tone of the ceremony was sombre, even elegiac. On that same day in 1916, the infantry of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, a component of Britain’s imperial army, attacked German positions across open ground towards uncut barbed wire. The attack was a complete failure, the troops never breaching nor even reaching the German positions. Of this green regiment’s seven hundred and seventy officers and men, eighty percent were mown down in twenty minutes. Despite disasters of this nature all along the British line on 1 July, the Somme campaign persisted into November, and ended with over a million Anglo-French and German casualties.

Source: Somme: Into The Breach | RealClearDefense

The Battle of the Somme…..July 1916…..a conflict where many soldiers on both sides lost their lives….. By the end of the battle, the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone. The French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.

Learn more of this horrific battle…..

Source: First World – Battles – The Battle of the Somme, 1916

I do this to keep the memory of these brave men and women alive….they should never slide from our memory.

Art Of Blogging–IST Update

The news of the day is boring and redundant…..I can only stand so much blah-blah before I go into another universe in my head.

My weekend continues and I have nothing of value to contribute today… I will go off the cuff…..

I like to keep my readers up to date on what is happening here on IST…..

I started blogging in 2006 after a nasty fall that crush one of my legs and I needed something to keep my mind busy and off my problem….since I had been a teacher and did lots of writing I figured that I would take up my old vice… and commentary.

Things started off slowly…basically I used my blog to cut and paste news articles that I wanted to keep for reference…..after about a year I started getting comments on the stuff I had written….and then I started adding my thoughts backed up by links and facts and my comments improved and expanded…

Originally the title was Studies And Observations and then it went through a period of trying to find a better title and I finally settled on In Saner Thought…the title of a small book of poetry from my youth.

It was always pretty good at attracting people but few stayed around for long….most of the deserters were from my Twitter account not WP……..and then I installed the translation widget and my readership expanded rather rapidly….I am getting many more international visitors than before….I now have regulars from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Morocco… mention only a few….and I am thankful for their readership and comments.

I have always contended that I am no expert at this blogging thing….but as things have progressed I feel that IST has become a success….not as popular as I would want…but then we all think we are better at it than others….that ego trip we are all on when we write a blog.

Another aspect that I consider a success is in the comments…..they are great and I like to treat them as if I am speaking to the person directly not just throwing stuff at them.  Also those that comment also reply to replies…it strikes up a conversation between visitors……… I like that aspect also.

In the beginning most visitors were from English speaking countries but these days I am getting regulars from all over the globe…..I am also getting multiple re-blogs since the installation of the translation widget and that helps expand the conversation and exchange of thoughts.

Finally, recently I was contacted by Autumn of that asked if they could cross post one of my articles on their site…..I agreed and here is the link……

Source: Is Obama A Socialist?

That pretty much catches everyone up……and thank you guys for all the help to make IST a small success…..I cannot express my gratitude properly other than THANK YOU.

I apologize I just had to toot the IST horn a bit.

So ends another Sunday post….I will go out and work in the garden and get a little exercise in while my leg is feeling better…..may be a little brunch in the garden…..fruit, nuts, cheese and a little wine……enjoy your day, my friends…….

Be well and be safe….chuq

Let’s Go To The Movies

Another beautiful Saturday and a day to kick back and enjoy some mental relief……

Movies.  What I will write about is the historical context of a new movie, The Promise….personally I NO longer make the trip to see movies in theaters…..I have a problem with the price and then there is the highway robbery from the “snack bar”…..These days I either rent or buy the movies I would like to watch……

I will probably get this movie simply because of the historic context……

“The Promise” is a movie about the Armenian Genocide of 1915 (World War 1)…..

In 1915, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Though reports vary, most sources agree that there were about 2 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the time of the massacre. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, some 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Today, most historians call this event a genocide–a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. However, the Turkish government does not acknowledge the enormity or scope of these events. Despite pressure from Armenians and social justice advocates throughout the world, it is still illegal in Turkey to talk about what happened to Armenians during this era.

Source: Armenian Genocide – Facts & Summary –

I will not go see this I will wait….but if some of my readers are so inclined to view this then I want to help….and they could learn a little history that most of the world has tried to forget……

Source: The Promise Movie Review

Of course this will have the “Hollywood” spin to it… is done to make the audience more into the movie… story, armed conflict and dialog…..

The Genocide happened, even if the US refuses to acknowledge it, but that will be about as far as the “real” story will go….the rest will be “Hollywood” spin…..

Enjoy your day and get some rest and some fun into your life…..this is it for today my friends….I will be back tomorrow for more stuff… well, be safe…..chuq

Closing Thought–21Apr17

The Left Shall Rise Again!

Since the last election there has been a new wild swing of young Americans looking into the “Left” of days gone by….

Social media seems to be the meeting place for these “newcomers”……

From Axios:

NewsWhip spokesman Liam Corcoran says general news sites don’t always post about political news, which lowers their average, but when they do, the uptick in engagement is significant. CNN, for example, saw an increase of over 68% in Facebook engagement year over year due to a higher volume of politically-related posts.

Facebook is a good tool for observing the rise of political movements: And its role in activism will only grow bigger. New tools, like call-to-action buttons, fundraising buttons and buttons to contact elected officials, combined with traditional tools, like mass-event invitations, make it easy for political groups to form and spread on Facebook. For example, The Women’s Marches that made national headlines all over the country in January were organized by one woman on Facebook and according to a University of Maryland study cited by CNN, 70% of people who attended the march in Washington heard about the event on Facebook.

It does this old radical’s heart good to see the interests in Left politics…..some further reading on this phenom……

Source: The Millennial Generation Is a Perfect Fit for Socialism | Alternet

Source: More Americans joining socialist groups under Trump | USA | Al Jazeera

Source: Socialism’s Return | The Nation

I feel this is a good thing….because that would give us a truly accurate political system….as it is now we have a one party system with slightly different views on issues…..there is NO opposition other than the silly theatrics of our Congress.

I be finished for the day…..I be weary and must relax and unwind…I shall return tomorrow to begin my weekend and my cleansing of the mind….thanx everyone for all your visits and comments for the past week……I appreciate each and every one of you……chuq

What Happened To Patriotism?

An interesting question these days.  It does not mean what it did when your daddy was spouting the term.  Now it means people that concur with whatever warped thinking the writer has on his/her mind.  All others are enemies of the state, although few word it that way but that is the implication.

Damn I love Teddy!

We no longer have patriots….we have a bunch of nationalistic bullshit hiding under the flag.

When an American does not agree with some prevailing thought then they are labeled and insulted…..I know I am guilty of this also….but at least I try to be fair and honest and do and say what I think is best for this country.  I refuse to put my faith in a person, especially a politician….because I do not see any of them working for the betterment of the country….just making sure profit is not infringed upon……and their own personal legacy.

If 25 years ago you told me that some, many, Americans would be defending actions by Russia I would have called you a liar.  There is no way that they would put these actions above the dignity and security of this country….no way….NO how.  And then if you would have said that the American people would put their confidence in a Russian action over their own country’s institutions….I would once again used the term….LIAR!  And once again I would have been wrong.

I have been mistaken many time but this would be the first time I would have been dead wrong.

If or when this accusation against Russia is proven then those that piled on can NO longer say they champion democracy for this would have been an act to undermine our democracy and they defended the action….

If this were 30 years ago there would be a name for these people…..

With everything written about patriotism the National Review has given its thoughts as well……

John O’Sullivan had a piece on the NRO homepage Thursday commenting on the debate about patriotism and nationalism, and I can’t improve upon what he wrote. But I wanted to add a few points about Jonah’s G-File last weekend. First, I should say, it was rollicking good fun, and Jonah never fails to astonish and impress with how he can combine wildly entertaining writing with deeply serious arguments. But some pushback:

Source: Nationalism & Patriotism Distinction Hard to Explain, Defend | National Review

Personally, I owe my allegiance to the country and its people…..not to a person or a party…this has been my creed for 50 years and I am NOT about to change it because some loud mouths run for president.

I am an American…there is NO hyphen in my title….

Can A “Smoke Screen” Be Effective Policy?

As someone who spends his time analyzing and researching foreign policy I am a bit taken back by the new kid in town, DC that is……

During his run up to his election as president I was in Trump’s corner on some, and I repeat SOME, of his foreign policy statements.  I did not care much for his domestic rhetoric but some of his rhetoric on international situations were spot on… will notice that I use the word “were”…..his actions speak nothing to his rhetoric.

But since he has taken the helm of this nation and its foreign policy I have been trying to get a handle on just what it is that he wants to accomplish internationally.

He, Trump, has gutted our diplomatic corps which in my opinion does little to protect Americans worldwide.  How does he hope to formulate a policy when he is missing those people that are “experts” on the many different regions?

At best his foreign policy has been hit and miss loaded with bravado and out right bullshit.  Not much makes sense….most of it sounds like a third grader taunting a playground rival.

Basically, to me his words and his pseudo policies are nothing but a smoke screen for is impotency in the foreign policy arena.

North Korea and Syria are prime examples…….

So far President Trump’s foreign policy has been nearly impossible to predict.  As we saw this past week, some of the President’s choices, particularly the decision to strike the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have created strange bedfellows among America’s foreign policy watchers.  Traditional foreign policy thinkers on the right and left, the so-called “Establishment,” publicly lauded the strikes, albeit for somewhat different reasons.  Meanwhile, Trump’s core supporters, who rallied around his isolationist campaign promises, have been sharply denouncing the strikes as warmongering.  Everyone in Washington appears to have been caught off-guard by the President’s decision to intervene in the world’s most protracted conflict, while analysts, journalists, and policymakers are scrambling to determine what it all means.  The President’s speech after the strike, as well as statements from the White House, argue this decision was tied to Syrian regime use of chemical weapons late last month.

Source: Strategies, Diversions, and Trump’s Smoke-Screen Policy | RealClearDefense

His staff is not much better although there are a few that could formulate an adequate policy……but Trump seems to want it his way and his thoughts….I am hoping that someone with an adult brain will finally assert themselves and a true foreign policy will emerge.

The big question is…..will it emerge?

The Institute of Defense Studies published a paper asking if Trump’s foreign policy was shaping up?

April has been an eventful month geopolitically so far. President Trump carried out a much-trumpeted-about Tomahawk missile strike at the Syrian regime, held responsible by him for a nerve-agent attack on the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, a province largely held by rebels. Trump has changed his mind on China, which he previously accused as a ‘currency manipulator’. He has also changed his mind on ‘resetting’ relations with Putin and US-Russia relations are at their ‘lowest point’ in years. Trump has issued a harsh warning to North Korea to stop missile and nuclear tests. There are signals that Trump would scale up the US military engagement in Afghanistan. Trump has congratulated, with alacrity, Turkey’s President Erdogan on his referendum victory. Are all these developments related to one another?

Source: Is President Trump’s Foreign Policy Shaping Up? | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

All we can do is hope…..before it is too late.

The Strange Case of Tulsi Gabbard

I have voiced my support for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in the past…she sticks out because she is about the ONLY true antiwar politician in Congress.  As someone who has been an antiwar activist for most of my adult life I am pleased to see a dedicated person in Congress.

I try my best to introduce her to as wide array of people as I can.  Her message needs to be heard and understood….she is doing all she can to end the endless war cycle that this country has been on for at least 25 years.

Source: Tulsi Gabbard Finds An Ally – In Saner Thought

Source: Tulsi: A Voice In The Wilderness – In Saner Thought

Source: A Woman Of Principle – In Saner Thought

I recently read a piece about her written in Neo Eastern Outlook….the truth is that this has a pro-Russian lean to its stories but in this case they did a fine job introducing Ms Gabbard to their readers.

In 1968, Democratic Senator Robert Kennedy, an anti-war candidate, was the front-runner in the presidential race. The party had revolted against President Johnson, forcing him to drop out of contention, and America got behind an anti-war candidate who surged ahead in the polls. He was quickly murdered.

Americans had gotten used to this solution being used, after all we had lost his brother John and Martin Luther King. The least well-kept secret at the time was that organized crime along with the oil and defense industries ran Washington and would murder anyone that got in their way.

There are more players to consider but little has changed, no, it has actually gotten much worse. There is a modern day “Robert Kennedy” out there, it’s Tulsi Gabbard, under attack by the jackals in Washington, perhaps not a big enough target, not yet anyway, for them to kill. We must wait and see.

Source: The Strange Case of Tulsi Gabbard and other Tales of Terror | New Eastern Outlook

Please if you can help get her message out I know she would appreciate your efforts.

Watch this Lady she will make a difference in the coming elections….she is a rising star.