IST “Asshat Award”–May 2017

Let me open with the news of the death of Gregg Allman of the Allman Bros. Band….he was 69….R.I.P.

A publicist for rock legend Gregg Allman says the organist and singer for The Allman Brothers Band has died. He was 69. Ken Weinstein confirmed Saturday that Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. Allman had cancelled some 2016 tour dates for health reasons, the AP reports. In March 2017, he canceled performances for the rest of the year. After years of substance abuse, Allman contracted hepatitis C and underwent a 2010 liver transplant.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Allman was raised in Florida by a single mother after his father was shot to death. He and his older brother Duane formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band. It featured tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, a pair of drummers and the smoky, blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman.

It is the last Sunday of the month….and you know what that means?

It is that time of the month again!

Time to announce the monthly winner of the IST Asshat “Assie’ Award…

First a shout out to a loyal reader and commenter…..

dru of “Saywhatyoumean2say” turned me on to this GOP douche from North Carolina, Pickett….he has a mouth, a GOP mouth, that starts with a lie and ends with a bigger lie…..he was in the running for the “Assie” for the month of May until I ran into the winner for the month……

I apologize to her and also would like to thank her for her participation in the process….I would like all my readers to get as involved……Thank you dru for your time….

IN SANER TOUGHT

ASSHAT “ASSIE” AWARD FOR THE MONTH OF May 2017

End Times radio host Rick Wiles interviewed “financial analyst” Jim Willie of GoldenJackass.com on his “Trunews” radio program on Friday, where Willie asserted that Queen Elizabeth is a child-killing satanist lizard who is literally inhuman and that Bill and Hillary Clinton are both cannibals.

“I think the Duke made his announcement because he wanted to get out of Dodge,” Willie said. “The satanists are on the run. The Queen Lizard is a satanist. There are lots and lots of missing children at Buckingham Palace from the tours. [Princess] Diana was killed—I mean murdered—because she was on the verge of revealing some of the satanism and some of the lizard stuff. These are very sick people and they [are] not all human.”

Willie went on to warn that former president Bill Clinton “is at death’s door” due to “some form of very advanced venereal disease” combined with a brain disease brought on by cannibalism.

“These people are really, really sick,” he said. “I mean mentally deranged and very far gone as to the norms of society. There are some mental diseases that are very pernicious that seem to happen from cannibalism and it could be that Bill Clinton has got a little bit of that.”

Seriously?  Where do they find these whack-a-doodles?

Congrats to Mr. Willie and may he enjoy his award…..and we wish him luck in the end of year competition.

Typical Right wing dolt……”never let facts get in the way of bullsh*t”……..This man is an idiot…but that is pretty much everyone on their side of the boat.

An email of this post will be sent with a congrats for being the winner for May award, the IST–Asshat “Assie” Award……
I hope all have a wonderful day……chuq

This Is How We Build A House

Saturday in the garden……snacks of cheese, fruit and nuts and a really nice Riesling…..

Before I post my regular stuff I need to report that ZBig has died…….

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

A very intelligent man especially in international relations….I did not agree with him on much but I could still appreciate his approaches…..

May he Rest In Peace

Now for today’s gem of knowledge……..

You know there is always a story or a report about all the plastic build-up around the world….we have had stories about a massive island of the stuff floating in the Pacific and there has been reports of the amount of the stuff left behind on Mt. Everest……even a story about millions of piece of plastic found on some Pacific island…..in other words solid waste is becoming a major problem.

Let’s turn our attention to Western Sahara…a region that I know well for I worked there for months in the late 70’s…..but first a little history via youtube…..

The conflict had made a refugee crisis that most of the world knows nothing of…..or even really cares….

I recent read a story about this guy in Western Sahara that has a new approach to building adequate housing…low cost housing…..for refugees.

Sahrawi engineer Tateh Lehbib has designed houses for Sahrawi refugee camps that are resistant to desert heat, sandstorms and torrential rain

With temperatures soaring beyond 50 degrees Celsius and sand storms wrecking havoc on the Sahrawi refugees inhabiting the adobe houses and tents of the refugee camps around Tindouf, western Algeria, the region has been aptly named, the Devil’s Garden.

Young Sahrawi engineer, Tateh Lehbib, 28, found an answer to their woes: all they needed to rebuild a home in this arid land was 6,000 plastic bottles.

Source: Meet the Sahrawi refugee building homes from plastic bottles in the desert | Middle East Eye

A completed round house made of plastic bottles in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Tindouf, Algeria (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

I always like a good recycling story and this one is a great one……plus it provides a home for some family that does not have one……

My day is done….posting is a chore on weekends that is why you only get one per day……time for that snack and a glass of wine…….

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have some laughs….chuq

Closing Thought–26May17

Then There Is All That “Fake News”!

And boy you want some fake news then I suggest you visit some random Right wing blog….does not matter which one they all have the same posts about the same subject…the topic du jour, if you will.

This past election has seen its share of “fake news”……no it was not invented for the 2016 election….it has been around in force since the Clinton years…..probably longer….in fact it has been around for about 100 years.

Think fake news is a new phenomenon? Think again. Dr David Clarke from Sheffield Hallam University looks at a 100-year-old story that fooled the world.

Fake news, false stories that masquerade as real news are not new.

In the spring of 1917 some of Britain’s most influential newspapers published a gruesome story that has been called “the master hoax” – and I think we finally have proof about where it came from.

Britain was at the time trying to bring China into the war on the Allied side.

Source: The corpse factory and the birth of fake news – BBC News

Like so many disgusting things “fake news” was born in the heat of war.

See what you think is new is really a recycled product from an age gone by….

And so begins my Memorial Day weekend….me and my better half will spend some time doing things that adults do (use your imagination…wink….wink).

Enjoy your days with family, food and some fun….chuq

Some Real “Men” In Congress After All

I have accused most of the people serving in the Congress as cowards…and I still believe that most have no nuts for the job.

But there are a few that show the cajones to take on the president and the M-IC…..I have written about others that are showing some gumption…..

Source: Tulsi Gabbard Finds An Ally – In Saner Thought

Source: Did Congress Grow A Set? – In Saner Thought

Recently our president made a trip to Saudi Arabia and promised them about $110 billion in weapons…..and that will be challenged by a couple of brave Senators….

US senators introduced legislation on Thursday to stop at least a portion of President Donald Trump’s $110bn sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Republican Rand Paul and Democrats Chris Murphy and Al Franken introduced a resolution of disapproval in the Senate to force a vote on whether to block part of the sale.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee received formal notice of the pending sale on 19 May.

The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 allows a senator to force a vote on an arms sale, once Congress is formally notified of plans to go ahead.

The same three senators introduced a similar resolution last year seeking to block the sale of $1.15bn of tanks and other equipment to Saudi Arabia. That measure was defeated overwhelmingly.

(middleeasteye.net)

They will probably not be successful for the Saudis have many Senators in their back pockets….but at least these people are forcing the Congress to take a long look at the wasteful crap of this president.

On another front some of these people are pushing for the action on the Authorization for Use of Military Force(AUMF)….this is an attempt to try and force the Congress to do their duty and vote on any war-like action.

Since the US started attacking ISIS years ago, the legal basis for the war has been pretty much non-existent, with officials sometimes claiming the 9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from 2001 covers ISIS too, even though ISIS didn’t even exist when it was passed.

Congress has long spurned the idea of voting on the ISIS war, however, delaying it early in the war because it was too close to an election, and mostly forgetting about it after that. Sens. Jeff Flake (R – AZ) and Tim Kaine (D – VA) are reviving the push for a AUMF vote.

Flake issued a statement saying it was “past time for Congress to voice its support for the war against ISIS.” Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker (R – TN) says last year was “not the right time,” but that he thinks conditions might be right now for the vote.

(antiwar.com)

I may not agree with these people politically but I am on their side with this attempt to protect our troops and the curb the waste of money in war.

We are always hearing some moron going on about a balanced budget…..you want that then stop spending all the cash on war…pretty goddamn simple!

My hat is off to these brave souls as they will be chastised and will probably lose this battle but at least it will put both actions on the record and bring a little more light to them.

Is This How “Skynet” Begins

I am sure that everyone that reads this blog is familiar with the term “Skynet”…that computer that runs everything on earth and dispatches terminators to do the dirty work….well it had to have a beginning and I think one of the spin-offs covered that…but could there be a “real life” beginning?

There has been some amazing leaps in AI research and it looks like the Penatgon is going to be the first to use it in search of “bad guys”…….

Turning hours of drone video into actionable intelligence is just the start for the fast-moving machine-learning team.

By year’s end, the Pentagon wants computers to be leading the hunt for Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, through turning countless hours of aerial surveillance video into actionable intelligence.

It’s part of Project Maven, a fast-moving effort launched last month by Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work to accelerate, improve, and put to wider use the military’s use of machine learning.

Source: The Pentagon’s New Algorithmic Warfare Cell Gets Its First Mission: Hunt ISIS – Defense One

Of course I am making light of the situation…but it is a good question when machines are starting to do a lot of our tasks and thinking for us…..

I still think that humans are better at making this decision than a machine….the machine can think faster but can it see the “not normal” that may arise from the intel?

I believe that a good analyst can see things that a machine will overlook as “not” important.

I know I am an old fart but I stand by my statement.

What To Do About Syria?

Now there is a question with 100 answers….and a question that no one is asking……just throw more ordinance and troops at the situation and hope for the best.

Oh boy the war in Syria has been missing from the headlines for a week or more….too much drama going on in DC for Americans to care about Syria….but believe it or not the war does not stop because Trump maybe in hot water….

The most recent action in Syria was the US actually attacking Syrian forces…..

US officials say an American airstrike has hit pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria as they were setting up fighting positions in a protected area. The officials say the strike Thursday near Tanf hit a tank and a bulldozer and forces there, but it wasn’t clear if they were Syrian army troops or other pro-government allies, the AP reports. One official says the pro-regime forces had entered a so-called “de-confliction” zone without authorization and were perceived as a threat to US-allied troops there. The officials say the strike was a defensive move to protect the US allies; it wasn’t clear if US forces were present. The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.

The area has been a source of tension as both government forces and US-backed rebels advance there. Both the government forces and the rebels are trying to rout Islamic State militants from the area. Meanwhile, a Syria state news agency says President Bashar Assad has met with Iraq National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayad to discuss “practical” steps to improve coordination between their countries’ militaries in the anti-terrorism campaign along their shared border. Syrian state media and a monitoring group say at least 15 civilians were killed this week and dozens wounded in an ISIS offensive on the government-held village of Aqarab al-Safiyeh in central Syria. State news agency SANA says women and children were among the dead, and that some were beheaded.

Are you up to snuff on how this whole thing got started?  I can help with that……

Source: Syria’s civil war explained from the beginning | News | Al Jazeera

It might help to understand the conflict before the calls for Assad must go returns….

And that is the end game for the US and its allies…..Assad must go and let freedom ring…….

There is a slight problem……there are NO easy answers after Assad goes?

Donald Trump campaigned on an “America First” foreign policy.  But he hasn’t been immune to the vapors of the Swamp.  Not even three months after his inauguration, administration officials were praising NATO; affirming commitments to Japan and South Korea; discussing troop surges for Afghanistan; talking about permanently stationing forces in Iraq, increasing aid for Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen, and effecting regime change in Syria.  It was as if Hillary Clinton occupied the President’s body.

Trump’s flip-flop on Syria was particularly shocking.  Before the dawn of the Neoconservative Age no sane American would have suggested intervening in the horror that this ancient land has become.

Source: Regime Change in Syria: Pick Your Poison | Chronicles Magazine

The simple truth, something you will not get from those running things in DC, is there is NO solution that has a bright future for Syria.  And yet we keep fighting and fighting to NO good end.

Freedom in Syria is a pipe dream for now.

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Update:  After I wrote this draft word has come out the US is floating a plan to Russia that would make sure that out two forces were not fighting each other….

The U.S. is proposing to Russia a plan for managing the battlefield in the main oil-producing region of Syria.

U.S.-backed forces face a complex situation amid Syria’s ongoing civil war. They are fighting Islamic extremists but are also in conflict with Syrian forces backed by Russia.

The U.S. sees the area in question as the next major battleground in the evolving coalition campaign to destroy the Islamic State group.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford is declining to describe the proposal in detail. But he says the Russian military is eager to find ways to avoid an armed U.S.-Russian conflict in the area around Deir el-Zour on the Euphrates River.

The proposal comes as President Donald Trump pushes for an accelerated campaign to destroy Islamic State militants.

Re-Thinking Afghanistan

Afghanistan?  Yes, America’s longest ever war.  We invaded in 2001 and have been fighting ever since.  Our premise for the invasion was to get Osama that bastard that lead the 9/11 attacks on the US. (we never got him then…..it took a decade before he was killed in Pakistan)

In all the time the US has been fighting the same war with the same lame tactics….and the best we could do is a quagmire.

Reportedly, the Trump administration is considering adding several thousand U.S. troops—ideally accompanied by other NATO and foreign reinforcements too—to the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan. The current mission totals some 8,500 Americans, and roughly twelve thousand foreign troops in all, so the possible increase could amount to an augmentation of 30–50 percent in total personnel. In my judgment, this kind of increase would be sensible, for reasons discussed below.

Source: America’s Afghanistan Problem: It’s Not Just about Sending More Troops | The National Interest

But the answer everyone has these days is…..more troops……I do not agree.

I have been saying in all those years that we need a new plan if we are to ever walk away from Afghanistan…..so far it remains the same…the tactics that is…..

Below is a war hawks view of what the US should do……they say a “re-think” is needed…..

Afghanistan may be the most complex theatre of irregular warfare in the world .  The country is a black hole of physical, religious, social, ethnic, cultural, political, economic, military and historical cross-currents, rendering conventional strategy there awkward at best and impossible at worst.  In re-thinking Afghanistan—and assessing the Pentagon’s new Afghanistan strategy—we need first to  confront some hard strategic realities head-on.  Four, in particular, stand out.

First, there is just one war: the global holy war that the Salafists are waging against us and the rest of the world.  This is not one of our fathers’ 20th century wars.  This is Islamic religious war, fought using 7th and 21st century tactics in a dozen major theatres from Mali to Mindanao.  Afghanistan is an Islamic state surrounded by Islamic states, and an emerging epicenter in the global jihad.  Our Afghan strategy cannot be divorced from our strategy for the Salafist holy war, nor from our strategy for Pakistan—the other half of the Af-Pak theatre of the war.

Source: Strategic Realities: Re-Thinking Afghanistan | RealClearDefense

I agree that a “re-think” is needed but a change in strategy not just change the wording of the operation.

There are some thoughts from the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace…..do not let the name fool you….it is still a war hawk look at the situation and the solution……

Although considerable security, political, and economic progress has been made in Afghanistan, much remains to be done to attain long-term stability and extinguish the Taliban insurgency. In this respect, while the conflict in Afghanistan is no longer consistently in the public eye, it remains of great importance to the United States. Going forward, U.S. policy should aim to protect the integrity of the Afghan state and, toward that end, attempt to end the conflict in ways that mitigate the threats of terrorism, instability, and conflict in the region.

Source: Adapting US Policy to Afghan Realities | World Affairs Journal

So far the only change is the number of troops deployed….and the number goes up seldom down…..that is NOT a re-think…that is business as usual.