DoD, You Have A Leader

I have been waiting for two appointments made by PEOTUS Trump, SecDef and SecState these will be very telling in our pursuit of a Trump foreign policy.

SecState has been a yo-yo, a game of appearances and so far nothing of substance….but SecDef had been a relative silent choice….that is until yesterday….an unofficial official announcement was made that a choice had been made…..Gen. Mattis for SecDef….

Sources tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has picked a “Mad Dog” for secretary of defense. That’s just one of the nicknames held by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who CNN notes is also known as the “Warrior Monk.” Apart from spending four decades with the Marines, Mattis was recently the chief of US Central Command—a role in which he clashed with President Obama over Iran—and spent time as the supreme allied commander of transformation for NATO. John McCain has called Mattis “one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader.” He has a “cult-like following” among infantry Marines and soldiers, the Military Times reports.

“He speaks truth to everyone and would certainly speak truth to this new commander in chief,” a former Pentagon official tells the Post. Mattis has raised eyebrows—to say the least—in the past with quotes such as “It’s fun to shoot some people” and, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” Trump has called him the “real deal.” Mattis would require a special waiver from Congress before being confirmed because he’s been a civilian for less than seven years. Despite a Trump transition spokesperson saying no decision has been made, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Mattis was offered the gig and an official announcement is expected next week.

Mattis sees Putin in a different light as Trump…will this be a point of contention between the two?

Trump, himself, made the appointment official in his Victory Tour he began yesterday….however there is a slight problem…you see he has been out of the military for 3 years and the law is it must be 7….he will need a waiver….which he will probably get for Congress is controlled…..but there may be some push back from the Dems…..just to be a pain in his ass.

Should We Go Left Or Right?

After the dismal showing in the EC by Clinton the Dems are scrambling trying to find a way to reclaim their lost glory.

Some think that they should embrace a more progressive tact…..while others are thinking of returning to the days of the “Blue Dogs”.

In case you are so damn young that the term “Blue Dog” means nothing to you then maybe I can help….

The Blue Dogs are the political descendants of a now defunct Southern Democratic group known as the Boll Weevils, who played a critical role in the early 1980s by supporting President Ronald Reagan’s tax cut plan. The Boll Weevils, in turn, may be considered the descendants of the “states’ rights” Democrats of the 1940s through ’60s. “Blue Dog Democrat” is derived from the term “Yellow Dog Democrat.” Former Texas Democrat Rep. Pete Geren is credited for coining the term, explaining that the members had been “choked blue” by “extreme” Democrats from the left. The term is also a reference to the “Blue Dog” paintings of Cajun artist George Rodrigue of Lafayette, Louisiana; the original members of the coalition would regularly meet in the offices of Louisiana representatives Billy Tauzin and Jimmy Hayes, both of whom had Rodrigue’s paintings on their walls.[citation needed] Tauzin and Hayes later switched to the Republican Party. The Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1994 during the 104th Congress to give more conservative members from the Democratic party a unified voice after the Democrats’ loss of Congress in 1994.

Basically they are conservatives in Dem clothing…..they became popular when Bubba Clinton was prez along with his group the DLC.

Now that is out of the way…the question remains….should the Dems move Right or Left?

Believe it or not I read the American Conservative and they have some ideas for the Dems (not that any of them would listen)…..it is an excellent op-ed that deserves thought from the Dems…..

Ross Douthat’s latest column asks whether the Democrats have the capacity to move to the right in response to the election results:

That kind of movement is often part of how political parties recover from debilitation and defeat — not just by finding new ways to be true to their underlying ideology, but by scrambling toward the center to convince skeptical voters that they’ve changed. It’s what Democrats did, slowly but surely, after the trauma of Ronald Reagan’s triumphs; it’s what Bill Clinton did after his 1994 drubbing; it’s what Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean did, to a modest degree, on their way to building a congressional majority in 2006. And it’s also what Donald Trump did on his way to stealing the Midwest from the Democrats this year — he was a hard-right candidate on certain issues but a radical sort of centrist on trade, infrastructure and entitlements, explicitly breaking with Republican orthodoxies that many voters considered out-of-date.

Source: Do The Democrats Have To Move Right? Or Left? | The American Conservative

While I do not agree with the conclusions, most of the conclusions, it still has merit…but since they, the Dems, are sticking with Pelosi as leader I do not see much change coming.

Me?  I say more progressive!

What Is ‘Ethno-Nationalism’?

For at least a decade there have been accusations thrown around by the two so-called parties about each others agendas…..on the Right they seem to prefer the term “socialist” without knowing exactly what a socialist is all about…..and then on the Left they want to use the term “racist” or Fascist”……In my opinion both are wrong….so wrong….

After his election, Trump made his campaign dude, Bannon, his adviser….which was a smart move for the position does not need Congressional confirmation…..but once he was named the terms started flying around like flies on a turd.

This article appears in The American Conservative (yes I read that publication….surprise….surprise)…..

According to recent reports in the mainstream media, Steve Bannon is a supporter of “ethno-nationalism,” and that is scary. It is also, since everything the left doesn’t like is slapped with this label, “racist.” Sometimes, the word “white” is thrown in the mix of charges to make them extra scary, as in this tweet from the Southern Poverty Law Center. (If Bannon is a “white nationalist,” what work is “ethno” doing in that tweet? Or if he is really an “ethno-nationalist,” why is “white” thrown in except as a propaganda technique?)

To make their point, people are citing quotes from Bannon like this one: “‘When two-thirds or three-quarters of the C.E.O.s in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think …’ he said, trailing off midsentence before continuing a moment later, ‘a country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.’”

Source: What Is ‘Ethno-Nationalism’? | The American Conservative

I am not sure that I will agree with their conclusions but I felt that they needed some exposure…..it still sounds like a code word to me…

If I had heard this piece on audio only I would have sworn that was a piece by Pat Buchanan.

Below is an op-ed, not mine, on some afterthoughts of the Trump victory….

I was in the lobby of a theatre this week after the election, having an honest talk about Donald Trump. A lady came over to me and my friends and whispered, “keep your voice down or you’ll get arrested.” I told her she was being ridiculous and she responded that we all had to be careful. He would arrest his critics. I understand some people are upset. I’m upset. But paranoia leads to isolation. The worst thing we can do is silence ourselves, to act as if the danger is worse than it is. There are real problems. Let’s not pretend to have problems that don’t exist.

So what is the situation that shows itself in the election of Donald Trump?

Source: What Comes After Denial? Thoughts on Donald Trump’s Movement – Amor Mundi – Medium

Why A Professor Watchlist?

In recent news I have seen a disturbing trend starting…and as usual the MSM sees little entertainment value in covering such news…..

It appears that some of the more autocratic conservatives have started a “professor watchlist”….they are afraid of anyone teaching some liberal views to students.

I think this is a dangerous trend in learning….my students are given both sides of a subject, when acceptable, and they make up their own minds….these rabid d/bags want to teach their brand of history, et al…..

Kinda reminds me of a couple of situations in history….1920’s Italy and 1930’s Germany…to me…it is not a rounded education if only one side or idea is taught.

This is an op-ed by a professor about this invasion of “free thought”…..

From a “critique” of my work on the recently launched website Professor Watchlist, I learned that I’m a threat to my students for contending that we won’t end men’s violence against women “if we do not address the toxic notions about masculinity in patriarchy … rooted in control, conquest, aggression.”

Source: Why Professor Watchlist Gets My Teaching Values Completely Wrong | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

This effort is just plain WRONG!  If you believe in a complete education then you should fight this type of slander tooth and nail….or just sit back and see what this will bring….that was done before and ended badly.

 

The System IS Rigged!

So far the only thing positive, to my mind, that has come up of this past election is the renewed interests on the Electoral College.

My personal opinion, in case you have missed it, is that it should go…..I have been calling for its elimination for 30+ years….few listened then….but they seem to be caring a bit more these days.

This is a piece that explains the EC and the 2016 election…..

Donald Trump was right: the system is rigged! But it is rigged for the Republicans, not the Democrats, for conservatives, not progressives. And the result is the election of an extreme racist, misogynist authoritarian who may change the course of U.S. and even world history.

Source: The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

The question has been asked….if Clinton had won the election would we be having this conversation?  my answer is…..probably not the Dems are just looking for an excuse…but of us Lefties saw this problem coming even before this election or the one in 2000.

Will they listen this time?

Closing Thought–01Dec16

As December begins and Trump is putting together his cabinet…one thing jumps out…..Americans will be attacked on many fronts….health care, education, and quote possibly veterans……his appointees do not fill me with optimism…..

On to “Fake News”……

The “news” has been flooded with stories on the “fake” news that was used during the past election….I wrote a piece as a Closing Thought…..

Media distrust and Fake News…… This past election illustrated just how much social media can play in the election of a president…. Take Facebook for instance…..on a personal…

Source: Closing Thought–18Nov16 – In Saner Thought

Since I wrote that op-ed 10 days ago….more news about the fakes has been published….

No one outside of a few obsessed cranks would’ve noticed it if the Washington Post hadn’t given it front page prominence last week: a formerly obscure web site, propornot.com, which purports to identify a “Russian active measures” campaign with some very specific goals in mind As Post “reporter” Craig Timberg put it:

“The flood of ‘fake news’ this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.”

Source: The Witch-Hunters – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

The WaPo is not a site that I use much…..I do not trust them or the NYTimes….too corporate and too much propaganda for the government there.

My friends at the American Conservative have weighed in on this developing story……

“Fake stories” are in the news. The narrative goes something like this: fabricated accounts that misrepresent “the truth” are proliferating on the internet, and once they appear on a social networking site, they are frequently spread far and wide, often doing serious damage along the way to whatever or whomever was the target of the initial posting. Reportedly, Google and Facebook are now alert to the problem and doing their best to monitor and eliminate such material. How exactly that will work is not yet clear, as it would be blatant censorship, and the relative openness of the internet is a major part of its appeal.

Source: The Fake News Fake Story | The American Conservative

In my opinion a lot of the news in the MSM is fake news……and it is just now coming to light….for whatever reason.

There has been a shit storm about the “fake news” around this past election.

There are many opinions on who, what, where and how.

Below is an opinion piece on the situation…..

Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation — generated by the government, or foreign adversaries, or corporations — to advance an agenda by confusing the public. It isn’t even the familiar dystopian idea of manipulated fact designed to keep people lobotomized and malleable in some post-human autocracy. Those scenarios assume at least an underlying truth against which nefarious forces can take aim.

Fake news is different. It is an assault on the very principle of truth itself: a way to upend the reference points by which mankind has long operated. You could say, without exaggeration, that fake news is actually an attempt to reverse the Enlightenment. And because a democracy relies on truth — which is why dystopian writers have always described how future oligarchs need to undermine it — fake news is an assault on democracy as well.

Source: Who’s Really to Blame for Fake News? Look in the Mirror, America. | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

That is about enough on this subject….I mean really….NO one cares…now do they?

Who Will Lead The VA?

Nothing is more needed than supreme leadership for our millions of veterans…..the VA is tasked with making sure that our vets get the best service and care possible.

So far I have not been impressed with the choices our new prez has been making for his new government….I see very little change from the days of Obama…he has made dismal choices so far in my opinion…..

Word has leaked out on just who he may task to lead the VA…it is a person that cannot finish a job once it is started……a person with more mouth than clout.

Does Donald Trump have a big job lined up for loyal supporter Sarah Palin? The former Alaska governor is a candidate to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, a Palin aide and a Trump transition team official tell ABC, which notes that the VA is the largest government agency, with more than 300,000 employees. USA Today reports that Palin appears to be very keen: In a Facebook post Wednesday, she praised Trump as a “commander-in-chief who will champion our vets.” She also shared a video from her SarahPAC political action committee on her ideas to fix the agency’s problems, along with an endorsement from son-in-law Dakota Meyer, a Medal of Honor recipient who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chicago Tribune reports.

A spokesman for Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan tells Alaska Dispatch News that the senator would like to see Palin head the VA. “Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state, making this position critically important for our state,” he says. Palin would be the first non-veteran in the role, though her son Track Palin is an Iraq veteran. ABC notes that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who spent 35 years in the Army National Guard, is also being considered for the post and, unlike Palin, has visited Trump Tower for meetings. Rep. Jeff Miller and Gen. Keith Kellogg have also been connected to the role.

If this is truly Trump’s choice then it will make me sick.  A loud mouth without guts or principles…..to look after our veterans.

I believe that only someone that has actually served in the military can know just what are the needs of a veterans.  I thought is Sen Chuck Hagel he is a conservative and has actually fought in a war and served as a soldier.

Palin’s service to Alaska only lasted a half term before she cut and ran…..the VA needs people of conviction and courage….of which she has NEITHER!