Stop The Waste!

Just a side note…..this is my 9000th post……now I know why I have arthritis……LOL

There many things that we Americans waste…food, time, money, sanity…..some of it we do willingly….which is just sad.

I was not going to do a post on the latest shooting and the reactions simply because anything I had to say would be just another fart in the wind….but after listening to all the back and forth…I felt compelled to comment…..

The recent Paris attacks were unspeakable in their scope and the California killings were indescribable….and as usual after each of the attacks the same issues come to light….some sort of gun control….time for all that to stop it is a waste of valuable time…..

I have noticed that there seems to be a major debate going on about what is or is not a mass shooting…..I read an op-ed along those lines and thought all concerned might like to read it also……

Were you floored by the finding that we’ve had more mass shootings than days this year? So was Mark Follman. According to Mother Jones, where Follman is an editor, there have been only four mass shooting this year—including the one in San Bernardino—and only 73 since 1982. Why the discrepancy? “The answer is that there is no official definition for ‘mass shooting,'” Follman writes at the New York Times. The popular shootingtracker.com, for instance, labels a mass shooting as any incident involving four people who have been injured or killed—meaning that a late-night shooting in Savannah, Ga., that injured three and killed one on the same day as the San Bernardino massacre is included. But Follman says that’s problematic. “While all the victims are important, conflating those many other crimes with indiscriminate slaughter in public venues obscures our understanding of this complicated and growing problem.”

That’s why Mother Jones‘ tally includes only attacks in which four or more people were killed, like the FBI’s. However, it excludes murders linked to robberies, domestic abuse, and gang violence. This outline helped Follman realize that “the more narrowly defined mass shootings have grown more frequent, and overwhelmingly involve legally obtained firearms,” he says. “Everyone is desperate to know why these attacks happen and how we might stop them—and we can’t know, unless we collect and focus on useful data that filter out the noise.” Jodi Upton at USA Today offers a similar view. “The problem is one of definitions, sometimes used sloppily and interchangeably,” she writes. “The result: a very confused, and possibly hyperventilating public.” Read Follman’s full piece here and Upton’s here.

Once the conversation starts then the situation degrades into the typical bullshit of for political gain….this needs to stop because not a damn thing is accomplished….for one the NRA ones the GOP and about half of the Dems…..two…. once it devolves in an attack on the Constitution any logical debate has ended………

The argument becomes about political stands not issues of safety…..no amount of cogent argument will be sufficient to move this conversation forward.  The conversation will never forward as long as Dems present ideas….from that point on it turns into a silly sideshow.  Only the Repubs can move this conversation forward and in today’s world that is just no gonna happen.

Stop! wasting time……nothing will be accomplished….all the media can do now is leave space for the next attack.

So please stop wasting time on pretend concern…….

Turn The Page!

Obama Speaks (Yawn)

My readers know that I am a foreign policy wonk and I have not been kind to Pres. Obama on his issues in foreign policy…..and after every attack from whatever your little mind wants to called the perpetrators there is a speech and then there is the politicals running for the nearest microphone to make a statement….all of which is just BSA political posturing…..

But Obama had to make his statement….his reassuring comments to try and calm the massive unwashed (you)…..and he did as I had expected talked and said NOTHING!

On Sunday night, President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office for the third time in his presidency. What the pundits are saying about the rare event:

  • At Politico, Edward-Isaac Dovere has pretty much nothing positive to say about a speech that “said close to nothing” and did little to advance America’s understanding of how our leader and government plan to combat terrorism. It was a “not-so-peppy pep talk,” and seven years after his “cool, calm ‘I got this’ air helped get him elected … it’s clear that many Americans don’t want reassurance, but want him to convey the sense of urgency that they’re feeling.” He failed to do that, nor did he even manage to reassure.
  • In a Washington Post piece headlined “Obama’s Oval Office address reflects struggle to be heard, ” Greg Jaffe agrees that Obama said nothing new, but rather tried to get the American people to hear what he’s been saying for weeks: that he’s pursuing a strategy that is “strong and smart, resilient and relentless.” His goal was to reassure, and Jaffe doesn’t really weigh in on whether he did that. But he does note that “the absence of big new policy proposals from the president reflects the lack of any low-cost or tidy solutions to ease [America’s] concerns.”
  • At the New York Times, David E. Sanger argues that the purpose of Obama’s speech wasn’t to reveal new strategies against ISIS. Rather, he tried to “make the case that his administration was ahead of the problem, not playing catch-up.” But Sanger then goes on to recount recent criticism by some of Obama’s “closest former counterterrorism advisers” that he is moving “too incrementally.” One example, from former top Pentagon intelligence official Michael Vickers: “In the two months during which the United States drove al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan in 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks, it conducted as many airstrikes as it has in the past 16 months in Iraq and Syria.”
  • But in Fred Kaplan’s view, Obama did a decent job of doing a fairly impossible task. Kaplan writes for Slate, “Will any of these remarks assuage widespread fears about terrorist attacks in the holiday season and beyond? Probably not. What could he or anyone else have said that might have had that effect? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else.” Obama may not have offered “dramatic answers,” but “he laid out a road. Critics who have never been dealt hard questions on the subject soon reveal that their road doesn’t look very different.”

First, why is the location of the speech “big” news?

It is sad that everyone feels compelled to run for the camera after each of these horrific episodes……what did he accomplish with his speech?  Not a damn thing except give all politically minded candidate something to talk about and avoid the real problems of this country…..

Well done!

What’s The Angle?

I recall a few years back when multi-millionaire Warren Buffet announced that he would give away his fortune……I thought “what a nice guy” and then I thought “what’s the angle”?

Then shortly after Buffet’s announcement came a similar one from Gates……that he would donate his fortune to help others not so fortunate….and again I thought “what’s the angle”?

Just this week another multi-millionaire has announced a similar desire for his fortune…….and again I asked that same question…..something smells like bad fish…….

The announcement by Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg that they’ll donate 99% of their Facebook shares—$45 billion at today’s value—to a foundation they created with the birth of their daughter isn’t being met with universal praise. Some examples:

  • ‘Big waste’: “It sounds angelic, but it will probably end up being, mostly, a big waste,” writes Sam Biddle at Gawker. For one thing, the money is going to the Zuckerbergs’ own foundation instead of, say, Oxfam, and the broad goals of “advancing human potential and promoting equality” are mushy. “Does anyone really want to experience ‘100 times more than we do today,’ whatever that entails?” asks Biddle. “Do you want to be ‘connected’ to literally every ‘idea’ and ‘person’ in the world? This is a technocrat’s dream and an actual normal human being’s nightmare.” It’s emblematic of the code-fixes-all philosophy of Silicon Valley, “and Zuckerberg’s massive giveaway will clearly be predicated on that conceit.” Here’s the full piece, whose headline refers to Zuckerberg’s “blinkered worldview.”
  • Imperial roots’: This kind of giving perpetuates inequality and smacks of imperialism, writes Devon Maloney at the Guardian. The “rich are still effectively buying the future they’d like to see, no matter how selfless their intentions may be,” she writes. “International philanthropy and the western world’s desire to eradicate poverty and disease can’t ever truly rid themselves of their imperialist roots.” Maloney also cites the “white savior industrial complex” in the full piece.
  • More on that: A writer at Forbes pushes back hard against the Guardian piece, calling it a “misunderstanding of economics,” while the Washington Post recalls a German billionaire’s argument that having the rich, and not the state, decide what people need is a “really bad” idea.
  • Not a charity: It’s not exactly a slam, but Alex Kantrowitz points out at BuzzFeed that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is structured as an LLC, not a charitable trust, as much coverage is suggesting. Meaning that not all of the money will go to charity; some will go into profit-generating private investment.
  • ‘Guardedly optimistic’: Not all the reaction is skeptical, of course. At Slate, Jordan Weissmann calls the move “admirable,” adding that “I think that as a rule, we would all prefer that our modern overlords give away their riches rather than pass them on to their children.” Plus, he thinks the Zuckerbergs have learned lessons from previous charitable misfires, and so he is “guardedly optimistic,” despite the still-vague goals. “These seem like the sorts of endeavors that aren’t going to cause a lot collateral damage, and may well do some actual good.” The full piece.
  • Read the Zuckerbergs’ announcement, in the form of a letter to their daughter.

Apparently I am not the only one that is skeptical……..

Source: Not so fast, Mark Zuckerberg: 4 reasons to be skeptical of his $45 billion giveaway – Salon.com

Rich people do not do anything this selfless without something in return…..begging the question……..WHAT’S THE ANGLE?

The Zuck has responded to the skepticism……

Zuckerberg explains that Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC, the entity he’s donating 99% of his Facebook shares to, is being set up as a limited liability company instead of a traditional foundation so it can engage in actions like “funding non-profit organizations, making private investments, and participating in policy debates,” reports TechCrunch, which notes that some critics accused Zuckerberg of having ulterior motives or said the move could be “a big waste.”

The initiative will focus on “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” building on previous investments in “education, science, health, Internet access, and inclusion,” Zuckerberg explained. He also addressed concerns that the donation—equivalent to the GDP of Serbia, or around $38 for every Facebook user—could be some kind of tax dodge, explaining that “we receive no tax benefit from transferring our shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, but we gain flexibility to execute our mission more effectively” and that if he wanted to avoid tax, it would have been far more effective to set up a traditional charity, the Verge reports. (A ProPublica piece calls the initiative a “tax vehicle.”)

Sorry but I am still looking for the “angle”…..

The kind of president we need – The Washington Post

I read an op-ed by ex-secretary of state Robert Gates, written for the WaPo……

We have a challenging world and the next president will need to solve problems as they arise…..the problem is I cannot think of one person in either party that will be capable of doing such a thing.

The country is more divided now than in any time in history (that may be a stretch but you get the point)…..domestically, internationally and then there is Congress…..that alone will make the next president weak…….

Beginning in 2017 the next president will up to his/her butt in problems….how will they be met?

America’s next leader must be truthful and realistic about the challenges ahead.

Source: The kind of president we need – The Washington Post

Christie and the GOP’s Foreign Policy Ignorance Problem | The American Conservative

Don’t freak!  Yes I am pressing an article by the American Conservative…..while I may not agree with them on many issues they do have some good analysts with the courage to bucking the GOP….

2016 will be the election of the field of foreign policy and most of the GOP candidates are nothing but novices in the field…..the only one that has some props in the field is Lindsey Graham (not a fan of his foreign policies) but beyond that the rest of the field is moronic.

Next to Trump and Carson, Christie is babbling…..nothing coherent ever comes out of his mouth (this may not be a problem since most Americans are not that interested)…..

Christie made some silly claims about foreign policy recently:“I think that foreign policy is all about, at first blush, the personality of the people executing that foreign policy,” he said.

Source: Christie and the GOP’s Foreign Policy Ignorance Problem | The American Conservative