Bring Back HUAC!

About now there is a wealth of readers going…HUH?

The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, investigated allegations of communist activity in the U.S. during the early years of the Cold War (1945-91). Established in 1938, the committee wielded its subpoena power as a weapon and called citizens to testify in high-profile hearings before Congress. This intimidating atmosphere often produced dramatic but questionable revelations about Communists infiltrating American institutions and subversive actions by well-known citizens. HUAC’s controversial tactics contributed to the fear, distrust and repression that existed during the anticommunist hysteria of the 1950s. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, HUAC’s influence was in decline, and in 1969 it was renamed the Committee on Internal Security. Although it ceased issuing subpoenas that year, its operations continued until 1975.

Me?  I was born too late to suffer through stupidity of HUAC…I was unfortunate enough to be troubled by COINTELPRO…..but I have already covered that assault on my civil liberties….but since I was a radical it was all so much good from the point of view of the micro-brains on the Right…..I was in great company….H. Rap Brown, Huey Newton, Berrigan and many other radicals of the day.

I bring up HUAC because that “great” American mouthpiece, Newt Gingrich, seems to think we need that intrusion into our privacy…..yet again….

“We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after Nazis. We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after Nazis and we made it illegal to help the Nazis. We’re going to presently have to go take the similar steps here,” Gingrich said in a Monday appearance on “Fox and Friends.”

Originally founded in 1938, the committee investigated suspected threats of Nazi subversion and anti-government propaganda. During the Cold War, its activities sprawled, leading to the blacklist of Hollywood stars and left-wing activists, writers, and academics accused of having Communist ties.

In 1959, former President Harry Truman infamously called the committee “the most un-American thing in the country today.”

Gingrich also suggested that the U.S. will inevitably “declare a war on Islamic supremacists” living here due to the number of terrorist attacks that have been committed by American citizens, such as those in San Bernardino, California and at the Fort Hood military base.

“We’re going to say, if you pledge allegiance to ISIS, you are a traitor and you have lost your citizenship,” Gingrich said.

Under current law, the U.S. cannot revoke the citizenship of natural-born U.S. citizens against their will.

(talkingpointsmemo.com)

Just another assault on your civil liberties……but who cares….right?

Adventures In The South Seas

Not some swashbuckling movie from the 50’s…I am talking about the events unfolding in the South China Sea…..more accurately the Spratley Islands….it seems that several Asian countries are claiming the islands as part of the their territorial boundaries…..

For 40 years there has been a back and forth between countries in the region…..

  • In 1974 the Chinese seized the Paracels from Vietnam, killing more than 70 Vietnamese troops.
  • In 1988 the two sides clashed in the Spratlys, with Vietnam again coming off worse, losing about 60 sailors.
  • In early 2012, China and the Philippines engaged in a lengthy maritime stand-off, accusing each other of intrusions in the Scarborough Shoal.
  • In July 2012 China angered Vietnam and the Philippines when it formally created Sansha city, an administrative body with its headquarters in the Paracels which it says oversees Chinese territory in the South China Sea.
  • Unverified claims that the Chinese navy sabotaged two Vietnamese exploration operations in late 2012 led to large anti-China protests on Vietnam’s streets.
  • In January 2013, Manila said it was taking China to a UN tribunal under the auspices of the UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea, to challenge its claims.
  • In May 2014, the introduction by China of a drilling rig into waters near the Paracel Islands led to multiple collisions between Vietnamese and Chinese ships.
  • In April 2015, satellite images showed China building an airstrip on reclaimed land in the Spratlys.
  • In October 2015, the US sailed a guided-missile destroyer within 12-nautical miles of the artificial islands – the first in a series of actions planned to assert freedom of navigation in the region. China warned that the US should “not act blindly or make trouble out of nothing”.

I bring this up because the Us has decided that it does not have enough intervention and has decided to wade into the territorial disputes…….

The South China Sea has become one of the most dangerous flashpoints in the world as China continues to aggressively expand its influence and capabilities there. One year ago, we proposed several ways in which the United States could try to deter further Chinese encroachments. But, as the recent Shangri-La Dialogue demonstrated, tensions in the region have only risen since then. The Chinese have only accelerated their bellicose behavior, and nothing the United States has done has seemed to have any effect. The United States and its partners now have no choice but to consider a wider range of more assertive responses.

We are not seeking a conflict with China, nor do we advocate a war. We do not believe that China is an inevitable adversary of the United States.  But we are increasingly concerned that Chinese actions in the South China Sea, if left unopposed, will give it de facto dominance of an area that is a vital strategic interest to the United States. More direct U.S. actions would involve significant risks — but so would failing to act, and those risks are far less appreciated.

Source: A Guide to Stepping it Up in the South China Sea

Once again the US has positioned itself to be the major player in an international conflict….can the country afford yet another conflict to manage?

But it seems inevitable that the US gets involved in everyone’s dispute….why is that?  This report explains a lot about our obsession with intrusion…..

If you are truly interested in learnig more about this upcoming confrontation then I suggest you check out this link…..
The US Navy is deepening our involvement in this region by committing more and more ships……
Unnamed US officials are quoted in Reuters as saying that the Navy intends to send more surface ships to the Third Fleet’s deployment in East Asia, with an eye toward further confrontation of China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
The South China Sea is broadly claimed by China, though they are one of seven nations with competing claims in the region. The US has made it a matter of policy to back every other nation’s claims where they conflict with China’s, and to urge them to work it out if they conflict with one another.
In recent months, the Pentagon has made a habit of conducting naval patrols extremely close to Chinese claimed islands, on the grounds that they legally can. They have made it a point to hype these patrols as being deliberately confrontational to China
This is one of those incidents that could start another one of our many conflicts….can anyone remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident?
That one cost 50,000 American lives and countless wounded…do we really want to re-play this scenario?

2016 And Foreign Policy

I have been saying from the very beginning of this silly election season…..that foreign policy would be the defining issue of the 2016 election….now that there are 2 presumptive nominees I believe that it is more important than ever….

First, let’s look at the foreign policy of Donald J. Trump….for decades the neocons have run rough shod over the GOP but this election they are beginning to run scared over the policies spouted by the Donald……(article in the WaPo…not one of my fave sources but a good read anyhow)…..

Most of my former colleagues at the State Department will be appalled by the assertion, but much of the media-fed angst about Donald Trump’s dearth of foreign policy expertise is contrived.

Our cadre of neoconservative foreign policy experts, unhumbled after marching us into a reckless war in Iraq and a poorly conceived one in Afghanistan, who applauded as we bombed Libya and bitterly resent our having failed to bomb Bashar al-Assad in Syria, are frightened. Wisely, they often focus on comments that Trump has made on issues that are of less genuine interest to them — from his strident stance on immigration to his “threat” to our liberties to his sometimes deplorable commentary about women and some minorities. But what really troubles them is his generally level-headed and unmessianic attitude toward foreign affairs. Trump has no desire to make the rest of the world in our image; he is concerned only about the world not making America in its image.

Source: Here’s why Trump’s foreign policy terrifies neocons – The Washington Post

While the neocons are worried about Trunp’s policies they can take heart for the Dem nominee is a true neocon…….Clinton has nothing progressive in her foreign policy….she is a true red blooded neocon…..

Now that Hillary Clinton has clinched the Democratic nomination, her June 2 foreign-policy speech is looking more and more important. The reason is simple: Clinton is going to be all over Donald Trump in the coming months, punching away at his racism and xenophobia, his thinly veiled appeals to violence, and his fraudulent business practices.

But what she’ll no doubt hit him hardest on is his general unfitness to be anywhere near the nuclear button. As she put it in San Diego: “This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes – because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.”

Source: Hillary Clinton’s ‘Entangled’ Foreign Policy – Consortiumnews

Voters need to educate themselves on the candidate’s foreign policy stances……before they vote and before it is TOO DAMN LATE!

Who Gives A Crap About “Brexit”?

Most Americans have NO idea what the term “Brexit” means….to most it is a reality show with some pasty face hillybilly with an eating disorder…..it is the movement for Britain to leave the EU…..simple huh?

In Britain these days, it’s all about “Leave” vs. “Remain.” Those are the two choices voters will have in a June 23 referendum on whether the UK should exit the European Union—or Brexit, as it’s known in shorthand. Some coverage:

Rupert Murdoch’s Sun tabloid just came out in favor of leaving the EU, and it urges readers to vote for Brexit here.

A political professor now puts the odds of leaving at 33%, up from 25% less than a month ago. Bloomberg assesses.

Along those lines, a major bookmaker predicts the Leave camp will become the majority by this weekend, per Business Insider.

Yes, the Leave camp has momentum, but the Financial Times explains why it’s not time for David Cameron and the rest of the Remain backers to panic.

The Telegraph looks at six factors, including the often-overlooked group of voters in Northern Ireland, most of whom seem to want to stay in the EU.

Still, US markets are starting to get worried about the ramifications of a Leave vote winning, reports CNNMoney. Global markets, too, notes the Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times covers the broad strokes of the opposing sides’ views in a basic primer here.

Another Times story looks at the huge ramifications for foreign workers in Britain if Brexit prevails.

This movement could push other countries to beat feet from the EU…..

The U.K. may not be the only one mulling its future in the European Union (EU). In fact, the fierce debates and headline-grabbing warnings surrounding the Brexit vote in June have given hope to euroskeptics around Europe.

Denmark, the Czech Republic and Poland could face their own referendums on EU membership if the U.K. votes to leave, experts believe.

“The main concern is that an unexpected exit of the U.K. from the EU could lead to similar initiatives in other member states, making Brexit the first step towards the disintegration of the union,” Antonio Barroso, senior vice-president of political risk consultancy, Teneo Intelligence, said in a report this week.

(CNBC)

If the EU starts breaking up it would effect everyone…thanx mainly to globalization….and that includes the US…..

The countries with the highest exposure to British capital will suffer most. These countries are the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece. France and Poland are also exposed to Brexit in specific areas. Germany will suffer too. Poland, in particular, is most exposed through migration and the EU budget.

Just to give some facts: Dutch firms have direct investments worth £180 billion in the UK, earning over £9billion in 2013, which is equivalent to 1.5% of Dutch GDP. Germany has a trade surplus with the UK of over £28 billion. German manufacturers alone export £50 billion to the UK, or 2.4% of GDP. Just imagine what is going to happen to German industry if a new Britain, outside the EU, pursues an import-substitution, protectionist policy. This means that all Japanese and German producers will have to abandon their British factories, with Britain re-building its own car industry and steadily adopting a new industrial policy, moving away from financialisation/globalisation.

A new industrial society will be created and services will cease to be the backbone of the economy.  There are almost 750,000 Poles living in the UK. This is the single biggest group of foreign nationals. Their remittances sent back to Poland amount to over £1.1 billion each year. This is a significant boost for the Polish economy.

So the question is….who will benefit from the exit from the EU?

Will “Brexit” become a rolling stone and take the whole of the EU with it on the way out of the door?