Beyond A Protest Party

I am not a supporter of either of the two major candidates……basically because they are jokes….one is a self-centered dick and the other is a war hawk slobbering over the chance to start more conflicts and make her M-IC handlers smile.

If you are like me then you have two other choices….the Libertarian Party or the Green Party to which I am leaning……

The Libertarians have some good points on the international stage and on privacy issues but their stands on the domestic economic stuff is a bit scary….at least to me.

That leaves the Green Party and Dr. Jill Stein.

But what does the Green Party need to do to start winning the voters over?

To move beyond symbolism, the Green Party needs a strong infrastructure and a commitment to down-ticket elections.

There wasn’t fancy catering, blaring music or the release of thousands of balloons at the Green Party’s presidential nominating convention in Houston, Texas. Nor was there the presence of thousands of cops from dozens of state and federal agencies, or hundreds of cameras snapping photos as mainstream television reporters prepared outside for live standups.

Rather, one bored-looking campus security officer stood outside the University of Houston’s (UH) multipurpose room as the party’s media coordinators handwrote my press credentials and handed me the weekend’s schedule of events. One might not even know a convention for a political party was happening at the campus at all — many UH students I spoke to over the weekend didn’t.

Source: Beyond a Protest Party: What Will It Take for the Green Party to Start Winning?

If you are not a nose picker or a secret war hawk then there is a logical choice for your vote……

Think Green!

Full text: Donald Trump’s speech on fighting terrorism

Most visitors here know that I am a foreign policy wonk…..I judge candidates on how they will handle the international relations of this country.  I am a natural born skeptic (my grandfather would be proud)……

While I am not a supporter of Trump he has made some interesting statements on foreign policy….to be fair he has also made some of the dumbest statements on record….

The other day he made what was billed as a foreign policy speech….and I would like to post the text here in case someone may have missed the speech….and might be interesting in reading it so that do not have to depend on the regurgitation of others (probably not)……

Donald Trump’s remarks on terrorism on August 15, as prepared for delivery.

Source: Full text: Donald Trump’s speech on fighting terrorism – POLITICO

The AP also has a breakdown on his speech…..

Donald Trump on Monday will call for a new ideological test for admission to the United States, vetting applicants on their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. The policy would represent a significant shift in how the U.S. manages entry into the country.

In a speech in swing state Ohio, Trump will also call for “foreign policy realism” and an end to nation-building if elected president. And he’ll argue that the United States needs to work with anyone who shares the mission of destroying the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations, regardless of other disagreements.

“Mr. Trump’s speech will explain that while we can’t choose our friends, we must always recognize our enemies,” Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller said.

The Republican nominee’s foreign policy address comes during a rocky stretch for his campaign. He’s struggled to stay on message and has consistently overshadowed his policy rollouts, including an economic speech last week, with provocative statements, including falsely declaring that President Barack Obama was the “founder” of the Islamic State.

Source: Associated Press

There are a lot of sources (some not as reliable as I would like) that see his rambling speech as mostly gibberish…..

Donald Trump delivered what one analyst calls a “surprisingly serious” speech on foreign policy and counterterrorism Monday—but serious may not equal coherent. Many analysts were taken aback by the mix of proposals in the speech, which included policies favored by the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, along with ideas dating back to the Cold War and some touches that were pure Trump. A roundup of reactions:

  • Some elements of Trump’s speech on the war on “radical Islamic terrorism” were familiar, but what was new was “alarming,” according to the Los Angeles Times editorial board. His calls for a Cold War-style “ideological screening test” and a Commission on Radical Islam could be “catastrophically counterproductive,” they write—and “would punish thoughts rather than deeds,” as well as encourage newcomers to the US to conceal their beliefs.
  • Former Bush administration official Peter Feaver tells the New York Times that he gives Trump credit for the “surprisingly serious” speech, but a striking amount of it “depends on counterterrorism ideas developed by the Bush administration.” The “good parts are not new,” and “the new parts are not good,” he says.
  • Robert Burns at the AP believes there was a lot more Obama than Bush in Trump’s disdain for nation-building. Obama ditched Bush’s large-scale projects in Iraq and Afghanistan while “trying to keep enough US influence there to prevent those two countries from crumbling,” he writes, noting that Trump’s argument that the US should have seized Iraq’s oil isn’t nation-building, it’s “nation-grabbing.”
  • John Noonan, Jeb Bush’s former national security adviser, tells NBC News that Trump is completely correct about Obama’s contribution to the rise of ISIS, and not much else. “The rest of his foreign policy is an absolutely blathering jumble of nonsense,” he says. “I can’t in good conscience sign my name to it.”
  • At Politico, Nahal Toosi looks at the “extreme vetting” proposal that has replaced Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration and finds numerous problems. She notes that focusing on regions with a “history of exporting terrorism” would include much of Europe, even if only Islamist-inspired terrorism is included.
  • Trump seemed bored by much of his own speech and only seemed excited when congratulating himself on his prescience or accusing Hillary Clinton of “wanting to be ‘America’s Angela Merkel,'” per the Lexington column at the Economist. The article notes that real Cold War veterans will find this election very strange. “The party of Eisenhower and Reagan has nominated a man who calls looting of foreign assets the highest priority for America in war, and who sucks up to Russia,” it says.
  • Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post is equally scathing in his fact-checking of the speech. Kessler debunks claims, including the notion of an Obama “apology tour” in 2009, and notes that Trump was not an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War until well after it began—and that he has apparently forgotten that he “was a fervent advocate of intervening in Libya.”

Sorry he still has not convinced me that he has an adequate grasp on international situations……especially from someone that wants to be the world leader as president of the United States……

It Is Always About The Money

I have been an outspoken foe of the idea of private armies used to do the nation’s bidding…..these people even though they will not admit it are mercenaries…..they fight for cash if there were another reason then they would not be around every corner…..organizations like Blackwater or is it XE or did they change the name again to confuse the situation?

Where do their loyalties lie?  Is it ideology or is it the money?

I bring this up because of something I read a day or so ago…….

The United States Department of Defense has released details of an agreement with a private intelligence contractor, which experts believe involves the provision of services to American Special Forces working clandestinely inside Syria. Theannouncement, made on the Pentagon’s website, is believed to be the first public admission of the use of a private intelligence contractor by the US government in Syria. In the brief press release, the DoD identifies the contractor as Six3 Intelligence Solutions, a McLean, Virginia-headquartered company that specializes in intelligence, biometrics and security.

Six3 Intelligence Solutions is a subsidiary of CACI International Inc., one of the largest defense, security and intelligence contractors in the US. According to The Daily Beast, CACI purchased Six3 Intelligence Solutions in 2013 for $820 million, in what a CACI media statement said was “the biggest deal” in the company’s 50-year history. Public records indicate that Six3 Intelligence Solutions is already fulfilling a $30 million contract with the Pentagon, involving the provision of nondescript “intelligence services” to American troops stationed in Afghanistan. The latest contract, worth $9.5 million, was announced on July 27. It is a no-bid contract, otherwise known as a ‘sole source contract’, which means that the government believes that only one company can provide the services required. Thus, the process by which a no-bid contract is awarded is non-competitive.

The Pentagon’s July 27 announcement states that, under the contract, work by Six3 Intelligence Solutions personnel “will be performed in Germany, Italy, and Syria”. There is no mention of the precise nature of the work, though it is generally assumed that it will support the operations of US Special Forces troops that are currently stationed in Syria. American troops have been active in Syria for at least a year. Nearly 300 US Special Forces members are believed to be presently operational in the war-torn country, working with officers of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Daily Beast said it contacted CACI and the DoD about the recently announced contract, but received no responses.

Source: Intelnews.org

Again….mercenaries that will do what money tells them…..is that advisable for an intel gathering group?  Where will their loyalties lie?

Do you want the future of this country in the hands of mercenaries?  Think Snowden who was one of these “defense contractors”…..

I think this is a mistake……what say you?

Mr. Trump–Change Or Else!

Many know that I am by no stretch of the imagination a supporter of Trump….I will admit that some of his statements on international affairs I can agree with to a small extent…..but voting for him is out of the question.

There are many that sees his mouth as his biggest obstacle to the White House….even the conservative bastion the Wall Street Journal is telling him what he needs to do……if he truly wants to win……

The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal is close to giving up on Donald Trump as a viable presidential nominee. In an editorial, the newspaper argues that if Trump can’t “change his act by Labor Day,” the GOP should cut ties and focus on races in the House and Senate instead. The critiques are familiar: The editors want Trump to be more disciplined and more focused on policy than personal fights. They’d like him to spend even 30 minutes a day reading briefing papers instead of watching the cable talk shows. And they’d like him to make the race be more about Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.

“Is that so hard? Apparently so,” says the editorial. From a Republican perspective, the worst thing about the 2016 election is that it’s a race the GOP should win given a host of factors. (It cites one renowned formula by political scientist Alan Abramowitz that gives a mainstream GOP candidate a 66% chance of winning.) Trump, however, is losing traction even in states that are supposed to be safely red, and he’s quickly running out of time to pivot from a “shoot-from-the-lip” candidate to a worthy one. “He needs to stop blaming everyone else and decide if he wants to behave like someone who wants to be President—or turn the nomination over to Mike Pence.” Click for the full editorial.

Will he listen?  As it is today every time he makes another of his bullsh*t statements he loses just a little more support.

I am sure that the WSJ will take the full brunt of his well documented anger….but he needs to ask himself…is it worth it?

Does he really want to win?

Give Peace a Chance

Yep the Plastic Ono Band is playing in the background……but it is a valid statement….at least in my mind…..

Since my stint in the Army and experiencing war first hand I have been an anti-War advocate…..even been called a peacenik….but that was many years ago and that term has gone out of fashion….

Look at the MSM they are as pro-war as can be done…..the anti-war people have no chance for their side to be heard in this society…..it is the data these toads get and pass on to the public…..it is pure propaganda no matter how you try to cut it…..

Good data is needed for any debate….without it there is NO debate….

The world has witnessed a historic decline in world peace over the past decade that interrupts the long-term improvements since the Second Word War.

This trend is largely driven by the intensifying conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. Terrorism is at an all-time high, battle deaths from conflict are at a 25-year high, and the number of refugees and displaced people are at a level not seen in sixty years. Notably, the sources for these three dynamics are intertwined and driven by a small number of countries, demonstrating the global repercussions of breakdowns in peacefulness.

Source: How Good Data Can Help Build World Peace — The Future of Conflict — Medium

To illustrate how bad info is passed on to the public…..let’s look at this…..

Two new congressional reports conclude senior military officials skewed information to make it look like the war was going better. The question is why.

Senior officials at U.S. Central Command manipulated intelligence reports, press statements, and congressional testimony to present a more positive outlook on the war against the so-called Islamic State, a House Republican task force concluded in a damning report released Thursday.

The report, written by the members of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees and the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, confirmed more than a year of reporting by The Daily Beast about problems with CENTCOM analysis of the war against ISIS.

Source: Republicans and Democrats Agree: CENTCOM Cooked ISIS War Intel – The Daily Beast

This is our reality now…..look at the invasion of Iraq in 2003…..predicated on lies…..and little has changed since those days….

The American people are lied to on a daily basis and few attempt to find the real story….and we are now involved in multiple conflicts because of that laziness.

Thanks to that laziness the public mind is managed by the MSM……

Life is complicated; or appears to be. The arguments leading up to last week’s UK referendum on EU membership involved claims and counter-claims concerning trade, economic impacts etc. whereas the real issue at hand is concentrated power: self-determination versus unaccountable technocratic rule. By discussing immigration and framing the debate in terms of fear of the future (untold disasters were promised should people vote to leave the EU), the question of who rules became peripheral to the debate. The complexity of such issues is contrived to deceive.

Daily Pickings has often referred to Edward Bernays and mass manipulation. In this article, Andrew Gavin Marshall explains how education and media evolved as weapons of mass manipulation under the direction of the Rockefeller Foundation. Propaganda quickly became the means to subvert and control the “will of the people”.

Source: Managing the public mind

The MSM refuses to highlight Clinton’s war hawk attitudes…..her siding with the M-IC…..

Yes the public are sheep….sad thing is that they have decided to be just that.

Clinton and Obamacare Will Not Solve the Health Care Crisis

It is an election year so there will be lots of whining and bitching about Obamacare….mostly from the Right…..but they truth is that none of these options will not solve our health care problem…..and the ones that are offered by the Right are at best….laughable.

While it has done a lot of good, the Affordable Care Act is not a long-term solution to the US health care crisis.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign, which proposed replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with a Medicare for All system, has sparked a much-needed debate over the need for a single-payer health system. But this bold proposal didn’t win him the election. And now that Hillary Clinton has become the presumptive nominee against Donald Trump, the debate over health care reform is about to become extremely narrow.

With the media and candidates in full general election mode, Sanders’ argument that we must do better than Obamacare will soon be replaced by Trump’s insistence that we must do worse. Clinton will almost certainly respond by pushing the status quo, which remains broken. Critical dialogue, at least on the national stage, will likely be in short supply.

Source: Why Hillary Clinton and Obamacare Will Not Solve the Health Care Crisis – Linkis.com

The part I like best are the ones that are in the most opposition are the ones that have all the health care they need…..it feels like they want to horde health care for people like them….only.