Feeding The Fire

First the good news….Conrats USA beat North Korea and Mongolia in women’s free-style wrestling to move into the semis….USA will wrestling for the Gold  medal in the 53kg class….GO GIRLS!  Seriously?  BMX cycling….that is about as much a sport as Dressage or Poker…..

Beginning yesterday, 17Aug2016, the news cycle was all about the new guy that Trump has tapped to be his campaign CEO (why does a campaign need a CEO?)……of course the media is all over this analyzing it from every possible angle…..the new guy is a Breibart co-founder (that alone should tell you where this campaign is going)……

Donald Trump has doubled down on Trumpism with the appointment of new campaign CEO Stephen Bannon—and many people, including some who worked with him at Breitbart News, sound pretty worried about where he’s going to take the campaign. One thing is clear: It’s not a move aimed at courting the GOP establishment.

A roundup of coverage:

  • In a lengthy profile of Bannon and Breitbart itself, Vanity Fair’s Ken Stern describes the conservative organization as “Trump before Trump.” He predicts that Bannon’s real goal is “cementing an American nationalist movement,” not securing victory for Trump—and that if the “outraged and xenophobic tone of Breitbart is any guide, we are in for a final three months of the campaign that will put the rest to shame.”
  • “Steve is a fighter. He loves the fight. He loves the scrum,” Andrew Marcus, who directed a documentary on Breitbart, says in a New York Times profile of the 62-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker. Bannon’s past includes a stint in the Navy, a Sarah Palin documentary—and a Seinfeld deal that made him a fortune.
  • Ben Shapiro, who described Breitbart as “Trump’s Pravda” when he quit the organization in March, doesn’t mince his words at the Daily Wire. He calls the “legitimately sinister” Bannon a “vindictive, nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies”—and a “smarter version of Trump.” He accuses Bannon of, among other things, openly embracing the white supremacist movement.
  • The Daily Beast reports that the “alt right” movement—better known as white supremacists—is rejoicing at the appointment of Bannon.
  • Clinton spokesman Robby Mook slammed the Trump campaign for handing the reins to somebody who “peddles divisive, at times racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” Politico reports. He said the move signals that Trump is about to “double down on his most small, nasty, and divisive instincts.”
  • The Hill spoke to Republicans on Capitol Hill and found that many of them are “apoplectic” at the hire. “Breitbart has no credibility outside of the most extreme conservative wing of our party,” one House member says. “This would seem to signal that Trump is ready to go double-barrel against all of Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike.” GOP strategist John Feehery, however, says that while Breitbart is “nuts,” Bannon is somebody who could bring some “much-needed discipline” to Trump’s campaign.
  • Also not a Bannon fan: Glenn Beck. Bannon is “a horrible, despicable human being” and “quite possibly the most dangerous guy in all of American politics,” he said Wednesday, per RealClearPolitics.

I personally think that this is a bad idea from a political stand…..this will not help him reach out to those people that are still on the fence….that is unless you are one from this demographic or you have a tin foil hat in your closet…..

Call them what you like: conspiracy nuts; tin-foil hat wearers; truthers. However you label them, they’re pretty much in the tank for Donald Trump.

Social media analytics company Demographics Pro scoured social media sites and found that people who spend their time spewing paranoid theories and rants also tend to be Trump supporters. According to the study, which was covered by the Daily Beast, followers of Trump on Twitter are 4.2 times more likely than Hillary Clinton followers to tweet about the New World Order. In addition, almost 40 percent of those tweeting about #NewWorldOrder follow Trump; just 9.3 percent follow Clinton.

Source: Conspiracy Nuts Voting for Trump, Study Finds | Alternet

I do not see this as a winning strategy for someone wanting to be president…..I may be wrong and if I am I still will not apologize…..I like to see a well fought political contest….sad to say this move will mostly likely give Clinton the election….

The Ghost Of Bin Laden

That would be OSAMA with an “S”…just in case there are any Breibart trolls in hiding.

The day is 02May2011….Obama (with a “B”) announced the news that Osama bin Laden, head of Al-Qaeda, has been killed in Pakistan….and the country went into a euphoric celebration….vengeance has been ours.

Since that day all AQ communications has come through the new leader of the group, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, that is until now…..the ghost of Ossama has spoken through his son, Hamza……

The son of al-Qaeda’s slain founder Osama bin Laden has urged Saudis to “overthrow” the kingdom’s “oppressive and tyrannical” rulers to free themselves of US influence.

In an audio message released by the militants’ media outlet, Hamza bin Laden urged the Saudi tribes to join the Yemen-based al-Qaeda franchise to “gain the necessary experience” to “wage jihad” against the House of Saud.

“There must be an uprising against the American agents, [true] Islamic law ruling the land and the overthrow of the criminal ruling family, which has turned the Land of the Two Holy Mosques into a kingdom of [the West and Iran],” bin Laden said.

Source: Bin Laden’s son calls for uprising against Saudi king

The apple does not fall from the tree….now does it?

Neoliberalism against capitalism?

My regular readers have heard me rail against neoliberalism….I have, in the past, called it nothing more than a conservative ideology trying to hide among progressives…..

Neil Davidson on how the current neo-liberal project has been almost too successful as a ruling class strategy, creating a form of capitalism which endangers the long-term security of capital itself and edges society ever closer to barbarism.

Source: Neoliberalism against capitalism? – Neil Davidson

Neoliberal thought has done more damage to the nation than any other ideology that has been deemed dangerous to our way of life…..

Could NATO Do More?

One of the presidential candidates think that the US should reconsider its involvement in NATO (a position that I can agree), the other thinks we are not doing enough with NATO (a war hawk attitude)…..I recently read an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (a source that I seldom use unless necessary) that NATO could do more in fighting ISIS……

The goal of the recent attacks directed or inspired by Islamic State on civilians in the U.S. and Europe is to create an atmosphere of fear and to intensify political tensions across the world. As the terrorist organization continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria, it is focusing more on spreading terror abroad. Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan has repeatedly warned that Western countries should expect more attacks.

As Islamic State shifts its strategy, the U.S. and its allies should as well. The time has come for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to invoke its self-defense clause so the full weight of the alliance is brought to bear against Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Source: NATO Can Do More to Destroy Islamic State—If We Ask – WSJ

I try to give all sides of the situation whenever possible…..this op-ed in New Eastern Outlook, predominately pro-Russia opinion site has another opinion on the fight against ISIS……(not an endorsement…only given for the debate)……

453453444In the few days that Russia has been fighting terrorism, it has achieved more than the US coalition has in years. According to the New York Times, Russian fighter jets are conducting nearly as many strikes in a typical day as the American-led coalition has been carrying out each month this year, a number which includes strikes conducted in Iraq – as well as Syria.

Even though the US has been bombing ISIS for over a year, ISIS has only grown more powerful and gained more ground in Syria. A few months ago ISIS took over the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage-listed site.

In spite of the fact that the US government acknowledged ISIS cannot be defeated without ground troops, they have refused to work with the Syrian military. The Syrian military is the only UN-recognized legitimate force on the ground and the only force capable and willing to fight ISIS. Conversely, Russia is coordinating with the Syrian military on the ground assisting Syrian troops against terrorism.

Source: Why Russia is Serious About Fighting Terrorism and the US Isn’t | New Eastern Outlook

Do you think that the US is serious about fighting terrorism?  Do you think we should demand NATO take a larger roll in the fight against terrorism?

Your thoughts if you would.

3 Things Threatening Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq

When I was lucky enough to work in the Middle East I got to visit some fabulous historical sites in my off time…..Carthage ruins in Tunisia, Pyramid complex in Egypt, Petra in Jordan, Palmyra in Syria, Nineveh in Iraq and Baalbek and Byblos in Lebanon…..sadly the conflict in Syria and Iraq is giving the world the destruction of some interesting historic sites…..

These conflicts could endanger even more sites…..

The Islamic State and other radical groups engaged in the conflict in Syria and Iraq over the last three years receive much of the blame for the destruction of cultural heritage in that region. These groups are unique because they purposely go out of their way to destroy not only ancient artifacts, statues, and historic buildings, but also to attack mosques, shrines, and cemeteries. However, these groups are not the only forces damaging the cultural heritage of the region. Below are three things you may not realize are contributing to the threat of cultural heritage.

ISIL is not the only thing threatening cultural heritage. Here are 3 things you may not have considered are part of the problem.

Source: 3 Things Threatening Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq – The ASOR Blog

Sad that a culture can be destroyed for no other reason than some goddamn silly prejudice….