Veterans: More Sad News

One of the saddest outcomes for the service of a person to his/her country is the fact that they feel that suicide is the only way to get relief for their problems…..and sadly yet another vet has opted out by suicide….

This time it was not a lower rank soldier struggling with life outside the military but rather a 2 star general……

The Army said Friday it has determined that suicide was the cause of death of a two-star general who was found dead in his home on a military base in Alabama, the AP reports. Maj. Gen. John Rossi was found dead July 31 at Redstone Arsenal, two days before he was to assume command of Army Space and Missile Defense Command. He is the first Army general to commit suicide on active duty since record-keeping began in 2000, according to the Army; USA Today reports that he is “the highest-ranking soldier ever to have taken his own life.” Military suicides soared earlier this decade; they typically have affected lower-ranking military members. Rossi, a West Point academy graduate and an air defense artillery officer by training, had just moved onto Redstone Arsenal and was scheduled to be promoted to lieutenant general when he took command of Space and Missile Defense Command.

A written statement by the Army on Friday made no mention of what might have prompted Rossi to take his own life. He had actually spoken in March at a conference on preventing military suicides. The Rossi family issued a statement through the Army expressing thanks for wide support and urging those who may need suicide-prevention help to seek it immediately. “To the Army, he was Maj. Gen. Rossi,” it said. “To us, he was John—husband, dad.” “We ask for the time and space to grieve in private, and for the Army to continue to better understand suicide, and to help and treat those in need,” the family statement added. “To all the other families out there, to the man or woman who may be facing challenging times, please seek assistance immediately. Compassionate and confidential assistance is available.”

A problem seemingly without a solution…..sad that a veteran has to turn this form of expression…..we can do better….pout veterans deserve so much more than we give.

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Bizarro World Comes Calling

Any comic book nerd will understand what the word “Bizzaro” means….for those that are not so sharp then….it is a world where everything is polar opposite of this world……that is as simple as I can boil it down…..

2016 has been a year that makes one think of “Bizzaro”….politics not DC Comics……

International politics increasingly feels like it is taking place in Bizarro World, the fictional planet depicted in a series of comic books first published by DC Comics in the 1960s.

In Bizarro World, everything is inverted. The planet is a cube rather than a sphere; the sun is blue rather than yellow; its inhabitants strive for imperfection rather than perfection. The world is named after Bizarro, an inverted version of Superman who was created in a lab accident and wears a backwards “S” on his chest.

Bizarro World achieved some fame in the 1990s when it furnished the premise for an episode of the TV comedy, Seinfeld, featuring Bizarro versions of the central characters, Jerry, George and Kramer. But as an explanatory device it has come into its own only in the past year.

Consider the evidence. In the US, it seems as if Bizarro himself is running for president. The nominee for president of the Republicans — the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan — is Donald Trump.

Source: Bizarro World Has Taken over Global Politics | World Affairs Journal

Is this election season a once in a lifetime fluke that you can tell your grand kids about or is it the new normal?

The results of this election will make us all weep for the future….period!

The Joke That Is 2016

BOO!  Happy Halloween everyone!

But if you really want to be scared…then look NO further than the 2016 election…..there is enough terror in that for a lifetime.

I am not going to sit here and write about the benefits of either candidate of the two major parties…..crap…I would rather vote for a head of cabbage because at least it is useful….something I cannot say about either candidate.

The case is being made that there may be some sort of “rigged” election this time around.

The campaign rhetoric has been one not of issues but of personalities. Hillary Clinton calls Trump unfit to be president, so Trump retaliates by accusing her of being unfit. Most of their television ads are attack ads. In personal appearances, their speeches focus upon what’s wrong with the other candidate not what their own presidency will be about. The last time a presidential race was this vicious may have been in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson was challenging President John Adams.

The Trump strategy is to make outrageous statements, talk over his opponent or anyone who questions his pseudo-facts, and then quickly change the topic to avoid having to present any evidence. That strategy was apparent during the three televised debates when he bobbed and weaved around questions. His entire campaign the past year has been loaded with lies, innuendoes, and attacks not only upon Clinton but also upon his fellow Republicans. Analysis by the independent Politifacts shows that that during the campaign, only 15 percent of Trump’s statements were true or mostly true. Politifacts determined that 51 percent of Clinton’s statements while campaigning were true or mostly true.

Source: Lies and Voter Rigging – LA Progressive

A case could be made that the election is how rigged but not in the way that Trump & his supporters would have you believe…..I would try to explain it but most have made up their tiny minds and it would require me explaining something complex as the election system and we know that everyone is a fucking expert in this situation…..especially during this season.

But the first “incident” of voter fraud has been recorded……

A rare voter fraud suspect has been arrested in Iowa, though Donald Trump is unlikely to accuse her of trying to rig the election: Terri Lynn Rote, who was arrested Thursday on suspicion of voting twice, is a registered Republican, the Des Moines Register reports. Police say the 55-year-old cast two early voting ballots in Polk County, which includes Des Moines. Two other people suspected of voting twice were reported to authorities, but have yet to be arrested. County auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says these are the first cases of alleged voter fraud that he can remember in 12 years.

“I think it shows that our voting system works in Iowa, that we’re able to catch it,” Fitzgerald tells the Register, adding that although tensions are running high before the election, there is still a chance that the double votes could have been mistakes. The Blaze reports that Rote was an early Trump supporter who told a reporter in early February that she was planning to caucus for him in Des Moines. Early voting began in Iowa on Sept. 29.

Regardless who wins in November I believe that democracy has been damaged….there has been so much vile and insulting comments made on all sides and calls into question the validity of the process…..

One of the great advantages of liberal democracy is the potential for self-correction. If an election works out badly, the next one offers an opportunity to make a better choice, and in the meantime constitutional guarantees keep the winners from abusing their power. But sometimes elections fail so disastrously as to threaten irremediable damage to a society’s foundations. The United States faces that risk this year.

Systemically damaging election failure can happen in several ways. Elections may be rigged or manipulated and, even when they haven’t been, the suspicion that they have may impair a new government’s legitimacy and create a constitutional crisis. Elections can fail when they put strongmen in power who have no respect for constitutional norms and threaten democratic institutions. They can fail when the outcome is so dispiriting that people give up on democracy and believe that only an authoritarian government can solve their problems.

Source: When an Election Damages Democracy

Wait!  Did they say it was a GOP voter?

Yes they did and surprisingly that is where most of the voter fraud originates……this is an article from 2013……

The Republican party is certain that U.S. elections are rife with voter fraud. How are they so sure of that? Apparently because Republican operatives are the source of most of it.

 Say what?

This past Tuesday, Adam Ward of Bassett County Virginia pleaded guilty to 36 counts of voter fraud and perjury in connection with an attempt to help Newt Gingrich reach the number of signatures required to appear on last year’s Virginia presidential primary ballot. Ward collected over 11,000 signatures on behalf of Gingrich, over 4,000 of which, according to investigators, could not be verified. According to RawStory, the Virginia campaign of Texas governor Rick Perry faced a similar dilemma, with almost half the 11,900 signatures collected on his behalf failing verification. No Perry supporters are currently facing criminal charges.

But Read On……

Source: Shocker: Republicans Account For Most Cases Of U.S. Voter Fraud | Addicting Info | The Knowledge You Crave

I am sure that things will be different this election, right?

If this election is as close as some want it to be…..could we be looking at a repeat of 2000?

So how does the situation get resolved?

A little help for those that cannot remember that far back……a little help….read on……

Source: How Would a Contested Election Work? Five Things to Know – NBC News

So far the election of 2016 has been a massive joke…..a comical primary season….a humorous convention coverage….and finally the hilarious campaigns for the presidency….where issues mean NOTHING and personal insults are winning the debate….

History will look at this election for only its entertainment quality…there is NOTHING of substance that could be a positive teachable moment.

SMILE!  You are on Candid Camera!

Then There Is “American Exceptionalism”

As always during an election there will be those inevitable cheers about “American Exceptionalism” from one party or the other……in other words it is a call to see who loves America more.

But where did all this begin?  (And yes this is one of my historical perspectives….in case you were confused)…..and I am pleased you asked……

American Exceptionalism – What Makes America Different?
What is American Exceptionalism? Five decades after America gained independence, French political analyst Alexis de Tocqueville remarked on the exceptional character of the United States and gave us a great snapshot of what makes America different. Unlike other nations that were defined by ethnicity, geography, common heritage, social class, or hierarchal structures, America was a nation of immigrants bond together by a shared commitment to the democratic principles of liberty, equality, individualism and laissez faire economics.

But that is all well and good….but where did the term originate?

On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney contrasts his vision of American greatness with what he claims is Barack Obama’s proclivity for apologizing for it. The “president doesn’t have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do,” Romney has charged. All countries have their own brand of chest-thumping nationalism, but almost none is as patently universal — even messianic — as this belief in America’s special character and role in the world. While the mission may be centuries old, the phrase only recently entered the political lexicon, after it was first uttered by none other than Joseph Stalin. Today the term is experiencing a resurgence in an age of anxiety about American decline.

Read on, McDuff……..

‘American Exceptionalism’: A Short History

I had thought that it originated with Woodrow Wilson about the time of the beginning of World War One…..I was mistaken….it appears that it was originated by Joseph Stalin as a derogatory statement aimed at the US …..

Basically the cheer from the Right about the land we call America was originated by a…..wait for it…..a COMMIE!

You gotta love the ironic twist.

Clinton Shows Her True Colors

During the primaries Mrs. Clinton pushed hard that she was as much a progressive as Bernie….and apparently the mental midgets bought the lie……and she beat Bernie with a little help from the DNC and now she has settled into her true skin….a damn war hawk.

Why so?

Her campaign manager is Podesta the founder of the Center for American Progress…he is a lobbyist and a supporter of the neocon way of life.

Now one of her advisers has shown what her motives will be when he said……

Michael Morell is a former acting director of the CIA and a national security adviser to Hillary Clinton — one who is widely expected to occupy a senior post in her administration.

He is also an opponent of the Iran nuclear agreement, a defender of waterboarding, and an advocate for making Russia “pay a price” in Syria by covertly killing Putin’s soldiers.

On Tuesday, Morell added another title to that résumé: proponent of going to war with Iran, for the sake of securing Saudi Arabia’s influence in Yemen.

“Ships leave Iran on a regular basis carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen,” Morell said, in remarks to the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank founded by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. “I would have no problem from a policy perspective of having the U.S. Navy boarding their ships, and if there are weapons on them, to turn those ships around.”

Source: Clinton Adviser: Let’s Attack Iran to Aid Saudis in Yemen

The Saudis are big friends with the Clinton Foundation and it appears that they will have a free run of the State Department along with their buddy Israel.

It will be interesting to watch and see what position this guy gets in a Clinton administration……could be very telling.

Actually it will very telling with all her “advisers”…..the neocons are celebrating….why?

With two weeks left to go in the presidential race, the Washington establishment is falling all over itself pushing the inevitability of a Clinton win. It couldn’t have happened without the help of a fawning mainstream media, who first shoved Bernie Sanders to the fringe and then heaped attention on the lunacy of Donald Trump.

The silver lining in this absurd election is that WikiLeaks has revolutionized our understanding of those who seek to run government. It has exposed Hillary Clinton as a willing and eager establishment-corporatist shill, colluding with media to drive the narrative.

The subservience to Wall St. is exactly the kind of continuation that Washington seeks. As such, the military-industrial complex will be served well under Hillary Clinton, as they have been for many presidents before.

Source: Establishment Right and Left in “Lock-Step” Behind Clinton to Usher In an Unprecedented New Era of War

We should all fear for the direction of this country……

Donald Trump: The anti-Lincoln

8 days and counting…..

The GOP the party that began with the candidacy of Lincoln and ever since those days the party has tried to live up to the legacy that was Lincoln.

In 2016 the party of Lincoln nominated Donald Trump a candidate that is less like Lincoln than any before him….

Throughout this general election campaign, Americans got to see two very different candidates, both of whom have repeatedly claimed that they wish to follow in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump has demonstrated an utter ignorance of who Lincoln was as a president, and an incurable misunderstanding of the legacy he left the nation he saved.

One need only look at Trump’s inability to apologize, and his occasional non-apology apologies, to determine that he is not in the mold of Lincoln, who set an extraordinary example as a self-effacing commander in chief. In a letter to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in July 1863 to congratulate him on the capture of Vicksburg, Lincoln wrote: “I now wish to make the personal acknowledgement that you were right and I was wrong.” Compare this to Trump’s assertion, “I know more … than the generals.”

Source: Donald Trump: The anti-Lincoln | TheHill

Lincoln was known for his integrity…..I do not see any such characteristic in candidate Trump….the next question should be….how can the GOP support a candidate that has NOTHING in common with the party aims?

The Satan Bug

Before I start the day’s post….I must say something but my lovely citrus trees…..

I start my Sunday with the photos of my satsuma harvest….for those in the South no explanation is necessary….but in case you have no idea…..a satsuma is a cross between a tangerine and an orange….a little sweet a little tart…

One side of a tree…….

 

I will get about a bushel off of the trees…..some fine organic fruit…..

The good news is that the tangerine harvest should be ready next month…..again I will get about a bushel……homegrown fruit tastes better than store bought…..

Now let me go on about the world around us…….

I know that we are all concerned on who will lead this country for the next 4 years but that does not mean that we should forsake all news to concentrate of the babble of the candidates….make no mistake at this late date it is nothing but babble…….but the loudest babble is that of Russia….ISIS is murdering people at an alarming rate and yet Russia situation is all consuming….at least in this election…..

Some news you probably did not get exposed to…….Satan has arrived!

A Russian missile design company has unveiled the first image of a new weapon in Russia’s arsenal: the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed “Satan 2.”

The RS-28 Sarmat rocket “is capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” Russian state news outlet Sputnik reported in May.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borsiov said the Sarmat warhead was capable of destroying targets flying across both North and South Poles, Russian state news agency TASS reported Tuesday.
The missile will have a range exceeding 11,000 kilometers (6,835 miles), TASS said. The warhead will weigh 100 tons and is designed as a successor to the R-36M Voyevoda.
According to a statement posted on the maker’s website, “the Sarmat is designed to provide strategic Russian forces with a guaranteed and effective fulfillment of nuclear deterrence tasks” and is being co-developed with the Russian military.
(CNN)
An image published by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau of the RS-28 Sarmat rocket, or 'Satan 2.'
And then there is the response by the West……

Nato states are pledging troops to a Russia-deterrent force in the Baltic region, amid concern that Russian warships, due to refuel in Spain, are to join strikes on Aleppo.

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato chief, said that defence ministers from Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US would, in Brussels on Wednesday (26 October), “set out their plans for the battalions they will lead” and that other allies would “confirm their contributions” to the deterrent force.

Source: NATO States Pledge Troops to Russia-Deterrent Force | World Affairs Journal

All the talk is that there is NO new Cold War…..but the actions taken by the two sides seem to look like it to me……chest thumping like sex starved primates.

Our choices in this election does not fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling of optimism…

Any thoughts?