Closing Thought–05Jan17

Who will protect the veterans?  Trump?  I think not!

I have been an outspoken critic of our government for a long time about the treatment of out veterans….not much has changed from the days of the returning Viet vets to today….they, the vets, are treated like tools….used up when broken are thrown away and new ones plucked from society.

I have been concerned that the VA the one organization that looks to the needs of our vets will be privatized and then the vets will just be a way for some profiteers to make a fortune on the backs of people that need help.

At least Bernie Sanders has stepped up……

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement Friday in response to reports that President-elect Donald Trump is considering privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs:

“Privatizing the VA would be an insult to the more than 22 million veterans who risked their lives to defend our country and it would significantly lower the quality of health care they receive. Our goal, shared by The American Legion and other major veterans’ organizations, must be to improve the VA, not destroy it. When men and women put their lives on the line to defend us, the president must listen to them, not to the Koch brothers and their extreme right-wing, anti-government ideology. We will vigorously oppose any and all efforts to privatize the VA.

Source: Sanders Statement on VA – Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Our vets have had enough lip service…time for this country to stand the fuck up and see to their needs…all their needs…..it is the least this country can do to replay them for their sacrifice and service.

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CIA: Shell Of Its Former Self

Since the news of the Russian hack of the DNC, whether real or not, there has been a lot of talk from Trump about his distrust of the intel agencies….there is even some talk about a possible restructuring of the agencies once he is sworn in…..

Donald Trump plans to do more than just criticize US intelligence agencies—he plans to restructure the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. “The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized,” says one source close to the Trump team. “They all need to be slimmed down.” Trump, who has slammed the assessment by US intelligence agencies that Russia is to blame for hacks targeting the US presidential election, would, for example, decrease staff at CIA headquarters in Virginia in favor of putting more agents in posts around the globe, sources say.

As for the ODNI, which was created in 2004 to increase cooperation between intelligence agencies post-9/11, Trump wants to limit its power because he believes it actually interferes with the 16 US intelligence agencies, sources tell CNN. Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, quickly hit back at the reports: Shrinking the ODNI would “diminish its effectiveness and reverse many of the important gains we had made since 9/11,” he said in a statement Wednesday night. “Moreover, to propose changing the CIA’s operational structure because of loose allegations of politicization—claims based on nothing more than the agency’s willingness to contradict the President-elect’s preferred version of events—would be a mistake of the highest order.”

The Trump team is looking at a revamp of some sort of our intel agencies……for more info……

Donald Trump and his transition team are working on a plan to revamp and reduce the size of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA because the President-elect believes that the U.S. intelligence community is biased against him and has tried to undermine his election, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday evening.

Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and his nominee to lead the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) also believe that the DNI and CIA are biased, and the two are helping devise the plan to restructure the agencies, according to the Journal.

Source: WSJ: Trump Set To Restructure Intel Agencies, Which He Thinks Are Biased

I know there are some that do not trust anything the CIA and its cohorts say…..but personally I do not think that a restructuring will do much to improve their reliability…..and I am not alone……

George Little, a former CIA and Department of Defense spokesman, said early Wednesday that he thinks the U.S. will be “less safe” under President-elect Donald Trump once he is sworn into office.

Little tweeted his thoughts shortly after Trump sided with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who said Russia was not the source of stolen information from Democratic Party organizations. U.S. intelligence agencies have blamed the hacks on the Kremlin.

Source: Former CIA, Pentagon spokesman: ‘We will be less safe’ under Trump | TheHill

However I will agree that the US depends too much on SIGNIT and not enough on the best sources of intel….HUMINT.

The agency could probably use a good shake up……If Trump puts more agents in the field then I may approve of his “New and improved” CIA…..but that is to be seen.

The Importance of Diplomacy

It is no secret to anyone that stops by IST that I am antiwar and have been since the 1970’s…..

I believe that armed conflict should be the last resort after all other paths have been explored….

I believe the US has fought enough wars and spent way too much cash in supplying the goods for war…..I would hope that we could find a new president that thinks diplomacy is a better way to solve international problems…..

Well that wish will not be found this time around for we elected a person that sole joy in life is the accumulation of wealth….and what better way to acquire those profits than….WAR?

A progressive foreign policy must entail sustained efforts by the US government and NGOs to advance the human good in every way possible. This would include helping to negotiate and enforce treaties to eliminate weapons of mass destruction; working to end conflicts and rebuild war-torn societies; promoting sustainable development at the grassroots level; and providing emergency humanitarian assistance to societies ravaged by disease, ecological disaster, or state collapse. And while there is much that Americans can do to advance these objectives, they should do so, whenever possible, under the auspices of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations. Given the historical record, many nations have good reason to be wary of unilateral US efforts, even those dubbed “humanitarian.”

Source: The Importance of Diplomacy in a World of Multiple Power Centers | The Nation

Modernizing ‘The Manchurian Candidate’

Has anyone here seen the Manchurian Candidate….the original not the cheesy re-make…?  You should watch it then this post would make more sense than just a rant…..

We all have heard the back and forth by all sides about the “hacking” in the last election…..Trump is saying not so fast more info is needed but one of his advisers, James Woolsey, does not totally agree…..

Senior Donald Trump adviser James Woolsey says that despite the president-elect’s skepticism, he believes Russian hackers really were involved in election-related skulduggery. “I think the Russians were in there, but it doesn’t mean other people weren’t, too,” Woolsey tells CNN. “It’s often not foolproof to say who it is because it is possible and sometimes easy to hide your tracks. There’s lots of tricks.” Woolsey, who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations and was CIA director under Bill Clinton, admitted that Trump is an ” expert in weaving around” issues like this, and there is a chance that he could just be playing the media with claims to “know things that other people don’t know” about the hacking allegations.

The original movie is about a “sleeper” agent planted in the country that will effect the election…..

There are some similarities in life as in the movie….the closeness of some to Russia and the possibility of some sort of “coup” to put Russia in charge…..

An interesting article….(please I do not agree but it is a interesting point….that is if one takes the time to read it)…..

Donald Trump’s transition from U.S. President-elect to taking power recalls nothing so much as a forgotten Hollywood genre: the paranoid melodrama. Perhaps the greatest film of this type, “The Manchurian Candidate,” concerns a communist plot to use the brainwashed son of a leading right-wing family to upend the American political system. Given the fondness that Trump and so many of his appointees seem to have for Russian President Vladimir Putin, life may be about to imitate – if not exceed – art.

To be sure, the attraction for Putin that Trump and his picks for secretary of state and national security adviser ― Rex Tillerson and Michael Flynn ― share is not the result of brainwashing, unless you consider the love of money (and of the people who can funnel it to you) a form of brainwashing. Nonetheless, such Kremlinophilia is ― to resurrect a word redolent of Cold War paranoia ― decidedly un-American.

Source: Trump and ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ Are Too Similar for Comfort | The Huffington Post

There are just so many thoughts about what to expect and the possibilities after 20Jan17…..a day that will live in…… (you insert the term )…….

Stop The Presses!

This is a piece that I wrote for Ace News room about the possibility of a new “state run” media operation.

I am not saying that this is an eventuality….only that there is a possible way to start up such an institution.

When Donald Trump began his run up to the general election I was one of those that thought he was doing nothing more than expanding his brand….I was deeply mistaken…..

I even wrote a post about his possibility of a new “Trump TV”……

There has been lots of verbiage on the treatment Trump is getting in the media….most of his supporters feel they are being unduly targeted for their support…..I can see where they would be feeling thus……I have some stuff uttered on the news that I do not think needs to be said….that is until there is concrete proof.

Source: Stop The Presses! | Ace News Room