Closing Thought–10Jan17

A Dollar For Your Thoughts…….

I have said in the past in oh so many rants about the work ethic of our elected officials…that they are no more than part-time employees and should paid as such.

But I found an even more pathetic way for them to attack people…..

The Republican House majority proposed and passed a rules package on the eve of the GOP seizing control of the House, Senate, and the White House, and it contains more than a few surprises.

Republicans received widespread constituent outrage in response to a proposal to gut an independent congressional ethics office and bring it under the thumb of lawmakers, and they rolled it back in response. But the rules package contained other significant changes , including rules expanding Congress’ power to haul private citizens to Capitol Hill for testimony, and the revival of an obscure rule that would allow Congress to individually target and slash the pay of government workers and programs.

The Holman rule, named after the congressman who first proposed it in 1876, was nixed by Congress in 1983. The rule, now reinstated for 2017, gives any lawmaker the power to offer amendments to appropriations bills that could, legislatively, fire any federal employee or cut their pay down to $1 dollar, if the lawmaker so chooses.

Source: New House rules allow Congress to slash the pay of individual federal workers

If anyone in Washington deserves to have their pay cut to $1 it is those slackers in the Congress….I mean think about it…..they work 110 days last year and get full time pay…..

Can you think of anyone that deserves the pay cut more?

Freedom of Dissociation

For about 2 decades we Americans have been living in a world of “dissociation”….say what?

FREEDOM OF DISSOCIATION: The freedom to dissociate from reality and operate on faith, the know-it-all attitude that proudly dismisses all challenging evidence.

The freedom to ignore reality and live like a know-it-all.  (Does that not sound a bit familiar?)

Freedom of dissociation is not an inalienable right; it’s what people crave, especially when anxious, and what people indulge in especially when rich. It is not a right because it alienates people from the rest of society and from the real world we all must live in together.

Our nation’s founders, steeped in the scientific revolution, the enlightenment and the embrace of progress and learning, established freedom of religion as a way to keep freedom of dissociation from steering the nation off course. They recognized that a theocracy encourages proud dismissal of new evidence. They wanted a different kind of nation, a learning nation.

Source: Freedom of Dissociation | Alternet

If one writes a blog then this is a good explanation to what is happening to rational thought.

A “Fighting” American Speaks

Everybody has an opinion on what to do in Syria….these “ideas” range from “making sand glow” to full engagement to “get the Hell out”….

I read an interesting thought by someone who has actually fought in Syria….I trust his thoughts more so than those of people that have never fought in a war…..in my opinion those that stayed home have nothing to say worth listening to….but I digress…

This is from a soldier that was fighting with the Kurds……

“This reminds me of when I was fighting ISIS,” Robert Amos told me, improbably, one sunny September day as we rode in a white Jeep through the streets of downtown Washington, DC. The vehicle was packed with four elderly Kurdish passengers in sweaters and suit jackets, members of the American Kurdish Information Network, a nonprofit organization. They complained in their native Kurmanji dialect about the broken air conditioner, and Amos occasionally chimed in with phrases that he learned during six months he spent as a soldier with the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the predominately Kurdish militia that controls a 200-mile stretch of territory in northern Syria known as Rojava.

Source: This American Fought ISIS. Now He’s Trying to Get Washington to Untangle Its Syria Policy | Mother Jones

Every “lawmaker” should heed the words of this person….since NONE of them had enough guts to fight and die in this conflict (well maybe not all)….commonsense is needed….and commonsense does not inhabit Washington on any level.

Bombs Away!

The US has set a new all-time record….it has dropped more bombs in 2016 than any other time….it will be an Obama legacy…..

The U.S. dropped 26,171 bombs last year, 3,027 more than 2015.

According to an analysis of Defense Department data from the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partisan think tank, the majority of the bombs were dropped in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. leads an international coalition fighting the Islamic State group in both countries and has carried out air operations in attempt to reduce the area controlled by the terrorist organization.

Nearly the same amount of bombs were dropped in Syria (12,192) and Iraq (12,095) last year.

All that death and destruction what has the US really gained from all this?
Glad you asked and I have an answer for you….PROFIT!  But not for the country rather those defense contractors that keep us at war constantly.
That’s bad news for the people in those countries the bombs are falling on, and bad news for the taxpayers, but it’s great news for a handful of key US arms makers, who are seeing their sales soar on the orders that the military has placed to replace the dropped bombs and fired missiles.

These bombs aren’t cheap, with even the smaller “dumb bombs” amounting to $30,000 or more, and more advanced technology like Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire missiles costing in excess of $100,000 each. With thousands of Hellfire missiles being fired, that’s a costly proposition.

From the Pentagon’s perspective, the big issue in all of this is that the companies are having trouble escalating production fast enough to meet demand, and they are fretting that bombs are being dropped faster than they’re being replaced.

There is your answer…..”War is good Business”.

Waiting For The Hammer To Drop

As I wait for our new prez to make his first foreign policy decision I thought I would give my readers something to consider in this world that we have created……

This world and its situations fall into what I call a “gray zone”…..meaning that at any one given time or one given situation the entire world could explode in all out war…..kinda like the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914…..

Don’t think the fad for “draining the swamp” began on the campaign trail with Donald Trump.  It didn’t, although the “swamp” to be drained in the days after the 9/11 attacks wasn’t in Washington; it was a global one.  Of course, that’s ancient history, more than 15 years old.  Who even remembers that moment, though we still live with its fallout — with the hundreds of thousands dead and the millions of refugees, with Islamophobia and ISIS, with President-elect Trump, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, and so much more?

In the never-ending wake of one of the most disastrous wars in American history, the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, it’s hard to imagine any world but the one we have, which makes it easy to forget what the top officials of the Bush administration thought they would accomplish with their “Global War on Terror.”  Who remembers now just how quickly and enthusiastically they leapt into the project of draining that global swamp of terror groups (while taking out the Taliban and then “decapitating” the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein)?  Their grandiose goal: an American imperium in the Greater Middle East (and later assumedly a global Pax Americana). They were, in other words, geopolitical dreamers of the first order.

Source: Tomgram: Nick Turse, Special Ops, Shadow Wars, and the Golden Age of the Gray Zone | TomDispatch

When the lines between war and peace become so blurred that one small occurrence could be devastating to the world……this calls for thought and knowledge or the worse could happen.

This is a report issued by International Crisis Group……a group that I have worked with in the past…..takes a look at these lines and possible ways to remain safe during these days…..

Is a more connected world a safer and more resilient one, or is it more brittle and fragile? It all depends on how we organize our defense. But the failure to stem the rise of terrorism over the past 15 years suggests we’ve not got it right. How can we restructure our defense systems to take into account the immense changes taking place, and the blurring distinction between war and peace?

Today’s defense model is one of state-centric centralized defense. Each state is expected to protect its citizens against external threats by deterring state-to-state aggression and by intervening in those states whose failure provides a safe haven to non-state enemies.

Source: When the Line Between War and Peace Becomes Blurred, How Do We Keep Ourselves Safe? | Crisis Group

Please…all you that worship at the crown of Trump…I am NOT saying that I think Trump will start world war 3…only that we need a new more up-to-date model if we are to remain safe and secure in this ever changing world…..if that is what you want to ad then may I suggest that you move on to a more conducive site for your thinking…Infowars or some such nonsense.