Closing Thought–17Jan17

As we grow closer to the day of days when the country swears in the king of kings, Donald J. Trump…..and this election was much the same as every recent election…..the fear and loathing of immigrants.

One of the big “solutions” for Trump and his gang of cutthroats is DACA….Deferred Acion for Childhood arrivals…..one conserv solution to the immigration problem…

Let’s say they are successful and eliminate DACA….what will the economc cosats be for the states?

Since June 2012, more than 752,000 people who came to the United States as children have benefitted from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This initiative has provided recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and renewable work permits. DACA has lessened the barriers for these recipients to reach their full potential—they have been able to secure good jobs, obtain driver’s licenses, and pursue higher education—so that they might better contribute to their communities. A 2016 survey of DACA recipients shows that they work across many different industries ranging from educational and health services to nonprofits. Along with receiving higher wages, DACA recipients are buying cars, homes, and other goods and services to boost local economies.

But this quintessential embodiment of the American dream is under attack. During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump threatened to end DACA, along with other executive actions. While it remains to be seen what specific actions the president-elect will take, the fate of DACA is still uncertain. But if the president-elect ends DACA, whether in a single action or by allowing work permits to expire over time, the end result will be hundreds of thousands of young people losing their work authorization and effectively being forced out of the labor market.

(Oh there is so much more)

Source: Ending DACA Will Cost States Billions of Dollars – Center for American Progress

States lose revenue and where do you think the shortfall will come from?

Who actually will benefit from the elimination of DACA?

From The Ashes

I have been a critic of the so-called “security contractors”….these people are nothing more than mercenaries….hired soldiers to fight wars for the rich and powerful…..they fight for money not some noble excuse like fighting communism or terrorism…..money is the only motivation.

To save space and my typing finger I will send you to an op-ed I recently wrote on this subject…..

Source: Rise of the American Mercenary – In Saner Thought

After so much bad PR the mercenaries in the Blackwater group changed their name to Xe and then sort of dropped off the world stage press coverage….

But did they?

Appears Blackwater guys have been working off the radar so to speak……

On Jan. 11, 2017, Intelligence Online — a professional journal covering the world’s intelligence services — revealed that the pilots of Air Tractor attack planes flying from Al Khadim air base in Libya are private contractors working for Erik Prince, the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater.

War Is Boring’s own sources in Libya confirmed the assertion. Our sources said that the pilots flying the United Arab Emirates Air Force IOMAX AT-802 Air Tractors — converted crop-dusters — are mercenaries and aren’t Arabs.

Source: Erik Prince’s Mercenaries Are Bombing Libya

Once again we have an American company supplying mercenaries to fight in wars…an American company profiting off of the science of war….just an extension of the M-IC.

There use to be a punishment for fighting in a war that was not of your home nation…loss of citizenship…may I suggest that it is time for this to be reconsidered.

Obama Broadly Expands NSA Power

In the closing days of his presidency our president Obama has expanded the power of the NSA……and the chances of further abuses of our privacy…….a final shot, if you will…..

With just over a week left in office, President Obama has massive expanded NSA authority to share the personal communications swept up in their many warrantless wiretap schemes with America’s other 16 spy agencies.

The move aims to “relax” limits imposed by privacy laws by allowing the NSA to share raw data in a more or less limitless fashion with the other 16 spy agencies before the privacy laws are even applied to them. This is meant to get more eyes on the data collected.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who like Obama is out the door in about a week, defended the move, arguing that all the spy agencies will be bound by existing rules once they get ahold of and process the raw data. Privacy experts, however, note that the existing privacy protections aren’t great to begin with, and the expansion to so many different agencies just increases the risk of abuse.

(antiwar.com)

But there is more on this presidential move……

the Obama administration finalized new rules that allow the National Security Agency to share information it gleans from its vast international surveillance apparatus with the 16 other agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community.

With the new changes, which were long in the works, those agencies can apply for access to various feeds of raw, undoctored NSA intelligence. Analysts will then be able to sift through the contents of those feeds as they see fit, before implementing required privacy protections. Previously, the NSA applied those privacy protections itself, before forwarding select pieces of information to agencies that might need to see them.

Source: Why Is Obama Expanding Surveillance Powers Right Before He Leaves Office? – Defense One

Will any of this be overturned by the incoming president….or will these abuses be further extended?  All indicators point to the later.

McCain–Evil Incarnate

Traitor McCain!

I have not been a supporter of anything that John McCain has done lately…Hell he even won the first ever “Assie” Award in 2008 for his most anal statement….but the situation unfolding these day is just pathetic.

Sen. John McCain has been a “hero” of the Right for 30+ years and now according to the mental midgets that support Trump he is a R.I.N.O…….evil incarnate.

This piece of “news” from the Right…..

In the wake of the release of a disinformation dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, it has been revealed that none other than establishment Republican John McCain was responsible for passing the document to the highest reaches of the FBI.

McCain, of the apparent belief that this information was extremely important, actually passed the documents to FBI director James Comey last month, according to a report by The Guardian.

Source: Traitor: John McCain passed anti-Trump disinformation dossier to FBI |

I find this a bit amusing but sad at the same time……in this year of our Lord Trump 2017 he, McCain, is being crapped on by the very people that heralded him the savior of society back in 2008…he was worshiped and even considered to walk on water back in the day and now because he has a problem with another Repub he is labeled a traitor.

He, McCain, is supporting the same positions that he has always supported on the international situations….Then why the fall from grace?

That is an easy question to answer….he is on the shit list now because he will not bend over for his majesty Trump…he will not stoop down and kiss his ass (for now)…..

So looks like all those “freedoms” that these same dolts feared we were losing under the helm of Obama are perfectly fine with denying them for others under the reign of Trump….NO one is allowed to disagree with Trump or his supporters.

Most of his, Trump’s, supporters are apparently too stupid to realize how petty this all appears.

It reminds me of something that the English philosopher, John Stuart Mill, said…..”Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.”

The Monroe Doctrine

Over the weekend my daughter and granddaughter stopped by for a visit…..and we did what we always do….schmooze……I asked my granddaughter how school was going and she said that she was studying the Monroe Doctrine in her American History class……..I asked her what her lessons said about the document…..after she gave the whole thing I told her that it was very simplistic and she asked about more info for she had to do a report…..

After our talk I thought since I like to torture my readers with historic perspectives that this subject would be a good post here on IST….

After some thought I realized that few Americans realize what the document is all about….I mean it was quoted during the Cuban missile crisis as a reason for the US response….

Shall we look at the Doctrine?

In his December 2, 1823, address to Congress, President James Monroe articulated United States’ policy on the new political order developing in the rest of the Americas and the role of Europe in the Western Hemisphere.

The statement, known as the Monroe Doctrine, was little noted by the Great Powers of Europe, but eventually became a longstanding tenet of U.S. foreign policy. Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams drew upon a foundation of American diplomatic ideals such as disentanglement from European affairs and defense of neutral rights as expressed in Washington’s Farewell Address and Madison’s stated rationale for waging the War of 1812. The three main concepts of the doctrine—separate spheres of influence for the Americas and Europe, non-colonization, and non-intervention—were designed to signify a clear break between the New World and the autocratic realm of Europe. Monroe’s administration forewarned the imperial European powers against interfering in the affairs of the newly independent Latin American states or potential United States territories. While Americans generally objected to European colonies in the New World, they also desired to increase United States influence and trading ties throughout the region to their south. European mercantilism posed the greatest obstacle to economic expansion. In particular, Americans feared that Spain and France might reassert colonialism over the Latin American peoples who had just overthrown European rule. Signs that Russia was expanding its presence southward from Alaska toward the Oregon Territory were also disconcerting.

I then found an article…an updated look, if you will at the document.

Revealing his “deal making” chops, the Donald started, even before the election, by giving Czar Vlad a greenlight for his conquest of Crimea and the Ukraine, getting, in return, Czar Vlad’s help in the election.

Source: Old Whine, New Orange Bottle – LA Progressive

Soon we will have brand new spanking president….will he use the doctrine in his sweep of international relations?

Class dismissed!

Syria–The Nation

For a couple of years the Us and its allies in NATO have been bombing the crap out of the country trying desperately to bring down the group commonly known as ISIS….let’s us say that it is final and ISIS is destroyed what of the future of Syria?

Not long ago I offered a post on the future of Syria…

Source: Does Syria Have A Future? – In Saner Thought

I said that the future of Syria did not have much of a bright spot….and then I read a report by the Rand Corporation…….

This paper offers recommendations for U.S. policy for a postconflict transition in Syria that prevents state collapse, reduces the potential for the recurrence of war, and defeats terrorist groups that have taken hold in the country. These three objectives, we suggest, are best achieved by working with Russia and through the United Nations Security Council, especially in the absence of a regional consensus to end the war. Furthermore, Syria’s political culture and modern history reflect a tradition of centralization and nationalism, which should be acknowledged in postconflict planning. In contrast, policies that seek to divide the country or deliberately or inadvertently weaken or destabilize state institutions — such as support for armed groups that carry out attacks against the state or postconflict governance and reconstruction plans that overemphasize local governance at the expense of the state — may ultimately prove counterproductive in preventing a return to conflict and violence.

The analysis and recommendation presented in this paper should be of interest to policymakers, media, and scholars who specialize in U.S. foreign policy, Syria, and the Middle East.

Source: Preventing State Collapse in Syria | World Affairs Journal

The problem with this paper is that it assumes that there is a state apparatus remaining in place.

I do not see it.

If and when this fight is over then there is still so many groups that live in various parts of the country and they will demand many things from any remaining Syrian state…..if the state is not willing to grant these concessions then the fighting will start up once again.

I fear that without much more diplomatic input this situation will be self-perpetuating….and a deadly situation.

There is a reason for my pessimism…..

Report: Syria is emerging as the newest and most important safe haven for al-Qaeda as the radical Salafi-jihadi ideology threatens to subvert the pluralistic and nationalist goals of the 2011 Syrian Uprising. And it is Bashar al-Assad who is directly responsible for creating the conditions that are empowering al-Qaeda in Syria, as the policies pursued by his government are creating the sociopolitical conditions for extremism to thrive. – Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Only time will tell the fate of Syria…..and the fates are not smiling on it.

Even the major players can be at odds over the future……

The differences between the Russians, the Turks, and the Iranians in Syria are slowly surfacing and gaining greater weight. An Iranian news site — TABNAK

Source: Syria and the Complex Geostrategic Game of Russia-Turkey-Iran | Middle East Briefing

A game that the Syrians will lose in the end.