Closing Thought–15Feb17

Things could get worse!

With a new president and new rules for immigration the farmers and all of American agriculture is facing a dilemma….a costly dilemma.

The day before harsh new laws came into effect, Brian Cash had 65 Hispanic men picking tomatoes. Now he has none

Brian Cash can put a figure to the cost of Alabama’s new immigration law: at least $100,000. That’s the value of the tomatoes he has personally ripening out in his fields and that are going unpicked because his Hispanic workforce vanished literally overnight.

For generations, Cash’s family have farmed 125 acres atop the Chandler mountain, a plateau in the north of the state about nine miles long and two miles wide. It’s perfect tomato-growing country – the soil is sandy and rich, and the elevation provides a breeze that keeps frost at bay and allows early planting.

For four months every year he employs almost exclusively Hispanic male workers to pick the harvest. This year he had 64 men out in the fields.
Then HB56 came into effect, the new law that makes it a crime not to carry valid immigration documents and forces the police to check on anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

Source: Alabama immigration: crops rot as workers vanish to avoid crackdown | US news | The Guardian

If this continues then I expect the price of fresh produce to skyrocket…..this is not just a story for Alabama…it is being repeated in other states as well…


Going After Li’l Kim

Since the inauguration of Trump there has been an uptick in the “fighting” words toward a couple of countries that we only mentioned in passing before that….China and North Korea.

But it is North Korea that has gotten more attention in the media and the bobble-heads……their nuke program, missile tests, and other assorted “problems”….

But what does all this attention mean?

According to Trump…TROUBLE!

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he will deal with North Korea “very strongly,” calling the communist regime a “big, big problem” after Pyongyang carried out the latest ballistic missile launch.

“Obviously North Korea is a big, big problem and we will deal with that very strongly,” Trump said during a joint news conference at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to a question about the most important national security matters facing him.

Source: Trump Vows to Deal with North Korea ‘Very Strongly’ After Missile Launch | World Affairs Journal

Below is an alternate look at the situation with North Korea…not a typical MSM blow back……

Less than a month into the Trump presidency, North Korea is looming as a major flashpoint after the Pyongyang regime test fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile on Sunday. The test takes place amid mounting tensions between the US and China, North Korea’s ally, over trade, monetary policy, Taiwan and territorial disputes in the South China and East China seas.

The launch drew immediate condemnation by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was visiting with Trump at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. At a joint press conference Sunday night, Abe called the missile test “absolutely intolerable.” Trump declared that the US was “behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.” The US, Japan and South Korea have called an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss North Korea.

Source: US drumbeat for action against North Korea – World Socialist Web Site

I have written about NK whenever I felt there was something brewing that needs attention….recently there was a news story that NK could see a regime change and soon….

Was this story just propaganda or is the story just wishful thinking?

My point is that NK is getting more and more press….and to what end?  Is this something that we Americans should be concerned with or is it just a diversion from some other situation?

What say you?

When Is Too Many Too Many?

With every incoming president there is the endless promises of budget cuts and easing of the deficit…..and almost always one of the first issues is the closing of military bases….of course the Congress people will protect the ones in their district because it is worth billions to keep them open.

Sadly there needs to be some reality injected into that debate…..and an opinion piece has been written and a realistic look at this issue……

Members of Congress have a hard time agreeing on virtually anything, and they’re already butting heads with the new president. But one issue should unite them: a new initiative to shrink the Pentagon’s massive overhead.

President Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have pledged to cut waste. And key leaders in Congress have renewed their calls for rationalizing the Pentagon’s base structure. Now is the time for Congress to come together, put the national interest over parochial interests and finally support a new round of base closings.

Source: America Has Too Many Military Bases | The National Interest Blog

Anyone that comes here knows my feelings on this…..but in case you are new reader…I do not see why some of these bases cannot be closed….even some of the ones overseas….we have our troops stretched to the limit as it is… the Pentagon budget never takes a hit….most times it is increased at the expense of other need programs….time for some realism in our approach to this situation….

The (Anthropological) Truth About Walls

For over a year now there has been much to do about walls……in presidential politics and even in the magic of cinema… I thought I would do what I always do…..give a historical look at “walls”…….

From the Great Wall of China to Hadrian’s Wall to the New Amsterdam Wall on Wall Street to the Wall defended by Castle Black, walls have a long-standing place in history and pop culture to defend people. But they’re sites of complex interactions, too

Building walls is far from a revolutionary idea. We’ve been building them since ancient times. And they have largely been intended to serve the same purpose: to keep people out (and sometimes in) and define national borders.

Source: The (Anthropological) Truth about Walls – Scientific American Blog Network

Of course I am sure instead of learning from history there will be some sort of debate of what is and what is not “facts”……but that is fine for I have come to not expect much more than that from some……

Illegal Drug Trade Essential To Geopolitics

I have written extensively here on IST about my dislike for the War on Drugs….that I feel that it is a total waste of energy and cash…..

I read an interesting take on this war has on geopolitics… seems far fetched but it is something to consider…..

Peter Dale Scott notes that the connection between the CIA and BCCI enabled drug trafficking as a means of arming the resistance against the Soviet Union.

The illegal drug trade is an essential component of global politics, playing a central role in the proliferation of arms used to destabilize countries and unseat unfavorable regimes in the geopolitical quest to create favorable conditions for oil ventures while bolstering the banking industry.

Peter Dale Scott, a Canadian born scholar, poet and former diplomat, the world’s foremost researcher into the inner workings of government conspiracy (conspiracy meaning organized plans and programs). He has for decades been exposing the shadow elements operating under the cover of government, deep politics and big oil.

Source: Illegal Drug Trade Essential To Geopolitics, Says Former Diplomat

I believe that the whole war thing is a total made up story to waste money on non-essential “bad guy”…..legalize and tax….many of the problems would be solved…and yes there may create a few new ones but that is minor compared to the damage this war is doing worldwide.