Closing Thought–31Mar17

The Expatriation Act of 1907

You guys know that if there is a way I will give a historical perspective….I want to educate even if it means do so while all are kicking and screaming…..

This month is Women’s History Month so a little history cannot hurt, right?

The year is 1907…….if an American woman had married a foreign national they she lost her citizenship….say what?

In March of 1907, Congress passed the Expatriation Act, which decreed, among other things, that U.S. women who married non-citizens were no longer Americans. If their husband later became a naturalized citizen, they could go through the naturalization process to regain citizenship.

But none of these rules applied to American men when they chose a spouse.

“It’s as though she walks under his umbrella. He puts his arm around her and poof! she’s a citizen,” says Linda Kerber, a professor who teaches gender and legal history at the University of Iowa. “She has had the good sense to come out from these monarchies and opt for an American. She’s a sensible woman, we adore her.”

“Whereas an American-born woman who marries a foreign man, oh my goodness, she is disloyal,” Kerber said.

Source: That Time American Women Lost Their Citizenship Because They Married Foreigners : Code Switch : NPR

This is for real….here check out the whole act……

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of State shall be authorized, in his discretion, to issue passports to persons not citizens of the United States as follows: Where any person has made a declaration of intention to become such a citizen as provided by law and has resided in the United States for three years a passport may be issued to him entitling him to the protection of the Government in any foreign country: Provided, That such passport shall not be valid for more than six months and shall not be renewed, and that such passport shall not entitle the holder to the protection of this Government in the country of which he was a citizen prior to making such declaration of intention.

Source: Expatriation Act of 1907

Thank God Trump is ignorant on history…..or this could be on his agenda as well……..

 

Let’s Go To The Tape

The final battle against ISIS in Iraq is being fought in and around the town of Mosul……many deaths have happened thanx to this battle….but the latest deaths may be horrific as it appears the US airstrikes killed nothing more than civilians

Facing growing criticism over an attack earlier this month that killed hundreds of civilians in Mosul, the Pentagon today confirmed that it has video footage of ISIS forcing hundreds of civilians into the destroyed buildings, which they presented as “provoking the attack.

While this is designed to shift some of the blame away from the Pentagon for bombing buildings full of civilians, it appears to actually do the exact opposite: it confirms that the Pentagon knew before the attacks that those buildings were full of civilians, and attacked them anyhow.

ISIS has long been criticized for pushing civilians around and forcing them into various areas, but the fact that civilians were being forced into buildings does not prove that the buildings were of any specific value as a target in the first place, and the Pentagon’s assertion appears to be that putting civilians in there amounted to making the buildings a more tempting target in and of itself.

The huge civilian death toll of the US strikes has been condemned by several human rights groups, unsurprisingly, but the Pentagon’s narrative has rapidly changed from denial, to sheepish admission of “probable” guilt, and now to outright defiance over the fact that they killed so many people.

(antiwar.com)

Blatantly killing civilians?  This should be enough for a review of our tactics and strategy concerning the use of airstrikes and drone attacks…..

But will it?

In Like Flynn

This whole Russia debacle around the president and his entourage is just amazing…I mean this plot could not be thought of by the likes of James Patterson or John LeCarre….and it just keeps getting better and better….

The news now centers around disgraced National Security Adviser, Gen Flynn….it is getting more an more interesting…..Flynn is President Trump’s former national security adviser. He was forced to resign after admitting he wasn’t truthful with White House officials about phone calls with the Russian ambassador.

In a move that is likely nowhere near as significant as it sounds, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has told the FBI and Congress that he is willing to testify about Trump campaign ties to Russia in return for immunity from prosecution.

Flynn is the shortest-serving National Security Adviser in American history, holding the position for less than a month before resigning in the face of controversy about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador ahead of the inauguration. After his resignation, Flynn also registered as a foreign agent for his lobbying activities on behalf of Turkey.

Flynn’s lawyer Robert Kelner issued a statement downplaying the significance of the offer, saying that the “witch-hunt environment” was leading Flynn to seek pre-emptive assurances against an unfair prosecution, and that the testimony itself was likely to be anti-climactic.

Officials familiar with Flynn’s offer of testimony say that so far he has found no takers in his quest for immunity, which may suggest that they don’t believe they’re going to get the sort of juicy information out of his testimony that would make such immunity worthwhile.

(Jason Ditz)

Like I said this is playing out like some cheap novel made for TV movie….I love it!

Afghanistan: Long And Winding Road

The US and its allies have been ass deep in Afghanistan fort 16 years and no one wants to call it what it is….quagmire.

From 2001 to about 2004 success was in reach but since then it has become a debacle with no one wanting to admit failure….so countries just keeps throwing money at a war that has NO end.

Just recently a general has asked for many more troops…..

Gen. Nicholson now says he wants another 5,000 US and NATO troops, saying he believes the US needs that many to “break the stalemate” in the war. Nicholson has repeatedly labeled the conflict a “stalemate” in recent weeks, which appears to be an overestimation of the situation, with the Taliban continuing to gain ground against Afghan security forces.

After 16 years and all the weapons and technology at its disposal….we are not winning this war (sound familiar?)….there is a good possibility that we could be losing ground…..

In an unusual move, the Taliban has issued a report of their own on the amount of territory that they consider under their control in Afghanistan, insisting that they estimate themselves to have total control over 34 districts, and that they are at least contesting another 167. That gives them a presence in more than half of the country’s 398 districts.

This comes amid recent reports from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) noting that the Taliban controls more territory now than at any time since the 2001 US invasion and occupation began. SIGAR’s recent estimates on Taliban control aren’t far out of line with the Taliban’s own report, as they split it into three segments, controlled, heavily influenced, or contested, and said the Taliban had 9, 32, and 133, respectively. The Taliban has, naturally gained ground since that report.

To keep fighting and killing in a war without end is not a logical pursuit…..even The American Conservative sees this…..

According to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the situation in Afghanistan is a “stalemate” that “will require additional U.S. and coalition forces.” The senators cite testimony by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John W. Nicholson, to the Senate Armed Services Committee in which he said he needed several thousand more troops. There are currently about 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, plus another 6,300 troops from other countries. So will a few thousand more soldiers—presumably American—make a difference?

The clear answer is no.

Source: We Can’t ‘Win’ Afghanistan | The American Conservative

It is another war that we carry out to a quagmire…..you know the last one and it has left scars on our society….then why repeat the failure?

This war is being fought for the profits of the M-IC that cares nothing about the human cost as long as their money keeps pouring in from a worthless government.

Is This Some Sort Of Mental Torture?

I have watched the antics in Washington since the election that brought our man in DC to power….and when I say antics I mean just that.

We have had the Russia thing (will not go there) and the words and actions of those that Trump has designated as his advisers then there is his Tweet storms that are anything but cogent and on to his family with the run of the White House and finally the mental midgets that are the “voice” of the administration.

All in all it seems like something out of a PsyOps manual a form of mental torture…….lulling the population into some sort of sense of normalcy which in reality is anything but normal.

So is it a form of mental torture?

The White House occupants also remain steadfastly committed to wreaking havoc on our mental states. As Republicans pushed an insurance bill that would have done lasting damage to Americans’ mental and behavioral health well-being, clinicians reported the psychic wages of the Trump war against U.S. citizens.

Source: 5 ways Trump is mentally torturing us now

I know he, Trump, has his supporters but surely even they see some sort of mental imbalance within the confines of his administration.  Most see it but refuse to admit it.

Where is all this hectic BS going?  What does all this mean for the democracy or republic or whatever you want to call what we have in the US?

The election of Donald Trump has triggered as much wonderment abroad as it has in the United States. David Runciman, a professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, has written in the London Review of Books a provocative reflection on the nature of democracy in the age of Trump: “Is this how democracy ends?” There is much to praise in his essay, including his heavy qualification that we really don’t know for sure if what we are seeing is the end phase of mature Western democracies since we do not have the appropriate historical precedents to be certain.

Runciman is correct; as an admirer of Karl Popper, I believe that there is no such thing as historical determinism, either in the form of the Marxist dialectical process, or in the guise of its mirror image, the invisible hand of laissez-faire. Accordingly there is no surefire way to tell in advance whether Trump, Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders would spell the end of democracy as we have known it. History, as Popper would tell us, is an open system, full of contingency. Waterloo, the Battle of Britain and Stalingrad were all close-run things.

Source: Maybe this is how democracy ends

What if anything does the future hold?

Events as they are happening do not beam a fresh light of sanity on our politics.

Closing Thought–30Mar17

For months the great and wonderful bloggers that have attached to the conservative cause……they write about immigrants, voter fraud and gays…..all they perceive as threats to the American way of life (whatever that is)…but there is something that could be more dangerous than the perception of those assaults on Americanism.

You see there is a new law that could very well let unsavory characters influence this society from within…..

I was not pleased when the FCC allowed corporations to buy up the news and now they have gone even further…..

An Australian couple now based in Alaska has bought more than two dozen radio stations in three states, marking the first time federal regulators have allowed full foreign ownership of US radio stations. The FCC recently approved a request by Richard and Sharon Burns through their company Frontier Media to increase their interest in 29 radio stations in Alaska, Texas, and Arkansas from 20% to 100%, the AP reports. The agency long took what some viewed as a hard line in limiting foreign ownership under a 1930s law that harkened to wartime propaganda fears. But in 2013, it acknowledged a willingness to ease up after broadcasters complained the rules were too restrictive of outside investment.

The Burnses are citizens of Australia but have lived and worked in the US since 2006 on special visas offered for Australians. A family who owned six of the Alaska stations provided the opportunity that brought the couple to the US. The family wanted someone with international experience to operate the stations and help move the company forward, Richard Burns says. The stations in the Lower 48 were purchased later. Richard Burns, who serves on the board of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and in 2010 was named its citizen of the year, says he and his wife consider Alaska home and are pursuing US citizenship. “Our life is here in Juneau, Alaska, every single day,” said Burns, who in 2010 was named its citizen of the year.

Look at the damage those dullards on the radio have done to the fabric of American politics…..and now we allow foreigners access to this tool of control?

What are these toads smoking?

“Freeloading” Immigrants

How many times have you heard some idiot like O’Reilly or Hannity go on and on about all those “illegals” that are living off food stamps and other “freebies”?

You know those people that do nothing and get all those food stamps?  My first question is if they are getting all this stuff for free then why are they stealing jobs?  Why work if you don’t have to?

Any way it is all so much chin waging…….

Food banks across the country have been noticing a trend since President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January.

In recent weeks, outlets including the Washington Post, The Nationand NPR have reported that outreach workers and enrollment assistants who help eligible immigrants enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, say immigrants are canceling their benefits because they fear their participation could flag them for deportation.

Such fears appear to stem primarily from a leaked draft of an executive order saying immigrants living in the United States could be deported if it is determined they rely on some form of public assistance — like food stamps.

Source: What We Get Wrong When We Talk About Food Stamps And Immigrants | The Huffington Post

Most of the so-called “news” that some sites throw out at the reader is just disguised bigotry or prejudice or just plain hatred….

in my area I have seen no so-called immigrants use food stamps in the stores I visit and there is a large population here and when my better half was having her problems after cancer treatments I spent many hours in ERs and at no time did I see a immigrant waiting for free care….but my area may be an anomaly….I doubt it…but it could be.

Why not come out and say what you really want to say about those dark skinned people invade your country?

Why hide behind bullshit?

Repeal Of Internet Security

Less than a week ago I covered the repeal of an Obama bill that would protect users on-line history in my Closing Thought…..but in case you missed it (and most people did)……

Source: Closing Thought–24Mar17 – In Saner Thought

Now the repeal is headed for the desk of the President Trump……

A measure to repeal online privacy rules brought in under former President Barack Obama before they take effect is on its way to President Trump’s desk after the House passed it with a 215-205 vote. The measure—which passed the Senate 50-48 last week—blocks the FCC from enforcing a rule it approved in October banning internet service providers from selling and sharing users’ data without obtaining their consent. The White House issued a statement Tuesday saying Trump strongly supports the move because websites are not required to obtain the same consent, resulting in “rules that apply very different regulatory regimes based on the identity of the online actor,” Reuters reports. A look at the debate:

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of putting profits before privacy, the AP reports. “Overwhelmingly, the American people do not agree with Republicans that this information should be sold, and it certainly should not be sold without your permission,” she said. “Our broadband providers know deeply personal information about us and our families.” The AP notes that 15 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the move.
  • The move allows ISPs to sell data such as browsing history and geolocation information. “I have a simple question: What the heck are you thinking?” Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano said during the House debate, per Ars Technica. “What is in your mind? Why would you want to give up any of your personal information to a faceless corporation for the sole purpose of them selling it? Give me one good reason why Comcast should know my mother’s medical problems.”
  • Online privacy advocates argued that ISPs should face stricter guidelines because unlike website and search engines, they have information on all the websites a user visits, meaning they will be better able to sell highly targeted ads, the Washington Post reports. “Today’s vote means that Americans will never be safe online from having their most personal details stealthily scrutinized and sold to the highest bidder,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.
  • Republicans including Trump-appointed FCC chief Ajit Pai argued that a different federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission, should be in charge of regulating privacy for both websites and ISPs. The AP notes that the FTC has long been seen as having a lighter regulatory touch than the FCC. “The internet has become the amazing tool that it is because it is largely left untouched by regulation, and that shouldn’t stop now,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

Making America great again….one repealed law after another.

Even supporters of Trump are having a problem with this sort of betrayal…..this press is from a regular here on IST….my friend John of Ripening Wanderer fame…..even opponents can find a common ground…..

Second Thoughts About My Support For Trump: I was very quick to embrace Donald J. Trump as President of The United States because whenever he spoke I thought he was speaking some of the very though…

Source: THE RIPENING WANDERER

We Americans need to keep a vigil on our rights…we are losing them slowly but slowly…..a loss that we may never regain.

After I wrote this draft more info came to my attention…..

The country now waits for President Trump to put his signature on a bill blocking enforcement of FCC rules meant to keep internet service providers from selling and sharing user data. What people aren’t waiting to do, however: freak out about the official loss of much of their privacy online once the bill bucking the Obama-promoted regulations is signed. Vox explains what this decision will mean to the typical American internet user, while Gizmodo takes a more proactive privacy stance, discussing in depth how users can hide their browsing history from ISPs, including via a virtual private network, or VPN. More on this technology from around the web:

  • Lifehacker dives into the ins and outs of what a VPN is, the encryption technology behind it, and how it works as a “middleman between you and the internet”; further advantages and drawbacks are explored by Fortune.
  • Who’s not so sure VPNs are a sure bet to protect your digital privacy: Wired, which notes resorting to using such a system effectively puts “the burden of privacy entirely on consumers.”
  • If you do decide to spring for your own private network, don’t cheap out, TNW advises. Otherwise, you may get exceedingly sluggish service. As a matter of course, those inexpensive versions “suck.”
  • Interest in VPNs is definitely on the upswing. TorrentFreak looks at the numbers regarding web searches for the term.

We all need to work together and stop this invasion of our privacy……

What say you?

Future of the All-Volunteer Force

For several decades the US has had an all volunteer military….we got there as a result of the antiwar movement….but now we are fighting wars on multiple fronts and some have even suggested bringing back the draft as a way to have best military possible.

I have written about the possibility for a new round of conscription……a little something I wrote way back in 2007…..

Source: Why No Draft? – In Saner Thought

Then a little later for my friends at Ace News Room…….

The US seems to be Hell bent on continuing war upon war……and if so then it will need to drastically change its way of think about the military…that is if they want a primo military…

Source: Time To Re-Think Conscription? | Ace News Room

I thought about my eariler posts after reading a paper on the all volunteer military…..

A new working paper by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Military, Veterans, and Society Program highlights the strategic challenges facing the nation’s All-Volunteer Force. The paper outlines an agenda for military and civilian leaders to tackle in their effort to improve military effectiveness and better support our nation’s service members and their families. This working paper is designed to inspire and solicit feedback that will be incorporated into future CNAS efforts.

The new CNAS working paper is the product of a year-long effort focused on “AVF 4.0” – the next evolution of the nation’s all-volunteer military – which included extensive research and a monthly working group on the current status and future of the AVF. CNAS researchers Phillip Carter, Katherine Kidder, Amy Schafer, and Andrew Swick authored the report, with contributions from many other CNAS staff including three successive classes of military fellows.

Source: Future of the All-Volunteer Force | RealClearDefense

I still hold the opinion that we need to re-instate the draft….as long as we are fighting multiple wars on multiple fronts we need to make everyone in this society part of the equation.

There is NO shared experience.  Americans not involved with the military care nothing about the plight of the soldier/veteran….if we must fight then the entire country should be part of the that effort.

The Multi-Domain Battle

Unless you spend time on sites that deal with war and responses you probably have not heard the term multi-domain used much…but the term is quite popular with war gamers, analysts and defense contractors…….

Most people are knowledgeable about conventional warfare……good guys here, bad guys there….bang bang….one side overpowers the other and declares victory.

The there is asymmetrical warfare…..good guys here, bad guys everywhere else…bang bang and years of bang bang and no one wins….just keep fighting…..

Then we talk about a two prong domain battle plan….air to land…boom then sea to land another boom….but as this world progresses a multi-domain battle comes to light…..

The Army is looking beyond ground warfare as it prepares to fight on an increasingly complex and unpredictable battlefield, the senior commander of Training and Doctrine Command said.

“The world I grew up in, during the Cold War, you would have ground forces fighting ground forces, air forces fighting air forces. Cyber didn’t even exist when I was a lieutenant,” said Gen. David Perkins. “What’s happening now is those lines are blurring between those domains.”

Whether it’s the current threat from the Islamic State terror group or Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the Army, along with the other services, must prepare to fight in all domains, Perkins said.

Source: The Multi-Domain Battle

History has taught us that one dimensional thinking is okay but nothing in today’s world is one dimensional with the exception of some of our citizens thought processes.

The US military is trying to develop a way to handle a multi-Domain strategy…..but can they succeed?

Just after dawn on September 4, 1943, Australian soldiers of the 9th Division came ashore near Lae, Papua in the Australian Army’s first major amphibious operation since Gallipoli. Supporting them were U.S. naval forces from VII Amphibious Force. The next day, the 503rd U.S. Parachute Regiment seized the airfield at Nadzab to the West of Lae, which allowed the follow-on landing of the 7th Australian Division.  The Japanese defenders offered some resistance on the land, token resistance in the air, and no resistance at sea. Terrain was the main obstacle to Lae’s capture.

From the beginning, the allied plan for Lae was a joint one. The allies were able to get their forces across the approaches to the enemy’s position, establish secure points of entry, build up strength, and defeat the enemy because they dominated the three domains of war relevant at the time — land, sea, and air.

Unfortunately, today’s commanders cannot have the same degree of confidence in the joint fight that their predecessors had at Lae. Changes in the character of war threaten to undermine the ability of commanders to wage a joint fight effectively, if at all. The development of anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) weapons and systems means that the joint force may struggle to close with and defeat some adversaries.

Source: Multi-Domain Battle: A New Concept for Land Forces

I fear that our military commanders may have a grasp but the commander in chief may have NO idea what to do or how to handle all the situations coming his way.

This is ma concern that more people need to be aware of for the coming events will test this country….maybe to its limits…..and if our “leaders” are clueless we could be in for some pretty dark days.

Ominous sounding?  Yes it is and just as damn serious as I can be.

Further reading:

Source: Some New, Some Old, All Necessary: The Multi-Domain Imperative

Source: Army Leaders Search for Answers to Multi-Domain Battle | Military.com