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.


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… 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.