Closing Thought–26Apr17

“Benghazi Calling!”

I remember the days when the GOP was jerking off on their desks because of the attack in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador to Libya.  All the investigations that found nothing…all the politicians face time on talk TV…..and all the conspiracy crap from the bowels of the likes of Alex Jones, WND and a wealth of morons from the Right.

Then in 2016 we had candidate Trump that mentioned it whenever it was advantageous…..and he was concerned how lax Clinton was with the security of our diplomats……

As usual the Trump person was full of piss and vinegar….why?

Although President Donald Trump repeatedly railed against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the attacks on the Benghazi consulate, he still has yet to nominate anyone to oversee American embassy security.

As Politico reported, Congressional Democrats are calling the omission hypocritical while Republicans are encouraging Trump to work faster to fill this and other important posts at the State Department.

“The State Department has security professionals who are up to the job, but we do need all hands on deck given the many evolving threats we face,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA). “I hope a nominee for assistant secretary will be put forward soon.”

Source: Trump railed against Benghazi — but he still hasn’t nominated anyone to oversee embassy security

It is okay with those tiny brains of the Trump supporters….that Pres. Trump is nothing like candidate Trump.

But what can you expect from a candidate from the hypocritical party…..but if the unthinkable happens will Trump be held up to the same scrutiny as Clinton….my guess is NOT a chance.

But if you prefer music to bullsh*t then maybe this selection will be a better end of the day………

That closes down the notebook for the day….be well, be safe….tomorrow is another day….chuq

Guernica Remembered

In 1936 the Spanish landscape erupted in a bloody civil war that lasted until 1939…..I know about this war because I lived in Spain and when I was there some of the scars from family against family still lingered……and my grandfather was fighting there as part of the International Brigades….(read more history)….

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) broke out when the Spanish army in Morocco when a few of the most influent generals of the Spanish Army, led by General Francisco Franco, rose up against the democratically elected Republican government, presided over by Manuel Azaña. Allegiances were not always clear-cut during this conflict. Essentially, the ranks of the Left (also known as Loyalist and Republican) comprised workers, peasants and trade unions, but also the Spanish government, Socialists, Communists and Anarchists. The Right (also known as Nationalist), was supported by rebellious factions of the army, industry, landowners, the middle classes and the Catholic Church. For various and somewhat contradictory reasons, the Loyalists received the support of the Soviet Union and European democracies, while the Nationalists were armed and equipped by the Fascist governments of Germany and Italy.

The Spanish Civil War would prove to be both fierce and bloody. Although the resources of the two sides were not that unequal, the Nationalists were better organized and received extensive material aid from Germany. The Loyalists received very little assistance from the Soviet Union and, moreover, were divided by internal conflicts between Communist, Socialist and Anarchist factions.

While European and North American volunteers fought for the Republic in the framework of the International Brigades, and a number of foreign artists and intellectuals supported the Loyalist cause, including Ernest Hemingway (who was working as a reporter and photographer) and George Orwell (who fought on the Republican side only to be prosecuted later on and thus becoming profoundly disillusioned by the rivalry in the ranks of the Left), the Nationalists were finally triumphant.

General Franco’s victory marked the beginning of a forty-year dictatorship in Spain (1939-1975). In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Hitler sought Franco’s support for his own military campaign, but Spain was in no position to provide either financial or human aid. Although the Spanish Civil War had been a training field for the battles to be waged in the Second World War, Spain would play no part in the latter but agreed to sponsor a small army of volunteers known as La División Azul.

One of the worse airstrikes by the Nazi Condor Legion was in the attack on the  Basque town of Guernica……

The German bombers appeared in the skies over Guernica in the late afternoon of April 26, 1937 and immediately transformed the sleepy Spanish market town into an everlasting symbol of the atrocity of war. Unbeknownst to the residents of Guernica, they had been slated by their attackers to become guinea pigs in an experiment designed to determine just what it would take to bomb a city into oblivion.

Spain was embroiled in a convulsive civil war that had begun in July 1936 when the right-wing Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco sought to overthrow Spain’s left-wing Republican government. It did not take long before this bloody internal Spanish quarrel attracted the participation of forces beyond its borders – creating a lineup of opponents that foreshadowed the partnerships that would battle each other in World War II. Fascist Germany and Italy supported Franco while the Soviet Union backed the Republicans. A number of volunteers made their way to Spain to fight and die under the Republican banner including the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the United States.

Source: The Bombing of Guernica, 1937

Today is the 80th anniversary of the attack……and a prelude to the death and destruction that would become World War Two…..and the only memory the world has of this attack is a painting by Picasso entitled “Guernica”……sad.

Showdown At Foggy Bottom

I know that sounds like a spaghetti western from the 70’s….all we need is some cheesy music and we would have a hit.

This time I am talking about the shutdown of the government…..yes we are about to play that game yet again.

The Congress says one thing the president another….and the chest thumping has begun……

Once or twice a year recently, the federal government threatens to shut down. But the Washington Post reports this year’s version of the crisis—the deadline to pass a spending bill is midnight April 28—has a brand-new wrinkle: President Trump. According to the New Yorker, things had been going pretty well to avoid a government shutdown, with Republicans and Democrats negotiating toward a compromise bill. Then on Friday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said either the bill includes Trump’s border wall and defense spending increase or it must defund a major part of the Affordable Care Act. (Interestingly, Mulvaney was also involved in the last government shutdown in October 2013, which also hinged on defunding the ACA.)

The problem now is that even if Democrats and Republicans in Congress reach a compromise that allows them to pass a spending bill, there’s no guarantee Trump will sign it. For example, Democrats don’t want the border wall built, and conservative Republicans aren’t too keen on paying for it either. Adding to the uncertainty, the deadline to avoid the shutdown falls on Trump’s 100th day in office, and he could be desperate for a big win by the deadline. The New Yorker reports one top White House official actually “sounded excited” by the prospect of a shutdown. For his part, Trump says he thinks “we’re in good shape” to avoid a shutdown, according to Forbes. And here’s the kicker: Even if a spending bill somehow gets passed, it only funds the government through September.

Personally I think most of it is all bluff……his scores are so low that if he goes through with is threats it will dip even further…..and on the international scene opponents will try to take advantage of the situation…..something the US cannot allow….no matter the cost.

Will there be a showdown or a just a couple of kids in a staring contest?

(I would like to thank Trump and his opposition for making anything in and around DC totally irrelevant….that will give me time to concentrate on real problems and solutions)

What Will Korean War Part 2 Look Like?

All the mash up with North Korea has got the country talking.  Even my class had to put in their 2 cents worth….we talked about the first one and how it started and ended…afterwards they asked…what will the next Korean War look like?

A good question and thankfully I had read an article that asked that very question….I told the class to read it and we would discuss it at next session (I reminded them UNZ has a Libertarian lean to it)……

“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

So thundered President Donald Trump last week. Unfortunately, neither China nor North Korea appeared intimidated by this presidential bombast or Trump’s Tweets.

What would ‘we will’ actually entail? This clear threat makes us think seriously about what a second Korean War would be like. Memory of the bloody, indecisive first Koran War, 1950-53, which killed close to 3 million people, has faded. Few Americans have any idea how ferocious a conventional second Korean War could be. They are used to seeing Uncle Sam beat up small, nearly defenseless nations like Iraq, Libya or Syria that dare defy the Pax Americana.

Source: What Would Korean War II Look Like? – The Unz Review

I would like for my readers to also join the conversation……so let your thoughts be heard.

Did Wilson Beget Trump?

The old professor does enjoy helping his readers understand history and its results…..so from time to time a history lesson is called for…….at least here on IST.

You know there are many incidents where one thing leads to another and politics is no different….a kinda political theorem…..

For instance….there are some that say that Trump has racist tendencies and that he is making moves that can be seen as unconstitutional….and his persecution of the press (media)…….but you know that he is not the first president to be said to have such thoughts….

Yes, really…..I am serious!

Woodrow Wilson it is said that he was a racist (claims that he was even a member of the KKK) and that some of his policies were unconstitutional…..

The Washington Times has published a piece where a hard look was taken at the presidency of Wilson.  (take into consideration that the WT is a conservative media and will attack so-called “progressive” policies)

Wilson, the first college president to occupy the White House, banned blacks from government restrooms, was the first president to openly attack the U.S. Constitution and eagerly support laws to prosecute and imprison those who disagreed with his policies. His hostility to black Americans was matched only by his antipathy toward Italian, German and Irish Americans and his desire to rid the nation of those he referred to dismissively as “hyphenated Americans” and against who he railed incessantly.

Source: Woodrow Wilson legacy tainted by racism, attacks on Constitution – Washington Times

Amazing that all the policies of Wilson that are so “progressive” are very similar to those of our new president, Donald J. Trump.