Closing Thought–31May17

Behind Every Tree!

We have had yet another terrorist attack on the civilian population this time it was a concert on Manchester, England.

You know those dolts on the right that see a Islamic terrorist behind every tree…they even suspect anyone, not white, as a future jihadist even though they may have known the person for years……. the fact that they “look” Middle Eastern is enough to send them into a cowardly episode…..

Since 9/11 there have been many attacks, even some here in the good old US of A…..but you know what?

Even with all their prediction of a terrorist behind every tree most of the deaths through terrorism are not from those darn “jihadists”…..

In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants.

But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.

But there will be NO acknowledging this simple fact…..because it is NOT what they want to hear…these ass scratchers want to keep lies alive it fits their paradigm and no amount of facts will change their pea sized brains.

Maybe they need a diaper change.

Peace out my friends….tomorrow will be a new day with more stuff…..chuq

The Real-Life “Americans”

I have been bored with the news and have decided to watch “The Americans”….a TV show set in the 1980’s and the work of Soviet spies to gleam intel out of the American citizens….

I bring this up because the news is starting to look like an episode of the Americans…..all the intrigue and role playing going on in DC these days….I mean according to the news reports it has been one attempt after another to involve Russia in the governing of the US……(I am not saying that all this “news” is true….just that it is just too unbelievable….)

I mean look at the news these days…..

Well as it turns out. not only did the retired Lt. General Mike Flynn tell the republican President Donald Trump transition team all about his work with foreign governments, before the president’s inauguration date, but it just so happens that he and/ or others made at least 18 contacts with Russian officials. And yet, he still became the president’s national security adviser. It has become obvious that the Vice President Mike Pense who was in charge of the vetting process failed to follow protocol.

Source: Flynn And Others Made Contact With Russians At Least 18 Times ‹ Gronda Morin ‹ Reader —

Washington Post reported the Russia investigation was zeroing in on Jared Kushner. On Friday, the Post explained why that might be: Kushner reportedly proposed setting up a secret communications line between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin during a meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The Post cites “US officials briefed on intelligence reports.” Kushner is said to have wanted a secure line and suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the US in order to avoid having communications monitored.

President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser reportedly made the pitch to Kislyak during a meeting in early December at Trump Tower that Michael Flynn also attended. Despite apparently being “taken aback” by Kushner’s proposal, Kislyak reported it to Moscow. Officials learned of it from intercepts of Russian communications. The White House has declined to comment on the report. Read the full Post story here.

There is more……

There is more news on the republican President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s contacts with Russian operatives. It is only after there are leaks and public disclosure that Jared Kushner has admitted to these meetings. Why the deception?

Any desire to want to give a family member, Jared Kushner the benefit of the doubt in the hopes that he was at least a modifying influence on the president, has been completely diminished.

Source: Additional Data On Kushner’s Previously Undisclosed Contacts With Russian Operatives ‹ Gronda Morin ‹ Reader —

President Trump had only kind words for Jared Kushner in a statement issued Sunday night: “Jared is doing a great job for the country. I have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person.” The New York Times paints a far less rosy picture of Kushner’s position in the White House in the wake of the news that Kushner allegedly tried to set up a secret communications line between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team. The latest:

  • Among the Times’ more damning lines: “In recent weeks, the Trump-Kushner relationship, the most stable partnership in an often unstable West Wing, is showing unmistakable signs of strain. … It has been duly noted in the White House that Mr. Trump … has increasingly included Mr. Kushner when he dresses down aides and officials, a rarity earlier in his administration.”
  • At the root of it: The Times reports things began to sour slightly after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, a move Kushner pushed for, but says the president’s biggest bone to pick with Kushner relates to his sister, who was filmed trying to woo Chinese investment in a Kushner Companies condo project in Jersey City by trumpeting the availability of EB-5 visas.


  • What’s next: In a column for the Guardian, Walter Shapiro suggests “strain” with the president is nothing compared to what’s coming due to the FBI scrutiny the White House senior adviser is now under. Kushner’s “life in the coming months and maybe years will be a study in misery,” he writes. “He will probably spend more time with his personal lawyer … than with Ivanka or his children. Whether it is an appearance under oath on Capitol Hill or the inevitable FBI interview, every sentence Kushner utters will bring with it possible legal jeopardy.”
  • “Lay low”: NBC News quotes a source who says Kushner is being advised by other officials that he “lay low” for a while.
  • Poking at him: Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California has called for Kushner to be prosecuted over omissions on his security clearance form, reports the Hill, and he poked at Kushner in a Sunday tweet: “Dear Jared: I have been told that Siberia, Russia has lovely weather this time of the year. You can backpack and back-channel all you want.”
  • Others weigh in: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he sees no “big issues” related to Kushner; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper took an opposite stance.

Come on….even the dullest person can see that this stuff is writing itself……even if all this turns out to be some sort of hoax… still would make a great episode of the “Americans”.

All this is a bit humorous because if it were anyone but Trump those nut hugging supporters would be having a stroke over these incidents….and yet they see NOTHING out of the ordinary….that is what happens when they are being tea bagged by their leader.

If you are scratching your head then I suggest that you watch an episode of the “Americans” and you will see what I mean.

Iran: A “What If”

Iran has been in the news lately….it seems that some in the Trump power cliche is not happy with the Iranian nuke deal and the chest thumping has started…..and since I do like my history I thought I would propose a ‘what if’ scenario…..

In 1954 the US was involved in a coup in Guatemala and most people think that it was our first attempted coup….they would be wrong.  Iran was the US first successful coup lead by the CIA.  But for the same reason as the first…to protect American business profits and control.  Guatemala was to protect Standard Fruit and their monopoly…Iran it was to protect American oil interests…..

What lead up to the coup?
In 1951, Iran’s Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry, and legislators backing the law elected its leading advocate, Dr. Mosaddeq, as prime minister. Britain responded with threats and sanctions.

Dr. Mosaddeq, a European-educated lawyer then in his early 70’s, prone to tears and outbursts, refused to back down. In meetings in November and December 1952, the secret history says, British intelligence officials startled their American counterparts with a plan for a joint operation to oust the nettlesome prime minister.

To many Iranians, Mossadegh was a national hero, not only because he had stood up to Britain, but also because he was the only Iranian politician who could challenge the authority of the ambitious young shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. When the US and Britain overthrew Mossadegh, they brought about an extended period of dictatorship under the shah that lasted until the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

That was an oversimplification of the events that leads up to the coup of 1953…..for further fleshing out the scheme there is a good summation……

Source: The 1953 Coup D’etat in Iran

So the question is…..would we be at this point in history if the US had let the events of 1953 play on there own?  Would the religious upheaval had come about if the popularly elected PM had been allowed to serve his term?

The coup of 1953 is still used today to rampant up anti-American sentiment.

In essence it was the US that set up the situation that allowed the revolution of 1979 to become active…..the “Iron Fist” of the Shah fed the idea of revolition.

We have no way of saying that if things were allowed to progress normally without interference that everything would be different today….the one thing we can say is the US was partially to blame for the revolution that led to the hostages and the rest is history, as they say…..

My students like these types of things for they like talking….and that makes teaching easier…..

Anybody got a “what if”?

Who Killed JFK?

Since JFK’s death in Dallas there have been so many theories about his death….from the Mafia to the Cubans to the Russians to….well you pick someone and they have been  implicated in his death….

Does anyone really know the truth?  Does anyone know who was behind the assassination of an American president?

John F. Kennedy buffs are awaiting the release of documents about June Cobb, a little-known CIA operative working in Cuba and Mexico around the time of the president’s assassination.

She may have been one of the bravest and best-placed American spies in the history of the Cold War, but few people outside the CIA know the mysterious story of June Cobb.

The existing information in the spy agency’s declassified files depicts Cobb as an American Mata Hari—an adventure-loving, death-defying globetrotter who moved to Cuba to work for Fidel Castro, the country’s newly installed strongman, then found herself recruited to spy for the CIA after growing disenchanted with Castro’s revolution. The era’s rampant sexism is obvious in her job evaluation reports: Cobb’s CIA handlers wrote down speculation about her sex life and her failed romance in the 1950s with an opium farmer in the jungles of South America. And the reports are filled with appraisals of Cobb’s looks, noting especially her fetching blue eyes. “Miss Cobb is not unattractive,” her CIA recruiter wrote in 1960. “She is blonde, has a slender figure, although she has a somewhat hard look, making her appear somewhat older than her 33 years.”

Source: What Could a Mysterious U.S. Spy Know About the JFK Assassination? – POLITICO Magazine

This should give those conspiracy nuts something to do…..unbtil they get bored…LOL

Who do you think killed JFK?

The Armenian Genocide

During the Great War (World War One) there was an incident that many want to forget and others choose to ignore….that incident became known as the Armenian Genocide.

I bring this up because for too long it has been ignored….and incident that killed about a million people and some want to pretend that it never happened.

But thanks to the film industry a couple of films have been made that should bring this event to the forefront and let the debate once again begin……

But for those that are not sure of what I write…….

In 1915, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Though reports vary, most sources agree that there were about 2 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the time of the massacre. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, some 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Today, most historians call this event a genocide–a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. However, the Turkish government does not acknowledge the enormity or scope of these events. Despite pressure from Armenians and social justice advocates throughout the world, it is still illegal in Turkey to talk about what happened to Armenians during this era.

Source: Armenian Genocide – Facts & Summary –

Asa I have said…thanks to the film industry the controversy has once again opened up to the world……

This piece originally appeared on

Here’s a different kind of story about media and politics.

It demonstrates how the monstrosity of a crime a century old still divides and scorches the world. And it’s one more example of how digital technology is changing geopolitics at every level, from interfering with other nation’s elections to the current wave of ransomware cyberattacks and even the release of motion pictures.

Source: The internet won’t let Armenia go away –

The internet is proving a valuable source for the history of this genocide…..

Closing Thought–30May17

Gentlemen Start Your Engines!

I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend…..that family and fun went hand in hand…..

Me?  I had the perfect weekend…..especially on Sunday… see I am a auto racing fan….and Sunday had it all for me….GP2 race…..Monaco Gran Prix and the Indy500…

Most Americans know very little about the world of auto racing if it is not NASCAR then it is not racing….well that is bullshit!

NASCAR is thrilling but I prefer Formula One, GP2, GP3. Indycar series, sports car racing like Le Mans and Rally car racing……unfortunately if you live in the US you get very little news about most of the racing I enjoy….so I have to subscribe to a couple racing mags from Europe and dammit they are expensive…but it is worth it for the info I get every week.

My love affair with auto racing began when my family lived in Europe and I got to go the the French Gran Prix in 1959 at Reims France……and since that day I have been a Ferrari race fan……

The Monaco GP was a bit boring but at least Ferrari finished 1 and 2 ….when I say boring I mean this race is usually who leads at the start usually wins…but not always…..

GP2 is the “minor league” of Formula One and a helluva race….these guys only have 30 laps and they drive all out….makes for an interesting race indeed.

Then there was Indy500….as always a fantastic race…..I usually do not care much for oval racing but in this case this race is always worth watching.  It has everything… speed, blown engines, wrecks and some amazing driving.  The only thing I do not understand is the winner gets milk not champagne….why?  I mean do know how hard it is the spray the crowd with milk?  Where’s the fun in that?

A little history for you….it was American racer Dan Gurney that started the tradition of spraying champagne on the crowd after his 1968 win at Le Mans in the Ford GT…….in case you were wondering.

All in all I could not ask for a better day on Sunday.

Monday was a somber day for me……it was Memorial Day and I spent in remembrance of my 3 fellow LRRPs from my team that died in Vietnam.

That closes out my day……thanx everyone for you visits and your comments….you guys are what makes this blog a joy to write…….

See you guys tomorrow…….chuq

Finally Coming Home!

A Navy pilot who died in Vietnam 52 years ago is finally coming home….

Deborah Crosby touched her father’s flag-draped casket as her three brothers hugged her in a tearful embrace on the tarmac at the San Diego airport Friday — ending a more than half century search to find and bring home the remains of Lt. Cmdr. Frederick P. Crosby, shot down as a Navy pilot in the Vietnam War.
Deborah Crosby, now 58, was only six when she was sent home from the first grade to learn her father was presumed dead, though his body had not been found.
Her mother could never talk about that day, but she gave Crosby and her brothers a binder with articles about her father’s plane zooming low through the clouds on a bomb damage assessment mission before it was gunned down by North Vietnamese ground forces in 1965. The 31-year-old pilot was armed only with cameras, his daughter said.
A year ago, military investigators found his remains in a fish pond in north Vietnam. On Friday, Deborah Crosby fulfilled her promise to her late grandmother.
Deborah Crosby walked forward, touched the casket and embraced her three brothers. The aviator’s elderly sister, Sharon, and brother, David, also hugged, and he wiped an eye.
“I’m just overwhelmed with seeing the plane drive up and all of the uniforms and all of the respect and the honors that he’s receiving,” Deborah Crosby said.
The sailors saluted before the casket left in a hearse.
On Sunday, Frederick Crosby will be buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery with full military honors and a Navy flyover.
(Navy Times)
Welcome home brother may you now find the rest that you deserve.

On Randolph Bourne’s Birthday

We are in the middle of the anniversary of World War One……the Great War….the War to End All War…..America was a Johnny come lately into the war……we entered in 1917 and it ended in 1918……so we did not suffer the massive deaths and injuries that our allies did…..but there is NO reason that this war should be ignored.

Today is the 131st birthday of a intellectual from those dark days….Randolph Bourne…..

When World War I erupted it came as a surprise to the overwhelming majority of American intellectuals. Its barbarity stuck them as anachronistic and they tended to view the conflict as a temporary sidetrack in the march of civilization, an expression of residual animal instincts. The dawn of the Enlightenment and the tremendous progress made in the Nineteenth Century made war seem quite uncharacteristic (in their view) of humanity’s evolving nature.

Of course, they saw themselves as important and instrumental in defining and fine tuning that nature. On the leading edge of political and social brilliance, ivy-league educated, born to lead and with the silver spoon in the mouth to prove it, they were socialists. And when President Woodrow Wilson (who had been re-elected as a peace candidate under the slogan, “He kept us out of war”) opted to throw the full weight of the country’s resources into the European conflict, they rallied to his support.

Randolph Bourne, who was to die in the flu epidemic shortly after the Armistice, cried out alone against the betrayal of the values of civilization by his fellow writers. He and his magazine paid a heavy price and, of course, he did not live to see the backlash following the war. The damage had been done.

Source: Randolph Bourne 1886 – 1918

Today (May 30), as we mark Randolph Bourne’s 131st birthday, it seems an especially appropriate time to step back from the noisy distractions of the ongoing public debate over American foreign policy and reflect quietly for a few moments on the larger picture. For what larger picture do we see when we contemplate war, peace, and the institution of coercive government – the State – and what we have learned over the past century about their myriad interconnections and interrelations?

Source: On Randolph Bourne’s Birthday – Blog

We Americans know very little about World War One and since it has been a century since it started….I feel that we need to know everything there is to know about any war that we decide that is in our country’s best interests.  There is the possibility that we could learn from the actions of the past……so far we are not doing so well in the remembering part.

“History is Philosophy teaching by example”

The Tinderbox That Is The Balkans

For over a hundred years the Balkans have been a fertile land for armed conflict.  I bring this up because after those hundred years the region is no closer to a peaceful co-existence.

In the beginning of the 20th century there were wars after wars in the Balkans…..

1912–13, two short wars, fought for the possession of the European territories of the Ottoman Empire. The outbreak of the Italo-Turkish War for the possession of Tripoli (1911) encouraged the Balkan states to increase their territory at Turkish expense. Serbia and Bulgaria accordingly concluded (1912), with the aid of Russian secret diplomacy, a treaty of alliance. In a secret annex, the treaty provided for joint military action and the division of prospective conquests. The outbreak of the war (Oct., 1912), in which Greece and Montenegro joined the original allies, was followed by the speedy expulsion of the Turks from all of European Turkey, except the Constantinople area. After the conclusion of hostilities Serbia showed intentions of annexing a large part of Albania, in order to gain an outlet on the Adriatic, but this step toward a Greater Serbia was opposed by Austria-Hungary and Italy and by the Albanians, who had proclaimed their independence. Conferences of the ambassadors of the Great Powers at London created (1913) an independent Albania of fair size, thus cutting Serbia off from the sea. Dissatisfied with these terms, Serbia demanded of Bulgaria a greater share of Macedonia. Bulgaria thereupon attacked (June, 1913) Serbia, only to be attacked by Romania, Greece, and Turkey. As a result of this Second Balkan War, Bulgaria lost territory to all her enemies by the Treaty of Bucharest (Aug., 1913). The Balkan Wars prepared the way for World War I by satisfying some of the aspirations of Serbia and thereby giving a great impetus to the Serbian desire to annex parts of Austria-Hungary by alarming Austria and stiffening Austrian resolution to crush Serbia and by giving causes of dissatisfaction to Bulgaria and Turkey.

Source: The Balkan Wars: 100 Years Later, a History of Violence |

For a more in-delth look at the history of the region…….

Source: • History Online • The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913 • INTRODUCTION.

In the 1990’s war returned to the Balkans after a quarter century of relative calm under the leadership of Tito……better known as the Yugoslav Wars…..if became to a conflict of ethnic cleansing that involved almost all the region…..and of course the US had to weigh in on the conflict…..

In the early 1990s, the Balkan country of Yugoslavia fell apart in a series of wars which saw ethnic cleansing and genocide return to Europe. The driving force was not age old ethnic tensions (as the Serb side liked to proclaim), but distinctly modern nationalisms, fanned by the media and driven by politicians. The crux was that as Yugoslavia collapsed, majority ethnicities pushed for independence, and these nationalist governments ignored their minorities, if not actively persecuted them, e.g. forcing them out of jobs.

As propaganda made these minorities paranoid, they were armed, and stirred into actions which degenerated into a bloody set of wars. While the situation was rarely as clear as Serb vs Croat vs Muslim – many small civil wars erupted over decades of rivalry – key patterns exist.

Source: The Wars of the Former Yugoslavia

I bring up all this history because the war drums are beating yet again….

There are many differences between the Balkans and the Middle East, but they have two things in common. Both regions are former pieces of the Ottoman Empire that have not found stability since that empire receded in the late 19th century. Both also have been objects of serial intrusion by outsiders who impose their interests and then flounder as their policies fail and hegemonies decline.

The Balkan region – a fluid concept with changing “membership” over the past two centuries – continues to struggle to orient itself in the wake of the collapse of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The shards of that country are going in different directions. Slovenia and Croatia have acceded to the European Union (EU) and now give casual advice to EU and U.S. officials on how to stem the West’s serial failures in the region.

Source: Will the Balkan Tinderbox Ignite, Again? | The Cipher Brief

AS the conflict fires heat up the US will once again insert itself into the fray under guise of the NATO charter.

The Fall Of Constantinople

This day in history, 29May1453, the city of Constantinople falls to the forces of the Ottoman Empire ……..(Did not post on the day because it was dedicated to our fallen soldiers)…….

GREEKS still consider Tuesday an unlucky day. May 29th 1453, was a Tuesday; the day that Constantinople, the place they called—and often still call—the queen of cities, or simply “the city” was overrun by the Ottoman forces that had bombarded its mighty walls for the past 40 days.

In the history of warfare, this was a watershed. It proved that gunpowder could batter down the strongest walls enough to let the attackers in; the age of immobile, iron-clad soldiers defending big stone fortresses was over. But far more was over than that.

Source: The fall of Constantinople | The Economist

What is better than learning something new?

I turn to the day…..the day when we set aside some time to remember our war dead…..these troopers gave their all….we can ask no more than from our troops.

May their memories be a source of strength for us all.

Happy Memorial Day.