Closing Thought–19May17

Remembering Malcolm X

On this day, 19May, in 1925 a great American civil rights activist was born…..

African-American leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X articulated concepts of race pride and black nationalism in the 1950s and ’60s.

Born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm X was a prominent black nationalist leader who served as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam during the 1950s and ’60s. Due largely to his efforts, the Nation of Islam grew from a mere 400 members at the time he was released from prison in 1952 to 40,000 members by 1960. Articulate, passionate and a naturally gifted and inspirational orator, Malcolm X exhorted blacks to cast off the shackles of racism “by any means necessary,” including violence. The fiery civil rights leader broke with the group shortly before his assassination on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he had been preparing to deliver a speech.

Source: Malcolm X – Civil Rights Activist, Minister – Biography.com

A short vid about Malcolm’s last years……

Source: X: Malcolm’s Final Years

This country is a better place when we have people like Malcolm fighting for our rights……we need more Malcolms and less d/bags….

That ends my week……I will start my weekend with a smile and a song….

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Who Will Save The Internet?

Gee while everyone is laser focused on the Trump thing there was something more important that rhetoric of the day….but few seem to notice…..they were too busy calling anyone that does not agree with them all the insulting garbage they could throw.

Thanx to Trump and his minions we may be losing our internet neutrality….if that is the case who will save us and our internet…..

Tomorrow, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to initiate a process to repeal the strong net neutrality rules that have been in place since 2015.

These rules protect the internet as an open, decentralized, and level playing field, free from content discrimination. They ensure that you—not your internet service provider (usually your cable or phone company)—control what you can access online.

Source: An open letter to everyone who uses the internet | TechCrunch

Again who will save our internet?

Three years ago, as the Federal Communications Commission pondered what to do about net neutrality, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver sprang into action, offering an impassioned plea to his viewers to flood the agency’s inbox with messages in defense of a free and open Internet. By the next day, the otherwise dull F.C.C. was at the center of a media firestorm as its Web site crashed under a sudden surge of traffic.

Now, with net neutrality in greater danger than ever, Oliver is hoping for a reprise of his 2014 success. Earlier in May, he urged viewers to go to his own Web site, “gofccyourself.com,” which simplifies the commenting process for leaving messages for the F.C.C. “Every Internet group needs to come together like you successfully did three years ago,” the comedian said this month on his show. “Every subculture must join as one. Gamers, YouTube celebrities, Instagram models, and even Tom from MySpace, if you’re still alive. We need all of you.”

Source: The Battle to Save the Internet from Trump Begins | Vanity Fair

Glad to see someone is stepping up and doing the right thing.

How It Might Happen

Impeachment!

The word is getting lots of play these days…..and usually with a reference or two to Watergate…..lots of analysis and speculation is flying around the media outlets…..so if this happens how will it happen?

Around midday on Monday, Congressman Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, held a press conference to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump. The firing of FBI director James Comey, Green said, was an obstruction of justice falling clearly into that basket of “high crimes and misdemeanors” prescribed in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment.

Green should have waited a day. Because by the time the sun went down on Tuesday, advocates for Trump’s impeachment had a lot more to work with.

Source: What Would Happen If Donald Trump Were Impeached? | Alternet

If this impeachment thing were to be successful then we would have a Pres. Pence……another bad idea….we would be trading an autocrat for a theocrat….but that aside….what would a Pence presidency look like?

When President Trump was elected, a lot of liberals confidently predicted that he wouldn’t last six months. Being sensible and sober, I thought that was nothing more than wishful thinking. But now? It doesn’t seem so implausible.

Even with the Department of Justice’s appointment Wednesday of a special prosecutor, Trump’s early departure — by impeachment, resignation, or the invocation of the 25th Amendment — is a not sure thing, or even a likelihood. I suspect we’re still a few major revelations away from that happening, even if cracks in his Republican support are beginning to appear. The most probable outcome is that this mad circus continues at least until 2020. But as long as we’re contemplating that most remarkable of eventualities, it’s worth considering: What would a Mike Pence presidency be like?

Source: What will the Pence presidency be like?

Pence is an ambitious politician and if were Trump I would keep my eyes on this person constantly……he is a weasel and is just waiting for a good time to strike…

For the first time that I can recall a vice president has started a PAC while in office…..a good place to gather resources if a fight is coming……

Borrowing from his boss’s now-famous slogan, Vice President Mike Pence has launched the “Great America Committee” PAC in advance of the 2018 and 2020 elections, NBC News reports. Pence will use money raised through the PAC to travel the country on Air Force Two and help stump for GOP contenders. The Federal Election Commission received paperwork on Wednesday for the PAC, which a source close to Pence indicates will offer resources “to actually support candidates who are supportive of the president’s agenda.” Under such a leadership PAC, individual donors and other federal PACs can contribute up to $5,000 per year, Bloomberg notes.

Pence aides Nick Ayers and Marty Obst will manage the PAC, with Ayers saying planning for it began back in December. NBC notes it’s the first time a sitting VP has created his own separate arm like this; past officials have typically used campaign or party funds. In fact, a couple of past VPs—Bloomberg points to Joe Biden and Dick Cheney—didn’t have an active leadership PAC at all while in office. “Launching a leadership PAC sometimes signals an intent to run for higher office,” the director for the Center for Responsive Politics tells Bloomberg. But the NBC source insists that’s not the case here: “Don’t read into 2020 as anything other than [Pence] running for re-election as vice president in 2020 and supporting other candidates.”

They can claim whatever they want….that this is to help him in 2020…that is if Trump decides not to continue for whatever reason……

Keep your eyes on Pence….for he is up to something and it is not to help Trump in any way.

Trump’s Virginal Trip

Today is Friday and Trump’s first international road trip to meet and greet our friends and allies….some think he is getting out of town while the getting is good….but this trip has been planned for some time so that is just fodder for comedians.

As I’m typing, the White House is busy doing damage control over news that Donald Trump revealed sensitive information to the Russians when he met with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister the day after he fired the FBI director. But at the same time the White House is also preparing for Trump’s first foreign trip as president.

The first stop is Saudi Arabia, followed by Israel and then to Europe, including to Brussels for a NATO summit.

A trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican and a NATO conference would present challenges for even the most disciplined and diplomatic president, words not normally associated with Donald Trump. Is there reason for concern? The short answer is “yes” — unless the president stops his freelancing and sticks to a script.

Source: Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome is test of nerves. Ours.

In Saudi he will give a speech to Islamic scholars (this will be a great opportunity from him to insert a foot into his mouth) and of course will be stroking the manhood of the royal family while in country.  Some see it as a big mistake…..even in the conservative media…….

One of the possible pitfalls of Trump’s upcoming foreign trip is the speech he intends to give in Saudi Arabia on Islam:

A speech was added in Saudi Arabia to provide an “inspiring yet direct” message to the Islamic world, according to national security adviser H.R. McMaster. That’s an echo of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, who addressed Muslims in Cairo in his first major speech on foreign soil.

A second address in Israel, which local newspapers reported would take place at the ancient archeological site of Masada, was moved indoors to a museum. Transporting Trump to the mountaintop overlooking the Dead Sea would have required the use of a cable car.

Both speeches were being drafted by Trump’s policy adviser Stephen Miller, who helped write Trump’s convention and inaugural addresses, with input from the large collection of advisers who are helping to plan the trip: son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, McMaster and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

Source: Trump’s Islam Speech Is a Mistake | The American Conservative

Israel he will have to do damage control after one of his team claimed the Western Wall is not Israel’s….plus the whole moronic move the capital thing…..how will he do?

Then onto NATO for a meeting….probably to smooth any ruffled feathers that he has created in the past…..

Is he prepared for this trip?  Will he conduct himself as a the leader of the free world?  Will this be memorable or just another Tweet fest of bullshit?

Here is the opinion found in Politico…….

President Donald Trump departs today for his first foreign trip, a nine-day voyage that will take him across the Middle East and Western Europe. Although the trip will be shadowed by Trump’s growing problems at home, it could shape his foreign policy in important and lasting ways.

Trump will encounter a slew of thorny foreign policy issues on his trip, which features stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, a G7 meeting in Sicily, a NATO summit in Brussels and a visit to the Vatican.

Source: 5 things to watch on Trump’s foreign trip – POLITICO

And now the news has escaped……..Word has come out that Trump is looking to shorten this trip so he can return to do damage control in DC…..

Will this trip be memorable or a nightmare?

It’s WMDs–Once Again

Not long ago the Syrian military was accused of using CWs on the civilian population and that caused a missile response by the Trump admin….and for weeks afterwards the big story was the use of these weapons and where Syria got them since they supposedly had all theirs destroyed in the early days of this conflict.

Of course Russia was the culprit during these debates and that has since died down….but then there was a new twist to the CW thing…..and it involves ISIS this time…..

A US official warns ISIS could be getting all its chemical weapons experts together in a “chemical weapons cell” in a last-ditch effort to defend its remaining territory in Syria. CNN reports the unnamed official says the experts are from Iraq and Syria and haven’t previously worked together. “We know ISIS is willing to use chemical weapons. This is not something we want to see them get good at,” says Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesperson for the US-led military coalition in Syria.

The unnamed official says the chemical weapons cell is convening in an area of ISIS-controlled Syria that the US military is getting more interested in. The official says the area in the Euphrates River Valley could now be the “de facto” ISIS capital as military pressure increases on Raqqa. Syrian forces are said to be tightening “their noose” on that ISIS stronghold, according to Reuters.

Now this should revive the whole false flag thing about the original use of these weapons……did ISIS use them in the first place?  Did the US overreact before the truth was fully known?

Yes it is not a good thing if ISIS is developing CWs for use in Syria and possibly elsewhere.

Will we know the truth about this or will we just hear more and more about who has these weapons and who has used these weapons?

I for one will wait until the “rest of the story” comes out.

America’s Cult of Ignorance

There has been a wealth of fake news these days…..and some lap it up like a thirsty wildebeest …..there has been a big push, from the Right, to try and re-write history or to try and discredit it as best they can……even an anti-education movement…..

Let us look at democracy….you know that thing that we Americans are so proud of that it hurts…..Liddell Hart wrote……

We learn from history that democracy has commonly put a premium on conventionality. By its nature, it prefers those who keep step with the slowest march of thought and frowns on those who may disturb the “conspiracy for mutual inefficiency.” Thereby, this system of government tends to result in the triumph of mediocrity—and entails the exclusion of first-rate ability, if this is combined with honesty. But the alternative to it, despotism, almost inevitably means the triumph of stupidity. And of the two evils, the former is the less.

Hence it is better that ability should consent to its own sacrifice, and subordination to the regime of mediocrity, rather than assist in establishing a regime where, in the light of past experience, brute stupidity will be enthroned and ability may preserve its footing only at the price of dishonesty.

How accurate can one person be even 100 years ago?

All this has done one thing expertly….made Americans as ignorant as a stump.

More people are better educated than ever before, and knowledge is easier to come by.  So why do we so often scorn those who plainly know more than we do?

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

—Isaac Asimov

Source: America’s Cult of Ignorance – The Daily Beast

One of the best examples of this ignorance is the Press Secretary, Sean Spicer……all one has to do is listen to his answers to questions and the ignorance spills out like milk from an overturned glass….

The ignorance that has invaded our society goes all the way up to the White House……yes, I mean the president!

Let’s connect the dots between Donald Trump’s “tax plan”, his invitation to the murderous leader in Manila and saying he would be “honored” to meet with the dictator of North Korea. And let’s throw in his claim that Trumpcare will be better than Obamacare and that his skeletal tax plan would make him pay more.

While these facts might seem unrelated, each points to a fundamental truth about Trump that I have been trying to get people to understand since he announced his latest presidential campaign in June 2015: Trump doesn’t know anything.

Source: Donald Trump’s ignorance is becoming more evident with each passing day | David Cay Johnston | Opinion | The Guardian

Expertise is dying in this country…..everybody does not try to educate themselves for they are the smartest person they know…..

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn”  Ben Franklin

“I am patient with stupidity but not those that are proud of it”  Edith Sitwell

And then my fave quote….”Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance”

Side Note:  I think Trump has proven that a good business man does not make a good president.  Maybe now we can put that piece shit slogan to bed for good.

Is Assassination by Another Name The Same?

Our most successful program in our endless wars seems to be our drone program…unfortunately we are also killing civilians at an alarming rate….the US odes have a history of assassinating political leaders in the past but that program was abandoned in the 1970’s…..abandoned with Ford’s EO #11905…….

In 1976, President Ford issued Executive Order 11905 to clarify U.S. foreign intelligence activities. The order was enacted in response to the post-Watergate revelations that the CIA had staged multiple attempts on the life of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

In a section of the order labeled “Restrictions on Intelligence Activities,” Ford outlawed political assassination: Section 5(g), entitled “Prohibition on Assassination,” states: “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.”

Since 1976, every U.S. president has upheld Ford’s prohibition on assassinations. In 1978 President Carter issued an executive order with the chief purpose of reshaping the intelligence structure. In Section 2-305 of that order, Carter reaffirmed the U.S. prohibition on assassination.

In 1981, President Reagan, through Executive Order 12333, reiterated the assassination prohibition. Reagan was the last president to address the topic of political assassination. Because no subsequent executive order or piece of legislation has repealed the prohibition, it remains in effect.

The ban, however, did not prevent the Reagan administration from dropping bombs on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s home in 1986 in retaliation for the bombing of a Berlin discotheque frequented by U.S. troops.

What made me think about this EO from the past was the statement issued by L’il Kim of North Korea……

North Korea has accused the United States and South Korea of a plot to kill leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korean state news agency KCNA released a report Friday that claims intelligence agencies in the U.S. and South Korea conspired with a “hideous terrorist group” to “commit bomb terrorism targeting the supreme leadership,” CNN reports. It says the plot was “recently uncovered and smashed.”

The document says a North Korean citizen was involved and the assassination would have involved “biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance.”

But then the question becomes since Ford’s EO is the US in the business of assassinating political leaders?

You tell me.

Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies, such as the famous exploding cigars and a poison-lined scuba-diving suit.

But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents.

Source: The CIA has a long history of helping to kill leaders around the world | US news | The Guardian

Now the question is…..is L’il Kim onto to something here or just blowing hot air?

Is there a drone with L’il Kim’s name?

Did the US ever abandon the timely art of assassination?  Of course not.

These days the US does not employ many covert operatives to do the dirty work…..instead they call up a drone…..this can go a long way of keeping their hands clean (so to speak)……

The first step in examining the legality of assassinating known or suspected terrorists through the use of unmanned armed vehicles (UAVs) is to decide whether such killings could be classified as part of an armed conflict.  If they are considered as part of an armed conflict, according to international law, the rules of armed conflict would apply; otherwise the laws of self-defence would be relevant.

According to the Geneva Conventions and customary humanitarian law, armed conflict only applies when two or more States are involved.  When the United States defines its campaign against terrorists as a global conflict, this designation is not based on the correct definition of war as characterized by international law but on America’s own interpretation of its effort to eradicate terrorism.  Only two or more States can legally, in the strictest terms, engage in war, not a State against individuals scattered around the globe.

Source: Assassination By Drones

The question remains…..is assassination by another name the same?

Please you thought……