Closing Thought–30Jun17

Spy vs Spy!

That’s Bond– James Bond

Since I was a teenager I have loved me some spy novels and such….but you know real-life is just as interesting as the fiction stuff.

Remember a few years back when the US caught all those Russian sleeper agents… was a sexy red head that could make a dead guy write bad checks.

Then there are stories of the assassinations around the world…especially the ex-KGB guy that was poisoned in the UK with his tea…..

Then I read the report of a Brit spy that was found dead stuffed into a sports bag…..

After the dead body of an MI6 spy was found locked in a sports bag in London, police said the death was “probably an accident” – but British and American spy agencies have secret intelligence suggesting Gareth Williams may have been assassinated over highly sensitive work on Russia.

A British spy whose naked body was found decomposing in a padlocked sports bag in his bathtub is among at least 14 people suspected of having been killed by Russian assassins on British soil, BuzzFeed News can reveal.

Source: The Death Of The Spy In The Bag Is Linked To Russia By Secret Intelligence Files

See what I mean…fascinating.

My question is how does a dead guy accidentally lock himself into a sports bag?

Any answers out there?

Time to say bye for the day…..hope you will join tomorrow for more stuff…..chuq

Mississippi–Is It 1950?

Speaking of Mississippi…….

When I write about the racial tensions that still exist in my state, Mississippi, many people think I am making it all up…..

If only they knew……

This is just one area where the racial bias is happening….but not the only area…..

For generations, black residents of Canton, Mississippi have lived under siege from a heavy-handed sheriff’s department. Now the ACLU is suing the system.

The sheriff’s deputy has his hand around Khadafy Manning’s neck. Manning, a 35-year-old black man, is standing rod straight, or at least as straight as someone with a debilitating spinal injury can, with his hands cuffed behind his back, dressed in his underwear, asking why he is being humiliated in his own living room.

“Officer, please. Why are you handling me like this?”

“Because you ain’t acting right,” the deputy responds.

Source: Police Roadblocks Are Rights-Free Zones In Madison County, Mississippi –

There should be a sign on the highways that lead into Mississippi and they should read….

“Welcome to Mississippi

Set Your clocks back 150 years.”

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF

Holy Crap!

I never thought that I would live to see the day when a GOP led House Committee voted to repeal AUMF……

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’| Republican leaders argue vote cripples terror war, shouldn’t count.

In a stunning move, the House Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment to the massive military spending bill offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D – CA). The amendment, passed in a voice vote, and would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Source: House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’ – News From

It is still NOT a done deal….but one helluva step forward.

So It Is Written, So It Is Done

I seldom write about my state, Mississippi……basically nothing of interest happens too often….but I do like their politics.  A Bible Belt conservative state that elects those people that do the most damage to the state……in essence a cultural wasteland.

My state has about 21.6% poverty……is 49th on the health index…..49th on the best educated index…..I could go on with the stats so let us just say Mississippi is at the bottom or near on every “good” characteristic and at the top or near on every “bad” characteristic……

I bring this up because of the laws that will go into effect on 01 July… would think the the reps would be addressing the economic characteristics that effect the people of this state, right?

You would be sadly mistaken!

These are the laws that will go into effect next week…..

HB 511: Ready to pass a big truck on I-55? The left lane should be free, since a new law is taking effect that outlaws “lollygagging” in the left lane on the interstate. If you’re caught hogging the left lane, you could face a fine of anywhere from $25 to $50.

SB 2968: Soon, there will be more highway patrolmen on the roads with you. With this law, trooper school has been funded. Classes start in October, and by the first of the year, new troopers will be hitting the roadways.

SB 2710: Sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants has been a hot topic across the United States, but they will be outlawed in Mississippi starting July 1. The law also prohibits municipalities from prohibiting a city employee from asking a citizen about their immigration status.

SB 2689: Campaign funds will no longer be able to be used for personal use come July 1. This means any funds that were collected by any political campaign for the purpose of furthering the candidate cannot be used for personal vehicles, homes, rent, etc. If any campaign funds are left over after the fact, they will have to be returned to the donors, donated to the state, or can be donated to another political or charitable cause.

HB 1046: Students who have relied on the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship can now continue to utilize that scholarship all the way through school. The scholarship can be used to enroll in private school, therapy programs, or purchase resources that would further the child’s abilities in school.

HB 1322: Craft beer breweries in the state can now sell their products onsite. Initially, breweries could conduct tours and host events, but would have to direct customers to a nearby distributor for their beer or light wine. Here’s the catch: they can sell it to you there, but you have to take it away to drink it. It’ll be sealed. You won’t be able to down that six-pack at the brewery itself.

There you are… laws…typical Repub bullshit that does NOTHING to improve the lives of the people of Mississippi.

This is why Mississippi remains at the bottom of the list of good states in which to live.

I once called the government of Mississippi as a “Moronocracy” and nothing has changed in 35 years.

Pointing The Way To War?

Iran has not been in the news much these day…the silly season is on the Russia thing and the new health care mash up…..but deep beneath the news these days is Iran and the direction that the president in his “wisdom” is traveling.

There has been triggers that are pointing to a coming war with Iran…..

The long-simmering conflict between the United States and Iran is fast escalating toward war. The battlefield is the desert expanse of eastern Syria where civil war has raged for the last five years. Tehran wants to keep U.S. forces out of the area, while Washington wants to use the region to wage war against Iran’s ally, Syria.

After 15 years of unsuccessful war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration is pursuing a policy of “regime change” in Iran that might lead to a third U.S. ground war in the Middle East since 2001.

Restraint is breaking down. While President Obama resisted U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, Trump has approved it. While Obama pursued dialog with Iran, Trump has embraced the new Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who laid down his country’s new, harsher line in April. ‘We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia,” he said, “but we will work so the battle is there in Iran.”

Source: 6 Trigger Points: How the Conflict Between the United States and Iran Is Fast Escalating Toward War | Alternet

The rhetoric is picking up to the point that makes war with Iran a likelihood….the defense build-up points to something big brewing…..Afghanistan would make a good platform to launch an attack on Iran and we are slowly building the troop levels and ordinance up…..will calmer heads prevail?

Not in this admin….calm heads is the furthest thing from reality…….war is coming…..are you ready for more death and destruction?

The only nation that would benefit from such a war would be Israel….but it would only be short lived until they, Israel, can invent a new foe……a new threat.

The losers as always will be the American people and society.

While The World Implodes

Syria is a bloody mess……Iraq likewise…Afghanistan is waiting….Balkans are verbally hot…..South China Sea is boiling……you get it!  The world is far from a peaceful place and yet the man that is the most powerful person in the world spends his time bullying women on Twitter…..

Not the first time that trump has attacked a woman for a slight that he has perceived….just the most recent…..

President Trump has been going after media outlets with a renewed vengeance this week, but things got decidedly personal Thursday morning when he took aim at Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program. “I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore),” he began in a twotweet attack. “Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!” (“Psycho Joe” is a reference to Joe Scarborough.) Within a half-hour of Trump’s tweets, Brzezinski fired back with a tweeted photo mocking Trump in sync with the small-hands theme.

It’s not clear what set off the president, but earlier on her show, Brzezinski slammed his behavior. “Let’s say someone came into NBC and took over NBC, and started tweeting wildly about people’s appearances, bullying people … that person would be thrown out,” she said, per Raw Story. She added that “there would be concerns that the person who runs the company is out of his mind.” Before the president tweeted, Trump social media director Dan Scavino also unloaded on “DumbAsARockMika” and Scarborough, saying they were “unhinged” since Trump stopped returning their calls.

What type of person would do this?  Not someone that is the president of the USA, right?

…….the White House didn’t relent: “I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back,” said deputy press chief Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Fox News. She said Trump has been the target of an “outrageous number of personal attacks,” and he’s responding in kind, per Mediaite. “This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.” Elsewhere:
  • Criticism from GOP: “I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” said Paul Ryan, per Politico. “This is not okay,” tweeted Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas. “Beneath the office,” wrote Sen. Lindsey Graham, a line echoed by Sen. Ben Sasse.
  • Why the trolling? The right-wing site Twitchy notes that when Republicans such as Sasse call out Trump, they get trolled, instead of supported, from the left. It has examples.
  • First lady defends: A spokeswoman for Melania Trump defended the president. “When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” she said, per CNN’s Jeff Zeleny. People can’t resist pointing out that Melania once vowed to fight social media bullying.
  • Background: The Washington Post traces the long, up-and-down relationship between the Morning Joe hosts and Trump. It used to be quite cozy.
  • From Democrats: “Monstrous,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy. “An attack on women everywhere,” says the Democratic National Committee, per the Hill.
  • Breitbart: Its coverage says Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough had “sneered mockingly” at Trump prior to the presidential tweet. (Brzezinski had suggested he was “out of his mind,” per Raw Story.)
  • Network: “It’s a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job,” says an MSNBC statement. Mark Kornblau, a communications VP for NBC Universal, wrote: “Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, ‘it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.'”
Hannity: Fox News host Sean Hannity, one of Trump’s strongest supporters, didn’t retreat: “Maybe liberal Joe should stop calling the @POTUS a schmuck, a liar, a thug and mentally unhinged. Were they kissing @POTUS ass at xmas? Yes.”
Are you surprised at this action?  Why would you?  I am not!  I have come to expect this type of low class attitude from this person.
There are no consequences for his action….this will not be the last time he does this type cowardly attack….after all he is a bully and he just does what bullies do.  His party will do nothing for they are cowards and this will continue followed by strong words and then back to business as usual.
He has done nothing but diminish the office of the president every time he does something as stupid as this latest attack.  The actions of a petty vindictive tyrant….
He is a pathetic, disgusting little man….sadly he cannot be ignored.

Ever Heard Of USIP?

USIP is a program that was passed during the Reagan years.

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent national institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. USIP pursues this vision on the ground in conflict zones, working with local partners to prevent conflicts from turning to bloodshed and to end it when they do. The Institute provides training, analysis, and other resources to people, organizations, and governments working to build peace.

Our generals will be the first to tell you it’s cheaper to prevent a war than fight one. Lawmakers should keep this in mind as they face an unusually complex budgetary environment this year.

As Congress navigates budget caps and a White House determined to slash spending, it also must consider the turmoil and violence rocking the world.

Source: Give a Reagan-era peace institute a chance | TheHill

I know our new president is all about fighting wars but we have only so much cash to do what he wants and now he purposes even more tax cuts meaning less money yet again.

Maybe if he or his advisors like Tillerson would spend a little time doing some research then they might find that the Reagan idea does have value.

Okay I know that I am not one of Reagan’s biggest fans but he did have some ideas that deserve another look see.

That is unless continuous war is the main goal of the Trump cabal.

And it is looking more and more like it is… the point that trump is trying to establish a new world order.

That Donald Trump is a grand disruptor when it comes to international affairs is now a commonplace observation in the establishment media. By snubbing NATO and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, we’ve been told, President Trump is dismantling the liberal world order created by Franklin D. Roosevelt at the end of World War II. “Present at the Destruction” is the way Foreign Affairs magazine, the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, put it on its latest cover. Similar headlines can be found on the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. But these prophecies of impending global disorder miss a crucial point: in his own quixotic way, Donald Trump is not only trying to obliterate the existing world order, but also attempting to lay the foundations for a new one, a world in which fossil-fuel powers will contend for supremacy with post-carbon, green-energy states.

Source: Is Trump launching a new world order? , by Michael T Klare (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, June 2017)

Continuous war is looking more and more like the future for the US….that is unless someone steps up and takes a stand.

Will USIP survive in the Trump era?

Closing Thought–29Jun17

Protect my ‘Net!

For a couple of years now there has been a debate about net neutrality and why it is important.

We also have had those that say who cares.

We all should care about our internet access……and here is why….

Next month, Amazon, Netflix, and dozens of other companies and organizations will host a “day of action” aimed at saving net neutrality as we know it. The Federal Communications Commission, meanwhile, is on the verge of revoking its own authority to enforce net neutrality rules, and the country’s biggest telecommunications companies are cheering along. The future of the internet is on the line here, but it’s easy to be cynical about the conflict: What does it matter which set of giant corporations controls the internet?

Under the current net neutrality rules, broadband providers like Comcast and Charter, and wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon, can’t block or slow down your access to lawful content, nor can they create so-called “fast lanes” for content providers who are willing to pay extra. In other words, your internet provider can’t slow your Amazon Prime Video stream to a crawl so you’ll keep your Comcast cable plan, and your mobile carrier can’t stop you from using Microsoft’s Skype instead of your own Verizon cell phone minutes.

Source: Why Net Neutrality Matters | WIRED

Me?  I am old and probably does not matter much…but my granddaughter will be effected if these toads have their way.

TTFN–time for me to have a nap after all I’m old and we need our rest, right?

See ya tomorrow…chuq

What About Military Blunders?

I recently wrote a post about Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, and since that wound up being a total disaster I started thinking about other military blunders….disasters that accomplished little and cost the lives of many.

Let’s look at the last 100 years or so…….

The first one that I thought about was a battle in World War One…..Gallipoli.  An operation attempted by the allies to take on the Ottoman Empire….it was a total bust….

British General Sir Ian Hamilton might not have been a full-fledged ass, but he was certainly a bumbling Ferdinand the bull—shy, courteous and overly accommodating. Unfortunately, Lord Kitchener, Britain’s Secretary of State for War, gave him command of the 1915 invasion of Gallipoli—the amphibious landings by British, French and ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops intended to take Turkey, a German ally, out of the war. The campaign demanded an assertive, tactically brilliant, take-charge commander. Instead, the Allies got a kindly uncle who really didn’t want to interfere with his brigadier nephews.

There were others……

Source: The Worst Battlefield Blunders: Five Battles That Ended Badly | HistoryNet

These battles are seldom brought when the study of war is taught….basically because they were failures and few want to know about the military’s failures.

Your history lesson is complete……more to come (insert heavy sighs)…

Class dismissed.

Are Tribes The Answer?

Back in the Dark Ages of the Iraq War, 2007, the president decided that he would send more troops into Iraq to help with security for Baghdad and Anbar province……the general at the time, Patreues, also conned the tribes of Anbar into working with the US and to stop the advance of the AQ backed insurgency.

Using the tribes was a novel idea….of course they were promised things like protection, weapons and most important money for their help with the problem.

I relive this part of the war history because it was a stroke of genius and that I do not understand why the technique has been abandoned.

We, the US, could be using tribes in several conflicts to do some of the lifting…..across the Middle East tribes are the central aspect of life… why not try to duplicate the small successes we have had in the past……

For instance in Yemen…where the US has had an on-going battle with AQAP…why not turn to the tribes that do not like AQ……some thoughts on the subject….

Source: The US is failing to exploit tribal anti-AQAP sentiments in Yemen – Middle East Monitor

Then there is Syria and its array of tribal connections…can the tribes work on the aftermath?

Some say no……

Source: After Raqqa: The Challenges Posed by Syria’s Tribal Networks – Jamestown

I keep harping on trying to find a new plan….I would say this idea would be considered a new plan….well at this time anyway….it had been a success…It could be again.

What we got to lose?