Closing Thought–19Jun17

A magical day in the garden…..serene and soothing……and one f*cking weed that is a bitch……..

Disclaimer:  I am NO way suggesting that anyone should attempt to partake in illegal drug use…..this is solely an FYI post.

I admit it….back in the 60’s I was a bit of a Hippie and yes I tried a wide array of illegal drugs…..weed, uppers, downers and acid but the best of the lot was the tea made from those mushrooms that grow in cow crap.

Now that weed is slowly becoming legal there is a turn to more “daring” drugs….the Magic ‘Shrooms…..and guess what?  They are safer than you think….or so says some research……

A massive drug survey has labeled hallucinogenic mushrooms as the safest recreational drug in the world—though ensuring you’re consuming a psychedelic variety of fungi, rather than some poisonous version, is rather important. This year’s Global Drug Survey, with 120,000 participants in 50 countries, found that 0.2% of more than 12,000 people who reported taking magic mushrooms in 2016 ended up in the emergency room, per the Guardian. That’s compared to 0.6% of cannabis users, 1% of LSD and cocaine users, 1.2% of people who took MDMA or ecstasy, 1.3% of alcohol consumers, 3% of people who took synthetic marijuana or “spice,” and nearly 5% of people who took methamphetamine, labeled the most dangerous recreational drug.

Drugs like LSD are more potent than magic mushrooms, so “it’s easy to take too much and have an experience beyond the one you were expecting,” says survey founder Adam Winstock. That’s why users should “always take a tiny dose to start.” But in the case of magic mushrooms, “death from toxicity is almost unheard of, with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms,” Winstock says. Magic mushrooms, with the active ingredient psilocybin, do carry risks, though. Users may experience accidental injury, confusion, disorientation, panic attacks, and negative flashbacks, reports Inverse. Winstock adds that risk of harm increases when the drug is taken with alcohol or in “risky or unfamiliar settings.” (Here’s what happened when cancer patients took mushrooms.)

Please I am not suggesting that you run out and start doing illegal drugs….only that if for some reason you do…..try the safer of the bunch…..NEVER do as I have done!

So ends another day……ENJOY…….TTFN….chuq

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Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day

I enjoy imparting a bit of history to my readers…..today is NO different….it will become known as America’s Other Independence Day…..19 June……

Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, American slavery came to an end and a celebration of freedom was born

America’s birthday is fast approaching. But let’s not wait for July 4 to light the fireworks. There is another Independence Day on the horizon.
For centuries, slavery was the dark stain on America’s soul, the deep contradiction to the nation’s founding ideals of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “All men are created equal.” When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, he took a huge step toward erasing that stain. But the full force of his proclamation would not be realized until June 19, 1865—Juneteenth, as it was called by slaves in Texas freed that day.
The westernmost of the Confederate states, Texas did not get news of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomatox that April until two months after the fact. But they heard once Union Gen. Gordon Granger, a New Yorker and West Point graduate with a distinguished wartime service record, arrived in Galveston Bay with more than 2,000 Union troops. It was on June 19 that he publicly read General Order No. 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

Source: Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day | History | Smithsonian

Always great day when you learn something…..congrats….you learned something today.

Then We Have “Executive Privilege”

WE heard the term many many times during Watergate and now with this hearing thing in full swing we are hearing it again……but what is “executive privilege”?  What do they mean?

Let’s go to the definition….

The Constitution does not specifically enumerate the president’s right to executive privilege; rather, the concept has evolved over the years as presidents have claimed it. As the courts have ruled on these claims, their decisions have refined the notion of executive privilege and have clarified the instances in which it can be invoked. The courts have ruled that it is implicit in the constitutional Separation of Powers, which assigns discrete powers and rights to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. In reality, however, the three branches enjoy not separate but shared powers, and thus are occasionally in conflict. When the president’s wish to keep certain information confidential causes such a conflict, the president might claim the right of executive privilege.

The term executive privilege emerged in the 1950s, but presidents since George Washington have claimed the right to withhold information from Congress and the courts. The issue first arose in 1792, when a congressional committee requested information from Washington regarding a disastrous expedition of General Arthur St. Clair against American Indian tribes along the Ohio River, which resulted in the loss of an entire division of the U.S. Army. Washington, concerned about how to respond to this request and about the legal precedent his actions would set, called a cabinet meeting. Although no official record was kept of the proceedings, Thomas Jefferson described the deliberations in his diary. The participants, Jefferson wrote, concluded that Congress had the right to request information from the president and that the president “ought to communicate such papers as the public good would permit & ought to refuse those the disclosure of which would injure the public.” In the case at hand, they agreed that “there was not a paper which might not be properly produced,” so Washington provided all the documents that Congress had requested. This event, though notable as the first recorded deliberation concerning executive privilege, did not carry precedential value until after 1957, when Jefferson’s notes were discovered. In 1958, Attorney General William P. Rogers cited Jefferson’s remarks as precedent for an absolute presidential privilege. Legal scholar Raoul Berger declaimed Rogers’s arguments as “at best self serving assertions by one of the claimants in a constitutional boundary dispute.” Instead, Berger argued, Washington’s willingness to turn over the requested documents shows his recognition of Congress’s right to such materials.

In subsequent incidents, however, Washington and his successors did choose to withhold requested information from Congress, citing various reasons. In 1794, for example, the Senate requested from Washington the correspondence of Gouverneur Morris, the U.S. ambassador to France, who was suspected of aiding the French aristocrats against the revolutionaries despite the United States’ official stance of neutrality. Washington provided the letters, but he censored them first, acting on the advice of officials such as Attorney General William Bradford, who said that the president should “communicate to the Senate such parts of the said correspondence as upon examination he shall deem safe and proper to disclose: withholding all such, as any circumstances, may render improper to be communicated.” The following year, Washington refused to provide the House with information relating to Ambassador John Jay’s negotiation of a treaty with Great Britain, arguing that the House had no constitutional right to participate in the treaty making process and so had no right to request materials associated with it.

A short history of the situation and its use and legality……

You now more than you did before you read this piece……you are welcome!

Believe me we will be hearing this term a lot in the coming months and now you can write on the phenom with a bit more knowledge….

Send In The Cavalry

Remember back in the days of the black and white Westerns when the homestead was being attacked and then the cavalry would ride in and save the day?

The USA has been fighting in Afghanistan for 16 years and things are not going well at all….so what do we do?  We send in the cavalry…….

The Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan, the largest deployment of US manpower under President Trump’s young presidency, reports the AP. The decision by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as early as next week, said a White House official. It follows Trump’s move to give Mattis the authority to set troop levels and seeks to address assertions by the top US commander in Afghanistan that he doesn’t have enough forces to help Afghanistan’s army against a resurgent Taliban insurgency. The bulk of the additional troops will train and advise Afghan forces, according to the administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A smaller number would be assigned to counterterror operations against the Taliban and the Islamic State, the official said. A spokesman for Afghanistan’s defense ministry was reluctant to comment on specifics Friday but said the Afghan government supports the US decision. “We want to finish this war in Afghanistan with the help of the NATO alliance.” Former President Obama set a cap a year ago of 8,400 troops in Afghanistan after slowing the pace of what he hoped would be a US withdrawal. Nevertheless, there are at least another 2,000 US troops in Afghanistan not included in the official count. These include forces that are technically considered temporary even if they’ve been in the war zone for months.

The sad part is that this will do nothing to change the direction of the war……

Usually when a president agrees to send more troops to a war zone, it’s part of a broader strategy. George W. Bush approved the surge of forces to Iraq as part of a population-centric counterinsurgency war plan. Barack Obama did the same in his first year when it came to Afghanistan, though he eventually regretted the decision, and spent most of his presidency trying to end that war.

For Donald Trump it’s different. On Tuesday, he agreed in principle to send more troops to Afghanistan, but he has yet to agree to the broader strategy for winning America’s longest war.

That strategy is still technically in development, but its broad outlines — an increase in special operations forces to train, advise and assist Afghan forces; a more robust plan to go after elements in Pakistan that aid the Taliban; the deployment of more air power and artillery; and a political commitment to the survival of the current government in Kabul — have been in place since April.

Source: Trump’s Afghan Push: More Troops, No Plan – Bloomberg

Of course people will ask if a mere 4,000 troops will make a difference…..not to worry…..

The US is definitely going to be sending more ground troops to Afghanistan soon, but the exact number is yet to be determined, with the Pentagon today backing away from media reports yesterday that they’d settled on a figure of 4,000 more troops, saying no final decisions have been made yet on numbers

That might suggest they’re leaning toward an even bigger number, with influential retired Gen. Jack Keane suggesting that the US needed to send up to 20,000 more ground troops if they wanted to win the war, saying he believed the 4,000 figure was not likely to change the direction of the war

More fodder for the fire……

Same game plan will have the same outcome.

I bet Einstein has something to say on this plan.

Why The World Still Fears The Scud Missile

SCUD!

Does anyone remember that word from the evening news of the 1990’s…most notably the First Gulf War.

Saddam fired many of these missiles some hit Saudi Arabia and one made it to Israel……the terror that must have been reminiscent of WW2 and the V1 and 2s….death from the sky.

Well they are not a thing from the past they are being used todat in different conflicts around the world…..

One of the most infamous missiles of the modern era, the Scud short-range ballistic missile was developed as a nuclear asset for Soviet commanders during the Cold War. Today, more than six decades later, the Scud’s DNA has been scattered worldwide, found in ballistic missiles from North Korea to Iran. The lumbering Scud is more visible than ever, with dozens fired in the ongoing Yemeni civil war.

The Scud missile is a direct product of captured wartime German missile technology. Soviet experiments with the Nazi-developed V-2 missile led to a ten-year development effort that culminated in the R-11M missile paraded through Red Square in November 1957. The R-11M was a liquid-fueled missile that rode on a tracked transporter erector launcher not dissimilar to North Korea’s Pukkuksong-2 tracked launcher. The R-11M could launch a conventional high-explosive warhead up to 167 miles and a heavier nuclear warhead up to ninety-three miles. The R-11M was eventually nicknamed “Scud” by NATO, and as subsequent versions emerged became known as Scud-A.

Source: Why the World Still Fears the Scud Missile | The National Interest Blog

That word from the past is not so much lost in the past……just another weapon to deal death on an unsuspected population from afar.