Closing Thought–21Jul17

Soon To Be A Felon!

In my many years I have been on lists especially in the 70-90’s, I was watched by the program COINTELPRO and now I will once again be on another list….this time because I am a supporter of the BDS Movement…..a movement to punish Israel for their apartheid regime….

But why a felon?

The criminalization of political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West. In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal. On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as “the Palestine Exception” to free speech.

But now, a group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

Source: U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against Israel

When did non-violent protest become a felony?  When did the US become the “bitch” of Israel?

I expect this kind of crap from the Trump toadies…but this goes deeper than the president.

So what they are telling me is that I do not have a choice…..I must not protest against Israel….is that about it?

Then come get me you BASTARDS!

I refuse to gravel at the feet of Israel.

I refuse to be told what I can do with my money or my activism!  BITE ME!

If you are not a coward then join me……

https://bdsmovement.net/

I must once again go back underground (wink wink) for my own safety…..see you guys later….chuq

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With A Little Self-Respect

After 6 months of taking all the criticism that could be thrown at him…..the Trump Press sec has decided to leave while the getting is good….

Sean Spicer has resigned as White House press secretary, the New York Times reports. Per the Times‘ source, President Trump offered the job of White House communications director to New York financier Anthony Scaramucci at 10am Friday, and Spicer resigned shortly after, telling Trump he “vehemently disagreed” with the appointment.

What kind of appointment would make this staunch Trumpian person leave the admin while the getting is good……

It’s been nearly two months since Mike Dubke left the Trump administration, and his communications director role has remained empty since. That’s apparently about to change. Four sources said to be “in and close to the White House” confirm to NBC News an earlier report by Axios that Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci—”Mooch” to those close to him—is set to be named as Dubke’s replacement. The announcement could come Friday. A source tells NBC Scaramucci was at the White House Thursday, where he met with Trump and Ivanka Trump and was offered the job. That source adds Trump has long known Scaramucci, 53, who stumped for Trump during the campaign and has been “a good advocate for the president.” He also defended Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter regarding the latter’s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer.

Still, NBC notes Scaramucci wasn’t initially Team Trump: He first lent his support to Scott Walker, then Jeb Bush in the primaries portion of the presidential campaign. Scaramucci was appointed by Trump last month to a position with the Export-Import Bank, a position he’ll vacate if the comm director one becomes official. One White House insider who was apparently thrown by the news of Scaramucci’s impending appointment: chief of staff Reince Priebus, who Axios says found out about his potential new colleague only after the decision had been made. Meanwhile, press secretary Sean Spicer, who’s been taking care of Dubke’s responsibilities since he left, is expected to remain on staff, but it’s “unclear” exactly what he’ll be doing, Axios notes.

Yet another Trump toad thrown into the grinder that is the White House…..

You Really Want Change?

Every election the news is that the people of this country are looking for change in DC…..and yet they vote for the same tired people that do nothing of value in governing….

In the early days of this blog….well it was titled “Studies and Observations” back in those days…..I was writing a lot about politics and elections….I even wrote about what I saw as the need for a successful third party……(from 2006)

The US there has been lots of third parties and candidates, but most have been unsuccessful because many reason. The following is, in my opinion, a recipe for a third party to be used if it wants to be successful in its endeavors. For years these parties have been plagued by a one issue platform, or a weak leader or other problems that have help it be defeated in the polls.

Source: Successful Third Party – In Saner Thought

So far the necessities have not been met for a successful third party…..so I thought I would approach it from a different slant….

Most Americans want change….can we agree on that?

Then maybe a little research into our past would give us an idea how to achieve that change.

Maybe a good place to begin would be the election of 1912……

The 1912 presidential election showcased four impressive candidates who engaged in a remarkable debate about the future of American politics. Besides William Howard Taft, the incumbent Republican president, the campaign was joined by Eugene Debs, the labor leader from Indiana, who ran on the Socialist Party ticket; the irrepressible Theodore Roosevelt, who bolted from the GOP and ran as the champion of the Progressive Party; and Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic governor of New Jersey, who was elected president. All four candidates acknowledged that fundamental changes were occurring in the American political landscape, and each attempted to define the Progressive Era’s answer to the questions raised by the new industrial order that had grown up within the American constitutional system.

Source: Why the Election of 1912 Changed America

If you read the above reference then you will see that all candidates saw the changes coming in this country…..and changes are occurring in this country again……

What we need is more independents winning elections…..if they could get into the Senate and deny a 50 majority then there would be room for compromise…all it would take is 5  true independents…..then the House…..25 or 30 independents could make a difference in the voting and this could possibly break this damnable cycle of partisanship.

A third party would make a difference but since that is a far-fetched plan….why not just run as an independent?  I am not talking about some party member that got beat in a primary….I am talking about a true independent….a person that can see the good in liberal ideas as well as conserv ones.

If enough independents are elected in both the House and the Senate then they could control both houses….if an agenda needs to be passed then there would have to be working together….compromise would once again be in the line-up…..thus returning this country back to sanity.

Iraq: The War To End A War

The last “big” story out of Iraq was that the Iraqi military has called the battle for Mosul as won….that all that is left of ISIS is some wandering bands of fighters looking for leadership……

If indeed ISIS is defeated then we should expect a peace to now prevail, right?

Only an uneducated dolt would think that the conflict in Iraq is coming to an end.  Believe me there is a wealth of uneducated “experts” when it comes to foreign policy.

Now we wait to see if Iraq can win the peace……or an op-ed in USA Today is saying……

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi waved his national flag in a devastated Mosul last week and with good reason. He was celebrating the hard-fought victory of his U.S.-supported troops over the stubborn Islamic State terrorists who held Iraq’s third-largest city for more than three years. But Abadi was candid about the challenge going forward: “We have another mission ahead of us — to create stability.”

Source: Winning the peace in Mosul

Stability?  Really?  Sounds like spin to me.

ISIS has been routed from the Iraqi city of Mosul. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has declared that this signals “the end and the failure and the collapse” of ISIS.

But according to two Iraq War veterans writing in a paper published by the Small Wars Journal in April, the victory in Mosul will be short-lived.

Source: Iraq War Veterans Warn: Mosul Victory Is Prelude to Iraqi State Failure | Alternet

September will be the start of the after conflict conflict…..why September?

That is when the Kurds have scheduled a vote of an independence referendum.

Depending on the outcome…I do not see that as an event that will bring peace.

This has the possibility of becoming uglier and a lot more messy before there is an end to these hostilities.

MKUltra

40 years ago the CIA project named MKUltra was exposed to the world…experiments in mind control…..

“Project MKUltra” was the name given to an illegal program of human experimentation conducted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, which investigated mind control. The 1975 Church Committee hearings exposed the operation – and on July 20, 1977 a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to it.

Below is an article in Sputnik International a Russian government publication….that aside it is a pretty good write on the program in question….I am sure that it is not printed as an FYI piece but rather as an embarrassment to the US government……keep that in mind as you read the piece…..

The origins of MKUltra lie in 1945, and Operation Paperclip — the secret transfer of top Nazi scientists to the US. Armed with extensive documentation on unethical Nazi human experimentation, including research into mind control, a clutch of military programs related to mental manipulation and behavioral modification were launched — including Projects CHATTER, BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE.

Headed by former chemist Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, MKUltra began in April 1953 on the orders of then-CIA Director Allen Welsh Dulles

Source: July 20, 1977: CIA Mind Control Project MKUltra Docs Released for First Time – Sputnik International

Afghanistan 2017

The forgotten war….that is what Afghanistan has become.  Americans hear very little about their longest war unless it is news that cannot be ignored.

What are the options that Afghanistan has when dealing with the Taleban?

There are not many options at all….below link has a couple to consider……

The Taliban has seen continuous conflict for over two decades now and despite its overthrow in 2001 by the United States and the 2013 death of its founder Mullah Omar, remains a potent force within Afghanistan.  The Taliban is currently estimated to hold more territory than at any time since 2001.

Option #1:  Enter negotiations with the Government of Afghanistan (GOA).  Although announcing their intentions not to participate in peace talks, the Taliban, or factions within it, have previously indicated a willingness to engage in negotiations to achieve political goals.  This is evidenced by their opening of a political office in Doha, Qatar and engagement in talks in 2014 among other events.

read on…….

Source: Options for a Future Strategy for the Afghan Taliban | RealClearDefense

Everywhere think tanks are trying to make sense of Afghanistan and most offer papers on what the US needs to do to be successful in the country (if that is truly possible)…….

Source: Rightsizing expectations: U.S. policy options for Afghanistan

Just ducky….but there is another option that the US could take……

The generals asked President Trump for a surge of 5,000 troops for Afghanistan, America’s 16-year-long lost war. But the buck doesn’t stop at the Trump White House. Trump told the generals, “You decide.” The White House gave the go-ahead for another surge.

“Only” 5,000 troops, supposedly to help the peace process. Kill and bomb more people to encourage people to negotiate for peace. Do you believe it?

We Americans are persistent. But when it comes to wars, we exhibit perseveration, defined as “the inappropriate persistence or repetition of a thought or action.”

Source: Buzz Davis: Admit defeat in Afghanistan and engage the United Nations | Column | host.madison.com

Me?  I would pull a GW and declare “Mission Accomplished” and bring the troops home.

I would agree with the use of the UN if only there were not a group of five that control everything it does.  If it were truly a body of “united nations” then maybe a real compromise or solution could be found….but we know that is not going to happen so….bring the guys and gals home and turn our backs to the landscape of Afghanistan.