Closing Thought–04Aug17

The Greeks had the Acropolis……Rome the Coliseum…Constantine had his St. Sophia…India had the Taj Mahal and Hitler had his Germania…all were massive building projects…..

Li’l Kim has his Ryugyong Hotel…his pet project after nukes and missiles that is….

While North Korea’s second launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile dominated headlines late last week, Pyongyang quietly unveiled renovations around the capital’s biggest landmark: a futuristic, pyramid-shaped 105-story hotel, the world’s tallest unoccupied building. After decades of embarrassing delays and rumors that the building may not even be structurally sound, could this be Kim Jong Un’s next pet project? If nothing else, it at least has a new propaganda sign: “Rocket Power Nation.” Walls set up to keep people out of a construction area around the gargantuan Ryugyong Hotel were pulled down as the North marked the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, the AP reports. Revealed were two broad new walkways leading to the building and the big red propaganda sign declaring that North Korea is a leading rocket power. That, of course, is Kim’s other pet project.

For more than a week leading up to the anniversary, a major holiday in North Korea, “soldier-builders” at the site in central Pyongyang were clearly visible behind the walls. Work on the building began in 1987 but it was little more than a concrete shell for decades. The shiny exterior was finished with funds from an Egyptian company in 2011 and from a distance, the glassy, greenish-blue Ryugyong looks like it’s ready for business. But it is believed to be far from complete inside and possibly even structurally unsound. How Kim can afford to pay for the apparent construction boom and his significantly accelerated testing of multimillion-dollar missiles is a mystery, but has led many sanctions advocates to point the finger at China, by far North Korea’s biggest trading partner, for not doing enough to turn the economic screws on its neighbor.

Li’l Kim’s contribution to the great wonders of the world.

Time for some rest and a beer…..be well, be safe…..chuq

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The Immigration Mash-Up

As always the GOP is looking for ways to limit the non-white population of the world from coming to America…..they just do some disguising to make it palatable to the population.

This Congress is NO different….we have a new bill floating around Congress…..it is popular with the Trump base and some others….but economists do not see the clear path as the conservs…..

Plus there was a media mash-up with a spokesman from the administration….high drama at its best….should play well on Breibart and other psuedo-news sites and blogs.

President Trump raised the stakes in the immigration debate on Wednesday with his support of a radically new system that would favor immigrants with job skills and fluency in English over those with family ties. Unlike Trump’s previous emphasis on reducing illegal immigration, this plan would focus on reducing legal immigration, by a lot. The White House says it would be similar to the merit-based systems used by Australia and Canada. Details and coverage:

  • The bill: Trump’s plan is based on a bill introduced in the Senate by David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. It’s called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, or RAISE, and the legislation is here. They introduced it in February and it hasn’t gone anywhere since.
  • The reductions: About 1 million people are currently granted legal residency each year, and this merit-based system would cut that by 41% in its first year and 50% in its 10th, per the AP.
  • Points system: The New York Times takes a look at how the Australian system works. Would-be immigrants receive the most points, up to 60, for having needed skills; they get fewer points, up to 20, for fluency in English. They also get points based on age, with those 25 to 32 receiving the most. The idea is to bring in people able to support themselves, though one critic says the system is “full of holes.” Canada has a similar system, though its version also aims to promote a multicultural society. The Times had a separate story on Canada’s system in March. Of note: Both nations let in a greater number of immigrants per capita than the US does.
  • Economists say no: The Washington Post reports that most economists—16 of 18 in its July survey—think it’s a foolish idea to cut immigration because it will hurt economic growth and raise the risk of recession. “We need to modernize the immigration system, but cutting immigration in half is bad for the economy and bad policy,” says Jeremy Robbins of New American Economy, a coalition founded by Michael Bloomberg.
  • Opposition: The White House support will give the bill new life, but its prospects still aren’t good because not only Democrats oppose it. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, for instance, said it would devastate South Carolina’s tourism industry by reducing the number of low-wage workers at hotels and restaurants, per the Post and Courier. Among Democrats, Dianne Feinstein says it would “cripple” the agriculture industry, per the Hill.
  • In favor: A post at the conservative Power Line blog lauds the idea. “It’s fine to continue on as a nation of immigrants, but shouldn’t we also want to protect the wages of recent immigrants and other Americans with low levels of educational attainment?” asks Paul Mirengoff.
  • Acosta vs. Miller: The exchange between White House aide Stephen Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta continues to make headlines. Watch it in full via the Los Angeles Times.

This bill will be fun to watch the theatrics from both sides.

Democracy No More

Since the early days of the republic the US has been a beacon for democracy.  We have promoted democracy all across the globe.

The new president and his State Department may be in the mood to change America’s promotion of democracy…….

The days of global democratic movement may be drawing to a close……

In the course of their broad restructuring of the State Department, the Executive Steering Committee has revealed in an internal email that the formal mission statement for both State and USAID is going to be revised, with draft versions being circulated around the office for comment.

While the draft statement still talks up America’s “global advocacy, action, and assistance,” suggesting a very interventionist viewpoint, it remains language from the past version about creating a “just, and democratic world” as being a priority.

Former Reagan-era State Department official Elliott Abrams was very critical of the move, saying that the removal of justice and democracy were the only significant changes, suggesting the US doesn’t want those things anymore.

It might simply suggest those aren’t going to be used as pretexts for future US interventions abroad, however, potentially reflective of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s viewpoint that American values need to take a back seat to national security interests that are often directly contrary to them.

(antiwar.com)

This should not be a surprise for the US has been turning its back on democracy for some time now……we have backed some of the most blood thirsty dictators all in the name of a free market and profit……we have been just pretending for decades.

So now we can come out of the shadows as the real nation we have become.

North Korea: Is It News Or Propaganda?

This is an op-ed from my other blog…GSFP….I will re-blog them here until GSFP gets better known around the web…..thanx for the visits….chuq

Gulf South Free Press

First off–I would like to thank all my friends from IST that have come here to follow my new attempt at blogging…..I cannot thank you enough….chuq

It began when North Korea fired off its fist nuke and continued through the many missile tests that have been conducted.

We Americans hear about the sad condition of the country with people near starvation….and the poor living conditions…..

The Op-Ed I will ask some questions that have been bothering me for a few months.

First there is the North Korean economy….by all Western accounts the country is in deep trouble….the people are near starvation and there is poverty everywhere….

Then a report from the Bank of Korea throws some cold water on the reports….

the Bank of Korea, the South Korean central bank, reported that last year North Korea’s gross domestic product grew 3.9 percent. That is the highest growth rate since 1999.

View original post 525 more words

Poppa’s Got Brand New Bag

After watching the mash-up between the Trumpite Steven Miller and journalists I thought about a song from my past….this time it was James Brown…..

But in this case the “bag”…is a “douche bag”.

Even among the right-wing ideologues doing the actual presidenting in this administration, Stephen Miller stands out for the copious amounts of Kool-Aid he mainlines. Speaking to the New York Times, a Trump team colleague described Miller as “fiercely loyal” to the president, “a true believer in every sense of the word.” Though he joined the campaign in its early days, penning many of the apocalyptic speeches that won fear-drunk Republican hearts and minds, Miller recently got a lot more visibility after a string of television appearances in defense of the Muslim ban. At each stop, Miller showed a flair for the dramatic: he lied, he dodged, he put on his best tyrant’s voice and proclaimed the executive branch above the law. It seemed contrived and forced, like a politically precocious, weasley teenager’s idea of how to command a crowd. According to those who know Miller’s history, that’s not so far off the mark

Source: 21 Facts That Explain Exactly Who Stephen Miller Is | Alternet

There was a reason he chose CNN and NY Times….he did that because the Trump mindset is that they are the enemy….so he wanted to pick a fight for the Breibart mentality because it will play well with the “Ignorati”……and he succeeded.

The Mysterious Sub-Continent

India got its freedom from the UK in 1947 and almost from day one they have been in conflict with their neighbors.

First it was their problems with their neighbor Pakistan…the first India-Pakistan War was in 1947….then came the wars of 1965, 1971 and 1999….and to this day there are regular incidents between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir District in Northern India-Pakistan border region.

But those are not the conflicts that I want to go into….these were given only to show the amount of conflict that India is always finding itself immersed in……the conflict that is most pressing these days…..China-India situation…..

There head butting began in 1959 and has carried forward to this day….and it has become more fierce than in the past…..

In mid-June, a remote area called the Dolam plateau in the Himalayas where the boundaries of China, India and Bhutan meet made headlines when Indian and Chinese troops began a standoff over a road construction project. China conducted a live-fire exercise in the area, and there have been false reports of deaths. Diplomatic efforts are underway to de-escalate the situation, but still the risk of war has been on everyone’s mind.

The terrain and weather in the area, located in a region called Doklam, are anathema to war. And yet, almost exactly 55 years ago, China and India fought briefly over this and other contested border areas. So what is the strategic value of this seemingly obscure plateau? And would India and China really go to war again over it?

Source: Are China and India on the Road to War? – Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures

What has the players up in arms this time?

Chinese forces are holding an increasingly large series of live-fire training drills in Tibet, reflecting soaring tensions with neighboring India, while Chinese state media outlets suggest the nation is gearing up for a possible “long-term confrontation” with India over the border region.

The tensions center on the border region of China, India, and Bhutan. China was trying to build a road in remote Dokola, when Indian ground troops streamed across the border to stop them. The construction has stopped but it has left scores of troops from both China and India in the remote area in a standoff, with the risk of the world’s two most populace nations warring over it.

(antiwar.com)

This may ultimately all be bluster, as a war between the two large nuclear powers ought to be unthinkable, particularly over this largely worthless chunk of mountainous terrain. Yet mutual unwillingness to be seen as backing down could quickly lead both sides toward further escalations, with a major regional conflict resulting.