IST Blogging Update–2017

I have been blogging for over 10 years…..about 11 come December…for the first couple of years I was on Blogger….a good site but I found it more better here on WordPress.

I will admit that in the beginning the going was slow…lucky to get 5 hits a day and even luckier if I got that many comments in a week…..but things have changed for the better.

Followers…I could go a month with no new followers….most of my followers come from WordPress I do get some from Twitter and that is where I lose followers when I do lose them….I do not use Facebook for anything I do not trust them or their system.

But this year has been an excellent year….here recently I have been getting 2-5 new followers a day….. (at the time of this post could drop off at anytime)….and the comments have gone from an average of 10 a day to an average of 35-80 a day.

Comments is where I judge my Blog…..people on WP are not shy about giving their opinions and there is where I judge the “popularity” of the Blog…..without comments then those visitors could very well be just bots.

I try to make my posts as inviting and as diverse as I can that in the hopes that they will feel like commenting.  I have read some blogs where the author in the first paragraph insults the reader to the point that a comment will not come.  And then these same bloggers cannot figure out why they have so few visitors or commenters and usually they blame it on the government that has them under some sort of surveillance.

I do not think that the theme or the font or the color guarantees success….if anything I believe it is content….plus offer up one’s own analysis to go with the post….that helps others know your thinking and the opportunity for them to comment.

Be consistent and convenient….will help build the blog into somethin g people will follow and comment.

All in all the experience I have had in blogging has been the most positive on WordPress….I have always said that if some reader thinks they have an idea to help IST become a better visit to let me know and I will consider the suggestion.

Blogging is hard work if you want to give the public a successful source of information or entertainment……the readers will find you just hang in there and give it a chance.

There have been disappointments but they are small compared to the people I have met…..people that enjoy a good exchange of ideas and opinions…..after all we are in this experiment together why not make the most of it?

That is it for today……keeping my eye on Irma just in case she decides to change her mind on where she wants to landfall……enjoy your weekend and keep up the positive thoughts…Peace out!  chuq

Closing Thought–14Aug17

More US Deaths!

With all the news about Virginia and North Korea and the White House drama there is always some news that will fall between the cracks….but the death of American soldiers should NEVER fall through….

Over the week more US troops met their death while fighting in Iraq….

The Pentagon has confirmed two US soldiers were killed and five others wounded today in “combat operations” in Iraq. Details of exactly what happened remain unclear, with the Pentagon not offering any formal details beyond “combat.”

The Pentagon appeared to be vague on this, however, saying they don’t think the deaths were due to “enemy contact,” despite saying the deaths were in the course of combat operations. This brings the number of US soldiers confirmed killed in the ISIS combat operations to seven.


Our sympathies go out to the families for their loss…..

My day is all but over…..I need to decompress a bit….been a helluva day.

Be well, be safe……..chuq

We Are Better Than This

Surely everyone knows about the mash-up in Virginia this past weekend… illustrated that the fights of the 1950-‘s and 60’s are still being fought …..that issues from the past have never gone away.

I read a good op-ed entitled…”We Are Better Than This”…..

Making America Great Again means entertaining support from white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the survivalist movement, vigilante militias, and it is all neatly packaged in a spiffy new advertising meme labelled the alt-right.

Okay, America, we are now experiencing what it means to go back in time. This is what they meant when they said we were going to take America back. It meant we were going to revisit the good ole’ days when overt racism was the order of the day, when nuclear detonations were rationalized and accepted as, well acceptable, when white men made all the decisions and coal was king. Back to the days when environmental degradation was a critical component to economic progress. Back when civil liberties could be curtailed in the name of law and order, especially if you were from the classes of the troublemakers

Source: We Are Better Than This – LA Progressive

I am sorry but this type of thing, these confrontations, does nothing to “Make America Great Again”….

The President has come out with comments on the violence…..

President Trump’s comments so far on the violence in Charlottesville have been denounced by those on both sides of the political aisle. A sampling of columnists’ takes on his response:

  • In the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb says this is one of the weakest responses to Nazism America has seen. Even the eventual White House clarification wasn’t much better than Trump’s original response. “When questioned about the rationale for Trump’s evenhandedness, the White House clarified that both the protesters and the counter-protesters had resorted to violence. This is notable in that the United States was once a country that did not see Nazis and those willing to fight them as morally equivalent.”
  • At CNN, Timothy Stanley says Trump failed this test. The president likely sees “not a prejudice problem but a crisis of law and order” when he looks at what happened in Virginia, just like many conservatives consider the KKK and Black Lives Matter “as bad as each other.” But “Black Lives Matter, for all its faults, sees a truth that Trump does not: America operates an unjust racial hierarchy in which people of color are relegated to the bottom. When African-Americans protest, they are expressing their powerlessness, they are punching upwards. White supremacists, by contrast, enjoy power and authority. They are punching downwards out of irrational hate.”
  • At FiveThirtyEight, Julia Azari points out why it’s interesting Trump isn’t specifically condemning white supremacy. His “comments are striking for a couple of reasons. For one, Trump repeatedly denounced his predecessor, Barack Obama, for refusing to use the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ to refer to attacks by Islamist radicals. For another, denouncing Friday’s white supremacist protest and Saturday’s (apparent) attack should have been comparatively easy for an American politician.”
  • Michael Gerson acknowledges at the Washington Post that it’s difficult to find the right words in the face of a tragedy like this, but Trump is, apparently, completely incapable of doing so. “The flash point in Charlottesville was the history of the Civil War,” and “the oppression and trauma that led to Appomattox did not end there. Ghosts still deploy on these battlefields. And the casualties continue. But Trump could offer no context for this latest conflict. No inspiring ideals from the author of the Declaration of Independence, who called Charlottesville home. No healing words from the president who was killed by a white supremacist. By his flat, foolish utterance, Trump proved once again that he has no place in the company of these leaders.”
  • In the New York Times, conservative writer and radio show host Erick-Woods Erickson weighs in. Though he considers the “social justice warriors” of the far left and the white supremacists of the far right to be “two sides of the same coin,” Erickson points out that a white supremacist was allegedly to blame for this violence. “On a day that saw one person killed during the Charlottesville violence, the president did not need to play the ‘both sides are culpable’ game. No side would be protesting in Charlottesville had not the white supremacists decided to march.”

Sad thing is that this is not an isolated occurrence…..more to come….

There is a wealth of articles and such about what the country should do about this rise in hatred…..a better question would be “what will this country do about this rise in hatred”?

All The News Of North Korea

Since my Asian Desk is pretty sparse…I need to do lots of research to get up to speed ……maybe it will help my reader as well…..

The words of war are flying around the airways…..there are those that would like an attack on NK as a “must”…..but those mental midgets do not think beyond their own bravado….

As the rhetoric continues to pick up around North Korea, the talk of military options, or worse the “military solution” increasingly appears to center around the conceit that there is some possibility for a limited war, or some other way that the US could make a quick attack on North Korea and fix everything militarily.

Experts, however, broadly agree that’s simply not the case. North Korea has spent the last 60+ years worrying about a US attack, and preparing to retaliate with everything that they have. This retaliation, even before factoring in North Korea’s nuclear program would destroy much of South Korea, and likely kill upwards of a million people.

That threat of massively destructive retaliation was always the ace up North Korea’s sleeve that kept them from getting attacked in the first place, sort of a mutually-assured destruction build around conventional arms and the fact that the huge, and economically important, city of Seoul is so close by.

The theory that the US could precisely take out North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal and resolve the situation, then, is clearly preposterous on its face, as North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities are substantial and were built long before the nuclear program.

While pretty much any preemptive attack necessarily will provoke retaliation, a US strike on North Korea’s nuclear sites would certainly provoke an even bigger one, as the North Korean government could only interpret it as the start of an American war of regime change.


The NK situation is far more complex than the simpletons in the Trump admin would have you believe.

There needs to be a place where the news of NK can come together and readers can have it all in one place and NO need for the Google button.

Maybe I can help……

Not all reporting follows the paradigm that the Pentagon, Trump and the MSM wants to get out to the public.

Further reading for those that have an inquiring mind….lots to read but it will,give the reader a better picture of the situation than by listening to the MSM and the alt-Right…..enjoy

Source: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations – Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures

Source: North Korea Leaves Us With Only One Good Option | World Affairs Journal

Source: Only Morons Believe What the US Government Says About North Korea

Source: Newsweek Exclusive: North Korean Missile Claims Are ‘a Hoax’

Source: Why a war with North Korea is unlikely | North Korea | Al Jazeera

All aspects of this volatile situation need to be presented so that NO wrong thinking can be invaded into to the process.

An “Independent” President?

This is a re-blog from IST’s sister blog…GSFP…..thanx for reading…..chuq

Gulf South Free Press

We can take that term “independent” in a couple of ways….. could be separate from the political process or he could be an outsider that will clean up DC.

First, draining the swamp…..made for an excellent campaign slogan but in reality DC runs off of a different game plan that that of a CEO… get an agenda moving through Congress he will need a couple of the old time alligators or without them he will be the most ineffective president that we have had in years….maybe even of all time.

His inner circle have people in it that do not like government at all…..they are there to blow it up so it can be remade….people like Bannon.  The problem there is that it does not help any Trump agenda making its way through Congress.

If we are talking about him as a political independent then that is doomed to fail. …

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What The Hell Did Venezuela Do?

In case you were out of pocket Friday afternoon and missed the big story then I think I can bring you up to speed.

During a press outing at his gold Club in new Jersey Trump was asked about the North Korean posturing and then he went on a different track altogether….

As many fret over the increasingly tense relationship between the US and North Korea, President Trump threw another country into the mix Friday: Venezuela. Speaking to reporters Friday from his New Jersey golf club, flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and National Security Adviser HR McMaster, Trump offered what Reuters calls a “surprise escalation” on the US response to Venezuela’s currentpoliticalupheaval, in which more than 120 people have been killed and thousands arrested over the past four months. “Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering and they are dying,” Trump told reporters, per the Hill. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

When pressed by reporters on whether that meant the US would lead an operation in the South American country, Trump replied, “We don’t talk about it, but a military operation—a military option—is certainly something that we could pursue.” The US just hit Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with financial sanctions in late July, with a statement from Trump noting: “Maduro is not just a bad leader. He is now a dictator.” The Pentagon told Reuters it has yet to receive any instructions from the president regarding Venezuela.

When I heard this report my first response was…”what the Hell did Venezuela do to deserve that threat?”

(Watch Nikki Haley’s reaction)

I am still trying to find out what they did they would warrant such a threat.

Anyone got any ideas?


While You Were Chasing the NK Shiny Object

Last week was full of stories about North Korea and the blogs soon followed…but did you know that while you were chasing the shiny object news went on mand on…..

This week, many Americans are more terrified of North Korea than usual, with some scrambling to buy supplies in case of a nuclear apocalypse as at least one local government offers advice to residents on how to survive a blast. Though Americans are unsure about Trump’s approach to North Korea, a majority agree that the country is a serious threat as much of the media repeatedly hammers home just how dangerous the situation has become.

There was so much more…….

Source: 5 Stories You’re Missing While the Media Hypes a Nuclear War

Stop chasing those shiny objects and look behind the curtain….there is always more happening than they tell you.