Closing Thought–08Sep17

Trying To Reason With The Hurricane Season!

My weekend begins tomorrow and as it is the hurricane season there is another one that is bearing down on the Gulf South, Hurricane Irma.

Irma is another bitch like Katrina…..big and strong……

For those people that do not deal with hurricanes on a regular basis…there are a few things to keep in mind……

  1. If you haven’t shopped yet, shop now: He recommends a minimum of seven days’ worth of food and water, an AM/FM portable radio, one LED flashlight per person, an LED lantern or two, and lots of batteries.
  2. Shop online: Local stores may be running low on the above; try shopping via Amazon, which could get supplies to you by Saturday with two-day Prime shipping.
  3. Document: Take photos of every room in your home, with specific photos of anything of value, from important documents to computers. Upload the photos to the cloud.
  4. Embrace your dishwasher: It can double as a good “safe” to store valuables or photo albums (which should be first double-bagged in plastic); your washer and dryer can be utilized in this way, too.
  5. Be realistic about your cellphone: Don’t expect it to be your lifeline. Harvey disrupted Texas’ mobile system, and your battery could die. You need that aforementioned radio to stay informed. Designate someone out-of-town (an easier call to place than in the zone) to be the point person your family or group will check in with.
  6. Move your car: Think about the safest spot to leave it. A parking garage is best. Under a tree is the worst.

Read Norcross’ full list, which ends with his most crucial piece of advice—identify a safe place to weather the storm immediately—here

And pray for those that may be in the path of this storm…..

Be well….Be Safe!  chuq

DACA: What The Hell Happened?

After the Trump announcement by Sessions about the suspension of the program known as DACA……the usual repsonses were available on-line…..pretty much down party lines …..that is until the President and the Demos dropped a bomb on McConnell and Ryan.

President Trump is planning to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—but his actual position on the policy is still something of a mystery. Trump says he will look at his decision again if Congress can’t “legalize” DACA, the Hill reports. “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do),” the president tweeted Tuesday night. “If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” His tone was very different than that of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who, when announcing the move, called DACA a “unilateral executive amnesty” that “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans” by causing them to go to “illegal aliens.” (As for whether DACA is illegal in the first place, the Daily Caller explains why it is; Quartz explains why it isn’t.)

Trump said he wanted the question of the 800,000 “Dreamers” who grew up in the US after being brought here illegally as children resolved with “heart and compassion—but through the lawful democratic process.” It is far from clear whether Congress will be able to pass any bill dealing with DACA in the next six months. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn says there is “no way” a stand-alone DACA bill will be taken up this month, with fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio indicating stand-alone is the way to go. “I think by and large, if you were able to have a stand-alone vote on a good product, [you] could pass it,” Rubio tells Politico. “If you start adding other things to it, that’s where I think it falls apart.”

Is DACA dead?

The goodwill between President Trump and Nancy Pelosi appears to be carrying over into Thursday: The House minority leader asked the president to tweet an assurance to Dreamers that they don’t face immediate deportation, and Trump did just that, reports the Hill. “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about — No action!” the president tweeted. The White House is phasing out the Obama-era protection of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, but Congress has six months to come up with a legislative alternative to allow them to stay in the country.

“I will tell you, I really believe Congress wants to take care of it,” Trump said Wednesday. “We discussed that also today, and Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I,” he added, referring to Chuck Schumer and Pelosi after their Oval Office meeting. Given that the fate of about 800,000 immigrants is now in legal limbo, however, Trump’s tweet wasn’t going over well with advocates. “You can’t sugarcoat the terror Trump has pushed on immigrants when he killed DACA,” Greisa Martinez Rosas of United We Dream tells CNN.

The Dems and Trump cut the GOP out of the process and left the obstructionists from 8 years ago in the dust as they spun out.

The GOP is butt hurt!  And here is why….

Nobody, it seems, saw it coming. In a meeting with leaders of both parties Wednesday, President Trump bucked the GOP and cut a deal with Democrats to keep the government open and lift the debt ceiling. Consider that prior to the meeting, Paul Ryan called the idea of a three-month extension “ridiculous,” and during the meeting, Trump’s own treasury secretary was arguing for a longer extension when the president interrupted him to agree with the Democrats, reports CNN. The story uses phrases such as “shell-shocked” to describe the GOP reaction. An analysis at the New York Times calls the scenario that played out the “worst nightmare” for conservatives, that in which “political novice” Trump goes into deal-making mode and forsakes principles. “Talk about burning bridges with the grass roots,” says Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks. Related coverage:

  • Mnuchin’s surprise: NBC News has details on the talks in the Oval Office and the moment Trump cut in on Treasury’s Steven Mnuchin, who was left “wounded” and “surprised” by the president’s contradiction of him. Later, though, Mnuchin said he “could not be happier” with the deal.
  • Ivanka’s appearance: NBC says Trump brought in daughter Ivanka at one point to talk about a child care tax credit she has championed, and the Washington Examiner quotes a congressional aide present who says the move “visibly annoyed” GOP leaders because talks “careened off topic.”
  • A pivot? In an online chat after the news broke, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight wrote, “I suppose one could interpret it as the start of a—the start of a word that begins with P, ends with T and has IVO in the middle.” He added later that it could be a pivot “toward Trump seeing how far he can get by working with Democrats.”
  • Nervous about 2018: Trump’s move has Republicans worried about whether he’s too politically fickle to help them on the campaign trail for the 2018 midterms, reports Politico.
  • December fight: The temporary extension sets up a “Christmas showdown” on Capitol Hill over government funding, reports Bloomberg, and the leader of the House Freedom Caucus fears that Trump gave Democrats all the leverage heading into that fight.

Nice play Mr. President.

US First War on Communism

From time to time I do watch the idiot tube especially if the here is something historical being shown.  I occasionally watch the American hero channel, formerly known as the Military Channel…..most times these shows have a bit much propaganda attached to them.

Recently there was a documentary about he Korean War……Korea: America’s First War On Communism…..apparently this is, according to AHC, when Americas came face to face with Communism and turned it into a war.

The truth is the first war was in 1918 when the US and allies joined forces with the forces of the czar in Eastern Russia to combat the Bolsheviks (Communists).

Many Americans would be surprised to learn that the USA, along with Britain, France, and Japan, fought a campaign in Russia just after the Great War (World War I). The primary objective of this action was the re-establishment of an Eastern Front following the collapse of the Russian government during the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, but Allied fear of communist ambitions in other countries also played into the intervention as will be seen below. The overall campaign was named the Polar Bear Expedition, but was also known as the Northern Russian Expedition, the American North Russia Expeditionary Force – ANREF or the American Expeditionary Force North Russia – AEFNR.

These efforts are not mentioned in most history survey courses, and few texts even mention that US troops (or those of any other nation) fought against the Bolsheviks during this period. The presence of US Army units from Michigan in Vladivostok, Archangel, and other Russian locations is rarely noted although the University of Michigan maintains an archive of photographs and other primary evidence relating to the period.

Source: Allied War in Russia, 1918-22

And that was the FIRST war on communism by the US.

If you are going act like some historical authority then maybe get the facts right would help out your credibility.

Class Dismissed!

A Realistic Western Response to North Korea

Almost hourly these days our news stations are airing some story on North Korea…..and with each of these stories the calls for the US and its allies to do something gets louder.

But what to do is where this whole thing falls apart.

We have a wide array of suggestions….from “nuke ’em” to “be patient”

There are good solutions and really horrible ones…..

To understand the logic behind North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons requires some knowledge of its political origins and the state of its economy.

The international media is full of the new confrontation between the U.S. and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (‘DPRK’) in which the DPRK is continuing with its efforts to produce nuclear weapons and, simultaneously, build intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver the nuclear warheads to targets which would include the continental U.S. Some progress has been made by the DPRK in the last ten years in the production of nuclear weapons; five underground tests have been conducted (two successfully). There has also been a gradual progress by the DPRK in building missiles which are increasing in payload and range. This program goes on and has precipitated an elevated response from the U.S. as the prime guarantor of peace in South Asia and in South Korea, its immediate neighbour and prime target.

Despite the rhetoric of diplomacy in the United Nations and efforts at diplomacy between the U.S. and China, the progress and determination of the DPRK goals has not diminished. The stationing of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) carrier strike group and the SSGN 727 Michigan, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine loaded with nuclear missiles offshore Korea has had little apparent effect in dampening the DPRK determination to press ahead with the development and testing of its weapons and delivery systems.

Source: A Realistic Western Response to North Korea

There are no bad solutions with the exception of “nuke ’em” to this problem…..but all is reallyu needed is a think fest and a view of all possible solutions.

I believe we have people in place that can handle this situation….what we do NOT need is a knee jerk solution or one devised on Twitter.

A Mexican Stand-Off

In case you do not read the whole post….this has nothing to do with Mexico or some damn silly wall…nope this is more about the stare down between the US and Russia.

-Just the noble American eagle is in a stare down with the aggressive Russian bear……mostly in Eastern Europe….at least for now…..

Both sides an trying to impress the other by throwing all their latest technology and war toys at each other.

Current tensions between Russia and NATO are leading many to carefully assess this question and examine the current state of weaponry and technological sophistication of the Russian military — with a mind to better understanding the extent of the kinds of threats they may pose.

Naturally, Russia’s military maneuvers and annexation of the Crimean peninsula have many Pentagon analysts likely wondering about and assessing the pace of Russia’s current military modernization and the relative condition of the former Cold War military giant’s forces, platforms and weaponry.

Source: Weapons & War Analysis: Russian Military vs US & NATO

With all the back and forth…..of course there will be a wealth of things to do to confront Russia without it becoming messy……the hawks want more confrontation…..doves want us to talk and negotiate…..and there is always someone with a better idea……

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Ukraine last week in a show of support for the besieged Eastern European nation. And he issued a stern warning: “Despite Russia’s denials, we know they are seeking to redraw international borders by force, undermining the sovereign and free nations of Europe.”

Renewed Pentagon efforts to shore up Ukraine’s military and stepped up involvement in military exercises in the region are stark reminders that relations between Russia and NATO continue on a downward spiral.

Source: A Solution to Russia’s Standoff With the West? | RealClearDefense

Eastern Europe keeps getting more complicated….Ukraine, the Baltics and Belarus will be used by the Russians in their latest confrontation scheme…..

For the week beginning September 14, the Russian military will conduct its quadrennial military exercise called “Zapad,” the Russian word for “west.” Earlier Zapad exercises have caused great apprehension among the NATO nations, and this one will be no exception.

Zapad 2017 will be held in western Russia and into Belarus, a former Soviet satellite state that borders three NATO-member nations, Estonia, Latvia and Poland. The Russians say that their forces participating in Zapad 2017 will number only about 15,000 troops but NATO reportedly expects that they will number more than 100,000 along with their vehicles, armor and air assets.

Source: Vladimir Putin threatens Belarus – Washington Times

All in all this situation is a war of words and troop movements…..it will require scrutiny so things do not spiral.