Closing Thought–26Sep17

Throw Red Meat And They Will Come!

The Congressional investigations do not seem to be going well for the Pres. and his cronies……almost nightly something new and possibly more damaging is released in one form of another…. so how do you change the the conversation?

Over the weekend Trump did what he must……

Throw some red meat to the devout.

President Trump says NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest. In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less aggressive, the AP reports. “They’re ruining the game,” he complained. Several athletes, including a handful of NFL players, have refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest of the treatment of blacks by police. Trump says those players are disrespecting the flag and deserve to lose their jobs. “That’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” he said, encouraging owners to act.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump said to loud applause. Trump also predicted that any owner who went through with his encouragement would become “the most popular person in this country”—at least for a week. Trump, who was in Alabama campaigning for Sen. Luther Strange, also blamed a decline in NFL ratings on the nation’s interest in “yours truly” as well as what he described as a decline in violence in the game. He said players are being thrown out for aggressive tackles, and it’s “not the same game.” But Trump said the anthem protest was the top reason NFL viewership had waned.

Of course all eyes turn to the NFL and the Sunday games……

Even Carl Rove sees this situation as a losing fight for the president…….

Figures from the worlds of politics and sports took to the Sunday talk shows to weigh in on President Trump’s call for NFL players who protest during the national anthem to be fired.

  • Steve Mnuchin told ABC’s This Week that NFL owners should create a rule forcing players to stand for the anthem and that athletes “can do free speech on their own time,” Politico reports. The Treasury secretary said the issue isn’t race or free speech but “respect for the military and first responders.”
  • “I wish that some of these players that get on one knee to protest this country and all the sacrifices that make it great would get on both knees and thank God that they live in the United States of America,” Mediaite quotes Mike Huckabee as saying on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures. The former Arkansas governor said liberals only defend athletes attacking the country, not those praying for it.
  • Karl Rove told Fox News Sunday that Trump should have picked a better battle or at least a better tactic, Mediaite reports. “He could have come away the winner,” the former White House adviser said. “Instead, he is walking away from this a loser in the minds of the American people.” A better move would have been to be an “aspirational figure” reminding people what’s good about the country, Rove said.
  • Rex Ryan, who introduced Trump during a rally last year, said on Sunday NFL Countdown that the president’s comments are “appalling.” “Lemme tell you: I’m pissed off. I’ll be honest with you. Because I supported Donald Trump,” CBS Sports quotes the former NFL coach as saying. Ryan said he’s proud of the players he’s known and they aren’t “SOBs.”
  • “I’m not sure if our president understands those rights, that every American has the right to speak out and also to protest,” Sports Illustrated quotes Terry Bradshaw as saying on Fox NFL Sunday.

This accomplished what Trump intended….a diversion for awhile…..

Trump as usual cannot kind in mind that he is the president of all of the US not just his piddly 33%

The Votes Are In!

The Votes Are In!

Yesterday the residents of Northeast Iraq, Kurd region, went to the polls to vote for session from the country of Iraq…….and now the final results are in…..well not final for at least 72 hours……

Polls have closed in Iraqi Kurdistan, and while there are a lot of questions about what’s going to happen next, one thing that’s not in serious doubt is the results. With some 78% of voters having gone to referendum, the final figures are still expected with 72 hours.

Early counts show what everyone suspected though, that it’s not going to be close. The first 300,000 votes, admittedly less than 10% of the count, showed 93.4% voting yes. A wide majority was always expected.

Iraqi Kurdistan has long sought independence, as has the rest of Kurdistan, which spans Syria, Turkey, and Iran. The part in Iraq, however, was very clear about having a vote as soon as the ISIS war was over, and they’ve been basically on their way out the door since.

The referendum was just an up and down vote on secession in general, but questions about the specific boundaries, especially after Kurdistan seized substantial new territory in the ISIS war, remain to be resolved.

(antiwar.com)

They just voted for an extension of the chaos in Iraq…..this vote only implies to Iraq but their are Kurds in several other Middle East states…..Turkey, Syria, Iran……what will these set about doing?

AS an example of things to come was a few days before the vote……A few days ahead of the Kurdistan referendum on independence, an ethnic clash took place between a group of Kurds and Turkmens in Kirkuk on Sept. 19. Local police deployed in different parts of the city to prevent the development of the deadly clash.

Other minorities may want their place in the sun….so to speak…..the Assyrians, Chaldean, etc.

Society Was Warned

This is something that I have written on before….how hard won rights are taken away for lack of interests by those that won. chuq

Gulf South Free Press

I am one blogger that did not write that much on the problems in Charlottesville because it would do NO good what so ever because this is a subject that is emotionally charged and they are same problems we have been fighting for decades and never make any headway.

Back in the Dark Ages, 1989, I wrote a paper and submitted it to a scholars conference,”Short coming in the theory of non-violence”….it was accepted and I presented it to my colleagues in March of that year.  (I would post it here but that was before a hard drive everything I did was on paper and Hurricane Katrina totally destroyed many of my past originals.)

I used movements to make my point, India’s independence movement, the civil rights and the women’s search for equality.

I pointed out that in India…the things that Gandhi fought far never materialized…it was only a matter…

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Campaign Funding

I am sure that most Americans realize just how much it costs to campaign these days.  Thanx to Citizens United it will get more and more expensive.  Think about it….last election it cost damn near a billion dollars to run for the office of president.

Personally, I would like to see all elections publicly funded….people would pay a fee as in a tax filing every year….no more dark money or PAC interference.  Each candidate would have an election budget spent however they see fit but no additional money when it is all gone.

This political system needs reforming…..it has gotten out of hand……and wasteful.

The goals behind the public financing of elections have shifted. The old dream of completely eliminating big, private money from politics has been dashed by Citizens United and other court rulings.

“It’s probably not a realistic goal in any case,” says Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute. “People who are interested in politics have many ways of influencing the political system.”

Now, the hope among some advocates of publicly financed campaigns is to impose limits on the size and scope of campaign treasuries while increasing citizen involvement. To do that, reformers are promoting the use of matching funds and so-called democracy vouchers, which allow citizens to steer government money directly to the candidates of their choice.

Source: The New Strategy for Advocates of Publicly Funded Campaigns

If we are serious about the slogan…”Of the people, by the people and for the people” then this reform is a necessity.

Of courser as badly as it is needed reform is not forthcoming…..cash can buy at lot things….can keep things as they are today.

We will truly have the “best government money can buy”…..

Remember Afghanistan?

Sure you do!  It is that stone age country that we invaded to get Osama for his part in then 9/11 attacks.  Well Osama is dead killed in Pakistan not Afghanistan and yet the war is till being fought for the hearts and minds of opium growers.

Afghanistan is a war much like all our wars since Vietnam….long drawn out no direction and no original strategy for a conclusion.

Afghanistan is a worthless war fought for an illusion…….but do not take my word for it….let’s look at the plans and schemes and strategies that goes into this war…..

Late this August, it was encouraging to hear that U.S. policy will not be to quit Afghanistan, not be to fire the commander, and not be to use mercenaries. In Afghanistan, defeat would indeed be worse than persevering with what will now be a modest increase in capacity and an ostensibly genuine regional strategy. Quitting the field would have meant giving up the potential for some form of victory and potentially seeing the Taliban overwhelm the Afghan security forces and the government in Kabul. And, if the Taliban were to revive an Islamist emirate in Afghanistan, there is reason to suggest a future with more attacks against the West, planned and prepared, with increasing scope and intensity, from Afghanistan and from Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Source: America’s Afghanistan Strategy | RealClearDefense

New president….new plan….oddly the new plan sounds a lot like the old plan…..

The focus now should be on the implementation of the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and the region. Commentators debate the pros and cons of the approach, but it is now U.S. policy. It requires careful coordination and integration of the tools of American power—military, diplomatic, economic and development—to move toward its objective: a negotiated Afghan political settlement. The policy’s specifics must now be defined and executed.

The rationale for continued U.S. engagement—to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a base for terrorist attacks as it was in 2001—carries much weight given the threats from radical and terrorist groups emanating from Afghanistan, Pakistan and across the region. “Right now (the Taliban) calculates that it can win,” argues a senior U.S. official, and if the United States were to leave precipitously the outcome would be “a state of chaos.” Yet, the tools and actions needed go far beyond “kinetic” actions.

Source: Implementing the New Afghanistan Policy | RealClearDefense

There is so much about Afghanistan that needs to be discussed….but instead we decide to go with the same plan of Bush, Obama and now Trump…..worthless plans that have nothing to do with liberating then country from terrorists…..

On September 18th, 2001 Public Law 107-40[1] provided then-U.S. President George W. Bush the authority “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”  According to faculty research conducted at the Harvard Kennedy School, since the war in Afghanistan began, the United States has spent trillions of dollars[2] on efforts there.  These efforts entailed committing as few as 2,500 to as many as 98,000[3] U.S. armed forces members of whom 2,216 have died, and 20,049 have been wounded[4].  Despite these efforts, as of May 2017, the Afghan Taliban controls[5] 11 districts and influences 34 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts (approximately 11 percent).  While debates in Washington D.C. continue as to what U.S. policy towards Afghanistan should entail, two discussions have been neglected:

Source: Afghanistan: Two Neglected Discussions | RealClearDefense

I have been studying this conflict since 2002 and in all that time I have seen nothing but insanity and the avoidance of reality.

Nothing about the direction of this war will ever change…..just “keep on Keepin’ on”!