Closing Thought –30Nov17

Say It Ain’t So!

In these days of some many conflicts some things are usually going to go wrong…..and this may well have been one of those times…..

Possible US Special ops and a massacre of local Somalis…..

MOGADISHU, Somalia—It was around five in the morning when Abdullahi Elmi heard the gunfire. Sitting in his small home in Bariire, in southern Somalia, the farm administrator had been recording the names of the laborers who had worked the day before. Stacks of accounting books sprawled on the floor around him. Across the room, his wife sat with their 3-year-old son who dozed as his mother rocked him back and forth in her arms.

When the sound of gunshots began, Abdullahi thought they were too far away to be heading toward his farm. But within seconds they seemed to grow louder, and closer, sending Abdullahi and his wife, carrying their young son, sprinting through the nearby forest of banana trees in search of safety.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/strong-evidence-that-us-special-operations-forces-massacred-civilians-in-somalia

I do hope that this is just a misreporting of something that happened and that US forces are not involved…..

My day is rough and it is done….be back tomorrow….my friends….chuq

Defining Historical Battles

As a student of conflict I am always finding articles about warfare and I found this one about the world’s most defining battles….

We take certain things in history for granted: Western civilization’s ancient Greek origins, Rome’s stunning domination of the world for hundreds of years or the democracies which have sprung up all over the world etc.

But the things that seem natural now in retrospect (ancient Greek city-states’ progressive concepts, Rome’s pragmatism and efficiency which also translated to the military plane, democracy’s widespread adoption), might not have happened at all!

Because the fate of millions and humanity as a whole can be altered irrevocably by the actions of a small group of individuals or even just one individual. For example, there is a very strong possibility that Nazi Germany would have won the war if it had not chosen to invade Russia, a decision made by Hitler and a handful of his closest that resulted in crippling economic and political consequences for his regime, along with one of the most disastrous military campaign in history.

https://10awesome.com/5-world-defining-historical-battles/

Do you agree with this list?  I think the defeat of the viking Harald Hardrada at Stamford Bridge would have made my list and the Vikings conquering Paris would have also made the list….although they withdrew after being paid by the French nobles.

What say you?  Any battles come to mind?

Li’l Kim’s At It Again

It has been 2 months and not much has come out of North Korea….and then when we least expect it…..Li’l Kim is back with a vengeance.

The two-month lull is over: North Korea has launched another missile, ending a pause in testing that had raised hopes for diplomatic progress. The ballistic missile went up about 3am Wednesday local time and flew east before coming down in the Sea of Japan. “We will take care of it,” President Trump told reporters afterward, per CNBC, but he did not elaborate. Military analysts from the US and South Korea were still assessing the type and scope of the missile. More details and developments:

  • An ICBM? One big question is whether it was a standard missile or one of the intercontinental variety capable of reaching the US. The answer wasn’t immediately clear, but the initial assessment points to an ICBM, according to Pentagon spokesman Col Robert Manning, per Yonhap News Agency.
  • Long flight: Early reports suggest the missile flew for about 50 minutes, which the Guardian reports would be a North Korean record. The Pentagon’s Manning estimates it went about 620 miles, and it may have come down within 200 nautical miles of Japan’s coast, reports the AP. There were conflicting reports on whether it actually flew over Japan, as previous missiles have done.

This most recent test set a couple of records……

North Korea says its latest missile is capable of reaching the entire US mainland—and experts warn that Pyongyang could be right. The Hwasong-15 missile launched early Wednesday went up almost 2,800 miles—10 times the height of the International Space Station—and flew around 590 miles, demonstrating what analysts say is the capability to hit American cities including Washington, DC. “With this system, we can load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States,” North Korean newsreader Ri Chun Hee said in a special broadcast, per the Washington Post. “This signifies that our rocket development process has been completed.” Japanese officials say the intercontinental ballistic missile did not fly over the country, but landed in the sea off its northern coast. In other developments:

  • Game-changer. Analysts say that Pyongyang probably still has some technical hurdles to overcome, including mastering targeting and the ability to deliver heavy warheads, but the launch is still a game-changer, Reuters reports. “We don’t have to like it, but we’re going to have to learn to live with North Korea’s ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons,” says Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program.

Of course Fearless Leader had to open his worthless mouth and out fell the normal crap…….

In a completely inept response, North Korea launched an ICBM, and all the president could say was we will take care of it, and it is a situation we will handle.

Trump said, “I will only tell you we will take care of it. We have Gen. Mattis in the room with us, and we’ve had a long discussion on it. It is a situation that we will handle.”

Experts believe that North Korea can now fire a missile that could reach New York or Washington, D.C. and all Trump can say is that we will handle it. Does the President understand what is going on around him? Does he have the mental capacity to grasp the danger to the world that this threat poses?

When people question Trump’s mental state, responses like this one are exactly what they are talking about. The President Of The United States needs to project strength and have a plan in moments like these. This isn’t an episode of The Apprentice. Trump can’t bluff his way through issues of war and peace.

We’ll handle it is the kind of answer that an in over his head idiot gives when he doesn’t understand the issue and has no intention of doing anything about it.

There is something seriously wrong with Donald Trump. His answer is more proof that he is not fit to be president.

(politicususa.com)

And then our clueless UN ambassador had to open her mouth and let shit fall forth…….

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Wednesday that North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that some observers believe could reach Washington and the entire US Eastern Seaboard “brings us closer” to a war the US doesn’t seek, the AP reports. Haley, speaking at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, said that if war comes as a result of further acts of “aggression” like Tuesday’s launch, “make no mistake the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” “The dictator of North Korea made a decision yesterday that brings us closer to war, not farther from it,” Haley said. “We have never sought war with North Korea and still today we do not seek it.”

The Trump administration threatened new sanctions on North Korea after the reclusive government shattered 2½ months of relative quiet with its most powerful weapon test yet. President Trump tweeted that he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about Pyongyang’s “provocative actions,” and he vowed that “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Trump’s top diplomat, Rex Tillerson, said the US could target financial institutions doing business with the North. The fresh deliberations about new forms of punishment for North Korea came after its government said it successfully fired a “significantly more” powerful, nuclear-capable ICBM it called the Hwasong-15. Outside governments and analysts concurred the North had made a jump in missile capability.

Does this douche realize that her words could,be construed as a declaration of war?

She then proceeded to dictate what China should or else……..

“We now turn to President Xi to also take that stand. We believe he has an opportunity to do the right thing for the benefit of all countries. China must show leadership and follow through. China can do this on its own, or we can take the oil situation into our own hands,” she said.

How do you think that ultimatum will sit in the craw of the Chinese?

THe one “bright” spot that I saw was something that Li’l Kim had to say after the last test…..”North Korea has declared itself a full nuclear power, saying they have the ability to deliver a “super-large heavy warhead” anywhere within the mainland United States now.”

North Korea has long believed that negotiation could only take place once the US was no longer able to hold the threat of attacking over their head

This could be the perfect time to try diplomacy….but the problem is that we have NO diplomats other than a clueless SecState and a president that is suffer from on-set dementia.

For 10 months Trump has promised that NK would never become a nuclear power and in one missile test Li’l Kim made Trump out a liar (we all knew he was but this just confirms it)……

As the Trump administration seeks to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power, it will probably want to close the barn door as well, now that the horse has gotten out.

Tuesday’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile simply underscores the status quo. It changed nothing. North Korea is a nuclear power. It also has a highly sophisticated missile program. The two will soon be linked—if they’re not already—and Pyongyang will shortly have the ability to launch nuclear attacks on the U.S. mainland. (By the way, can we marvel for a moment at the technical aptitude of the North Koreans? This impoverished, isolated country has managed to build weapons of fearsome strength and remarkable sophistication. They’ve literally mastered rocket science, under the most arduous of circumstances.)

http://www.weeklystandard.com/its-over-north-korea-is-a-nuclear-power/article/2010644

Trump inherited a shit sandwich but that does not absolve him from doing the right thing……that is if the nit wit is capable of doing anything right……

US President Donald Trump certainly has a point when he complains that he inherited the difficult problem in North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has shown no interest in negotiation, or even in listening to what anyone has to say about his reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the long-range missiles needed to deliver them.

But the fact that Trump inherited the problem does not absolve him of responsibility for addressing it. So far, he has failed even to articulate, much less implement, a strategy for dealing with North Korea. Almost one year into his presidency, his only achievement has been to secure additional sanctions at the United Nations. Worse still, his bitter complaints about his predecessors suggest that he has no idea what to do next.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/trumps-missing-north-korea-strategy/

So yet another opportunity to avoid a possible war will be missed…..that we can count on.

He’s Not Dead, He’s Our Leader

Does anyone remember a dude by the name of al-Baghdadi?  He is the spiritual leader of ISIS.  The US is said to have maimed him in an airstrike…..then the Syrian claimed to have killed him in an airstrike of their own….then word came out that he was well and doing fine and now a new twist to the saga that is his life……

Jabbar al-Maamouri, a senior leader at the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq has declared that Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Salafi militant terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) is now in the hands of the US forces.

According to the source, al-Maamouri assured that the US forces will not kill the terrorist leader unless they are forced or obliged to do so. He also added that if this is the case, then it will for sure happen in a Hollywood-like manner.

The news was announced only two days after al-Maamouri was quoted saying that several senior leaders of the Islamic State remain in hiding at the Diyala-Salahuddin borders.

As Iraqi troops managed to gain control, on Friday, on headquarters of the group’s leadership in the depth of the desert as well as a booby-trapping workshop, the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said that twenty-one Islamic State members, including Arab and foreign militants, were killed, while twenty villages were liberated. IS members escaped their locations toward the desert depth of desert in Mosul, Salahuddin and Anbar.

The Upper Euphrates and al-Jazeera Combing Operations, previously announced that joint troops started a wide-scale operation to liberate al-Jazeera regions located between Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar.

Joint troops had managed to free several residential areas in Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala and Kirkuk from Islamic State, which urged the militants to escape toward Al-Jazeera regions in those provinces.

The senior leader further pointed out that ISIS also known as Daesh “has prepared the grounds for the US so that it can return to Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism.”

Earlier in June, Russia’s Foreign Ministry had said there is a high degree of certainty that Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead.

The statement, carried by RIA news agency back then doubled down on Moscow’s claim last week that its forces may have killed the secretive terrorist leader. The Russian authorities did not produce any proof since the initial claim was made while Iraqi officials were skeptical about it.

Later in September, a top U.S. military commander who cited new intelligence said that al-Baghdadi is likely still alive.

Well if true what does that mean for ISIS?

After I wrote this draft yet another report of his death surfaced……

ISIS has finally admitted its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, according to reports in Iraq.

The terror group is said to have confirmed that the 45-year-old was killed in an air strike in the Iraqi province of Nineveh.

Reports claim ISIS fanatics are scrambling to find a successor to the terror chief, who announced the formation of the group’s so-called caliphate in Mosul in 2014.

A ban on jihadis talking about the leader’s death has now been lifted, according to a source who spoke to Iraqi media.

If confirmed, his death would mark another devastating blow to the jihadist group after its loss of Mosul, which Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday had been retaken from ISIS after a gruelling months-long campaign.

(dailymmail.co.uk)

Will someone please make up our minds for us….and soon.

Business Models Of War

Since the mid-60’s to be in charge of the Pentagon you need a business school degree to be successful.

The American military is infatuated with the latest business models and their potential application for war. Bureaucracies are not agile organizations, as a rule, and just as the Pentagon institutes the previous decade’s top-selling business management method, it seems corporate America has already moved on to the Next Big Thing. A list of the 25 top-selling business management books, sorted by publication date, reads like a slightly delayed litany of ideal business-to-war manifestos.[1] Nonetheless, in his most recent memorandum, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis echoed many of his predecessors in encouraging all members of the military to “bring business reforms to the Department of Defense.

Secretary Mattis follows a long line of similar efforts. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (1961-67) directly inserted systems analysis business practices developed while at Ford Motor Company into both weapons acquisition programs and war-planning/assessment models in an effort to increase military efficiency during the Vietnam War, with at least equivocal results in military effectiveness.[3] Secretary William Cohen (1997-2001) similarly directed the Pentagon to initiate a revolution in military affairs (RMA) based on an ongoing “revolution in business affairs” to “streamline, … downsize, [and] outsource” for improved efficiency.[4] Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (1975-77, 2001-06), who served as the CEO of three major corporations between stints in government, transferred then-popular business modelling of information systems into the military through a process called transformation.[5] Secretary Chuck Hagel (2013-15), in announcing the Defense Innovation Initiative (DII), flatly asserted that the Department of Defense “must embrace better business practices that are core to any modern enterprise, private or public.”

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/22/on_the_business_models_of_war_112669.html

The Murder Of Joe Hill

In my younger years I was a labor organizer for the IWW….I worked mainly with bartenders and casino workers….you have not lived until you try to organize workers at at a casino…..

Anyway as a organizer for the IWW I learned about the early days and especially about one of the “saints” of the labor movement, Joe Hill…..who was murdered in November1915 ……learn more about this extraordinary man……

Don’t mourn – organise!
Joel Emmanuel Haaglund was born in Gefle, Sweden in 1882. He emigrated to the United States in 1901 and settled in California where he changed his name to Joe Hill. Converted to socialism in 1910, Hill became a member of the revolutionary rank-and-file union the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and was one of the leaders of the San Pedro dock workers’ strike. In 1912 he was beaten up and permanently scarred during a free speech campaign in San Diego.

Hill, left, was also a songwriter and his socialist songs appeared in the trade union newspapers, Industrial Worker and Solidarity. After his Red Songbook was published his songs were sung on picket lines and demonstrations. Songs such as The Preacher and the Slave (the phrase “pie in the sky” originates from a lyric in this song) and Casey Jones – The Union Scab became internationally known folk songs.

(read on)…..

He was jailed and executed by firing squad in Salt Lake City, Utah…..his final wish was to Big Bill Haywood leader of the IWW….. “Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don’t want to be found dead in Utah.”

Below is a song about Joe Hill sung by Paul Robeson…..

More songs from the IWW…..

Closing Thought–29Nov17

The Elephant And The Donkey

For as long as I can remember the symbols of each party has been used in news stories, cartoons, everywhere…..but have you ever wondered where that symbolism came from?

Well in case you care….I can help out…..

It all started with an insult. During Andrew Jackson’s 1828 presidential campaign, his political opponents labeled him a “jackass.” Stubborn as he was, Jackson co-opted the insult and began putting a donkey on his election posters. For the rest of his career and even into his retirement, newspapers and cartoonists continued to represent Jackson either as a stubborn ass or struggling to control one.

Almost 40 years later, the donkey was used to represent not just Jackson, but a larger group of Democrats. In 1870, Thomas Nast, the German-born political cartoonist who gave us the versions of Santa Claus and Uncle Sam we know today, drew a cartoon for Harper’s Weekly titled “A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion.” The donkey was a stand-in for “Copperhead Democrats” (the Northern Democrats that opposed the Civil War), and the lion represented Edwin M. Stanton, Abraham Lincoln’s recently deceased Secretary of War. Nast thought of the Copperheads as anti-Union and believed the Democratic press’s treatment of Stanton was disrespectful.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/23805/how-did-donkey-elephant-become-political-mascots

See a history lesson is not all that bad…….

Tomorrow and I will return with more stuff…..chuq

Misconceptions Of World War One

We are in the middle of the 100 year anniversary of the First World War…..the Great War…..the War to end all wars…..a war the  changed the world forever.

There are many misconceptions about this war…..it is just too simple to say that it all began with an assassination….true a dude was killed and an empire got its panties in a twist but there is so much more to the situation that some simplistic BS.

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was a kind of 9/11 moment for the Austrian leadership. It altered their politics and produced a completely unbroken consensus in favour of war. Prior to the killing, records show that the Austrians were focusing on diplomatic solutions to the Balkans crisis, but after the assassination everything changed.

The archduke was not a popular man in Austria but nonetheless the fact that he was killed upset people hugely. This, after all, was also an attack on the monarchy and the Habsburg state, so it caused an immense shock. At the same time, his dying words to his wife about the couple’s children generated a lot of sympathy for him.

http://www.historyextra.com/article/premium/great-misconceptions-first-world-war

Granted this war does not mean as much to the US as it does to the people of Europe…..but we here in the US should be just as engulfed in this anniversary as Europe…..for the US came out of that war as one of the world’s great powers and we never looked back.

We should be studying this war in finite detail……what would the US be if it had not ventured into this war?  Would we be the power we are today?

World war One should be paramount on the minds of Americans…..but instead we barely acknowledge the event at all.

I guess it is up to the old professor to hammer the event home and make sure it is not forgotten like so much of American history.

Revenge By Government

Remember when the Repubs bought into the conspiracy that the president, Obama, and the IRS were out to get conserv groups?  Oh yeah that was a meme for a long time and it was spread like so much manure on a field.  It was pure conserv bullsh*t.

Well guess what?

Looks like Fearless Leader is doing that which the Dems were accused of in the past…..

Do you remember the “IRS scandal”? Unlike the conspiracy theories supported by “crazy” Republicans, like birtherism and Sharia law spreading in the U.S., the IRS scandal is one of the conspiracy theories supported by “Establishment” Republicans, like climate-science denial and Benghaaaazi. The premise of the “IRS scandal” held that the agency, supported explicitly or implicitly by the Obama administration, targeted conservative groups for harassment. Years of investigation by Congress and the IRS Inspector General firmly proved the opposite. The IRS, trying to enforce ambiguous rules governing political activity by nonprofit groups, flagged organizations on both the right and left in roughly equal measure.

The intensity of the IRS conspiracy theory petered out, but has never surrendered its place in the right-wing imagination. (Indeed, Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn regurgitated the fantasy again yesterday.) The “IRS Scandal” has some importance beyond its insight into conservative paranoia. It has turned out to prefigure the Republicans’ own blueprint for the use of government as an implement of partisan domination and revenge.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/the-retaliatory-state-trump-using-government-as-revenge.html

Government as a tool for revenge?  What an interesting turn of events….

The End Of Endism

This post is going to cover a whole bunch of theories about society….a mish mash to keep my readers on their toes…….I wish that the endism today was about the end of my health issues but no such luck…….I have a day for tests so I may not be around like normal…..please bear with me and I will return to normal as soon as I can.

Not long ago a dude named Fukuyama put forth a theory about the end of history….it was called endism.

Readers of The American Conservative—or anyone else interested in understanding how the United States in recent decades managed to squander so much so fast—might want to check out the Fall 2017 issue of the quarterly Hedgehog Review. The theme of this particular issue is “The End of the End of History?,” a reference to the essay that (question mark and all) catapulted Francis Fukuyama to global fame back in 1989. History had “ended,” Fukuyama proposed, when the passing of the Cold War left liberal democratic capitalism—a.k.a., the American Way of Life—without a plausible challenger. Our way had become the only way as others would inevitably acknowledge.

In fact, in the years that followed, history proved to be more resilient, willful, and stubbornly opaque than Fukuyama and the legions rushing to endorse “endism” imagined. With climate change endangering the planet and a sitting American president threatening “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” the end might be near, but it’s not the end that Fukuyama’s acolytes had in mind back when the collapse of communism seemingly resolved life’s ultimate questions.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-end-of-endism/

Got you attention yet?

Now if you watch much history on the boob tube then you will hear about the collapse of civilizations……like the collapse of the Roman civilization….or the Maya….so on.

But do civilizations really collapse?

There’s a common story of how the Maya civilisation was wiped out: they fell foul of unstoppable climate change. Several periods of extreme drought withered their crops and killed off thousands in their overpopulated cities. ‘There was nothing they could do or could have done. In the end, the food and water ran out – and they died,’ wrote Richardson Gill in 2007. The jungle reclaimed the cities with their palaces and pyramids until they were rediscovered in the 19th century by intrepid explorers.

Likewise, we all know that the Easter Islanders chopped down all the palm trees on their small, isolated island to clear farmland for their ever-growing population and to move their characteristic moai statues, not realising that they were eroding their landscape, reducing their food production, and ultimately cutting themselves off from the bounty of the sea – and the possibility of escape. The Europeans who found the island in the 18th century wondered how such primitive people could ever have had a civilisation developed enough to carve the majestic stone heads.

https://aeon.co/essays/what-the-idea-of-civilisational-collapse-says-about-history

Now we turn to “modernism”…….

The America Conservative looks at “modernism” and conservatism…….

Nearly 30 years before he shocked National Review by endorsing Barack Obama for president, senior editor Jeffery Hart announced a divorce of a different kind from the American right. With “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to a Modern American Conservatism”—published in The New Right Papers in 1982 and previewed in NR a few months earlier—Hart split with tradition and declared himself on the side of modernism in art, literature, and morals.

“Despite its recent victories, the conservative cause has been creating unnecessary difficulties for itself,” he wrote, and as “a professor of English at Dartmouth, a senior editor of National Review, and a conservative activist”—he might have added former Reagan speechwriter—Hart knew better than most what limits the right’s philosophy ran up against. “The fact is, a lot of my students are not sold on conservatism. … They think conservatives are preppies against sex.”

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/modernism-conservatism/

Now you have a wide array of theories that have been passed down over the decades….and handle in a true IST method…..is there anything you would like to add to the conversation?