Closing Thought–14Nov17

Last week parts of the country went to the polls to elect various candidates from city council to House of Delegates….and you will not believe what happened…..Democratic Socialists made in-roads where no roads were possible just a few short years ago.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) today announced that its membership now includes 15 new elected officials. This is in addition to 20 elected already in offices around the United States. On Tuesday the DSA was represented in 25 elections across 13 different states. Four of those running have national endorsements from the DSA, and many others were supported by our local chapters.

http://www.dsausa.org/15_dsa_members_elected

Some areas have not seen a socialist elected since the days of Eugene Debs back in the early days of the 20th century.

I saw one Tweet by a mental midget on the Right who called the DSA members as “radical Marxists”……apparently this idiot knows NOTHING about DSA….they are not Marxist by any stretch of the imagination.

About time that Americans realized what a Democratic Socialists stood for…..if you listen to the half wits on the right then you will be misinformed…..DSA works for the people not the corporations…..keep that in mind and you cannot go wrong.

To learn more about the DSA…….

http://www.dsausa.org/

This is good I feel because it is allowing yet another layer of political discourse into the conversation…..and that cannot be anything but good……another way to make the republic even stronger than in the past.

Most of these position are a local sort…..can the DSA play on a wider scale?

MY day is over….I must leave my friends until tomorrow when I shall return with more stuff…..chuq

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Trip From Hell–Trump Style

Our Fearless Leader should be landing in DC soon and he will be back on his natural ground with Twitter in one hand and his vitriol in the other…..he can go back to his childish insults of all the displease him.

But let’s look at his international trip…..what did he accomplish with this long trip? A record setting trip.

Did North Korea succumb to his charm?  NO!  Do we have new trading agreements with China?  NO!  Putin denied, according to Trump, that he or his country had anything to do with the hack in 2016.  What the Hell was the purpose of going to the Philippines? To get a few accolades from a demented toad.  He did con Japan into buying a mess of defense weaponry….and that stop in Vietnam….what was accomplished there?  Not much that I could see.

But according to Fearless Leader….it was a helluva trip….

President Trump headed for home Tuesday following an extensive tour of Asia that he said had been “tremendously successful” and had put the world on notice that the “rules have changed” for countries that want to trade with the US. Trump also teased a “major statement” on trade and the trip later this week at the White House, where he’s expected to promote congressional Republicans’ plan to overhaul the nation’s tax code, the AP reports. As Air Force One rolled down the runway in Manila in the Philippines, Trump told reporters traveling with him that “it’s been a really great 12 days.” And on trade, the president said confidently that US trading partners “will be treating us much differently than before.”

“The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion,” he tweeted Tuesday. “The massive TRADE deficits must go down quickly!” Trump pressed that point on every stop of the grueling tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, blaming his predecessors for yawning trade imbalances and declaring that the United States will no longer be taken advantage of under his watch. “We’ve had a tremendously successful trip,” Trump told reporters. “Tremendous amounts of work was done on trade.” Trump said $300 billion in deals had been reached, a sum he predicted would more than triple in a short period of time. He also spoke warmly of the “many good friends” he had made on the trip, including Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Fearless Leader has promised a speech some time this week about his trip and the progress made.  My guess is that the only progress made was he, Trump, got patted on the back by world leaders and that was what this trip was all about.

And afterwards we can have Sarah Huckabee whats-her-name explain what the president has just said…..I am sure it will no be clear and we will need her take the large lies and  shrink them down to smaller lies that are more easily digestible.

Shaka Zulu

I was surfing through the terrible choice of TV channels looking for something anything that I could watch…..nothing jumped out to me until I came across a documentary on the South African king from the 18th century….Shaka Zulu……

I recall watching this documentary some 20-30 years ago and found it a fascinating look at the history of the British Empire and South Africa….

Shaka was a great Zulu king and conqueror. He lived in an area of south-east Africa between the Drakensberg and the Indian Ocean, a region populated by many independent Nguni chiefdoms. During his brief reign more than a hundred chiefdoms were brought together in a Zulu kingdom which survived not only the death of its founder but later military defeat and calculated attempts to break it up.

Shaka was a son of Senzangakhona, ruler of an insignificant small chiefdom, the Zulu. His mother was Nandi, the daughter of a Langeni chief. Information about Shaka’s early years is gleaned entirely from oral sources. It is claimed that Shaka was born into Senzangakhona’s household but that the couple were not yet married according to traditional custom. A more credible account is that the relationship between Nandi and Senzangakhona was illicit, and that Shaka was born in Langeni territory at the Nguga homestead of Nandi’s uncle. Shaka’s name is said to stem from Senzangakhona’s claim that Nandi was not pregnant but was suffering from an intestinal condition caused by the iShaka beetle. Despite his attempts to deny paternity, Senzangakhona eventually installed Nandi as his third wife. Shaka thus spent his earliest years at his father’s esiKlebeni homestead near present Babanango, in the hallowed locality known as the EmaKhosini or Burial-place of the Kings, where Senzangakhona’s forebears, the descendants of Zulu (Nkosinkulu), had been chiefs for generations. The relationship of Senzangakhona and Nandi seems to have been unhappy and ended in the chieftain driving Nandi from his court.

Source: Shaka Zulu | South African History Online

If one gets the chance to watch this documentary then I suggest you do so…..warning there is a lot of nudity but the historic content is just great.

God–Country–Guns

Note: Before a reader gets his.her hackles up….read the posts then make your case….thanx…..chuq

We have had another horrific shooting this time in a church setting in Texas…..and as usual it is too early to have a conversation about these guns and the fools that use them to destroy life and cause panic.

But it is time for a realistic conversation about gun control….I am not talking about confiscating guns……I am speaking about the use of assault weapons by civilians to cause mayhem and kill indiscriminately.

But we have to get past the mentality of God–Country–Guns….

Yesterday, I saw a sticker on a pickup truck that read “God, Country, Guns.”  To me, that sticker made as much sense as “God, Country, Hammers” or “God, Country, Bicycles.”  A gun is just that: a tool, an object, like a hammer or a bicycle, only much more dangerous in the wrong hands.

But many Americans don’t look at guns as tools, as objects, as a deadly technology that requires great care and also strict regulations.  They identify it with God and Country.  They see it as representing certain values, such as freedom and liberty and individuality.  For some men, guns are synonymous with masculinity.  They are symbols of potency.  Of agency.  They are worthy of protection, indeed of a lifelong vow, ’til death do us part.  Hence the catchphrase, “you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

https://www.laprogressive.com/god-country-guns/

Before any one has a fit….I own guns and I believe that all Americans have the right to own guns….just that the population does not need assault weapons….these weapons are for warfare not preventive maintenance of the household.

NRA needs to instigate these talks….it would look better for them in the media….but they will not for they work for the gun lobby not the membership……

A recent article……

In the aftermath of a shooting, there’s always a heated debate about guns in our country—one often fraught with bombast and vitriol. The high tension and emotion make sense: shooter Devin Kelley’s attack on congregants at Sutherland Springs’ First Baptist Church this past Sunday ended with 26 dead and 20 wounded. But all too often, our debates following such carnage result in little other than deeper division and venom between left and right.

Much of this vitriol stems from widely differing perceptions of the gun between these two circles. On the right, a gun is not always viewed as just another weapon. It’s often seen as a symbol: of resistance to tyranny, of autonomy and self-sufficiency, and even of traditionalism or groundedness. A plethora of pro-gun, Second Amendment-touting bumper stickers abound on the internet, as well as t-shirts, hats, and mugs. All of them hint at a libertarian individualism, a savvy self-determination that transcends what’s popular or “safe.”

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-gun-as-symbol-who-owns-it/

Excellent points if one would look at the situation calmly…….but that is too far from reality for when the subject is brought up it takes on a life of its own…..people are dying…..maybe now would be good time to face reality.

Operation Torch

What is Operation Torch?

My uncle was part of this…..it was the US and allied landing in North Africa, 1942.

I apologize for I was going to post this on the day it happened, 08 November, but as usual I got sidetracked by medical stuff….

My uncle Bill was part of this landing he was assigned to Big Red One…the US Army’s First Division.

Wednesday, Nov. 8 marks the 75th anniversary of the North Africa landings by Allied forces during World War II. The 1942 landings, which constituted America’s first operation fighting Germans in the European theater, protected assets and territory around the Mediterranean and served as the launching point for the Sicilian and Italian invasions the following year.

What many do not appreciate is that U.S. military guidance at the time advocated against the landings. The joint chiefs were overruled by President Franklin D Roosevelt, who was concerned about the domestic political implications of delaying an invasion after the November congressional elections.  Archival evidence from the Roosevelt Presidential Library, Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s diaries, and oral histories given by Army Chief of Staff George Marshall reveal that domestic political priorities shaped—in fact, drove—the American president’s decision-making about military operations in 1942.

https://warontherocks.com/2017/11/16075/

My uncle fought through North Africa and on to Sicily and onto the Italian mainland…..where he was wounded at Monte Casino  while assigned to 1st Special Service Force…..

I post this in his memory……I miss you Uncle Bill.

Remember Syria?

I know that there have been more important stories for the media to cover like a presidential trip or the latest election or the most recent gun attack on innocent by-standers but regardless the war in Syria continues……even with American troops in the thick of things it is not important enough to report….how sad!

That leaves it up to me to keep my readers abreast of the situation in Syria……the news is that the Syrian army has seized the LAST ISIS stronghold in the country…..

The Syrian military has announced that troops backed by Shi’ite militias have successfully captured Abu Kamal, the ISIS-held city on the main border with Iraq, and the “last” stronghold of ISIS fighters in the country.

Syrian forces have been advancing toward the border along the Euphrates River for months, and finally hit the Iraqi border today with this victory. Iraqi forces captured their side of the border, al-Qaim just last week.

This marks the approximate end of ISIS as a territory-holding power in Iraq and Syria for the time being, though in practice ISIS still holds villages in a few places, and has substantial numbers of fighters spread around both countries to carry out insurgencies.

If anything, the end of ISIS as a de facto state may mean they grow all the more aggressive as an insurgency, as they will no longer have to commit so many forces to defending their borders or policing locals. ISIS was a massive group carrying out large-scale terror attacks even before they seized any territory, and their return to this has been anticipated for some time.

(antiwar.com)

Notice that I said Syrian Army, not Free Syrian Army or US backed rebels but rather the Syrian Army……

With the success of the Syrian Army the Middle East will be reshaped……

The failure of the U.S.-Israeli-Saudi “regime change” project in Syria changes the future of the Mideast, possibly ushering in an era of greater secularism and tolerance, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

Plainly, Syria’s success – notwithstanding the caution of President Bashar al-Assad in saying that signs of success are not success itself – in resisting, against the odds, all attempts to fell the state suggest that a tipping point in the geopolitics of the region has occurred.

We have written before how the Syria outcome dwarfs that of Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, significant though the result of that war was, too.

Both events taken together have brought America’s unipolar moment in the Middle East to an end (though not globally, since the U.S. still retains its necklace of military bases across the region). The successes have corroded badly the reputation of the Gulf States and have discredited fired-up Sunni jihadism as a “go-to” political tool for Saudi Arabia and its Western backers.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/30/how-syrias-victory-reshapes-mideast/

Good news ISIS izs losing its grip in Syria as well as Iraq….but does that mean we have heard the last of this barbaric group…..sorry to say….not a chance……

ISIS’ territorial control in Iraq and Syria is eroding.

In Syria, the fall of its self-declared capital in Raqqa and its last military bastion in Deir ez-Zor have forced ISIS toward the Iraqi border.

In Iraq, the liberation of Mosul and Tal Afar have ISIS fighters retreating toward the Syrian border, where they are being hunted down in a final push by Iraqi forces.

On October 21, President Trump said “the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.”

https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-isis-is-losing-its-grip-in-iraq-and-syr/f-2dfad9282a%2Fbusinessinsider.com

That means that the US will have fresh killing ground in the very near future.

The Silent Nuke Creep

North Korea has nukes and is in search if a delivery system……Iran has a nuke and a delivery systems but has chosen the but Iran has chosen a settlement to make their point….but of course Trump will side with Israel and the dummies and pretend that Iran is not doing what is necessary…..but the they are  any other narrative is a lie!

But while Trump is tying to gin up a war with either North Korea or Iran…..China is quietly expanding their nuke arsenal…..(say what?  Are you sure?)

China is the only nuclear weapon state recognized by the Nonproliferation Treaty that is actively expanding its nuclear arsenal. Its nuclear forces have increased modestly from an estimated 130 to 200 warheads in 2006 to an estimated 170 to 260 today. The qualitative changes to its nuclear forces have been more significant, with the introduction of more mobile solid-fueled missiles, multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), and an emerging fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).

This modernization program has raised concerns over the past several years that China is currently attempting or might soon attempt a nuclear breakout. Concerns of a Chinese breakout come in two forms: either that Beijing will develop a nuclear warfighting capability that could neutralize U.S. conventional superiority, or that Beijing will expand its strategic arsenal to achieve parity with the United States, which could undercut U.S. security commitments to its regional allies.

https://warontherocks.com/2017/11/china-nuclear-weapons-breakout/

Trade deals notwithstanding….maybe the US should keep an eye on their nukes and the arsenal they are build=up to…..