Closing Thought–21Nov17

Are We Turning Into Toddlers?

For awhile now I have been bitching about how society is reverting back to childhood….with Gummi vitamins, flavored water, etc.

And now the American Conservative has taken up this aspect of modern society…..

A specter is comforting America—the specter of self-care.

In April 2015, Amazon’s best-selling book in the United States was not the recipient of a Booker Prize or a Pulitzer Prize. It was not even a work of literature; it was an adult coloring book by Johanna Basford. In August 2015, the American Art Therapy Association publicly endorsed “the use of coloring books for pleasure and self-care.”

The same year, Michelle Joni Lapidos and Candice Kilpatrick started a preschool for adults in New York City, and a Nova Scotian business venture that sought to place customers in womb-like sensory-deprivation tanks reached 176 percent of its funding target on Indiegogo. At the same time, diatribes about the self-protection of university students blanketed the mainstream press.

Adult coloring books?  seriously?  My granddaughter has moved beyond them and yet we adults are back to coloring between the lines….

This is just too sad for words.

Day is done…time for me to return to my cave and wait for another day to dawn so I can impact some knowledge on my faithful readers…..until then….Peace….chuq

Kasserine Pass: A Humiliating Defeat

Operation Torch saw Americans troops land in North Africa to take on the Nazi’s best general, Rommel….the problem is that our troops were not ready to meet the likes of the Afrika Corps of the Germans…

One action was America’s worse defeat of World War Two…..Kasserine Pass in Tunisia.

Beware a Desert Fox when he’s cornered.

It was North Africa, in the winter of 1943, and American soldiers were feeling cocky as they prepared for their first ground battle against the Germans in World War II. So far, it hadn’t been a bad war for the U.S. Army. The GIs were well fed, well paid and well equipped, especially compared to their threadbare and envious British allies. Even better, their baptism by fire had been to splash ashore in Algeria and Morocco in November 1942, where the defenders had been unmotivated Vichy French soldiers who soon capitulated.

Maybe defeating Hitler wouldn’t be so hard, after all.

The GIs should have remembered what the British had learned the hard way: never underestimate the Germans. Soon Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, admiringly dubbed the “Desert Fox” by the British, would teach the rookie Americans a lesson on the art of war at a dusty defile called Kasserine Pass.

While America and its allies were successful in beating the Nazis in World War Two….Kasserine Pass was a doubt in the minds of our generals.

Check For Runaway Slaves

Since 1865 the US has been slave free….and you would think that in the 21st century that slavery would be a thing of the past, right?

You would be greatly mistaken as I was when I first read an article about this situation……

Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labour. But the new testimony from the International Organization for Migration suggests that the trade in human beings has become so normalised that people are being traded in public.

“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

The north African nation is a major exit point for refugees from Africa trying to take boats to Europe. But since the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi, the vast, sparsely populated country has slid into violent chaos and migrants with little cash and usually no papers are particularly vulnerable.

CNN brought this story to light…..they should be commended for finding this story and digging for the facts…..

CNN recently released an exclusive report detailing slave auctions occurring across Libya. Migrants and refugees, comprised of people who have travelled to Libya with the hopes of a better future, are being auctioned off. Instead of providing them with a better future, the smugglers sold them to labourers for under one thousand U.S. dollars. After seeing footage of such an auction taking place, CNN travelled to Libya to investigate further and to verify the information. The journalists witnessed one auction outside Tripoli and were told of at least eight others across the country – and there is believed to be more.

While CNN’s report may be bringing this issue to the attention of the mainstream media, this is not a new development. Mohammed Abdiker, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Director of Operation and Emergencies, called the slave market in Libya “dire” after visiting earlier this year. In April, the Independent talked to migrants in a rehabilitation centre run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Sicily. Here they heard stories from Nigerian men who had spent time in Libya on their journey to Europe. While there, they were made to do hard labour, threatened with guns if they refused to work or asked for pay. This is not an isolated incident. IOM estimated almost half of the migrants arriving in Italy had been forced into work, 90% of this taking place in Libya.

The world and most media outlets do not want to report on such stories…..for no one cares about Africa… they ignore an important story as slave trade in Libya.

I have lost some respect for CNN over the last couple of decades…..but they have gained my respect for this story.

Are Dems Moving In The Right Direction?

The round of recent elections have found Dems in the cat bird seat……but does this mean that 2018 will go their way?

Personally , I think that the Dems are reading too much into their recent wins…..The LA progressive has seen this phenom pretty mush as I have……

The base is critical to victory — and it wants to move left. If you’re a Democrat, there’s a name for that unfamiliar emotion you were feeling last Tuesday night. It’s called happiness. But there is a serious risk that the party will draw the wrong lessons from last week’s results.

Here are seven important lessons from the November 7 results that a lot of Democrats seem to have missed.

The DNC has done yet another autopsy and their findings are not all that encouraging…..

• Aggregated data and analysis show that policies, operations and campaign priorities of the national Democratic Party undermined support and turnout from its base in the 2016 general election. Since then, the Democratic leadership has done little to indicate that it is heeding key lessons from the 2016 disaster.

• The Democratic National Committee and the party’s congressional leadership remain bent on prioritizing the chase for elusive Republican voters over the Democratic base: especially people of color, young people and working-class voters overall.

• After suffering from a falloff of turnout among people of color in the 2016 general election, the party appears to be losing ground with its most reliable voting bloc, African-American women. “The Democratic Party has experienced an 11 percent drop in support from black women according to one survey, while the percentage of black women who said neither party represents them went from 13 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2017.”

There is more….read on below……..

The Dems in my opinion still do not have a message other than “not Trump”……I think it will take more to win a deciding victory in 2018 other than “Not Trump”


ISIS This, ISIS That

Does anyone remember ISIS?  I ask because not much is in the news these days…..with all the sex and Russia stuff….ISIS has been pushed to the back page….but we still have troops that are fighting their way to crush this barbaric bunch of pigs.

When was the last time you heard the term “ISIS” used?

Been awhile, huh?

Good thing you found your way to IST….we have news and more…..

ISIS may be sliding from the news but they have gone no where…….

ISIL’s shift to guerrilla tactics has been underway since early last year. As the group lost more territory, it gradually adjusted its tactics to adapt to its new environment and to the relentless air and ground campaign against it. But on October 12, ISIL officially telegraphed its intention to switch to full insurgency mode. The group’s Arabic bulletin Al Naba published a report detailing the last time the organisation was obliged to do the same. Such a shift, the report added, has now become a necessity. The report puts into perspective the way the militants have been fighting, or not fighting, over the past month.

According to the report, the group’s previous incarnation, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, had become too weak to engage in fighting after intense battles throughout 2006 and 2007. The group was then on the run in Iraq and its top leaders at the time, Abu Omar Al Baghdadi and Abu Hamza Al Muhajir, felt compelled to make what the bulletin described as an “unprecedented and bold decision”.

The group is plotting attacks from Afghanistan…..

ISIS is using safe haven in Afghanistan and Pakistan to plan attacks in the U.S. ISIS operatives in Pakistan, Canada, and the Philippines planned a major coordinated attack against New York City in early 2016, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The cell planned to attack civilians in Times Square using firearms and suicide vests made using the signature ISIS explosive TATP. A U.S. citizen and ISIS operative in Pakistan told an undercover FBI asset that he received authorization from ISIS’s “Wilayat Khorasan” in Afghanistan for the attack. American, Canadian, Pakistani, and Philippine authorities dismantled the cell after the ISIS operative in Canada attempted to cross into the U.S. The cell’s geographic disposition indicates ISIS shifted more of its external operations activity out of Syria and Iraq. ISIS previously exported an external operations cell to Libya in December 2015, which is supporting ISIS’s attack campaign in Europe.

Where will ISIS find their next stronghold?

The fall of its de facto Syrian capital Raqqa last month signaled the death of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East. On Friday, Syrian troops retook Deir ez-Zor, the last major city with an ISIS presence, just as Iraqi forces took over the crossing in al-Qaim, near the group’s final urban stronghold.

As the group flees the Middle East, it has two obvious destinations: Central and South Asia. Central Asia has accounted for upwards of 5,000 ISIS troops, and South Asia has 40 percent of the global Muslim population – and indeed an entire dedicated ISIS faction – making the region the natural destination for fleeing militants.

As you can see…..they may be defeated but only momentarily…..they will be back……you can bet on that sure thing.

The Hidden Cost Of Religious Hypocrisy

We have a lot of religious manure being spread these days…..Christians are firmly behind a pedophile well several pedopiles and they pretend that they are following some precept of Christianity while supporting these people…..they are not as far as I was taught in my early days of Christian training…..Christianity has become a joke to the rest of the world….Gandhi had statement about Christianity….”It is is lovely ideal too bad it has never been tried” (a paraphrase).

Hypocrisy is running deep in religious circles these days….one candidate in the South says that he is running for a seat the God wants him to have….how pretentious is that?

Back to the religious hypocrisy……..

I’m standing and clapping for Bethany S. Mandel’s op-ed in The New York Times today.  If you don’t know her name or her work, she’s a politically and socially conservative Orthodox Jew. As an adult, she was received into Orthodox Judaism by Rabbi Barry Freundel … who, it came out later, was secretly videotaping women as they undressed and entered into the ritual mikvah bath. Mandel was one of those caught on the dirty rabbi’s camera. He’s now in jail. Excerpts from her column:

It’s hard to describe the depth of my feeling of betrayal. As a convert, I wasn’t just another student of Rabbi Freundel. My faith and practice — my Judaism — was shaped by his words, deeds and thought. For those of us victimized by trusted religious leaders, every day is a struggle to disentangle our negative associations of beautiful rituals from the ugly abusers who taught us about their meaning.

I am sorry but religion is killing itself with all its hypocrisy……we need to get back to religious basics….until then it will forever remain a joke.