Closing Thought–22Novv17

Big Win For ComCast!

I am so pleased with the Trump choice to run the FCC….thanx to this douche and his boss we internet users are about to be humped hard.

Big broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon scored a big victory on Tuesday: FCC chief Ajit Pai is following through on his pledge to ditch net neutrality. More specifically, Pai has taken a key step toward repealing 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally. The concept, known as net neutrality, imposed utility-style regulation on ISPs to prevent them from favoring their own digital services over their rivals, reports the AP. Pai believes the net neutrality rules adopted during the Obama administration discourage the ISPs from making investments in their network to provide even better and faster online access. Supporters of net neutrality think customers will end up being gouged when the rules go away, as the companies set higher prices for certain content.

Pai distributed his alternative plan to other FCC commissioners Tuesday in preparation for a Dec. 14 vote on the proposal. That vote “could reshape the entire digital ecosystem,” per the Washington Post, which expects Pai’s plan to be approved. The FCC chief promised to release his entire proposal Wednesday. Pai’s attack on net neutrality has triggered protests from consumer groups, but he defended the move in a statement to reporters. “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” Pai said. “Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

I am so pleased that all these other people voted this man’s boss into office…..I always wanted to pay more for my internet service…….. and now my wait is over!

It has been a tiring day…..gotta go rest up for tomorrow’s fare…TTFN…..my friends….Peace and Love…..chuq

North Korea Is Still There

Fearless Leader has returned to his castle on the Potomac and when he got home he opened his mail and found the he has been sentenced to be executed by the North Koreans.

How’s that for something new?

I know everyone is having a good old time poking fun at Li’l Kim…..he makes it so easy….and then there is Trump and his macho outbursts on Twitter….great fun.

NK is building a sub for launch of missiles…..

North Korea appears to be on an “aggressive schedule” to build its first operational ballistic missile submarine, Reuters reports. That’s according to a report released Thursday by 38North, a North Korea monitoring project based out of Washington, DC. The report states that satellite images of the Sinpo South Shipyard taken Nov. 5 show “the presence of what appear to be sections of a submarine’s pressure hull in the yards.” If the objects are indeed pieces of a pressure hull, they are bigger than what is used for North Korea’s current ROMEO-class attack submarines.

38North also cites the continuous movement of parts in and out of yards next to construction halls at the shipyard and the presence of a stand used to test the mechanism that launches missiles from a submarine. A move to develop an operational ballistic missile submarine wouldn’t be unexpected, CNBC reports. North Korea started testing submarine-launched ballistic missiles last year, and Kim Jong Un has shown an increased willingness to utilize submarines.

But I think that all Americans need to come to grips that there is a real possibility that these two countries could go at it in the future….

In a hurricane, there is a peaceful lull when the eye of the storm arrives, but it is just an illusion. This is where we are with North Korea.

We think we have been seen the worst: Pyongyang tested an H-bomb and launched missiles over Japan; America has flown its bombers off North Korea’s coast; and both sides have traded insults and threats.

Now the eye of the storm has arrived. We hear that American and North Korean diplomats are in contact, and Trump is talking up China’s positive but unspecified role.

Any sense that this crisis has been averted is illusory.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2017/11/14/recognize_the_real_possibility_of_conflict_in_north_korea_112632.html

What implications is there for the US if push comes to shove….and with a president like we have now….that is a real possibility…..

The growing lethality of North Korea’s military threat increasingly undercuts America’s ability to use diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions or military force to counter its dangerously provocative behavior. As Kim Jong Un accelerates the buildup of his nuclear-tipped missile arsenal, there is a distinct possibility that no matter what actions the United States and its allies take, the Korean peninsula is headed for war.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-strategic-implications-of-america%E2%80%99s-coming-choice-on-the-korean-peninsula

But after this crisis what then?

My colleague Andrew Davies has written convincingly about the challenges of securing a diplomatic resolution to the North Korean nuclear crisis. He speculated about a solution in which the U.S. accepts North Korea’s nuclear status at the current level of development while maintaining the status quo posture for American and allied forces and diplomacy. The idea is to avoid the worst possible short-term outcome of a major war that could escalate rapidly past the nuclear threshold. However, he recognises that a lack of trust makes such a solution very tenuous, and it may not be possible to achieve.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/14/after_the_north_korean_nuclear_crisis_112629.html

North Korea is a testing ground…..Trump and his State Department must meet this situation head on and find a way to calm it down…..I mean something besides a silly Tweet in the early morning hours by a silly little man in his PJs….

Here is something that will not sit well with his(Trump’s) Big Mac….. South Korea’s ruling party leader, who warned yesterday that the US mustn’t attack North Korea without their consent.

Think about that few a moment…..(pause here for contemplation)…..Trump asking permission from some one else…..this I gotta see!

Even China thinks Trump’s ideas are unrealistic……

China’s government contradicted a claim that Trump made about their position regarding a proposal to freeze North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile tests:

China said on Thursday it will stick by its “freeze-for-freeze” plan to de-escalate tensions in the Korean Peninsula, contradicting a suggestion by President Trump that it had turned against it.

The proposal calls for North Korea to freeze its missile and nuclear tests in return for the United States and South Korea suspending their annual joint military exercises. On Wednesday, Trump suggested Chinese President Xi Jinping had acknowledged to him that the plan was a non-starter.

The apparent Chinese contradiction of Trump’s statement also highlights the lack of coherent policy put forward by the United States to actually usher North Korea along the path of denuclearization.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/china-and-trumps-unrealistic-north-korea-policy/

Peace talks?  What are the chances?  Thanx to Trump the chances are zip….zero….zilch….nada….

North Korea has ruled out negotiations with the US over its nuclear program, Pyongyang’s ambassador to the UN has confirmed, citing Washington’s “hostile policy” against his country and continuing US-South Korea military exercises.

“As long as there is a continuous hostile policy against my country by the US and as long as there are continued war games on our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations,” Han Tae Song told Reuters on Friday. “There are continued military exercises using nuclear assets as well as aircraft carriers, and strategic bombers and then…raising such kinds of military exercises against my country.”

Trump’s newest move should do the trick…..

President Trump said Monday that he intends to declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror. Trump called the move a long overdue step and part of the US “maximum pressure campaign” against Pyongyang, per the AP. North Korea was last on the US list of state sponsors of terror in 2008, when the country was removed in a bid to salvage a deal to halt its nuclear development. Iran, Sudan, and Syria are also designated by the US as state sponsors of terror. US officials cited the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother in a Malaysian airport earlier this year as an act of terrorism.

The designation had been debated for months inside the administration, with some officials at the State Department arguing that North Korea didn’t meet the legal standard to be relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism. Officials said there was no debate over whether the slaying of half brother Kim Jong Nam was a terrorist act. However, lawyers said there had to be more than one incident, and there was disagreement over whether the treatment of American student Otto Warmbier, who died of injuries suffered in North Korean custody, constituted terrorism.

If this war does not pan out for Trump…..there is always Iran!

“Biggest Error In Modern History”

We are in the middle of the 100 year anniversary of World War One…..the Great War….The War To End All Wars…..the war that changed the world forever and gave us the world we have today.

But was this war necessary?

Some say it was inevitable….while others say that it could have been avoided….and even some that think the UK made a huge mistake by entering into the war….people like NiallFerguson….

Britain could have lived with a German victory in the first world war, and should have stayed out of the conflict in 1914, according to the historian Niall Ferguson, who described the intervention as “the biggest error in modern history”.

In an interview with BBC History Magazine, Ferguson said there had been no immediate threat to Britain, which could have faced a Germany-dominated Europe at a later date on its own terms, instead of rushing in unprepared, which led to catastrophic costs.

“Britain could indeed have lived with a German victory. What’s more, it would have been in Britain’s interests to stay out in 1914,” he said before a documentary based on his book The Pity of War, which will be screened by BBC2 as part of the broadcaster’s centenary season.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/30/britain-first-world-war-biggest-error-niall-ferguson

He makes a good case but I would like to hear from some of my UK readers on what they think about this idea….was it a huge mistake?

The US was only part of this war for a little over a year and most Americans try to erase this period of war from their memory….it devastated Europe….so I am interested in what my European readers have to say about this idea.

I am fascinated with this war….think about a single action that had 600,00 troops on one side attacking a smaller force on the other….that was one single action had that many troops and the deaths of hundreds of thousands and they did this for about 4 years…action after action…..that amazes me that none of the generals could see that what they were doing was not doing nay good so why not try something different….but they did not they just kept throwing troops by the thousands at each other and let the deaths amount up…..

Like I said…fascinating!

Please let me know what you think of this proposal…..ain’t history a hoot?

Geopolitics Of Trade In Asia

Fearless Leader has taken to Tweeter and in so many characters has crapped on everything he was suppose to have covered with our allies at the meeting in Vietnam……..there is a new geopolitical spin to the trade in the coming years….

The APEC Leaders’ summit meeting, which took place last week in Danang, Vietnam, crystallized the new geopolitics of trade in Asia. The leaders of the three largest economies in the world—the United States, China, and Japan—each redefined the roles their nation will play in sustaining, torpedoing, or adjusting the postwar trading order. Little is assured on how free trade and multilateral undertakings will fare as the three giants reposition themselves in their leadership bid. The only certainty ahead for us is that it will be a bumpy ride.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/11/15/the-new-geopolitics-of-trade-in-asia/

For instance Japan’s Abe would like to re-start the “Quad” from years past…..

The “Quad”?

In June this year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have been in office for one-and-a-half years — a rare achievement for a Japanese prime minister in recent memory. Most of his time in office has been devoted to getting Japan’s economic house in order via “Abenomics,” and reinvigorating Japan’s domestic debate about defense issues, including collective self-defense, military spending, and national security strategy. Abe has given considerably less attention to taking the lead on bold international initiatives as he had done as a younger prime minister.

During his first term as prime minister, in 2006-2007, Abe initiated a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) between Asia’s maritime democracies: Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. While the QSD drew these powers to the table early on, all concerned by the normative uncertainties posed to the regional order by China’s rise, it later fell apart. In particular, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pulled Australia out of the QSD because its participation in that dialogue imperiled the trajectory of its relations with China. China, for its part, wasted no time in protesting what it saw as an overt attempt at encirclement.

https://thediplomat.com/2014/05/shinzo-abes-quadrilateral-initiative-gone-and-forgotten/

The “Quad” idea died and now it will see a rebirth……

Ten years ago, an American, an Australian, an Indian, and a Japanese walked into a room in Manila. This was no joke. They were representing their governments at a quadrilateral meeting also known as “the Quad.” The initiative, meant to facilitate conversation and cooperation between the four maritime democracies in the context of the rise of China and India, lasted from mid-2006 to early 2008. Since it fell apart, analysts have perhaps spent more time discussing it than the officials did in implementing it.

Now, the Quad has been revived. A decade after that first exploratory meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum summit in the Philippines in May 2007, officials from the four countries met there once again ahead of the East Asia Summit earlier this month. This revival will only be sustainable if it is not just a signal, but has substance. That will entail exchanging views on the strategic and economic landscape in the region, and practical cooperation. Moreover, the reunion will only last if the countries learn some lessons from its past failure. These include establishing suitable membership, tempo and agenda, explaining to internal and external audiences what the quadrilateral is and is not, and preparing for pushback from China.

https://warontherocks.com/2017/11/rise-fall-rebirth-quad/

This is an ambush for China and its rising influence in the world….but will it be successful?  Will Trump sign on or will he push his damn silly “America First” agenda that will leave this country in the mud of its own protectionist storm?

Keep in mind that protectionism is NOT patriotism……

President Trump has long wrapped his protectionist rhetoric in our flag, as necessary for America to “win” again. However, the idea that “good” American producers should be preferred over “bad” foreign producers for the good of our country gets backward who American consumers’ friends and enemies are when it comes to international trade.

That is a very important issue, as individuals share most in common as consumers. As Leonard Read, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote, “Consumer interest is the premise from which all economic reasoning should proceed.” That implies that since “my interest is progressively served by an increase of goods and services obtainable in willing exchange for my offerings … as a consumer, I choose freedom.”

https://capx.co/protectionism-isnt-patriotism/

Speaking of “Free Trade”.

We hear the term “free trade” almost daily….especially when someone is spouting off about trade and jobs it will create for us here in American…..but what about “free trade”?

Detroit carmakers get a lot of stick for their poor showing in Japan. Their Japanese sales have rarely exceeded token numbers and supposedly this is their own fault. They have apparently been so heedless of consumer needs that they haven’t even bothered to build cars with the steering wheel in the correct position for Japan’s drive-on-the-left roads. This “steering wheel” story has long enjoyed considerable credence among leading American opinion makers. Yet it is nonsense and does not stand up to even cursory examination.

The truth is that Detroit’s Big Three have always made plenty of cars configured for Japan. Indeed, as some of the first American corporations to go global, they have long catered to local needs around the world. But they have never been allowed to compete in Japan. In the words of Donald Trump, Japan does “things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan, and yet, they sell cars [in the U.S.] and they come in by the hundreds of thousands on the biggest ships I’ve ever seen.”

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/there-is-no-such-thing-as-free-trade/

Trade is the life line of a country’s economy….keep that in mind when you listen to the crap that Fearless Leader spouts in his speeches….we are screwed!

GOP Tax Plan–Update

Taxes are all the buzz in DC these days…..even had a senator, Orin Hatch, go off about how tax cuts for the rich is an old dodge and he was tired of hearing it…..so to make him even more cranky than he is now I thought I would post a few more stats that he does not like to hear…..

President Donald Trump on Monday promised a tax overhaul by Christmas, even as a nonpartisan tax analysis group said the Senate package would leave half of taxpayers facing higher levies by 2027.

Speaking before a Cabinet meeting, Trump said, “We’re going to give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas — hopefully that will be a great, big, beautiful Christmas present.”

Trump spoke as the Tax Policy Center said that while all income groups would see tax reductions, on average, under the Senate bill in 2019, 9 percent of taxpayers would pay higher taxes that year than under current law. By 2027, that proportion would grow to 50 percent, largely because the legislation’s personal tax cuts expire in 2026, which Republicans did to curb budget deficits the bill would create.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/20/senate-gop-tax-plan-to-ultimately-raise-taxes-for-half-of-us-tax-policy-center.html

Never fear all you ignorant Trump supporters….you are about to be humped so bad it will hurt for years to come…..

Then there is the liars in the House….especially Paul Ryan….he is almost a master at making it sound sound good that the poor do not mind being f*cked hard……

Once, at a town hall in Wisconsin, someone asked known anti-poverty crusader Paul Ryan (R-WI) the following question:

“I know that you’re Catholic, as am I, and it seems to me that most of the Republicans in the Congress are not willing to stand with the poor and working class as evidenced in the recent debates about health care and the anticipated tax reform. So I’d like to ask you how you see yourself upholding the church’s social teaching that has the idea that God is always on the side of the poor and dispossessed, as should we be.”

It’s a tricky one, but if you want to simultaneously cut taxes for rich people and benefits for poor people, you need to be ready for it. So, just in time for the tax debate, I’ve written a handy step-by-step guide on how to convince your constituents that a help-the-rich, whack-the-poor agenda is really what’s best for everybody:

(his 7 ways of pumping the poor)

https://talkpoverty.org/2017/11/20/paul-ryan-guide-pretending-care-poor/

Does any of that sound familiar?  It should!  You hear them almost daily every time there is an open mike for them to dash off to…..

And you people voted these douches into office….shame…shame….shame…..

Yemen–America’s Shame

For two year the Saudis have been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age…..the humanitarian crisis is getting worse by the bomb…..not not are the people in starvation mode they are also facing the worse cholera epidemic in a 100 years…..and all made possible by the US and its aid to our buddies the Saudis.

As the world focuses on isolated incidents of terrorism taking place in Western countries, the wholesale slaughter being committed by Western countries against others generally goes unnoticed unless being pinned on the victim nation. However, even with Americans and other Westerners paying scant attention to Iraq and Syria, the conflict in Yemen scarcely gets a mention except in communities of human rights activists and geopolitical commentators.

Even after Yemen has overtaken Syria as the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis, most of the world has remained deathly silent about the situation unfolding there.

While not overwhelmingly involved with troops, bombing campaigns, and the like in the way that it is in Syria or Iraq, the United States is nonetheless complicit in the destruction of an entire country by providing intelligence, weapons, and political support to Saudi Arabia and the GCC in their war against the Yemeni people. In addition to that support, however, the United States has, at times, also contributed limited direct military support to the Saudi effort.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-faces-of-yemen-where-is-american-outrage/5619219

One of America’s most respected news stows is “60 Minutes” and they recently did a feature on Yemen…..

Saudi Arabia’s year long blockade and bombing campaign in Yemen has gotten very little coverage in the United States, even as the extreme food and fuel shortages have developed into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Now, as the Saudi noose on Yemen tightens — leaving 7 million people facing starvation and another 1 million infected with cholera — the war is having its moment in the media spotlight.

On Sunday, “60 Minutes” aired a 13-minute segment on the war’s devastating humanitarian toll. The program featured imagery of starving children and interviews with displaced people, all obtained after Saudi Arabia blocked “60 Minutes” from entering the country.

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/20/60-minutes-yemen-war-us-involvement/

The Saudis have gone so far as to bomb the available airport to keep supplies from entering into the country…..I lost a lot of respect I had for “60 Minutes” after they failed to report the whole story did nothing but a fluff piece to silence some critics…..this is why we have some much call out of “fake news”….no one wants to report the truth anymore.

An estimated 130 children or more are dying every day in war-torn Yemen from extreme hunger and disease, according to ​Save the Children, an international aid group

The charity said a continuing blockade by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels aligned with the country’s former president was likely to further increase the death rate. It said more than 50,000 children are believed to have died in 2017.

The coalition closed all air, land and sea ports to stem the flow of arms from Iran on November 6, after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards its capital Riyadh. It has since said that aid can go through “liberated ports” but not the key Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/yemen-children-are-dying-at-a-rate-of-130-a-day-while-saudiled-blockade-continues-20171118-gzo21m.html

Even the American Conversation has weighed in on the atrocity that is Yemen…..

Yemen has been upside down for three years. Hunger, epidemics, and a blockade are all getting tighter. But the misery has escalated following the ballistic missile which was fired from Yemen at the King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital on Nov. 4. Overnight, Yemen became completely isolated from the entire globe.

This development has ushered in a new wave of civilian suffering. It feels like the war has just opened a new chapter of violence in a country beset by crises since the eruption of the 2011 uprising.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/dispatch-from-yemen-were-cut-off-and-starving/

Sad and to watch American news then NO one cares about the plight of children in Yemen or the rate of starvation…..truly sad.

Saddam Was Right

Saddam…..remember him?  He was the leader of Iraq that we hunted down and eventually hanged after a trial (if one could call it that…..he was always gonna die no matter what)….well it seems that he predicted the long and bloody stay for American troops……

His thoughts are documented here in an article in The American Conservative……with a little history thrown in for good measure……(did not want my readers to go with that shot of History)…….

In early 1917, during World War I, British general Sir Frederick Stanley Maude led an army of sixty thousand British and Indian soldiers from Basra up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to Baghdad. His enemy was a Turkish army, some twenty-five-thousand strong, defending a province of what was then a part of the decrepit Ottoman Empire. Maude was hardly a creative campaigner (his troops called him “systematic Joe”), but then his conquest of Mesopotamia wasn’t much of a fight. “The Turkish Army that was recently before us,” he reported to his superiors, “has ceased to exist as a fighting force owing to its casualties, prisoners, demoralization and the loss of a large proportion of its artillery and stores.” Maude led his army into Baghdad on a prancing horse on March 11 and then, in the finest British tradition, issued a proclamation: “We come as liberators, not occupiers,” it said. The Iraqis thought otherwise.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-saddam-hussein-predicted-americas-failure-in-iraq/

Many people predicted the problems the US would have in Iraq…..a shame it all fell on deaf ears.