Closing Thought–05Dec17

I had written about the death of a Green Beret at he hands of 2 SEALs in Mali…..read my two posts….

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/31/usafricom-wtf/

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/13/death-in-mali/

Sorry to say there is not much more info about this man death….but there was another article written about his situation recently…….

The family of Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar laid him to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on November 20, five months after his mysterious death during a secret assignment in Africa.

A medical examiner said Melgar was strangled to death, but the most striking thing about the case isn’t that a 34-year-old member of the Army’s Special Forces was killed overseas. It’s that two men under investigation are members of SEAL Team 6, arguably the most revered unit in the entire US military.

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/11/27/16666096/navy-army-seals-homicide-mali

If this report is true then what the Hell is going on in AFRICOM?  What kinda of military is this where Americans are killing Americans?

AS more is released I will be keeping my readers up to date.

I am a bit ashamed that these post have not gotten more attention from my readers…..it will not go away if you ignore it because I will  never let it go until the whole story is told.

Have a good evening….and look for me tomorrow….I will be back…..chuq

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Operation Paperclip

At the end of World War 2 the US ran all over Germany snapping up German scientists, most of whom would be tried for crimes against humanity but their expertise was needed so Operation paperclip protected these criminals and moved most of them to the US under the protection of the government.

More about Operation paperclip here…..

Operation Paperclip, named after the use of the ordinary paperclip attached to the personnel files of select German scientists, was a special operation of breathtaking scope. Instead of highly trained teams tasked for important combat missions, these teams were hunters and gatherers sifting and searching through the wreckage and ruin of a devastated Germany. Theirs was a high-stakes contest against an equally determined Russia and other less malevolent former allies. German scientists and technologies were the pawns, and the prize was nothing less than national security and preeminence as a world power. When it was concluded, hundreds of German scientists and their families, tons of documents, hardware, weapon systems, and technologies would be transferred from Germany to the United States.

Officially, Operation Paperclip concluded on Sept. 30, 1947. In a public statement, the Army announced that the operation had brought into the United States 457 scientists and 453 dependents. But a closed-door decision was made to allow Operation Paperclip to continue, this time as a top secret program. To justify the continuation, the Air Force stated that the 209 German scientists working for it had substantially advanced the development of weapons systems and the scientists were “superlative specialists … the best available in the world today.” They were saving the Air Force millions of dollars and an estimated 10 years in cost and development. The Navy added its praise, stating that German mathematicians, aerodynamicists, and experts in heat transfer had proven that “their professional education and training [were]superior to that of any U.S. personnel available.”

https://argunners.com/operation-paperclip-saving-german-scientists/

Some of the research that America used in their space program was testing done on Jewish prisoners that resulted in a horrific death and yet we decided that it was somehow okay to use this research if it put us a head of the Russians.

I personally have a problem with this type of program….a war criminal is a war criminal and should face the same judgements that others had to face.

Thoughts?

The Dark History Of Fear

For as far back as the beginning of this republic fear has been used to turn the public to a certain way of thinking…..First it was the Tories and the English….then we went on toward those runaway slaves and what they could do than Native Americans….so on and so on throughout our history….more recently it has been those damn sneaking commies and these days the boogeymen are Muslims and/or immigrants as the next danger to our republic….so the selling of fear is nothing new…..the selling of fear is the same just the targets of that fear change….as needed……

Let’s look at the dark history of fear…….

Back in 1835, Samuel F.B. Morse (who went on to invent the telegraph and the Morse Code), wrote a book about a plot to overthrow the American republic. The conspiracy, Morse wrote, was well-funded, highly secretive, and hatched in Vienna by members of the The St. Leopold Foundation, which had dispatched cells of Jesuit missionaries to the U.S. to forcibly convert the nation to Roman Catholicism. This was no small intrigue: The plot’s leaders, as Morse meticulously catalogued, were Austrian diplomat Klemens von Metternich, Ferdinand V of Hungary, and (of course) Pope Gregory XVI. “It is high time that we awakened to the apprehension of danger,” Morse wrote.

What is shocking about this nonsense is not that Morse actually believed it, but that millions of other Americans did too. Morse’s book seeded the rise of the nativist “Know-Nothing” party, whose goal was to curb immigration, root out Catholicism, and return America to its protestant ideals. In essence, they were the America-firsters of the nineteenth century. The Know-Nothings swept into office in Chicago, were strong in Massachusetts and, in 1856, nominated a national ticket (Millard Fillmore and Andrew Donelson), for the presidency; they tallied nearly 900,000 votes, one-quarter of those cast. “I know nothing but my country, my whole country and nothing but my country,” they chanted.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/fear-inc-russians-communist-trump-mattis/

SO Irene those boogeymen we hear about from those selling fear are nothing new and this to shall pass.

Get over it!

IST’s Middle East Round-Up–Dec 2017

One of my major in college was Middle East East and I have been all consumed with the stupidity around the Korean Peninsula to write much about the situations in Syria and Iraq…..and the greater Middle East.

I hope to rectify my oversight here and now……

Saudi Arabia has been making nice with the shia militias in Iraq….think about that for a moment….Saudis are an extremist brand of Islam that does not approve for the shia’s beliefs…..what is this all about?

Saudi Arabia is attempting to mend its historically antagonistic relations with Iraq’s Shia, at Iran’s expense.

In early November, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a domestic shake-up, as well regionally, ratcheting up tensions with Iran, and sabre-rattling against the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

However, as Riyadh seemed to stoke tensions with the region’s Shia, there had been a quieter Saudi campaign unfolding to co-opt Iraq’s Shia.

While Riyadh has maintained relations with Iraq’s Arab Sunni politicians and tribes in the past, beginning in the summer of 2017 it has forged connections with Iraq’s Arab Shia political elite as well. In hindsight, this Saudi strategy has sought to undermine the relationship between Shia Iran and its co-religionists in Iraq.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/what-saudi-arabias-end-game-iraq-1098161469

Something about that situation smells.

Here’s why I ask that question…..

The Arab League is embroiled in a new cold war among its own members, largely over Iran’s role in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have so much influence in the Arab League that they got through a resolution of the foreign ministers committee condemning Iran and casting Lebanon’s Hizbullah as a terrorist organization committing terrorism in Arab countries. (This attitude is not new. In 2016, as well, the Arab League called Hizbullah terrorists).

This resolution was rejected by Lebanon, Syria and Iraq as well as by the Palestinian party-militia Gaza. At least in the past, Algeria has also refused to buy into such rhetoric. The Houthi government of Sanaa Yemen demurred, as well. I can’t imagine Oman going along with this wording, since it brokers deals with Iran.

https://www.juancole.com/2017/11/arab-league-cold.html

It appears that some think that Iran is reshaping the Middle East…….

Iran has always seen itself as being in competition with the Arab states for domination of the Persian Gulf. Its ambitions were put on hold in the late 1980s, at the end of an eight-year war with Iraq that cost Iran more than a million casualties. The war ended in a military draw, but strategically it blocked Iran’s hopes for expanding its power westward. The war against the Islamic State, particularly in Iraq, has opened that door again

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/iran-reshapes-middle-east/

Most neocon analysts see the Middle East as a region being destabilized mostly by Iran but is there more to it than that?

One of America’s favorite talking points on Iran is its “destabilizing” role in the Middle East. There’s no question that Iran does things that contribute to regional instability. In particular, it frequently supports armed non-state actors that serve as alternate sources of power inside their countries—Yemen’s rebels, militias in Syria and Iraq, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

But Iran is not the only or even the biggest contributor to Middle Eastern instability. In this area its contribution is at least matched, if not exceeded, by rival Saudi Arabia. Or, to be more specific, by one particular rival in Riyadh: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS). Since his father King Salman appointed him defense minister in January 2015, no single individual has done more to destabilize the Middle East or put more civilian lives in jeopardy than the future Saudi ruler. Saudi rhetoric about Iran’s “aggression” aside, it’s been Saudi aggression that has most afflicted the region on MbS’s watch.

http://lobelog.com/on-the-destabilization-of-the-middle-east/

So why all this going on in the Middle East is there a way forward?

The ongoing aggressive and violent quest for power and dominance in the Middle East between two regional rivals i.e. Saudi Arabia and Iran has rendered peace and stability into a utopian idea that evades the region. In addition, the continued meddling of foreign powers ostensibly to fight terrorism and extremism further aggravates the situation and has seemingly spawned more intractable problems than solutions to the existing humanitarian crisis. The Yemen crisis, described by UN as “the largest humanitarian crisis,” has the potential to affect the entire region. The troubling fact is that the flawed approach and myopia of policy makers and the disgusting apathy and inaction of human rights organizations remain the same.

http://www.eurasiareview.com/26112017-middle-east-in-perpetual-crisis-the-way-forward-oped/

Personally, I use to believe that the Middle East would sort out its problems and a more peaceful region was possible…….but the US elected Fearless Fosdick and now I am not so sure….I see many more years of conflict before this is resolved…..

In closing let me leave my reader with one thought……for years that idiot BiBi and a wealth of US paid agents of Israel that serve in our Congress have been predicting the dangers to the homeland by Iran……it is bullsh*t!

Iran is NO threat to the US!

In a speech Tuesday at the Wilson Center in Washington, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration is “committed to addressing the totality of the Iranian threat,” asking America’s allies “to join us in standing up to all of Iran’s malign behavior,” including its “support for terrorist organizations” and “active ballistic missile development program.”

He echoed President Trump’s rationale last month for decertifying the Iran nuclear deal, an Obama-era agreement that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program by imposing a set of restrictions and a comprehensive inspections regime. Like Tillerson, Trump cited two issues that lie outside the deal itself: Iran’s support for proxy groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and Houthi rebels in Yemen; and Iran’s development of ballistic missiles.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/irans-behavior-isnt-threatening-americans-dont-use-pretense-scrap-nuclear

And with the clowns running the US foreign policy they are approaching Iran from the wrong direction…..

In remarks on Oct. 13 when decertifying Iranian compliance with the July 2015 nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump called on Congress to address the “near total silence on Iran’s missile program” and prevent it from “developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.” Congress has since floated bills that would not only impose further sanctions on Iran for its missiles, but would also condition America’s commitment to the nuclear deal on Iran’s missile policies.

While the European Union and the United States differ on the nuclear deal, they have taken a common position on Iran’s missile capability, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying on Nov. 9 that Iran’s missile program should be restricted, either via negotiations or sanctions.

The Middle East is truly a tinderbox and the US policies are not making things better.
I know it is a lot to take in but your knowledge has increased 100 fold thanx to this round-up.

Don’t Panic Just Yet

The word has been that the Senate has doomed the middle class to lower wages and high taxes in the future….I even fell into the hype around the Senate vote….but foresight has finally come to me….the House has their bill and now the Senate has theirs….and now the two must come together for a final bill 6to be sent to the president for his signature.

How do the two bills compare?

The Senate passed a nearly $1.5 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday after some late changes were made to the bill. The House passed a nearly $1.5 trillion tax bill two weeks ago that differs in key respects, and the two chambers will have to craft a compromise to send to President Trump, the AP reports. A comparison of the two Republican-written measures:

  • Personal income tax rates: The Senate bill retains the current number of brackets, seven, but changes them to 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35, and 38.5%. Under current law, the top bracket for wealthiest earners is 39.6%. The House measure condenses seven brackets to four: 12, 25, 35, and 39.6%. Under the Senate bill, the reductions in personal income tax rates are temporary, ending in 2026. They’re permanent in the House bill.
  • Individual insurance mandate. The Senate bill repeals the ObamaCare requirement that people pay a tax penalty if they don’t purchase health insurance. The House bill does not.
  • Personal exemption. Both bills eliminate the current $4,050 personal exemption.
  • Inheritance tax. Currently, when someone dies the estate owes taxes on the value of assets transferred to heirs above $5.5 million for individuals, $11 million for couples. The Senate bill doubles those limits but does not repeal the tax. The House initially doubles the limits and then repeals the entire tax after 2023.
  • Tax credits.:The Senate doubles per-child tax credit to $2,000. The House raises per-child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600 and extends it to families earning up to $230,000. The House bill also creates a $300 tax credit for each adult in a family, which expires in 2023. Both bills preserve the adoption tax credit.
  • Standard deduction. Used by about 70% of US taxpayers, currently $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for married couples. The Senate and House bills both double those levels to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples.
  • Corporate taxes: The Senate and House bills both cut the current 35% rate to 20%, but the Senate has a one-year delay in dropping the rate.
  • Alternative minimum tax. The AMT is aimed at ensuring that higher-earning people pay at least some tax. The Senate bill doesn’t repeal it but reduces the number of people who have to pay it. The House measure repeals the tax.

Pass-through businesses: Millions of US businesses “pass through” their income to individuals, who then pay personal income tax on those earnings, not corporate tax. The Senate bill lets people deduct 23% of the earnings and then pay at their personal income tax rate on the remainder. The House measure taxes many of the pass-through businesses at 25%, plus creates a 9% rate for the first $75,000 in earnings for some smaller pass-throughs.

So I would like to tell my readers that many bills have made it this far and failed…..we can only hope that this is one of those bills.

Sadly I am one of those people that does not look for this bill to fail….

Will Trump Stage A Coup?

Note:  This is a post that has been in my drafts for 7 months…..I could not find the best time to post it….that is until last week with the bombshell about Trump adviser Flynn….I am not saying I agree with all this stuff just wanted to post it to get some thoughts……..

With each passing day there is some new mash-up with the Trump’s…..it is getting so that most Americans are not believing a word they say…..there is a small cadre of diehard supporters that cannot see past his feet……but each day the words “he won’t make it” become louder and louder.

There have been some on the blogosphere that think that our prez will not make his first 4 years…..there is talk about him just up and resigning…..others seem to think that he might be impeached (like I have said before that was done awhile back and the man stayed in office…..twice)

I wrote about these different “theories” of Trump’s departure recently…..(no need for the Google machine I will help out in case you are interested)….

Source: Will Trump Fail? – In Saner Thought

I have also shown some concern about the number of generals that he has positioned in his cabinet and among his advisers….I wrote about my concerns in a “Closing Thought”…….(again no need for that damn Google thing)……..

Source: Closing Thought–07Mar17 – In Saner Thought

Now with all the “evidence” is adding up…..seems that there is a possibility that a few of his closest advisers may have been played by the Russians…….this will rake years to unfold and let us say that it does not go well for the president….what then?

But then I read an article about the possibility of Trump himself giving a coup a try…….

American democracy is in crisis. The election of Donald Trump feels like a state of emergency made normal.

Trump has threatened violence against his political enemies. He has made clear he does not believe in the norms and traditions of American democracy — unless they serve his interests. Trump and his advisers consider a free press to be enemies of his regime. Trump repeatedly lies and has a profoundly estranged relationship with empirical reality. He uses obvious and naked racism, nativism and bigotry to mobilize his voters and to disparage entire groups of people such as Latinos and Muslims.

Source: Leading Historian Believes ‘It’s Pretty Much Inevitable’ Trump Will Try to Stage a Coup and Overthrow Democracy | Alternet

It is interesting to see all the “what ifs” that are being predicted….like some modern day Nostradamus’……but really what are the chances?

The events recently along the firings and the impending investigations….could this be an attempt?

Has the other shoe finally dropped? Is this the beginning of Donald Trump’s attempted coup?

Trump is a plutocratic authoritarian. As I have previously argued, it is fair to call him a fascist. He has repeatedly demonstrated this fact through his words and deeds both during the 2016 presidential election and now while serving as president.

Like the leader of a banana republic or a Mafia boss, Trump has surrounded himself with a small group of advisers and confidantes comprised mainly of his family members. He has contempt for journalists and the concept of a free press. He leads a cult of personality, marketing himself as an autocratic who will protect and defend his “forgotten Americans” against all threats foreign and domestic. Trump has no respect for the standing norms of American democracy. He and his supporters evidently believe that the rule of law does not apply to him.

Source: A coup in real time? Historian Timothy Snyder says the Comey firing is Trump’s “open admission of collusion with Russia” – Salon.com

Then I read a research report about this situation….

We know this from a public letter to Trump published today, July 24, 2017, on consortiumnews.com by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Unlike the CIA, NSA, and FBI, the veteran intelligence professionals performed forensic investigations. They found conclusive evidence that the alleged “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server [these are the emails that show the DNC working for Hillary against Sanders] was not hacked but leaked. The leaked documents were copied onto an external storage device and doctored with a cut-and-paste job to implicate Russia as having hacked the documents. 

Source: The Conspiracy to Remove Trump From the Presidency | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

I guess the question is….will there be an attempt to see Trump through the door of the White House?

Impeachment may not be in the cards…..but why?

Now that Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I., and agreed to dish on his former boss, some Trump-watchers are suggesting that impeachment may be around the corner. “It’s time to start talking about impeachment,” announced a Saturday column on CNN.com. The Flynn deal, declared former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman in Friday’s New York Times, “portends the likelihood of impeachable charges being brought against the president of the United States.”

That may be true. But bringing impeachment charges against Trump, and actually forcing him from office, are two vastly different things. And while the former may be more likely today than it was half a year ago, the latter is actually less likely. Since Robert Mueller became special counsel in May, the chances of the House of Representatives passing articles of impeachment—and the Senate ratifying them—have probably gone down.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/trump-impeachment/547358/

Thoughts?  (I am asking for some thoughts here….spare me mindless or thoughtless rant that is just off base and non-essential…I am sure that the writer can find a Right wing blog that would appreciate some mindless dribble)……