Closing Thought–17Jan18

One of the most important and controversial issues for the last decade probably longer has been that of health care…..of course the last election was a godsend for the GOP and its mission to screw the American public out of inexpensive healthcare….remember the slogan “Repeal and Replace”?

All the bad blood over Obamacare has hit rural America hard…..

The goal of universal coverage has long eluded the Affordable Care Act — especially in rural areas. Because insurers have less financial incentive to offer plans in less densely populated places, residents have an especially hard time finding health coverage through the ACA exchanges.

The dire state of rural health access was driven home for me recently when I went looking for health coverage. After returning from several months out of the country, my husband and I signed up on and put in his family’s address in Caroline County, a rural area outside Richmond, Virginia. While we expected to find few options, especially compared to our previous address in Northern Virginia, we were both shocked by the results. Our search turned up just two insurers and eight plans. All of them included a deductible and charged exorbitant rates for two people in their thirties.

For me Medicare For All is the only answer to affordable healthcare for this nation….but that is too easy….the GOP has to make it out like it is rocket science to get healthcare for all Americans….

One day the country will wake up to the need for healthcare and then tell the GOP to go pound sand… what is need and do what is easy….Medicare For All.

TTFN……I shall return tomorrow with more amazing stuff…….chuq

‘Beyond Your Imagination’

We have heard what everybody involved thinks about the chances if there is a war after all the rhetoric….a war on the Korean Peninsula…..

Is The US preparing for a war?

Adding to reports in recent days of growing Pentagon training operations in the US aimed at preparing for an attack on North Korea, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) has confirmed “very serious” training is indeed underway.

Rep. Thornberry says the administration is looking closely at what sort of preparedness they’ll need to engage in long-threatened “military options when it comes to North Korea.” This would be an attack, though recent reports have indicated the US believes they can get away with a limited attack that would lead to something short of full-scale nuclear war.

With reports suggesting that a sneak attack on North Korea is also being contemplated in the next couple of months, the shift in training seems to be away from very high-profile exercises right on the border, toward less publicized exercises within the US focusing on specific preparedness for the attack.


A retired South Korean general has his say…..

For anyone encouraged by North Korea’s slight softening toward the South, Chun In-bum essentially dumps a bucket of cold water it. The retired South Korean general, who the Financial Times reports led his country’s special forces, spoke to a London-based think tank Wednesday and outlined exactly what American forces would encounter should we decide to bloody the country’s nose—or something more significant. He doesn’t mince words: “I try to explain to the Americans—if we have to go into North Korea, … it’s not going to be like toppling [Saddam) Hussein]. This would be more like trying to get rid of Allah.” He describes the country as “one huge barracks” and the population as militarized far beyond the [West’s] imagination.

“A 14-year-old child in North Korea probably gets more than 100 hours of military training a year,” the Times of London quotes Chun as saying. “By age 14, a child knows how to fire an AK47, fire an RPG, throw a grenade, pitch a tent and march 24 hours.” And even things that may seem promising on their face—the North’s estimated 1,000 fighter jets are aged—aren’t, per Chun, who says those planes would be used kamikaze-style, USA Today reports. And there’s not just the physical battlefield to contend with, per the Brisbane Times: “North Korean cyber capability is right below nuclear capability in terms of threat,” says Chun. He also describes an extreme system designed to root out any dissent, whereby the country’s families are grouped in units, and if one person “misbehaves, the entire five or 10 families go to the gulag or are executed. So everybody spies on everybody else.”

Everybody has their opinions about the outcome of any armed conflict in the region…..and most all seldom take the South Korean population into consideration…..the thing to remember if there is a shooting war then the first causalities will be the people of SK….the US has little to worry about in the first hours of a conflict.  The people of SK will pay a hefty price for the conflict…..

The “Schlieffen Plan”

I would guess that 1 in 10 Americans know what I mean by the title……and I would guess 6 in 10 Europeans will know the name.

And yes I am gonna shove a little history at you with this post…..

The Schlieffen Plan was Germany’s grand plan that started World War One……they were not alone with a grand plan…France, Austro-Hungary and Russia all had a plan in case of war…..all options were on the table (sound familiar?)……

Ever since Germany had inflicted defeat upon France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the major nations of Europe had busied themselves with plans for the next war, seen by many as inevitable given the conflicting ambitions of the major powers; which, in the case of France, included the repossession of Alsace and Lorraine, both lost to Germany as a consequence of the Franco-Prussian War.

Much is made of the German Schlieffen Plan and, to a lesser extent, the French Plan XVII.  But what of Austria-Hungary’s Plan B and Russia’s Plan 19?  This article details the primary aims of each of these plans, and discusses the rationale behind them.

There is always a grand plan that seldom goes as predicted and World War One was no exception…..

Trump’s Biggest Problem Is The Future

It is no secret that I found a few things in Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric that I could get behind….the problem is that he did not hold true to his promises.

As a matter of fact he, Trump, has been a disaster to American foreign policy…..and he has steadily gotten worse even after he hired every general that would sign on the dotted line….Trump’s biggest foreign policy problem is the future…..

Perhaps most importantly, they praise the president for not following through on the most dramatic moves he floated during the campaign, such as starting a trade war with China, killing the family members of suspected terrorists, or withdrawing security commitments to eastern Europe.

Abandoning bad ideas isn’t much of an achievement, and I don’t think the president made the right call on Paris, the Iran deal, or Jerusalem (and even if he did, the executions were poor). However, his Syria policy has gone reasonably well considering the mess he inherited, and his administration deserves some of the credit for the successful three-year campaign against ISIS.

WE can only hope that he will pull his head out of his ass in his second year….but I am not holding my breath…..are you?