Closing Thought–29Jan18

Anybody that is an old fart and served in the military will know the name of “Beetle Bailey”….a great cartoon about the Army life of a US Army private……

Sad news the creator of this beloved cartoon has died…..

Comic strip artist Mort Walker, a World War II veteran who satirized the Army and tickled millions of newspaper readers with the antics of the lazy private “Beetle Bailey,” died Saturday. He was 94.

Walker died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, said Greg Walker, his eldest son and a collaborator. His father’s advanced age was the cause of death, he said.

Walker began publishing cartoons at age 11 and was involved with more than a half-dozen comic strips in his career, including “Hi and Lois,” ”Boner’s Ark” and “Sam & Silo.” But he found his greatest success drawing slacker Beetle, his hot-tempered sergeant and the rest of the gang at fictional Camp Swampy for nearly 70 years.

The character that was to become Beetle Bailey made his debut as Spider in Walker’s cartoons published by the Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. Walker changed Spider’s name and launched “Beetle Bailey” as a college humor strip in 1950.

Addison Morton Walker was born Sept. 3, 1923, in El Dorado, Kansas, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1943 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in Europe during World II. He was discharged as a first lieutenant, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia and pursued a career as a cartoonist in New York.

“Beetle Bailey” also featured one of the first African-American characters to be added to a white cast in an established comic strip. (“Peanuts” had added the character of Franklin in 1968.) Lt. Jack Flap debuted in the comic strip’s panels in 1970.

Thanks for the great humor and may he rest in peace……

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A “Hooker” Kind Of Love

As long as we are talking about paying for sex……..

Sex has been a part of politics since the beginning….after all they say it is the first profession.

It has played a role in history even in the morally superior US of A…..most recently with Sen. Vitter to NY governor Spitzer to even our present president with the accusations from a “Stormy” kind of love.

So I guess my history lesson for today is a list of important men through history that have had a burning love for prostitutes…….

Most men have a weakness, whether it’s gambling, booze, lying, infidelity, or what have you. We’ve found that the more serious the flaw, the more it’s grounded in compulsion. Throughout history, men of the highest stature, intellect, and position have found themselves unable to resist the allure of women of the night. Whether it be the result of the time, or carnal needs of the man, these figures could not live without paid female companionship…

http://www.toptenz.net/10-people-history-really-loved-prostitutes.php

A side note….the once powerful evangelicals have lost their claim to the moral high ground with the support and acceptance of politicians accused and/or convicted sexual deviates…..

“Stormy” Weather

Of course this is a post about Donald Trump…..have you noticed that his supporters are just like their man crush….they are bullies, self-centered and damn right boring……just like the president……but let’s move on….by now you have heard more than you want to know about Trumpy Bear’s(registered trademark) sex life.

There is so much more and more important of a story than the sleazy side of sex…..can you remember the evangelicals and their shaping of Repub politics?

This scandal-in-waiting shows more than Trump’s sexual tastes…..it illustrates that those evangelicals that have been so front and centered in GOP politics can NO longer claim to hold the moral high ground.
Donald Trump is a man without any discernible redeeming qualities, but nonetheless I’m grateful for one thing he’s done, without really trying: He has exposed the true nature of the Christian right. For more than a decade now, I’ve been diligently writing and researching, trying to build the case that the religious right is not motivated by moral values, but by hatred of women and LGBT people — and that many of them are white supremacists, to boot. And then here comes Trump, bragging about how he likes to “grab them by the pussy” and spreading racist propaganda, and sweeps up 80 percent of the white evangelical vote, more than true-believer George W. Bush got in 2004.
I can say that I never thought I would live to see the day when evangelicals make excuses for perverted actions of a politician…..
Personally I never thought these evangelicals held the moral high ground but they were given that title by the media and self-serving Christians that never live by Christian beliefs.

Fighters To The Right, Fighters To The Left

If you are a foreign policy wonk then you already know about the Turkey-US mash up….if not then maybe I should try to catch you up a bit….https://lobotero.com/2018/01/26/time-for-turkey-to-go/

The Turks have had a hard on for the Kurds for decades…..they have gone to great lengths to kill all Kurds possible…..and so far Turkey has made little progress in ridding themselves of their Kurd problem…..so now that Syria is pretty much rid of the ISIS blight they have once again given the Kurds their full attention.

Turkey has warned the US and the US has warned Turkey…..this little war will be good for no one involved….a report by a group known as the International Crisis Group has issued a paper……

The battle is likely to prove indecisive and costly for both sides. It is already a tremendous headache for Washington, their mutual ally, and putting huge strain on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-member Turkey’s relations with the U.S. Unless all involved adjust their strategies, including a return to a broader peace process in the PKK’s decades-old insurgency in Turkey, it may also prove a sign of worse to come.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/syria/no-winners-turkeys-new-offensive-syria

There is one aspect of this little war that few have considered, at least those that are reporting on this war……

A new video emerged online showing a number of international “volunteers” who have recently arrived in northwestern Syria. While Syria has been attracting foreign fighters for some time, the new arrivals have shown up with an eye toward joining the Kurds in their fight against invading Turkey.

The men talk of fighting the “Turkish fascist state,” and it’s unsurprising that this is the case. Turkey and the Kurds are, after all, both massively polarizing issues internationally, particularly across Europe.

Turkey’s Erdogan government has long styled the Kurdish YPG as terrorists on par with ISIS, but has also run afoul of most of the governments in Europe, picking diplomatic fights on a regular basis using excessively hostile rhetoric.

This new Turkish War against the Kurds could rapidly expand across 25% of Syria, and with it, there is the potential to attract another massive influx of foreign fighters, whether Turkish nationalists keen to fight the Kurds, or those who sympathize with Kurdish ambitions for autonomy and see Turkey as a major regional aggressor.

(antiwar.com)

Making the world safe…..one war at a time.

What The Hell Congress?

For 20+ years I have been bitching about the Congress and the cut-throat do-nothing body that gets paid for the terrible job they do.

I am not alone even my right wing, Trump supporting brethren sees the same problems as this old hippie liberal.

The media is also finally starting to call a turd a turd when they write and comment about the actions of the Congress.

Congress is a mess. It seems incapable of passing major legislation; it is divided by bitter animosities, held in almost universal contempt, and without an apparent plan to right itself. So goes the conventional wisdom, and, as of early 2018, it is mostly right.

But saying that Congress is troubled is very different from offering a clear direction for reform. Strikingly few people — including among our elected officials themselves — have a strong sense of what Congress’s institutional identity ought to be, or can say what a functional Congress ought to do in our 21st-century constitutional system. Taking up a long intellectual tradition running back through Woodrow Wilson, many intelligent observers have become convinced that Congress is obsolete, and the best thing it could do is just get out of the way.

http://nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/congress-indispensable

The people see the problem and they still cannot break their addiction to bad governance and change the nature of the Congress.

A Divided Yemen

Yemen has been in the news a bit for the last couple of years…..since the days of the bombing of the USS Cole Yemen has been of interest to the US and for the last couple of years it has been in the news because of the air campaign against the country by the Saudis.  This conflict is a typical Middle East conflict….a powerful country with a massive military against a smaller country with little military…..

But first a little background into the country of Yemen…..North Yemen became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement and brief civil war in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to delineate their border. Fighting in the northwest between the government and the Huthis, a Zaydi Shia Muslim minority, continued intermittently from 2004 to 2010. The southern secessionist movement was revitalized in 2007.

Yemen is moving toward the past where there were two countries within the borders of Yemen…..

US policymakers have long been split over how far to support the Saudi-led campaign against Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis.

Now that debate is about to get even more complicated as southern secessionists from the port city of Aden take their grievances against the US-backed government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi straight to Washington. The so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC) hired Grassroots Political Consulting earlier this month for $15,000 a month to “solicit support for the STC and the people of South Yemen to regain their sovereignty and independence,” according to newly filed disclosure forms.

A return to the Cold War days in Yemen…..if so what was the point of unification in the first place?

The US has shown little to NO leadership in the region and especially in Yemen….the US basically has allowed the Saudis to create a humanitarian nightmare in Yemen…famine and disease…..

“American leadership” is one of a long list of vague, seemingly benign pseudo-concepts our media throw around to justify increased spending on soft power and military adventurism. It’s a difficult concept to pin down, but it’s almost always presented as something the United States is “failing” to do when it doesn’t “engage” the world with enough war, sanctions or arbitrarily applied human rights scolding.

Lamenting a “lack of American leadership” is, therefore, a time-honored Serious Person cliche for those operating at major US papers, and one Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl phoned in Sunday with his op-ed “Genocide, Famine and a Democratic Retreat—All After One Year of US Inaction” (1/21/17).

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/01/24/wapo-editor-blames-lack-us-leadership-famine-caused-us-leadership

AS much as I would love to blame Trump for the situation in Yemen I cannot for this whole enchilada began with the Obama administration…..but Trump has done NOTHING to change the direction of events in Yemen.

The longer the Trump foreign policy circles the crapper the further into darkness the country of Yemen goes and as usual the people suffer the most for Americaa’s inactivity.