Closing Thought–28Feb18

Sanctions!

Those tactics that is used in foreign policy to punish those interlopers on the world stage.

The news last week is that the US has issued strong sanctions against the regime in North Korea…..

The Trump administration is hitting more than 50 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses with sanctions in the latest bid to turn up the pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program, a senior administration official said Friday. President Trump was set to announce the action at the Conservative Political Action Conference in a Friday morning speech, followed by a public announcement from the Treasury Department, reports the AP. “Today I am announcing that we are launching the largest ever set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime,” Trump said in advance excerpts of his speech provided by the White House, per the Washington Post.

The 56 vessels and related businesses have conducted trade banned under UN sanctions, according to the White House. The announcement comes as South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics, an occasion the two Koreas have used as an opportunity to ease tensions and restart talks, though the move is not a huge surprise: It comes two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the Olympics opening, promised the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions against North Korea.

I am sure that most Americans will agree with this action…..NK has been trying to acquire the means to nuke its neighbors….something that is not acceptable to the world at large….

If the US has decided to sanction NK and the president has used it as some sort of win for the US….what happened to the sanctions against Russia?

President Trump signed legislation on Wednesday imposing sanctions on Russia and limiting his own authority to lift them, but asserted that the measure included “clearly unconstitutional provisions” and left open the possibility that he might choose not to enforce them as lawmakers intended.

(NY Times)

Monday’s deadline to release those reports was seen as a test of Trump’s willingness to clamp down on Russia. Critics blasted him for failing to announce any sanctions.

“The State Department claims that the mere threat of sanctions will deter Russia’s aggressive behavior. How do you deter an attack that happened two years ago, and another that’s already underway? It just doesn’t make sense,” said Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

“I’m fed up waiting for this Administration to protect our country and our elections,” he said in a statement.

It has been proven that Russia has interfered with our election process….confirmed by multiple agencies….then why is it not happening as quickly as those against North Korea?  Why is the president so reluctant?

Today and tomorrow are my days with the doctors and the nurses……I may not be as active as I am most times….you know how doctors are…”Hurry up and wait”…..

I must bow out….Be well, be safe…..until the morrow…….chuq

PTSD!

That dreaded disorder the afflicts so many of our service men and women…..well okay but this PTSD means “Peace Through Strength Doctrine”.

Trump has been pushing this slogan for over a year….it goes well with his con job of “Make America Great Again”…….but that is all it is…..a slogan and a racket…….

Donald Trump has embraced the popular “peace through strength” doctrine (PTSD) with his characteristic panache:

“I’m going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody – absolutely nobody – is gonna to mess with us,” Trump says. On other occasions he’s said similar things: “We want to defer, avoid and prevent conflict through our unquestioned military strength” (same link) and, a year ago, “Nobody is going to mess with us. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history.”

I will acknowledge that the PTSD has surface appeal. Why not show the world the United States is so awesomely powerful that no one in his right mind would even think to get on its wrong side? It seems to make sense in a practical sort of way.

https://original.antiwar.com/srichman/2018/02/16/peace-strength-racket/

Make war to preserve the peace……another silly slogan.

Like I say slogans to try and get the approval of the people….make them think there is a threat and they then will accept massive spending on weapons and ordinance that we do not need for their protection.

After The Gun Ban

We have had our 18th mass shooting for the year…..it is February 2018….and as usual we have the gun debate flying all over the internet and the news……it is a conversation we need but it seldom goes beyond the accusation of the two sides.

Hypothetically let us say that we were successful in a ban on the guns in question……

Looking back a few years after hypothetical new restrictions on semiautomatic weapons in private hands, we see a country grown more divided, but no less armed.

The strategy that gun controllers finally settled on was to shift the culture to make firearms ownership socially unacceptable. Then, legal changes would be possible.

“I think we have to cleanse our culture of this false idea that guns are cool,” gun opponents wrote. “Guns are not cool. Cool kids don’t use guns.” Others agreed, and they all pointed to an earlier example of demonizing a previously popular product. “Guns should be the new cigarettes,” they insisted.

Please remember I said this was hypothetical….no sense getting your drawers in a twist.
Anything you would like to add to the thought?

Closing Thought–27Feb18

Holy Crap!

The last couple of years have been awash with scandals and most of them are of a sexual type….I realize that these things are nothing new just they seem to be more prevalent than in the past….it seems that they are an almost daily occurrence….

Just last week there were a few that involved a governor and a mayor…..

A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015, the city circuit attorney’s office said Thursday. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation in January after Greitens admitted to an affair with his St. Louis hairdresser that began in March 2015. He was elected governor in November 2016. Gardner declined comment beyond a brief news release, but spokeswoman Susan Ryan confirmed the indictment stemmed from a photo Greitens allegedly took of the woman, the AP reports. Greitens was taken into custody in St. Louis and released on his own recognizance, Ryan said.

The indictment states that on March 21, 2015, Greitens photographed a woman identified only by her initials “in a state of full or partial nudity” without her knowledge or consent. The indictment said Greitens “transmitted the image contained in the photograph in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.” The woman told her husband, who was secretly taping the conversation, that Greitens took the compromising photo of her at his home and threatened to use it as blackmail if she spoke about the affair. A news release from Gardner says it is a felony if a person transmits an image “in a manner that allows access to that image via a computer.” Greitens has repeatedly denied blackmailing the woman, but has repeatedly refused to answer questions about whether he took a photo.

Then there is the mayor………

Investigators in Tennessee say nude photos recovered from a former police officer’s phone could be evidence of two crimes—or possibly three, since Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says if the photos are of her, they were taken without her consent. In an affidavit, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says photos from former Sgt. Rob Forrest’s phone show that an extramarital affair he had with the mayor happened while he was on duty as her bodyguard, the Tennessean reports. The photos were allegedly taken during times Forrest claimed overtime pay on two trips to Washington, DC, with Barry. The affidavit cites possible misconduct of public officials and “theft of property,” which legal experts believe refers to the overtime pay Forrest claimed. Barry, who is married, admitted the affair last month but said she wouldn’t step down.

The TBI says Forrest’s phone has also yielded evidence of 260 deleted chats between him and the mayor. Records show the TBI has seized the mayor’s phone, but she has refused to unlock it. Barry tells WSMV that she was “furious” when she learned about the photos. “If they exist, they were taken without my knowledge and without my consent. It didn’t show that I have done anything wrong or criminal and, in fact, if anything was wrongly done, it was done to me personally,” she says. The mayor says she told the TBI they could look at anything from her phone that related to the investigation, but they wanted everything between “me and my mom and my husband and my son and my attorney and that just didn’t feel right.”

This type of story is too common now for it to be news….just a couple of decades ago when the president got a BJ and you would think that the republic was doomed……now these types of stories are a yawn at best.

On that note….I am off to kick back and relax with a beer and some fried chicken….see you guys tomorrow….chuq

Obvious Explanations Are The Best

Many people both Left and Right have been wondering just what Trump has done to keep so many supporters even after he has been caught lying to them and breaking promises left and right…..

I read a story that helps to explain this phenomena……..

It’s incomprehensible to many of us that people could support a president who, in Bernie Sanders’ words, “is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation.”

Based on various trusted sources and a dab of cognitive science, it’s fair to conclude that there are three main reasons for this unlikely phenomenon.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/three-reasons-millions-people-still-support-trump/

Personally, after knowing a few of the Trump supporters I find Number 3 the most accurate…..they cannot accept they were wrong and will spend energy making excuses for whatever it is that Trump continues to do or say….they cannot admit that they were wrong!

It is that easy!

Michael Steele Gets My Vote

Most of my life I have been a hardcore radical and according to some these days then that makes me a detested Liberal….but even in my most radical times I always had time for and would debate a conservative for there were some stands that I could understand and in a different day would have embraced their beliefs.

I find the conservs these days to actually have a good strong leg to stand on when addressing the public but they cannot fight the Twitter machine…..I find their stands conserv stands and do not confuse them with the policies of Trump they are not the same…..no matter how much Trump would like to claim the conserv mantle he falls short.

This recent CPAC, the big meeting of Trumpians made a big mistake in my opinion when one of the panel members attacked former RNC chairman, Michael Steele……

Yes, that’s the spokesman for the premier conservative confab of the year lamenting that his party once hired a black man as RNC chair. Walters apologized to Steele afterward, and Steele told MSNBC on Saturday he declined to accept it. Steele later called the comments “painfully stupid.”  Can you blame him?

CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters raised eyebrows at this year’s conference after telling an audience Friday evening that former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele only got the job because he was “black.”

“We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy; that was the wrong thing to do,” Walters said at the event’s exclusive Ronald Reagan dinner. Many dinner attendees greeted the comments with gasps.

Steele did more to expand the GOP during his tenure than any former chairman before him…..his legislative successes were unprecedented…so to dismiss his accomplishments by saying it was because he was a black guy is just wrong and just a bit racist.

Trump is overseeing the death of a vibrant and successful GOP….the party’s roots are drying up and rotting off….

Nukes In The Middle East?

For decades the West has been working to keep nukes out of the hands of those countries in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel) because of the chance of it would be used in ways not approved by the leaders here in the West.  Look how hard the US has fought to keep it out of the hands of Iran and Israel has used the possibility of nukes in the Middle East (with the exception of them) to get unlimited aid from the West.

Then in the last year or so there has been rumblings that Saudis have been posturing to move into the realm of nuke energy.

Saudi Arabia is moving swiftly to become the next country in the Middle East with nuclear power. The Kingdom is on the verge of striking a deal with the US for the purchase of nuclear reactors despite concerns over its refusal to accept stringent restrictions against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, who is the de facto ruler of the country, has ambitious plans to diversify the country’s energy source and is in the market to purchase nuclear power reactors. The potential for lucrative deals is too good to be missed and the Trump administration is thought to be mulling over loosening US law to win Saudi contracts, worth billions. The Kingdom has refused to be bound by stringent US regulations that restrict reprocessing and enriching uranium for the production of nuclear weapons.

http://theantimedia.org/saudi-arabia-nuclear-weapons/

Now I personally think it is a horrible idea if the security of the Middle East and possibly the world is of a concern.

Why?

The radical extreme fundamentalist beliefs of the Saudi brand of Islam, Wahhabism is the belief of most of the jihadists fighting in the world.  If Saudi Arabia were to get their reactors then they would produce waste which in turn could be used as a dirty bomb….something the Radicals have been fantasizing about for years….

In other words this idea would give these barbarous toads one step closer to the WMD that they dream of for so long.

The Trump administration has had some horrible ideas in its year of existence….but this one is by far one of their worst….hopefully clearer thinking will prevail.

Closing Thought–26Feb18

The big news today is the school shooting last week…but this time it is not the gun debate that is making the news but rather the action of some of the law enforcement dudes that showed up at the school….

The school resource officer said to have waited outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead may not have been alone. The Sun-Sentinel reports Coral Springs police officers say several deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office also waited outside the school in Parkland, Florida, during the shooting instead of going inside to confront the shooter or help injured students and teachers. Police sources tell CNN that officers arrived at the school to find three deputies with their guns drawn standing behind their vehicles. The officers then entered the school on the direction of the deputies. Sources say the officers were upset the deputies already on the scene didn’t follow them inside.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says the allegations from three officers were brought to him by the Coral Springs police chief. “If we find out, as we did with Peterson, that our deputies made mistakes and didn’t go in, I’ll handle it like I always have,” he tells the Sun-Sentinel. Israel suspended school resource officer Scot Peterson, who then retired, earlier this week. The sheriff’s office says it will interview the officers who complained about the deputies’ actions, and officials are reviewing footage to corroborate the allegations. Skip Campbell, the mayor of Coral Springs, says if the allegations are true, “it not only makes me angry, it makes me furious.”

If this report is accurate then there is a special place in Hell for those that did not enter and confront the shooter….they could have saved lives…now they will have to live with the shame.

I must say TTFN and that I shall return tomorrow with more stuff……chuq

 

Why Do Some Americans Stay Poor

There is one aspect of American society that confuses many people especially those in other countries…..American poverty.

Many sociologists, economist and other social scientists have tried to explain this situation….few succeed.  This blogger tried to answer the question of Why Poverty 10 years ago….as I said….tried.

https://lobotero.com/2008/09/29/why-is-poverty-a-dirty-word/

It is a nagging question.  There are many myths to go with the question….the biggest of these is the answer that these poor people are freeloaders that do not want to work and all they do is take from the taxpayer.

It is a simple explanation that fits the narrative from the Reagan conserv years.  It was a myth then and it remains a myth today.  So why do some Americans stay poor?

In his State of the Union address, President Trump said “there has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.” But the new 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard and its accompanying report says that isn’t so for low-income Americans.

“The system is, by just about all measures, stacked against those with low incomes and low wealth for the benefit of the wealthiest,” says the report from the nonpartisan but left-leaning Prosperity Now nonprofit, which provides research and recommendations regarding Americans with limited incomes.

One example: low-income people are ineligible for federal programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) if they amass “even modest savings,” the report noted. Prosperity Now calls policies like this “a roadblock on the path to saving.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-real-reason-many-americans-stay-poor-2018-02-13

There is a considerable controversy about poverty and its relationship within inequality. From one point of view, any society with inequality is bound to have poverty. In other words, poverty is more likely to occur in a society which accepts inequality. Sociologists who adopt a relative definition of poverty accept that for the eradication of poverty, it is necessary to first abolish all inequality in income.

Now we know that the abolition of inequality in this country is never going to occur under this governmental standard.  Not too damn many Americans are poor because they want to be so…the system is the problem and a system change is not very damn likely.  Ergo the poor will remain poor and the wealthy will just continue to be exploitative and wealthier.

Conscription Is Not The Answer

For years I have been bitching about that their is NO shared experience by the American people when it comes to all these wars the US fights….I have even said that I might support the action to bring back the draft.

Not that I am a war lover on the contrary I am as antiwar as they come and have been since 1971.  But when about 1% of the population knows the horrors of war then it is time for the rest of the country learn a thing or two.

I never thought a draft would make it easier only that more of the country would suffer the horrors military families face daily…..thus the country would possibly re-think the constant war footing.

Being a stand up type of guy I will offer up an opposite thought on conscription…….

Every now and then the old argument that the draft should be reinstated pops back up. Most recently it appeared here at The American Conservative in a piece by Dennis Laich and Lawrence Wilkerson that contended America’s all-volunteer force is deeply unfair. Without directly stating it, they implied that the draft should be brought back.

“Said more explicitly,” they write, “if the sons and daughters of members of Congress, of the corporate leadership, of the billionaire class, of the Ivy Leagues, of the elite in general, were exposed to the possibility of combat, would we have less war?”

Source: Bringing Back the Draft Won’t Stop Unnecessary Wars | The American Conservative

I will agree with their conclusion…..but restatement of conscription would resurrect a dead antiwar movement and maybe we could end some of the wasteful use of American lives.

This country desperately needs a renewed antiwar….seeing how Congress will do the job it is up to the people to bring all this insanity to an end.

Stand Up To End These Damn Wars!