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.

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.

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!

Afghanistan Update

I wish that I did not have to report an update to a 17 year war…….my granddaughter has never known a time when the US was not at war……but since we are still fighting God knows who I need to keep my readers informed…

The Pentagon Inspector General has released a new report on Friday regarding the Afghan War. The report contradicts administration claims that escalation of the conflict was making headway, concluding that “no significant progress” was made in the war in all of 2017.

It is particularly noteworthy, as the Inspector General used actual metrics to gauge progress, noting that the stated goal was to get 80% of Afghanistan’s population under government control, and that the US is no closer to reaching that, with most estimates in the 60% range, still the lowest in the war.

16+ years into the US war in Afghanistan, they control less territory than ever. Despite a priority in striking opium poppy cultivation, that too hit a record in 2017. No substantial changes have been made since the escalation.

The narrative that the war has “turned the corner” has been a popular one for years, indeed over a decade, but the reality is that the war has been struggling throughout, and even claims of a “stalemate” are wildly optimistic.


We are always hearing from whoever is in the White House that we are only days away from a total victory in Afghanistan…..that forecast is more bullsh*t from the WH.

Before Trump occupied the Oval Office he was Tweeting that we need to get out of Afghanistan… early as 2013…..

Whatever happened to the Donald Trump who tweeted in 2013, “Let’s get out of Afghanistan … we waste billions there. Nonsense!”

And whatever happened to the reality TV star who used to tell under-performers, “you’re fired”?

Today, as commander in chief, President Trump is indefinitely extending the Afghan war’s record as the longest in U.S. history. He’s wasting $45 billion to wage it this year alone. And he’s not even thinking of firing his huckster generals who claim that sending a few thousand more troops and stepping up the bombing will be a “game changer.”

Much like the Vietnam War, every day’s news of war from Afghanistan puts the lie to optimistic claims of a military solution. A recent BBC study concluded that Taliban forces are now active in 70 percent of the country, more than at any time since the end of 2001. Unofficial U.S. estimates of their strength have soared from about 20,000 in 2014 to at least 60,000 today.

No one sees Afghanistan as a victory or a success…..what it is is a cash cow for the M-IC…….the longer the war the more profits are made….time to call out the d/bags and cowards…..time to declare a victory and bring the troops home.

We have invested enough blood in this country.

Apparently not yet….

the Washington Postreported that the U.S. Air Force is now bombing Chinese Islamist separatists in a remote corner of Northeast Afghanistan. You’ve likely never heard of the group, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), nor should you have. These ethnic Uyghurs want to secede from China and form their own state in western Xinjiang province. They do not present any sort of existential threat to the United States. Sure, they’ve made common cause with Al Qaeda when it suited them, but overall, according to a terrorism analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center, ETIM “typically has local aims.” Sounds to me like a China problem.

The Post report indicated just how far the U.S. effort in that country has gone off the rails—it is now almost entirely and openly disconnected from vital U.S. interests yet continues apace at a cost of $45 billion annually.

Same sh*t, Different president!