Closing Thought –15Mar18

With these latest shooting there is yet another debate/conversation going on about the state of our mental health problems…..and our new president has shown the value of the social media in the world of politics…..he has illustrated just how one person can lead the conversation in the direction that they desire…..

There is also many stories about how the society is suffering at the hands of social media… it feeds some people’s mental illness…..

Since the advent of social media, in the past decade, information about people’s lives has become increasingly accessible in the public sphere. Especially in the past year, new story features in popular social media platforms have allowed people to broadcast their lives to the world in real time, with updates by the second and renewed in a mere 24 hours. On one hand, these changes have allowed society to be more inter-connected than ever and the world has consumed it on a large scale. On the other hand, the broadcasting of our lives in real-time has also caused a worldwide mental health problem.

In the United States, Ashawnty Davis killed herself after a video of her in a schoolyard fight went viral on the app Davis was just 10 years old. Less than a week later, Rosalie Avila hung herself after receiving abusive online messages. This time, the child was just 13 years old.

It is an international problem……here in the US it is getting out of control…..but is there any way to stop the rise in this mental illness?

TTFN…..gotta bounce… well, be safe…..chuq

Heroes Of The Philippines

There are always stories about our wars that seldom get told…..these are some of those stories……

MacArthur’s Spies by Peter Eisner recounts how three individuals played a significant role in the resistance against the Japanese occupation in the Philippines during World War II.  The book shows how heroes come from many backgrounds: a singer, a soldier, and a spymaster.  As the Greatest Generation dies off, written accounts such as this are a reminder of how ordinary people can become extraordinary by putting themselves in danger to help others survive and achieve victory.

The emphasis of the book is on the American singer Claire Phillips, who opened a nightclub in Manila catering to Japanese officials and officers.  She and those who worked for her gathered information that was passed on to the allies.  In addition, she provided food, supplies, and medicine to many of the allied POWs and citizens interned in the camps.  Given the code name “High Pockets,” she met with guerrilla fighters to inform them of Japanese military plans, and by all accounts, she gave credible intelligence reports.
History is fascinating and we should suck it all in for most of the WW2 vets are dying and soon there will be NO one to tell their stories….and when that happens that part of our history will disappear.

It Should Be A Crime!

It is far from a secret that I have not been on-board with the foreign policy of the US for many decades.

I feel we would be in better shape if we had concentrated our aid to humanitarian aid and not military.  I think we would be in better shape to actually lead the world to a more peaceful future.

Our sad foreign policy went off the rails with the end of World War Two.  I have written much along these lines but not having the name recognition of say Ramsey Clark, a former US AG……

“If the kitchen gets a little too hot for him, I am sure that he’s got some friends over in Cuba that could give him a nice hacienda on the beach and he could have a nice life over there.”

There are few countries in Latin America that have not experienced the USA both secretly and overtly backing a right wing military government coup.[1]

The US Secretary of State’s criminally insane back handed remarks favoring a civil war, with all the probable loss of lives a civil war would bring, seems to fit as appropriate within a US foreign policy of world domination.  Human suffering has never been of any  consequence to the financial interests of that 1/10 of 1 per cent of Americans who, to one degree or another, rule us all.

That is the way it has been since the end of the Second World War, a war made possible by US investments and joint ventures in the rearming of Nazi Germany,[ 2] a war that made the USA rich and the first all powerful single superpower.

The billions upon billions of dollars that we have wasted trying to lead the world using military might would have been better spent on humanitarian endeavors.

In other words…the use of ‘soft power’…….

But the profit margins are not there for the greed of the American corporations will win over proper policy every time.

Day Of Protest

Yesterday was the big day for the students to protest the killings in our schools……

Ten days before a massive rally against gun violence in Washington, DC, students across the country will walk out of school Wednesday to mark one month since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students at elementary schools, high schools, and universities will walk out at 10am local time for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims killed and to call for stricter gun laws, reports USA Today. A website for Empower, the youth branch of the Women’s March, shows more than 3,100 walkouts planned (NBC News has an interactive map to help you find those near you), and not only in the US. Students in Germany, Israel, and Australia, are taking part. Non-students are also encouraged to participate by wearing orange or walking out of their jobs.

Democrats in Congress will do so. They’re expected to join students following a march from the White House to the Capitol, where a haunting memorial was seen Tuesday. Some students will face suspension, per the Los Angeles Times. But “my peers and I feel there is no time more critical than this to make clear that we have had enough of gun violence,” says a senior at University High School in Tucson, Ariz., where students plan to call lawmakers, per USA Today. “For far too long, it has made us feel unsafe in our communities and in our classrooms.” The walkouts are a precursor to the March For Our Lives, expected to draw 500,000 people to Washington on March 24. Thousands more will participate in sister marches. Another walkout is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

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It does this old radical’s heart good to see that someone is decided that civil disobedience is making a comeback after so many years of being dormant.

To all adults….Lead, Follow or GTFO of the way!

The IST seal of approval……

Yemen War Update

Recently Congress attempted to flex its muscle and invoke the AUMF in the Yemen War fiasco….

On February 28, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54, a resolution that seeks to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Even before the resolution was introduced, the Department of Defense responded with the extraordinary claim that Congress lacked the legal authority to “override the President’s determination as Commander in Chief” and end the United States’ involvement in the conflict.

To catch my reader up on the situations……March of 2015, a coalition of nine Arab governments, led by Saudi Arabia, began a bombing campaign in Yemen. The Saudi airstrikes were aimed at restoring to power the internationally recognized government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had been deposed by an armed rebel group known as the Houthis.

Since 2015, the United States has been refueling Saudi planes in mid-air before their bombing runs into Yemen. As of last October, the military reported that the U.S. had provided over 80 million pounds of fuel, and refueled over 10,400 in “the Horn of Africa region.” (This total includes support for U.S. and allied counterterrorism operations as well as the Saudi coalition’s war in Yemen. The number of airstrikes by the Saudi coalition is orders of magnitude higher than the number of reported U.S. counterterrorism strikes, so refueling for Saudi planes for operations in Yemen likely constitutes a large share of the total). The war has killed thousands of civilians and contributed to epidemics and widespread food shortages.

The M-IC when it heard about the attempt by Congress went into “get tough mode”…….

The multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex (MICC) has a business model for scuttling legislation that would end or curtail the involvement of the United States in military operations overseas.This typically involves leaking classified falsehoods, i.e., a false statement that the executive branch has classified to prohibit disclosure to the general public on the theory that disclosure might damage the national security of the United States (Executive Order 13526). Typically they will purport to demonstrate catastrophic danger or damage to the United States if Congress ends a use of the United States Armed Forces (USAF) in a designated conflict. Leaks like these will tend to fall into the hands of favored columnists like David Ignatius of The Washington Post or Tom Friedman of The New York Times.

The issue is dead!  The M-IC has defeated any effort to end a barbaric war that is causing a humanitarian crisis….death, destruction, disease, and so much more….but to preserve their profits the M-IC will continue to fuel the crisis on the Arabian Peninsula…..

In a surprising admission on Tuesday, the head of U.S. Central Command — which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia — admitted that the Pentagon doesn’t know a whole lot about the Saudi airstrikes in Yemen that the United States is supporting through intelligence, munitions, and refueling.

This is NOT what the US is suppose to stand for…but these days it is all we have.

Update to the update……..

Senate Joint Resolution 54, which would force the end of the US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen, continues to face mounting opposition from the administration. Defense Secretary James Mattis is the latest to express opposition to the bill, in a letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Mattis argues that the US support for Saudi Arabia is “non-combat support,” and that without it, Saudi Arabia would kill even more civilians in their airstrikes. This is a bold prediction given the outrageous number of civilians the Saudis are killing already.

Mattis further claims that the Saudis are engaged in a “legitimate exercise of self-defense,” another outrageous claim that other administration officials have made. This is based on the Shi’ite Houhis firing missiles at the Saudis, though presenting this as a pretext for a war of self-defense is preposterous, since the missiles were fired years after the Saudi invasion began.

Mattis does concede the point in his letter that there is no legal authorization for US involvement in the Yemen War, but insists Congress should “not impose restrictions” based on the war’s plain illegality under the War Powers Act.

Exact timing for the vote on S.J. Res 54 is still not certain, though proponents of the bill are hopeful that the vote will come early next week. Those wishing to contact their senators to urge them to support SJ Res. 54 should call 1 (202) 899-8938.

The US War Powers Act requires that Congress authorize any US military operations of the sort being carried out in Yemen. Since 2015, the US has conducted mid-air refueling for Saudi warplanes, and committed warships to the naval blockade which is fueling starvation across Yemen.