What Is The ‘National Guard’?

My Closing Thought–12Apr18

The big story last week was that Pres. Trump has ordered the National Guard to the border to fight immigration problems…..my thinking is that the National Guard is under the control of the state and the reserves controlled by the federal government…..

Is my thinking accurate?

President Donald Trump recently announced his plan to dispatch National Guard troops to the southern border to assist with security efforts.

The Army National Guard is the oldest defense force in the nation, formed in 1636 as three militia regiments in the Massachusetts Bay Colony armed to defend against the Pequot Indians.

The actual term “National Guard” was first used in 1824 for New York state militia units who wished to honor the Marquis de Lafayette and his French National Guard. The title was officially adopted in 1903 and describes the force which, unusually, falls under both federal and state control.


Did this answer any questions that you may have about the use of the National Guard?


Is The “Libertarian Moment” Gone?

About 10 years ago with the election of Rand Paul conservatives were celebrating for they saw a Libertarian mindset taking hold in society….and so it was for a few years and then the election of 2016 and that of Donald trump has crapped on any Libertarian forward movement to a halt.

Are true conservative(Libertarian) policies dead in the water?

Senator Rand Paul is a man out of time. It was only a few years ago that the editors of Reason magazine held him up as the personification of what they imagined to be a “libertarian moment,” a term that enjoyed some momentary cachet in the pages of The New York Times, The Atlantic, Politico (where I offered a skeptical assessment), and elsewhere. But rather than embodying the future of the Republican Party, Paul embodies its past, the postwar conservative era when Ronald Reagan could proclaim that “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism,” when National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. could publish a conspectus of his later work under the subtitle “Reflections of a Libertarian Journalist,” and young blue-blazered Republicans of the Alex P. Keaton variety wore out their copies of Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose.


Will conservatism return or is it dead?


No Good Options For Syria

Trump has promised some sort of action against Assad in retaliation for his supposed chem attack on civilians……will Trump actually listen to his advisers or FOX News?

Are the options any good?

On the evening of 7 April 2018, the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma was subjected to an apparent chemical weapons attack. According to local first responders, the attack killed more than 42 residents sheltering in their homes and affected more than 500. The attack came as Syrian government forces subjected the city to a surge in conventional bombing after negotiations stalled over the city’s surrender.


More information on the possibilities after the retaliation…..

With war ‘fanatic’ John Bolton in the White House for the first time as his new national security advisor on Monday night, President Donald Trump gathered his military advisors together as lawmakers and anti-war policy experts raised warnings that any move by the president to attack Syria in the wake of a suspected chemical attack over the weekend would not only be extremely “dangerous” but also “illegal.”

“President Trump’s threat to attack Syrian forces in response to a chemical weapons attack is a reckless, knee jerk reaction to a complex and dangerous situation,” Martin said. “There hasn’t been an independent investigation into the chemical weapons attack, Congress still hasn’t debated or authorized the use of force in Syria, and there is still no international legal basis for U.S. military action in Syria.”


They say that Trump is building a coalition to help with his decision to strike at Assad……

President Trump is in the process of building a new coalition of allies to participate in a multi-nation “strike force” attack on the Syrian government. This talk of coalition action reflects the rapid escalation of plans since US officials embraced Saturday’s allegations of a chemical weapons strike.

Officials said as early as Sunday that the claimed Saturday attack would lead to a US military strike, and President Trump indicated this would happen “very soon.” Instead of a one-off strike, as with last April’s tomahawk missile bombardment of Syria, the US seems to be envisioning starting a whole new war over it.

This new US-led war in Syria doubtless suits much of the administration just fine. After all, this time last week US officials were trying to talk President Trump out of ending US military involvement in Syria. Now, they seem to have a pretext for an open-ended conflict.


Trump has cancelled his trip to Peru so that he can be close to the advisers for a decision to attack Syrian forces….the media is working hard to push the airstrike or missile strike or whatever violence they can think of……the MSM wants a war to end all wars especially in Syria……

With America’s major corporate cable outlets—particularly so-called liberal networks like MSNBC—continuing to uncritically provide generals and lawmakers a massive platform to beat the drums of war as President Donald Trump inches closer to launching a military attack on Syria, critics have concluded that the U.S. media has clearly learned nothing from the crucial role it played in cheerleading for the Bush administration’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“The push for escalation on TV is overwhelming,” Cenk Uyger, host of The Young Turks, observed in a tweet on Wednesday, reacting to the numerous instances this week of television hosts opining on Trump’s “military options” with the likes of Iraq War supporter and retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey while refusing to question the underlying rationale for or legality of unilateral military action.


The world is on the edge of their chairs waiting to see just what tough guy Trump will call as the reaction to the chem attack.

Random Thoughts–April 2018

It has been a long time since news has been coming fast and furious other than the word regurgitation from the man in the big white house.

From time to time I will do a Random Thoughts post to try and get as much news in as possible…..hope you guys enjoy it…….

On The International stage…….

1–All the hub-bub about Iran and NK and their nuke program and everyone overlooked Pakistan…..

Last week, Chinese officials confirmed the sale of a sophisticated optical tracking system to Pakistan. The nation has been developing multiwarhead nuclear missiles, and the infusion of advanced Chinese tech brings it one step closer.

Optical systems are critical in missile testing, providing engineers valuable high-resolution images of a missile’s multiple stages that can be used to improve designs.


2–I recently gave my thoughts on the so-called Russian attacks on our electric grid…..and yet more…….

The Trump administration has accused Russia of a two-year cyberattack campaign against the U.S. electric grid. This is the first time the U.S. has openly accused Moscow of threatening America’s energy infrastructure. And it demonstrates why the grid must be able to resist cyberattacks on networks and ensure customers have stable electricity access.

Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced a new Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response last month, indicating that the administration is taking grid cyber threats seriously. This effort aims to enable coordinated preparedness and response to man-made threats. President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget allocates $96 million for this center.


3–A new anti-terror alliance for Syria………

 The presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia on Wednesday appeared determined to continue their 15-month cooperation on Syria, ignoring crucial differences among themselves but often pointedly mentioning the sacrosanctity of the country’s territorial integrity.

The Ankara summit brought together Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, whose countries launched the Astana process in January 2017 seeking to facilitate de-escalation zones in war-torn Syria and aid the Geneva talks in bringing about a political solution.

Erdogan, often blunt to the point of being belligerent, opted for a soft approach despite a hint of differences – with Iran in particular – over Ankara’s military incursion into Afrin since January.


4–Once again Assad is accused of chemical attacks……

A new flare-up of violence in the last rebel-held city in Eastern Ghouta has served as an opportunity for the US State Department to claim chemical weapons were being used. The allegations were quickly endorsed by the White Helmets, a Syrian medical NGO active in a number of rebel territories. The White Helmets are often making allegations of war crimes in Syria.

Evidence has been lacking in claims of chemical attacks by Syria’s government, and proof has been non-existent. US officials, however, never let uncertainty get in the way of a good story, and will not only be repeating this claim as unquestioned fact for years to come, but as seen last year, may use it as a pretext for a military strike on Syrian forces.


5–Remember when Chavez and Bush would go round and round….and then Obama came to the leadership and the political tango continued and then Trump was elected and a new Venezuelan president and the beat continues…..

Countries that don’t eagerly follow the U.S.-led global order make prime targets for American-led invasions, particularly when those countries challenge the status of the U.S. dollar.

Right now, Venezuela is one of these countries. Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves, and in order to free itself from what it calls the “tyranny of the U.S. dollar” in maximizing its potential on these oil reserves, the country began publishing its oil and fuel in Chinese yuan in September of last year. It recently added further insult to injury and launched the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency, known as the petro. According to TIME, however, the petro is “in fact a collaboration – a half hidden joint venture between Venezuelan and Russian officials and businessmen, whose aim was to erode the power of U.S. sanctions.”


6–I do not want to leave Africa out of my thoughts…….In recent months several countries have changed leadership after dumping long serving leaders……could we be looking at an African Spring?

But does this herald a new dawn for African democracy – or will they be left disappointed?

The three biggest downfalls herald from Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe.


Now let me stray into events within our borders…….

1–It appears that South Carolina has been busy with idiots….GOP lawmaker has his day with a gun…..

A Republican lawmaker in South Carolina took out a loaded pistol while arguing with constituents pushing for better gun control Friday, the Washington Post reports. “I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords,” Rep. Ralph Norman tells the Post and Courier, adding, “I don’t mind dying, but whoever shoots me better shoot well, or I’m shooting back.” Giffords, a former Arizona lawmaker, was shot during a public appearance in 2011. Norman’s move drew criticism from some attending the “coffee with constituents” event, as well as from Giffords’ husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who agreed with just one part of Norman’s sentiment. “When I think of @GabbyGiffords, I think of courage and public service, not intimidating constituents,” Kelly tweeted. “You’re no Gabby.”

Norman says he took out his pistol and placed it on a table while talking with volunteers from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to prove that “guns don’t shoot people; people shoot guns” and that guns are only dangerous when it’s criminals who are using them. “I’m tired of these liberals jumping on the guns themselves as if they are the cause of the problem,” Norman says. “Guns are not the problem.” While Norman claimed he was making constituents at the meeting safer, some said they felt uncomfortable or unsafe when he took out his gun. “Rep. Norman’s behavior today was a far cry from what responsible gun ownership looks like,” says Lori Freemon, one of the volunteers at the meeting. Norman, who has a concealed carry permit, says he plans to take his gun out at more meetings in the future.

2–There has been a lot of air time About Sinclair Broadcasting and its demand that its anchors put forth a solid front……

Sinclair Broadcast Group owns a growing number of local TV stations across the US, and it’s come under fire previously for newsroom tactics dictated by its Maryland headquarters. But criticism reached new heights over the weekend when Deadspin stitched together a video showing dozens of anchors reciting the same script in which they criticize the national media over bias and fake news. See another mashup here via ThinkProgress. Here’s a look at background and reaction:

  • The order:CNN reported last month that the conservative-leaning Sinclair ordered anchors at local affiliates to read what CNN media writer Brian Stelter describes as something akin to “pro-Trump propaganda.” His story recounts how many anchors chafed at the mandate, with one saying he “felt like a POW recording a message.”
  • Sinclair’s defense: This is standard stuff, says Sinclair VP Scott Livingston. “Promo messages, like the one you are referring to, are very common in our industry,” he tells CNN. “This promo addresses the troubling trend of false stories on social media and distinguishes our trusted local stations as news destinations where we are committed to honest and accurate reporting.”
  • The script: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the full transcript of the anchors’ script. “The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media,” it reads in part. “More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories … without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’ … This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.” The P-I reports that staffers at local Sinclair affiliate KOMO were upset with the order.
  • Trump defends: “So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased,” he tweeted Monday. “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”
  • ‘State media’: Criticism of Sinclair took off on Twitter and sample sentiment was on display at MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday. “It’s state media, essentially,” said Jon Meacham, per Mediaite. “Shoving propaganda down local anchors’ throats,” added Joe Scarborough.


Thoughts of the day…..

May we all have a good day…..