Closing Thought–14May18

Speaking of the all important policy of jobs…..

The US auto industry has been struggling for decades……and after the last hit it took it did what it had too to streamline…..a few models went away….Mercury, a few models of Ford, Saturn, etc……well the streamlining is not yet complete……

Some 110 years after the first Model T rolled off the line, Ford has decided to start phasing out car sales. The company announced Wednesday that it “will not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America.” In a financial release, Ford said that it plans to transition to just two cars over the next few years: the Ford Mustang and the new Ford Active, a “crossover” vehicle to be released next year. Ford currently sells the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, Mustang, and Taurus sedans and coupes in North America reports TechCrunch, which notes that the Lincoln sedans are also expected to vanish.

Ford hasn’t said exactly when the Taurus and other models will be phased out, but the company’s statement says almost 90% of its North America portfolio will be trucks, utilities, and commercial vehicles by 2020. Auto industry experts say the move is a bold one, but not totally unexpected, given the continuing shift among consumers away from cars and toward SUVs. ” Ford’s announcement to pretty much get out of the car business … comes as no surprise,” says analyst Michelle Krebs, per the Detroit Free Press. “Ford’s car sales have been dismal for the past couple of years, and there’s no end in sight to the decline of traditional cars.”

Since the auto industry is struggling…..which models will be next and which maker will close down completely?

What say you?

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It’s Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

Making America Great Again!  Apparently we do this by helping China’s ZTE corporation……wait for the WTF!

Remember all those jobs that the president said would come flowing back to the shores of America? 1.7 million jobs created in 2017…..compared to 2.2 million created in 2016….I feel confident that we will have a new day in this country any time now.

Trump is planning to save jobs in China….you heard me….CHINA…..that is the nation of China not China, New Mexico….

President Trump surprised the business world Sunday by saying Washington would help keep the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE alive—right after US sanctions had crippled it, the New York Times reports. “President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast,” tweeted Trump. “Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” The Commerce Department last month imposed a seven-year ban on US companies shipping technology to ZTE, saying it had allowed workers to disregard US trade controls on North Korea and Iran.

Then ZTE, which has 70,000 workers across 160 countries, announced Wednesday that it was stopping “major operating activities.” So, what’s up? “Given his pressure on Beijing on trade, I don’t understand concern for Chinese jobs,” says technology and security expert Adam Segal. In fact, many analysts are “initially scratching their heads,” the Times says, while the Wall Street Journal calls Trump’s about-face “extraordinary.” Reuters notes that US suppliers like Intel and Qualcomm will likely suffer “a significant impact” from the Commerce Department ban. American companies are said to supply 25% to 30% of components used by ZTE, which makes smartphones and gear for telecom networks.

So Trump is going to help save jobs for a Chinese company…that ought to give all those workers that lost their jobs when Harley-Davidson closed their plant to move to Thailand so much confidence and a warm feeling while they try to get some unemployment hopefully they will not suffer the insult of being called a freeloader for needing help.

Also keep in mind that ZTE is one of the companies that has software to make a security breech easy……we will help save jobs and help make security violations so much easier.

That should “Make America Great Again”.

Fascists To The Right…….

World War Two and we fought the great Satan of fascism….Germany and Italy……but during that war there were more fascist in the world than you can imagine….

These are the little known fascists that prayed on their populations….

Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, was murdered by a mob on April 28, 1945, after 23 years of fascist governance in Italy. Mussolini, his mistress, and many of the fascist party’s top leaders were murdered in cold blood without trial. That’s no way to bring down a government. Even Saddam Hussein, the Nazis and the Japanese were given trials. So, as bad as Mussolini was, his end was not fair in any sense of the word. It would be wise to remember that even tyrants and despots, along with murderers, rapists, terrorists, and pedophiles still have a right to a fair trial in free countries. This long-observed law is often misconstrued as a weakness by many non-Western observers, but make no mistake: A fair trial is a cornerstone of Western civilization.

Mussolini’s vulgar end is the inspiration for this weekend’s Top 10 list: Fascist governments you  may not know about. Fascism is a complicated system of governance and ideology, and one that, in part because its adherents lost World War II, is often used as pejorative by the victors of the same war (the liberals and the socialists). I mentioned some of the best contemporary essays on fascism at the Historiat last month, which you can read for yourself here

https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2018/04/26/10_little-known_fascist_governments_299.html

Your knowledge of World War Two has been expanded…..you are welcome.

Democracy Comes To Iraq?

With ISIS on the run Iraq has held a round of election trying to find a truly workable government….

Iraq’s electoral law is a complex and idiosyncratic method of securing proportional representation in Parliament. The system tends to favor the largest parties and solid voting blocs using a process so arcane that virtually no one outside of professional politicians and statisticians really understands how it works.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-11/iraq-elections-are-sure-to-leave-a-mess

Since the fall of Saddam Iraq has been suffering from sectarian divide and its politics are the battlefield…..can they move past this?

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite, has not limited his campaigning for this week’s elections based on traditional sectarian considerations. He has traveled to predominantly Sunni areas such as Salahuddin province about 100 miles north of Baghdad and Anbar province about 70 miles to the west of the capital. He is the most prominent Shiite leader striving to win votes of residents in areas known for strong sectarianism, areas which the Islamic State (IS) invaded in 2014 as the group ultimately settled in about one-third of the country.

In the predominantly Sunni province of Salahuddin, the list of alliances includes diverse ethnic and sectarian names in which 332 candidates from 15 electoral alliances will compete.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/05/iraq-election-sectarianism-shiite-sunni.html

Iraqis head to the polls on May 12 to elect a new parliament, after which legislators will choose a speaker, president, and prime minister. The elections come at the end of four tough years for Iraq, with the Islamic State seizing a third of the country in 2014 and the Kurds making a strong push for independence last September.

Despite the turmoil, Kurdish-Arab violence has been minimal, and the numerous victors of the war against IS are all hoping to turn their battlefield triumph into votes. Chief among them is Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is seeking reelection and a stronger mandate to govern. The numerous Shia militias who fought IS have formed a political coalition that is expected to do well. Yet the electoral prospects are uncertain for the Kurds, whose independence referendum and subsequent military and political setbacks have diluted the goodwill they gained by fighting IS in the north.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/iraqs-elections-red-flags-and-opportunities-for-inclusion

With all the past fighting and destruction and past political in-fighting there are some green shoots of democracy creeping into the Iraqi political scene….

In March 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq, and in June 2004, it tendered sovereignty of the country back to the Iraqis. Iraq’s first elections took place in January 2005 with images of purple fingertips marking the milestone, but elections alone do not make a democracy. The record of the U.S. in fostering Iraqi democracy has been mixed, but despite the errors and setbacks, the U.S. still has an important opportunity to support something unusual: a stable, Arab democracy.

One of the early U.S. errors was the 2003 decision to order de-Ba’athification. This meant that nearly anyone that was part of the government during the Saddam Hussein regime lost their jobs. Those in favor of de-Ba’athification argued it was the only way to remove the Hussein-tainted operatives from the levers of power. Hindsight shows that critics of this decision had the better argument. With de-Ba’athification, the security situation in Iraq worsened, and since Ba’athists were largely Sunni, ethnic tensions amongst Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds were exacerbated.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/11/green_shoots_of_democracy_in_iraq_113433.html

WE will just have to see how the election turns out….personally as long as there is any sectarian divide democracy will always be a dream on unfulfilled.

Iran: Another Regime Change?

Meddling in Iran would be NOTHING new for the US it did so in the 1950’s and that move helped bring about the 1979 revolution that the US is still reeling from….why not try it again to see if we can get it right this time?  (sarcasm)

Now that the Iran nuke deal is history could there be other “deals” in the shadows waiting for the light of day?

But there may be no need for an attack on Iran….

Against the backdrop of cosmetic military strikes against the brutal Syrian regime, a close ally of Tehran, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has been touring Western countries warning about the dangers of Iranian expansionism.

As dangerous as this may be, an even greater danger would be an escalation against Iran which could lead to war—a conflict that would be several times deadlier than our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While the president seems inclined to leave the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), and could even be considering strikes against Iranian nuclear sites, as his new National Security Advisor John Bolton once advocated, such actions would be counter-productive to U.S. interests. If the goal is to push back on Iran’s attempt to expand its influence across the Middle East, all the United States has to do is let events unfold.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/08/theres_no_need_to_attack_a_declining_iran_113423.html

And yet the song continues for the US to do something militarily.

The war mongers like Tom Cotton, John Bolton and Pompeo have been slobbering over the chance to attack Iran for decades….let’s star with a look at Bolton and one of his predictions….

In July of last year neoconservative death cultist John Bolton, now the National Security Advisor of the United States, gave a speech at the Grand Gathering of Iranians for Free Iran in which he openly called for regime change in Tehran.

…….

Bolton, who is so stupid, crazy and evil that he remains one of the only high-profile individuals on this planet who still insists that the Iraq invasion was a great idea, spoke about the need to prevent the Iranian government from achieving “an arc of control” through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. He decried the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), claiming that Iran was still a nuclear threat under the existing agreement, and spoke glowingly of aggressive sanctions against Tehran. He concluded his speech with the following statement:

http://theantimedia.com/john-bolton-promised-regime-change-iran-before-2019/

Recently some papers about an Iran regime change came to light through a leak……

Just a few days after the former NYC mayor and latest member of President Trump’s unexpectedly let it slip that “we got a president who is tough, who does not listen to the people who are naysayers, and a president who is committed to regime change [in Iran]”, the Washington Free Beacon has obtained a three-page white paper being circulated among National Security Council officials with drafted plans to spark regime change in Iran, following the US exit from the Obama-era nuclear deal and the re-imposition of tough sanctions aimed at toppling the Iranian regime.

http://theantimedia.com/white-house-planning-regime-change-iran/

Well leg us say that the prediction did not materialize is it possible that a military coup could take place in Iran?

Since the beginning of the year, Iran has witnessed persistent protests. In January, massive demonstrations against the government spread to more than 80 cities in 29 provinces in which at least in 21 people were killed. In early February, dozens of women were arrested for taking off their head scarves and protesting against mandatory veiling in Tehran.

Later the same month, police clashed with members of the Gonabadi Sufi order, which led to five deaths, according to Gonabadi activists, and hundreds arrested. In late March, Arabs staged protests in Khuzestan province after a the national TV excluded their community from a programme about Iran’s ethnic diversity. Then in April, the security forces cracked down on water shortage protests in Isfahan province. Labour strikes in various cities across the country have also persisted.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/military-coup-iran-180424144510759.html

It appears that something is in the wind for Iran….but what?