Closing Thought–11Jun18

Since the 60’s and the “Free Love” Movement sex has become a source of many things…..ad agencies use it to sell products, Hollywood uses it to get the attention of their products and then there are some people that blame sex or more specifically “porn” for all the ills of society.

One of the best (that term was used sarcastically) statement about “porn” came from a GOP Congresswoman (go figure)…..we have had a rash of school shootings well a rash of all kinds of shootings and people look for a logical reason for these horrendous acts……the Congresswoman has hit it out of the park (again….sarcasm)…….

Republicans have long insisted that porn is destroying America, and GOP lawmakers have been quietly waging war on it in state legislatures for years—even if some of them seem to enjoy the stuff themselves. Now, a Tennessee congresswoman is taking the unfounded claim that porn is evil to new heights—arguing it’s somehow a “root cause” of America’s school shooting epidemic.

Diane Black, a Republican representative running for governor of Tennessee, made the comment at a listening session with a roomful of ministers last week, the Huffington Post reports. Discussing what she called the “root causes” of school shootings, she brushed off the fact that America is home to more than five times as many guns as any other country, instead pinning the blame on violent movies, the “deterioration of the family,” and smut.

“It’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store,” Black said. “Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there. All of this is available without parental guidance. And I think that is a big part of the root cause.”

Speaking of smut……the governor of Missouri got caught with his pants down……figurative and possibly literally……he took pics of a woman without her consent……

Just hours before he left office Friday, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed scores of new laws, including a measure that makes it a crime to try to threaten a person using a private sexual image—the same allegation that led to his downfall, reports the AP. In the flurry of last-minute activity, the scandal-plagued governor approved 77 new laws, granted several pardons and commutations, and won at least a temporary reprieve in a court battle over campaign records. He posted a long Facebook message touting his accomplishments—without any mention of why he was quitting—and quietly left Capitol about an hour before his resignation took effect.

A short time later, fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson was sworn in as Greitens’ successor and immediately pledged “to bring honor, integrity (and) transparency to the governor’s office.” The “revenge porn” law signed by Greitens creates a felony that will apply to cases when someone threatens the nonconsensual dissemination of a private sexual image by coercing another person to refrain from an action. The governor has been accused of taking a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an affair in 2015 and warning her he would distribute it if she ever spoke of their encounter. He has acknowledged having the affair but denied criminal wrongdoing and refused to directly answer questions about whether he took the photo.

If you thought they could get no worse than these two toads…….

Nathan Larson, a self-declared racist and ex-con who advocates for pedophilia and rape, is running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District of Virginia.

While speaking to HuffPost on Thursday, the 37-year-old independent candidate from Charlottesville told the publication he identifies as a “quasi-neoreactionary libertarian” who is open about his pedophilia so as to remain unconstrained by “political correctness.”

“A lot of people are tired of political correctness and being constrained by it,” Larson told the outlet. “People prefer when there’s an outsider who doesn’t have anything to lose and is willing to say what’s on a lot of people’s minds.”

(thehill,com)

Least we not forget the GOP governor of Alabama got caught having an affair on the state’s dime…..

And yet the GOP is suppose to be the moral high ground in politics…….now that is a big joke that only the GOP can believe….most are pervs of the first degree.

I use to give the “B3 Award” (Babbling Buffoons Of Babylon Award) in the earlier days of In Saner Thought….an award for those people that let their mouths overload their ass…..and there are many.

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Another American Death

I regret that I must write this post……we have enough US dead on the international battlefield…..over the weekend another special ops trooper has been killed and 4 others wounded….this time in Somalia…..

There are more than 7,300 US Special Operations forces soldiers operating around the world, reports the New York Times, and one lost his life in Africa on Friday. The BBC reports the incident in southwest Somalia was believed to be an ambush by al-Shabab militants; four other American service members were injured. The Times calls the death the “first to have been publicized in Africa since an ambush in Niger in October.” The American forces were serving near Jamaame alongside Somali troops and supported by armed surveillance aircraft.

The BBC reports President Trump has broadened the involvement of US military in Somalia, but the Times notes the US is thought to be moving toward a reeling in of counterterrorism forces in Africa as part of a Pentagon reshuffling that would put the emphasis on Russia, China, and other larger world powers. While al-Shabab was pushed out of the capital city of Mogadishu nearly 7 years ago, the BBC reports it occupies areas around the city. “The mission’s objectives were to clear al-Shabab from contested areas,” United States Africa Command said in a statement following the attack.

I regret that I must do these posts…..it is time for the troops to come home….they have proven all they need to….let them return to their families and get some much deserved rest.

Our condolences go out the the family of this special ops trooper…..

A Historic “Sit Down”

A lot of info to consume…..

Today (Singapore time) is the day when the first ever meeting between an American president and the leader of North Korea……it was a circus on whether this meeting would ever take place…..on again, off again, on again…….

Both leaders and their entourage are on the ground and the first get together is about to make history……

President Trump and Kim Jong Un have both arrived in Singapore, reports the AP, with Air Force One touching down Sunday evening at a military base hours after Kim arrived. CNN reports it’s a rare trip outside the Hermit Kingdom for Kim for an even rarer summit. The North Korea strongman arrived on an Air China flight in what the AP notes was only his fourth trip abroad since taking power in 2011; a motorcade whisked him to the heavily guarded St. Regis Hotel, where he entered unseen, surrounded by a human shield.

Among Kim’s delegation are Kim Yong Chol and sister Kim Yo Jong. Fresh off dropping threats on the G7 summit, Trump also had warning words for Kim. “I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people,” Trump said before leaving the G7 summit. “And he has that opportunity, and he won’t have that opportunity again.” Also due in, per CNN: Dennis Rodman.

Rodman?  Then the description of a circus is accurate.

Is the president prepared……..

President Trump and Kim Jong Un have both arrived in Singapore ahead of Tuesday’s historic summit—but while they are close to each other in location, in separate luxury hotels, the two sides are still far apart on key details. North Korea and the US are still not in agreement on what denuclearization could mean, or even what will be discussed on Tuesday, reports Reuters. Officials met for hours Monday to try to hammer out details of Tuesday’s meeting, which Trump sounded optimistic about. “We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it’s going to work out very nicely,” he told reporters after meeting with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In other developments:

  • Lowered expectations. Both sides have stressed that nobody should expect breakthroughs to happen after a single meeting, the Washington Post reports. North Korean officials and Trump have both described the summit as the first of possible multiple meetings and a gradual normalization of relations. Officials tell the Post that Tuesday’s summit will start with Trump and Kim being photographed on the island of Sentosa. They will then talk for about an hour, with their interpreters as the only other people present, before they meet with advisers.

 

  • Jitters in China. Analysts tell the New York Times that after years of trying to rein in its troublesome ally, Beijing has become nervous about potentially losing it. Analysts say Chinese officials are worried that Pyongyang will move away from China to “embrace” the US, possibly by agreeing to denuclearization.
  • Clashing styles. Trump’s instinct-driven negotiating style is about to encounter a nation that has mastered the “diplomacy of delay, obfuscation, and illusory promises of disarmament,” according to CNN. Trump has alternately claimed to have done little preparation for the meeting and to have prepared “all his life.” Diplomats say that if Trump really is relying on his gut instead of doing his homework, he risks making errors including making deals detrimental to allies Japan and South Korea.
  • History repeating itself? Harry Kazianis at the Hill argues that the summit is certain to end in a round of handshakes, smiles—and promises that North Korea is sure to end up breaking. He says that to get Pyongyang to prove it is serious about denuclearization, Trump should get the country to give up one or two of its nuclear weapons immediately.
  • Media feeding frenzy. Singapore has welcomed more than 3,000 journalists from across the world to cover the summit, an unprecedented number for the city-state. A large facility built for a Formula One race has been refurbished for the journalists, and local businesses have provided an impressive 20-dish buffet to feed them, the AP reports.
  • “A real test of success.” The first face-to-face meeting of US and North Korean leaders is historic, “but a real test of success will be whether it actually leads to concrete, steady, prompt progress toward the twin goals of denuclearization and the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association tells the Washington Post. “By definition that requires a common understanding of what ‘denuclearization’ and ‘peace’ entails and what the major action-for-action steps must be.”

This “summit” has all the earmarks of a circus on so many levels.

We know they will be talking nukes but their is something else that needs to be talking about….by law…..

Under a 2016 law passed by Congress, the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, the president is obligated to investigate and sanction people and entities complicit in human rights abuses in North Korea, not just those involved in weapons proliferation and other illicit activities. The law imposes a financial ban and asset freezes on the government and its component parts, and the Workers Party of Korea, of which Kim is the chairman.

Specifically, the law mandates the president to place on the Treasury Department’s “Specially Designated Nationals” list any person who “knowingly engages in, is responsible for, or facilitates serious human rights abuses by the Government of North Korea,” or “knowingly engages in, is responsible for, or facilitates censorship by the Government of North Korea,” among other criteria. After being placed on the list, designated persons are typically unable to use most international financial systems and are forbidden from traveling to the United States. (Other countries often impose similar sanctions, following U.S. designations.)

The act provides that these measures can be waived short term for special cases (such as to allow a sanctioned diplomat to travel to the United States), and sanctions can be suspended only if North Korea takes major steps to end weapons proliferation and related activities and addresses human rights — for example, by “accounting for and repatriating” citizens of other countries who were abducted by North Korea, “accepting and beginning to abide by internationally recognized standards for the distribution and monitoring of humanitarian aid,” and “taking verified steps to improve living conditions in its political prison camps,” among other criteria.

In other words, the legislation mandates that the United States negotiate on human rights issues alongside proliferation issues. President Trump cannot fully suspend sanctions on North Korea unless North Korea agrees to key reforms.

(Human Rights Watch)

Will the rule of law prevail?  My guess is that it will not.  But we can hope that at least they start a talk on nukes…..but that is doubtful as well.

Other aspects of conflict should also be addressed not just the nuke thing…..how about a conventional threat?

https://thediplomat.com/2018/06/trump-kim-summit-why-north-koreas-conventional-threat-to-south-korea-should-be-discussed-in-singapore/

Optics will be the only thing that is accomplished….both parties must look good….screw substance.

If you are watching and need a program to keep up with the silliness that will ensue…….

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/06/11/a_primer_for_the_trumpkim_summit_113526.html

On a closing thought…..Kudlow, the adviser that played an economist on TV, has stated that if this summit fails the blame should be placed on Canada….

During a manic appearance on CNN on Sunday morning, President Donald Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow frantically attacked Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, calling him “sophomoric” and a “back-stabber,” while complaining his statement affirming Canadian trade policies after Trump left for his Singapore meet-up with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un was designed to make look the president look weak.

(Raw Story)

This White House is always looking for someone to blame for their incompetency…..

As a prelude to the meeting….SecState Pompeo gave us the “official” spin….he said that the US has brought all the experts on nukes that will be needed……may I ask who are these experts?

I ask this because……key decisions about science policy are being made by someone with no training in science.

He still hasn’t appointed anyone as the top science adviser for the White House, a position that has traditionally been held by prominent scientists with extensive education and experience. So the post fell into the lap of a 31-year-old politics major whose most recent job was as chief of staff for Trump ally and venture capitalist Peter Thiel.

As the de-facto head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Michael Kratsios — who holds a degree in Political Science with a concentration in Hellenic (Greek) studies — is tasked with advising the White House on decisions about matters ranging from disease outbreaks to natural disasters. He was initially brought into the White House to advise Trump on tech-related issues.

(sharedblue.com)

Again…who are these experts?

One last thought….news has come out that this will be a one day “summit”……like I said……optics and spin…..

Project: MK-Ultra

The US has at times done some amazingly callous things to its citizens….the studies done at the Tuskegee Institute comes to mind…..but there is another that was equally as diabolical.

The CIA conducted several different studies into mind control in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s……the worse was the Project:  MK-Ultra…..

MK-Ultra was a top-secret CIA project in which the agency conducted hundreds of clandestine experiments—sometimes on unwitting U.S. citizens—to assess the potential use of LSD and other drugs for mind control, information gathering and psychological torture. Though Project MK-Ultra lasted from 1953 until about 1973, details of the illicit program didn’t become public until 1975, during a congressional investigation into widespread illegal CIA activities within the United States and around the world.

https://www.history.com/topics/history-of-mk-ultra

Victims of the CIA’s project are banding together and planning a class action lawsuit……but nothing can regain the mental health that this program destroyed……

Survivors and families of those who were affected by Project MK-Ultra, also called the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mind control program, administered at McGill University’s Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal are preparing a class-action lawsuit against the Quebec and federal governments because of what they alleged had been done to them five decades ago.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), more than forty Canadians for the first time gathered at a Montreal condo over the weekend to share their disturbing stories about how MK-Ultra destroyed their lives.

“The government should offer an apology and there should be recognition of the injustice that was done,” says Gina Blasbalg, who unknowingly became a patient at the Allan Memorial Institute in her teens in the 1960s.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-22/their-lives-were-ruined-victims-cia-mk-ultra-brainwashing-plan-class-action-suit

Some history of the CIA…..is not always as forthcoming as we would like.

IST Afghanistan Report

I try to keep the readers of IST up to date on the progress or lack there of in the war being fought in Afghanistan….after 17 years the American people still do not care that there are Americans fighting and dying in  this country.

Spring has arrived in Afghanistan and Summer lurks….this is the time the Taleban and AQ and ISIS pick to up their attacks and their for attacks….plus the US and its allies also will be planning and attacking……

Following Thursday’s announcement that the US will comply with Afghanistan’s Ramadan ceasefire, which covers the Taliban and will last until June 20, the Pentagon now says they intend to step up offensives against ISIS in Afghanistan.

This announcement is perhaps unsurprising, as the US has not committed itself to a peace process in Afghanistan, and has been steadily escalating its military forces in the country. ISIS remains a convenient alternative target while the Taliban is off-limits.

While this opens up a lot more US troops to carry out strikes against ISIS, what it will accomplish remains to be seen. The US and Afghan governments have both claimed to have wiped ISIS out in Nangarhar repeatedly, only for the group to reemerge, seemingly unharmed.

(antiwar.com)

An interesting announcement considering there are very few that know just how strong ISIS is in Afghanistan…..

There are statements after statements about the situation in Afghanistan….but maybe we should hold our admiration for the job being done…….

The Lead Inspector General (IG) for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel released its quarterly report to Congress last week, assessing the state of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. To put it mildly, the situation is not good. As Glenn Fine, the Principal Deputy IG for the Defense Department writes in the report’s foreword and executive summary, “the percentage of the population living in areas under the control or influence of the Afghan government showed little positive change this quarter,” while civilian casualties were “near record high levels.”

There were some small signs of promise, such as a modest decrease in “security-related incidents” — violence. From April to February, violence was below historical averages, and remains there, despite the Taliban’s Spring Offensive beginning in April. At the same time though, high profile attacks by the Taliban and ISIS spiked, and the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, has written that the security situation in Afghanistan will likely continue to decline this year.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/06/08/dont_buy_the_pentagons_statements_on_afghanistan_113520.html

Rest assured that IST will always keep its readers up to date on the news of all our theaters of conflict.