Mash Up To War

WE are celebrating World War One…..this year, 2018, will be the 100th year of the end of the “War To End War” in November.

This war is about like the War of 1812….Americans have erased it from their minds… keeping with my attempt to keep the memory of this war alive I would like to write about the events that lead to this world war…..

World War I was caused by a combination of several factors but above all, it was caused by the tensions between the European powers and crisis of the balance-of-power system that divided Europe into two camps. While one camp, joining Great Britain, France and Russia (Triple Entente) strove to preserve the fragile balance between the European great powers, the second camp that formed around German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Italy (Central Powers) was challenging it. Discussed below are specific events that led to one of the most devastating military conflicts in history.

Why did the US decide to enter into World War One after all it was fought in Europe and was no threat to mainland America?

And NO the sinking of the Lusitania was not the trigger that made America break its neutrality….

Then what was the reason?

The simple answer is a telegram……

After remaining neutral since the war’s start, the United States entered World War I because Germany continued to wage unrestricted submarine warfare, which resulted in the sinking of American ships. The interception of the Zimmerman Telegram, in which Germany petitioned Mexico to join against the US, was another major factor. On April 6, 1917, Congress decided to declare war on Germany.

Your history class is finished for the day……

The Moral High Ground Is Gone

For many years the US has been the champion of human rights…we have tried to help when there has been a refugee crisis…that is until about 25 years ago when we started pulling away from any responsibility for we were helping create the problem.

Misery has become a weapon of war these days……

From Syria to Yemen, from South Sudan to Venezuela, war and political crisis are causing human anguish on a scale unseen in a generation.

That conflict and crisis take a high human toll is hardly new, of course. Yet the scope of suffering today is striking. The number of people displaced globally by conflict and persecution stood at 65.6 million at the end of 2016, the greatest number since World War II. Figures released earlier this month show that there were 11.8 million new internal displacements in 2017, nearly double the 6.9 million in 2016. The number of people facing acute hunger globally due largely to conflict and instability reached almost 74 million across eighteen countries in 2017. The trend is clear: war and crisis are destroying more lives and livelihoods, pushing more people toward starvation and driving more people from their homes.

In the last 10 years we, the US, has contributed to the Middle East refugee crisis…..and now that we have officially pulled out of the UN humanitarian efforts we can NO longer claim any moral high ground and need to keep our mouths shut.

The crisis in the Syrian desert is just such an example……there is lots of finger pointing and little effort to solve the problem…..

Looking at a map, nothing would seem easier than to drive a convoy of food and medical supplies to Rukban, a camp for refugees and displaced civilians on the Syrian–Jordanian border some 260 kilometers east of Damascus. Though the terrain is rough, the camp is located in an area of relative calm and stability, and it could be reached from Amman, Damascus, or both. But Syria’s seven-year civil war says otherwise.

All sides now blame each other for preventing aid deliveries to the tens of thousands of Syrians trapped in this desolate desert region, and Rukban has emerged as a cruel illustration of how civilians are snared in the tangled threads of sovereignty and proxy control that constitute current-day Syria.

Many countries contributed to the creation of this problem, including the US, and few want to help solve the very problems they have created.

Personally, my thoughts are if you had a hand in creating the problem then it is on your shoulders to solve it…..but instead we are asking those countries least able to weather the refugee crisis to do the heavy lifting.

I say that every defense contract has a provision in it that “X” amount of the profits go to a fund to help refugees…administered by Switzerland through the UN.

It is time for Americans to re-claim the moral high ground in war…but that will not happen in this writers lifetime….sad but there is hope, a small glimmer but hope nonetheless.

Closing Thought–25Jun18

The past week the screaming and yelling on the news and in most so-called conserv blogs has been about the border situation….if I need to catch you up then try Google I will not waste my time…..but the news that the corporate Americans would be watching have very little to do with the border…..

Following tariffs recently imposed on steel and aluminum, U.S. businesses have been forced to pay more than $110 million in tariffs in just 13 days according to the Customs and Border Patrol. The U.S. took in $82.2 million in steel tariffs and $28.3 million in aluminum tariffs between June 1-14.

The unintended consequences of tariffs are vast, and have a harmful ripple effect throughout our economy. In just two weeks, U.S. businesses could have spent $110 million in a much different way. Consider the following:

$110 million is enough to hire 2,000 out of work Americans at $55k salaries for an entire year.

$110 million is enough to purchase 4,000 brand new, American made, Jeep Wranglers using the MSRP of $27,495.

Apparently “Freedom Partners” is not here to cover the horrible policies to this man we call “president”….

I realize that economics is not something most conservs can get a grip on…but all the yelling about the border has done nothing to strengthen our economy and neither has the policies of the dude in the White House.  (Please do not taunt the stock market as proof….there is more to an economy than the markets….if you need a quick refresher course on economics…..

Time for a change…..period!

Coming Together In Peace

That is the feeling that we get from some of the news reports on the outcome of the Kim-Trump “summit”….and yet not everyone is on-board with this feeling…..

An implicit coalition of corporate media, Democratic partisans and others loyal to the national security state are actively hostile to any agreement that would endanger the continuation of the 70-year-old Cold War between the United States and North Korea.

The hostility toward Donald Trump on the part of both corporate media (except for Fox News) and the Democratic Party establishment is obviously a factor in the negative response to the summit. Trump’s dysfunctional persona, extremist domestic strategy and attacks on the press had already created a hyper-adversarial political atmosphere that surrounds everything Trump says or does.

I think that the meeting was a good idea….since we are not privy to what was actually said in the meeting of the personas I will give them the benefit of the doubt….I think that the media is giving this “summit” too much credit…it was a meeting for two leaders and that is all….any progress toward peace will be made or not in the negotiations that are to come.

So was this meeting a success?  You betcha.  The photo ops were worth their weight in gold as they say…..and it gave enough speculation to the media to keep them going for awhile or until something new grabs their attention….and it has.

Syria’s “Manbij Model”

There seems to be a deal brewing for some sort of ceasefire for Northeastern Syria between the US and Turkey……it is being called the “Manbij Model”….

The US and Turkey finally reached a deal to jointly administer the strategic city of Manbij following the YPG’s withdrawal from it, and this promising agreement is being touted as a model for Ayn al-Arab (more popularly known in the Mainstream Media by its Kurdish name “Kobani”), Raqqa, and other population centers in the northeastern agriculturally and energy-rich one-third of Syria under American-Kurdish SDF occupation. The working concept as articulated by Turkey at the moment but importantly unconfirmed by the US is to gradually return to the pre-war ethnic status quo in the region either by physically reversing the effects of anti-Arab and –“Turkmen” ethnic cleansing (which is unlikely) or at the very least not recognizing its political consequences in the sense of refusing to allow the minority Kurds to be the majority stakeholders in each city that they’ve conquered.

A ceasefire is always more preferable than the shooting and killing however in this case I want to know where the Syrian input is……US and Turkey are invaders and now occupiers and last I looked Syria was a sovereign nation whether the like the leadership or not…it still is a nation and we should have no say on the control of its territory or its people.

If It Is 2018 It Must Be France

Formula One is my one sports passion……it began in 1959 and I went to my first Formula One race in France….and now today France returns to the Formula One schedule after a few years away.

The race calls for champagne and snacks as I watch…..

I bring this up because I would like to bitch about something the Formula One is considering… see they have a full schedule every year of 20-22 races to determine the championship……well the new owners of the Formula One is considering a race in  Miami…….which I think is bullshit.

Formula One, the world’s preeminent auto racing league, is actively scouting downtown Miami as a potential site for a new Grand Prix.

Executives and engineers with the global racing brand were in town this month, meeting with Miami’s new mayor and the city’s head of film and culture to go over potential racing circuits and logistics. Racing planners have already put together a half-dozen routes that would have high-performance vehicles zooming around AmericanAirlines Arena, over the causeway to Dodge Island, down Biscayne Boulevard and — in what sounds like a non-starter — through the PortMiami Tunnel.

Every country has one race that has always been the way of things…..and the US already has the United States Gran Prix so  we do not need a Miami Gran Prix.  As a matter of fact I feel that we do not need other races like Singapore or Bahrain or Abu Dhabi ……..NO other country has a second race on the schedule…why should the US get special treatment?

Those Were The Days

Sunday and I want to wax poetic…..the older one gets the more one thinks of those magic days of our youth…..and one of those amazing things that no longer exists were the late nite shows at the local Drive-In movie…..there were three where I live…Beach Drive-In, Don Drive-In and the one I frequented the Do-In Movie.

Let’s step back in history for the answers to the questions…..

Whatever happened to the institution and the fun of the Drive-Ins?

Sometime in the 1970s, my older cousin and her husband took me and a neighbor girl to a drive-in theater in Texas, and I still remember how amazing it was to be watching a movie from the back of a station wagon. I mean, you’re sitting there in a car, watching a movie and listening to the audio over a speaker. As a kid, it was about one of the coolest things ever. Nowadays you have cars with built-in DVD players, video game systems, and LCD flatscreens, but nothing really beats the experience of going to the good old drive-in.

You’ll be happy to know the the drive-in phenomenon isn’t quite dead yet, despite being well over 50 years old. While it might be in intensive care, there are still over hundreds of drive-in theaters out there that need your love. You might consider tracking one down near you and showing it some love the next time you have an itch to get out of the house and check out a flick. You’ll be glad that you did. In today’s GeekBomb, we’re charting the history of the drive-in theater experience, and we’ll be letting you know how you can check one out yourself. Brace yourself, we’re pulling the pin…

If you would like to share some memories of the drive-ins then please feel free to let us know your thoughts….

Let’s Go To The News

Sunday and I survived another  week without ever having a Facebook account….go figure!

We live in an age of fake news….and social media is one of the best spreaders of manure…..Facebook and Twitter.  The rise of fake news came from the use of people of FB and Twitter for their news and abandoned traditional forms of news….

With the problems with social media these days is it possible that people are losing their interest in social media as a news source?

When you try to imagine a media diet consisting only of retweets, random blogs or the Facebook posts of family and friends, you grasp the value of journalism created by professional media organisations. Traditional news organisations aren’t perfect, but they are not fake. Nor are they as readily manipulated as we know social media can be. Professional journalism’s longstanding skills of access to sources, verification, presentation and dependable distribution remain an essential element of what nourishes democratic societies.

That insight, sharply conveyed in images accompanying this column, informs a new campaign to promote the well-regarded Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), a not-for-profit magazine based at the graduate school of journalism at Columbia University, New York. The campaign’s assertion of the importance to a healthy democracy of the public sphere – alongside the private, of course – coincides with two new reports that, in different ways, affirm the same. However, the emerging picture is not clear yet.

There are many reasons that fake news is popular…this is just one of them….we have a ways to go to get away from the news that sucks.

I was given some good advice many years ago…..”ignore the propaganda and focus on what you can see”….everyone should subscribe to this dictum

The Spruce Goose

I had a brain fart yesterday and posted one of today’s posts early…..sorry about that…..

I seem to be having some historical moments this weekend… daughter and I were talking about Howard Hughes and the subject of the Spruce Goose came about….how many are old enough to know what the Hell the Spruce Goose was and why was it built…..

Stop hurting yourself with the Google button……I will put it here for you……..

It was a cool California November afternoon in 1947 when the HK-4 Hercules, also known as the Spruce Goose, finally flew. It was supposed to be a simple taxi test, nothing more than motoring through the water of Long Beach Harbor to show off its speed and test out the plane in open water. But having endured years of people mocking the project and himself for trying to build a plane so massive it had no hope of flying, Howard Hughes decided to take the opportunity to extend his middle finger at them all in the most poignant way he could.

No doubt with a twinkle in his eye as the Hercules cruised through the water, Hughes turned to the 30 year old hydraulic engineer, David Grant, who he had chosen as his co-pilot that day despite him not actually being a pilot, and unexpectedly told him to “lower the flaps to 15 degrees”- the take off position.

I just had to share my history stuff this weekend….please go out and enjoy your day….be well, be safe….chuq

Do You Have A Cellphone?

These days that is a stupid question…of course you do.  But in case you are not sure….today they are called “Smartphones”.  We use them for everything…..staying in touch on social media, taking those irritating “selfies” and oh yeah we can make calls on them……

It is the weekend and time for some FYI….things you may have been too busy to notice or to be aware of…..

In case you have not heard SCOTUS just did you NO favor…..

It’s being described as a landmark decision in favor of privacy: The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the government in most cases needs a warrant to track a person’s location by grabbing data from cellphone towers. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four liberal-leaning justices and wrote the majority opinion, though he added that warrants can be skipped in emergency situations to avert an imminent threat, reports USA Today. The case stems from a series of armed robberies in Michigan and Ohio in 2010 and 2011. Under the Stored Communications Act of 1986, the government obtained cellphone records for suspect Timothy Carpenter that revealed 12,898 location points over 127 days, reports CNET. He was later sentenced to 116 years in prison, per the Guardian.

Friday’s ruling says obtaining an “all-encompassing record” of a person’s whereabouts without a warrant is a form of unreasonable search and seizure. “The Government’s position fails to contend with the seismic shifts in digital technology that made possible the tracking of not only Carpenter’s location but also everyone else’s, not for a short period but for years and years,” Roberts writes, noting that people “compulsively carry cell phones with them all the time.” In a rare move, all four dissenting justices wrote their own opinions. For example, Samuel Alito said the ruling “guarantees a blizzard of litigation while threatening many legitimate and valuable investigative practices upon which law enforcement has rightfully come to rely.”

Have you noticed that your rights are being chipped away little by little… guard what you have on your phone or it could come back and bite you in the ass.

Thanx for the visit and hope to see you tomorrow….chuq