Closing Thought–01Oct18

I have not been a supporter of the new jet fighter the defense department has spent billions on…..I have not very lovingly called it a “flying brick”…….I have written numerous times how much I dislike this airplane……

https://lobotero.com/2018/03/05/a-10-vs-f-35-remix/

Well it seems that news about this plane has been anything but good….and recently the plane did what I predicted…..flew like a brick.

The F-35 is the US military’s most expensive fighter jet, notes Foreign Policy, and the aircraft just had one of the best and worst weeks in its controversial history. The good part came on Thursday, when the Marines conducted the first-ever airstrike with its version of the jet—a successful hit against a Taliban target in Afghanistan, reports CNN. The bad part came Friday morning, when another of the Marines’ F-35 jets crashed during a training mission in South Carolina, causing the pilot to safely eject. The $100 million-plus stealth jet is a total loss, and the cause is under investigation, but as the Washington Post reports, this is the first “full-blown crash” of an F-35 in the program’s 17-year history.

The Marines’ version of the aircraft is called the F-35B Lightning II, and it’s capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings, reports the AP. Friday’s crash occurred near Marine Corps Station Beaufort, where pilots from militaries around the world come to train on the jet. The F-35 program has been besieged by cost overruns and delays, but the Pentagon announced a milestone of sorts on Friday: It struck a deal with Lockheed Martin that will bring the cost of the most common version of the jet, the F-35A, to its lowest total yet: $89 million, notes the Post. However, the Marines’ version will go for $115 million and the Navy’s for $108 million.

This weapon was a huge waste of time, money and resources……all it is doing is making the M-IC more wealthy selling this “Brick” to our allies.

This thing costs billions to develop and it continues to cost billions to “get it right”….time to cut the losses and scrap this “Brick”…..spend the money on something useful….like education.

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The Court’s First Day–2018

I would like to post on SCOTUS and NO I will not go into the Brett baby and his proclivities for beer……this will be the actual docket for the court for year 2018.

All the attention that SCOTUS has gotten for the last couple of weeks is nothing to do with what the court has to rule on…..today is the first day of the 2018 session and the judges will consider a few interesting filings.

It’s the first Monday in October, which means the Supreme Court will be gaveled into session for its new term—even if the fate of the ninth potential justice remains in limbo. The general consensus in coverage is that the upcoming docket is relatively tame in terms of hot-button issues, though that could change as the term proceeds. In fact, the strategy might be intentional. “This makes me think that the justices were aware of [Anthony] Kennedy’s likely departure when they starting granting cases for this term,” court observer Adam Feldman tells Fox News. And the justices likely anticipated a vacant seat, at least in the early days of the term. Here are some of the bigger cases on tap for now:

  • Frogs: The timber company Weyerhauser objects to land in Louisiana being declared off limits for the protection of the dusky gopher frog, reports NPR. Only 75 of the frogs remain in existence, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to relocate some to a forest owned by Weyerhauser.
  • Death row: The justices will hear a case out of Alabama in which a murderer with dementia is scheduled to be executed. Vernon Madison’s defenders say he can’t remember killing a police officer, and the execution would thus be cruel and unusual punishment.
  • Double jeopardy: In Gamble v. United States, the court will look at double jeopardy, and whether states can prosecute a person for a crime independent of the federal government. The reason it matters? If President Trump pardons someone at the federal level, the person could still face state charges over the same offense, explains the New York Times.
  • The list: For a thorough list of upcoming cases, see Law.com.

The GOP and Trump is in a hurry to confirm Brett Baby because of the Double Jeopardy case that could involve the president and his minions…..

Right now there is a 4-4 tie with the justices in residence…..they wait for Brett Baby to get the all clear from the FBI and he will be voted in and he can celebrate with beer and a party.

It was good enough for the court 2 years ago to be down one justice but for some reason that so much now that the cowards of the GOP are in control.

Founding Fathers And Today

Time for the IST history perspective….(I know all have been holding their breath waiting for this day)

Anyone who has studied American history then they will be familiar with the Federalist Papers and the responses to said…..but in case one has not read the Papers then the links below will help.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786-1800/the-federalist-papers/

The responses to the Papers were called the anti-Federalist Papers……

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786-1800/the-anti-federalist-papers/

If these old works make little sense then try reading it in today’s language……In Other Words: The Federalist Papers in Modern Language

But for those looking for the quick way past this subject….a short video

Onward!

Most of the Papers were written by Madison and Hamilton under pen names……but how does their thoughts from 200 years ago stand up today?

First, Hamilton’s thoughts……

Conservatives have controlled our government for three definable periods in recent history—the Gilded Age of the last three decades of the 1800s (progressives followed from 1901 to 1920), the Roaring 20s (progressives followed from 1933 to 1980), and the Reagan Era that started in 1981 and continues to this day.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/20/alexander-hamilton-was-preoccupied-threat-presidency-trumps-posed-america

Next will be the thoughts from Madison……

James Madison traveledto Philadelphia in 1787 with Athens on his mind. He had spent the year before the Constitutional Convention reading two trunkfuls of books on the history of failed democracies, sent to him from Paris by Thomas Jefferson. Madison was determined, in drafting the Constitution, to avoid the fate of those “ancient and modern confederacies,” which he believed had succumbed to rule by demagogues and mobs.

Madison’s reading convinced him that direct democracies—such as the assembly in Athens, where 6,000 citizens were required for a quorum—unleashed populist passions that overcame the cool, deliberative reason prized above all by Enlightenment thinkers. “In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever characters composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason,” he argued in The Federalist Papers, the essays he wrote (along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay) to build support for the ratification of the Constitution. “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/james-madison-mob-rule/568351/

Some fascinating reading the two “Papers”…..if you like politics then I suggest that you use the links that I provided and get to know the process that brought about this republic…….a republic that is in deep trouble.

Every Americans should have to study the Constitution and what it took to get this republic up and running……as it is today there are very few that know what the “Papers” were all about……political discourse something that is lacking in today’s world.

Class Dismissed!

Then There Is Syria

By the lack of coverage in the MSM one could draw a conclusion that the armed conflict in Syria was winding down….not so …..so to help evweryone understand I would like to give some info that the media is avoiding for one reason or another…..

A situation map by the Institute for the Study of War…….

(ISIS controlled area is in black)

First American policy……

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/26145/america-s-syria-policy-is-incoherent-and-there-s-no-sign-it-will-change

Plus Trump has made another monumental decision……

Addressing an infrastructure event in Ohio on March 29, President Donald Trump declared that the United States would be departing Syria sooner rather than later“We are going to have 100 percent of the [Islamic State] caliphate… But we are going to be coming out of there real soon,” Trump told a roomful of his supporters. “We are going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.” And In case one thought such a declaration was simply a throwaway line at a public event, Trump put that to rest at the White House days later: “I want to get out, I want to bring the troops back home, I want to start rebuilding our nation.Five months after the president made those remarks, it appears as if the administration’s Syria policy has shifted in the opposite direction. The same establishment forces within the administration who have publicly admitted to restraining the president’s policy instincts may now very well be involved in boxing the United States into one more long-term, strategically amoral military and economic commitment in the Middle East.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-29/html/container.html

 The United States will stay in Syria as long as Iran maintains its presence, but the US role will not necessarily involve troops, a senior official said on Thursday.

James Jeffrey, the US special representative on Syria, was clarifying recent comments by senior officials who appeared to suggest that troops would stay indefinitely to counter Iran.

Such an objective would drastically alter the mission in Syria first authorized by president Barack Obama, who set a goal of defeating the Islamic State (IS) group, which also considers Iran a foe.

https://theantimedia.com/us-military-syria-iran/

What news that has come out of Syria seems to point to the fact that Russia has come out on top of the Middle East situation…..

A ceasefire seldom gets a good press. If it succeeds in ending violence or defusing a crisis, the media swiftly becomes bored and loses interest. But if the fighting goes on, then those who have called the ceasefire are condemned as heartless hypocrites who either never intended to bring the killing to an end or are culpably failing to do so.

Pundits are predictably sceptical about the agreement reached by Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi on Monday to head off an imminent offensive by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces directed against rebels in Idlib province. This is the last enclave of the armed opposition in western Syria which has lost its strongholds in Aleppo, Damascus and Daraa over the past two years.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/25/how-putin-came-out-on-top-in-syria/

Syria is not as calm as the news reports would have us believe.

Yemen: The War Best Forgotten

I have been writing about the Saudis war against Yemen, the Houthis to be exact……this war does not get the sttention it should from the media….

https://lobotero.com/2018/09/25/yemen-an-american-war/

https://lobotero.com/2018/08/15/yemen-finally-makes-the-news/

THe war that Obama oversaw has been expanded by Trump and the Neocon toads in his administration…..

Earlier this year, three United States senators, including the Vermont progressive Bernie Sanders and the Utah conservative Mike Lee, authored a resolution to force the withdrawal of U.S. forces from a foreign war. But their effort did not concern Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Syria, as a casual observer of American foreign policy might expect.

They sought “to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen,” explaining that “since March 2015, members of the U.S. Armed Forces have been introduced into hostilities” on the side of a Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis, a Shia rebel group trying to overthrow the country’s regime.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/trumps-dirty-war-in-yemen/570940/

The US involvement in Yemen is illegal for it was NEVER voted on…..finally some bi-partisanship in the approach to this illegal war…..

A bipartisan resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives Wednesday under the War Powers Act. If the bill is passed, it would formally end US military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The war in Yemen was never authorized by Congress, and US participation has become increasingly controversial, as Saudi airstrikes kill staggering numbers of civilians. This has led to growing resistance within Congress, though Congressional leadership has often sought ways to circumvent the votes.

Last year, the House offered a very similar War Powers Act resolution. Such resolutions are legally required to come up for a vote, though the leadership managed to block that one, and bargain their way down to a non-binding resolution.

Indeed, that bill and a Senate version came with the Pentagon claiming there were no US ground operations in Yemen involved in the war, a claim which later proved to be a lie. That in particlar has added calls for a re-vote.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), the lead sponsor, says he is confident that the new version of the bill won’t suffer the same fate, noting that support for the bill has expanded since then.

The support for ending the war both reflects incidents like the Saudi attack on a school bus in August, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s overt circumvention of the 2019 NDAA clause which obliged the US to halt aid to the Saudis until they did more to reduce casualties. Pompeo immediately declared they’d done enough, though the death toll has continued to rise.

(antiwar.com)

For more information…….https://theintercept.com/2018/09/26/yemen-us-military-house-resolution/

What is really at stake in Yemen?

There is much discussion about the current war in Yemen which pits Iran-backed Houthis against US allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There is a vital US interest at stake here: ensuring the free flow of shipping through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Iran already sits astride the Straits of Hormuz and has claimed recently they control traffic through it. Iranian proxy forces firing Iranian missiles are seeking to control this second vital piece of terrain on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Such control could give Iran the ability to use anti-ship missiles to threaten or shut down both major routes for oil to leave the region.

https://securitystudies.org/the-real-stakes-in-yemen/

We will see how serious our lawmakers are about this war….will they grow a spine or remain the spineless cowards they appear to be today?