Those Unclaimed Veterans

Closing Thought–22Jan19

Before I go to the meat of this post….on this day in 1950 George Orwell died…the quote attributed to him…….”If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Most move on…….

I try to focus on our veterans because I am one but my life has been a bit better than some….I also try to report on the soldiers that are killed in service to their country,

There are times when there are no family member to claim the bodies of the dead…has anyone ever asked what happens to their remains?

When the flags were removed from the caskets and folded with military precision, there were no family members there to receive them.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.

Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.The service was part of a national effort by funeral homes, medical examiners, state and federal veterans’ affairs departments, and local veterans’ groups to pay final respects to members of the military whose bodies were not claimed by any relatives. Since 2000, Dignity Memorial and other funeral homes in more than 30 cities have organized about 3,000 funerals for soldiers, sailors and Marines who died alone, but still deserved a dignified funeral and burial, said Jeff Berry, Dignity’s general manager in Knoxville.
 
Army soldiers Arnold M. Klechka, 71, and Wesley Russell, 76, and Marine Charles B. Fox, 60, were laid to rest in a service attended by about 700 people at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis on Thursday. There was a gun salute, and a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.”
 
But none of them had family members present.
 
Good to see that their remains were treated with care and the respect they deserve……
 
May they Rest In Peace!

 

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That Other Failed War

We are fighting many wars but one of them is not going as well as they had thought…the War on Drugs. For over 40 years we have been fighting this war and we are NO closer to win it after billions upon billions spent.

Even today no one in DC will admit that it has been a colossal waste of taxpayer money…there has been NO return on our investment.

Take a gander at few short videos about this failure……

To help my reader grasp this problem there is a brief history of this “War”

The video traces the drug war from President Nixon to the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws to the emerging aboveground marijuana market that is poised to make legal millions for wealthy investors doing the same thing that generations of people of color have been arrested and locked up for. After you watch the video, read on to learn more about the discriminatory history of the war on drugs.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/brief-history-drug-war

40 years of an epic fail……

Private individuals and policymakers often utilize prohibition as a means of controlling the sale, manufacture, and consumption of particular goods. While the Eighteenth Amendment, which was passed and subsequently repealed in the early 20th century, is often regarded as the first major prohibition in the United States, it certainly was not the last. The War on Drugs, begun under President Richard Nixon, continues to utilize policies of prohibition to achieve a variety of objectives.

Proponents of drug prohibition claim that such policies reduce drug-related crime, decrease drug-related disease and overdose, and are an effective means of disrupting and dismantling organized criminal enterprises.

https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/four-decades-counting-continued-failure-war-drugs

This is a huge failure but thinking out loud….was it designed to do just that….FAIL?

https://www.history.com/news/americas-war-on-drugs-was-designed-to-fail-so-why-is-it-being-revived-now

And now we are fight another “War”….the War on Terror…..using the War on Drugs can we say that the WoT was also designed to fail?

As I keep saying…the War on Drugs is a failure and some ask what is next?

https://www.fordfoundation.org/ideas/equals-change-blog/posts/the-war-on-drugs-has-failed-what-s-next/

Could it be the War on Terror?

Learn Stuff!

The Coming Democratic Candidates

The long awaited 2020 election is speeding to a conclusion…..each month the events seem to speed up….after 700+ days of Trump all eyes look to the next election.

So far we have 4 announced Democratic candidates for the presidency….and more in the wings waiting for the best time to announce….we are doing good we have 4 women, one Hispanic and counting (as they say…whoever “they” are)……

The fun thing is that the Dems in 2020 will look like the GOP field in 2016…crowded…and some good ideas will be lost in the rush to the front runner position.

But so far the field has many prospects and all have a track record to run on not like the GOP of old.

For fun the site fivethirtyeight.com has a list of the Dems and how they will be broken down…..I know it is early but it will be fun to see just how accurate the site is this time around.

So for the 2020 Democratic nomination, we’ve resolved to entertain multiple hypotheses about the contest simultaneously. Perhaps the party will decide, and so we should be looking at how much support each candidate has from party elites. Perhaps the candidate most dissimilar to Trump will win, and so we should be evaluating the candidates based on that criteria. Perhaps the primary is just so hard to forecast that you might as well look at the polling, crude as it might be. (It has more predictive power than you might think.)

We’ll see. But we nonetheless think that (despite its mixed success in 2016) the coalition-building model is also a useful tool, especially if we make a few tweaks to how we applied it four years ago.

Just as with the Republicans in 2016, the concept this time around involves considering five key groups of Democratic voters. Here are those groups:

  1. Party Loyalists
  2. The Left
  3. Millennials and Friends
  4. Black voters
  5. Hispanic voters (sometimes in combination with Asian voters)

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-5-key-constituencies-of-the-2020-democratic-primary/

The field keeps expanding and the diversity of the Party will be brought forward…….but is it really a diversified group?

The country wants “new” candidates….we are tired of the same promises and the same lies and the same inaction….we want “new blood” for DC….

A new USA Today national poll shockingly showed that Democratic voters and Democratic leaning independents overwhelmingly prefer “someone entirely new” to any of the current field of potential presidential candidates. This cannot be for lack of choices; there are potentially four times the number of candidates lining up at the starting gate as the most recent Democratic presidential primary.

Yes, this is one poll, but maybe we should refuse to dismiss voter feedback too easily.

Lots of woman announced and some waiting…..but what will this uptick in gender equality could mean to politics…..

Advocates for gender equality are reckoning with what one called a “wonderful challenge”—four or more women running for president in 2020, the AP reports. To many activists, that means a field more reflective of a party that counts women as a crucial voting bloc. But the prospect of multiple women in the race also presents obstacles, with no single candidate holding a claim to women’s votes to the degree Hillary Clinton did in 2016. The women’s vote, and groups that provide financial and grassroots support, could split. Looming over it all is persistent gender bias and the question of whether Americans are ready to elect a female president. “We do realize there’s still sexism in this country, and what we’re trying to do is change minds,” says EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose group aids the campaigns of Democratic women supporting abortion rights.

In the early days of the Democratic primary, leaders of many advocacy organizations are thrilled that so many women are seeking the presidency, but are not backing any particular candidate. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren last month became the first woman to launch a presidential exploratory effort, joined shortly afterward by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also are considering running. Among those candidates, Gillibrand is particularly vocal in invoking her gender as a driver of her campaign, while Warren’s campaign has emphasized economic inequity. So is gender still a problem for candidates? “Because there are so many women running, it doesn’t totally inoculate women from sexism, but it does provide some guardrails,” says a gender-equality activist.

Questions Asked….Waiting For Answers!

Learn Stuff!

That “Green New Deal”

I know if you are on the Right then you probably think that the whole climate change thing is just so much hysteria by the Left……and if you are on the Left then it is important but not that important that it deserves a lot of attention.

Well the new Dems in the House are not going to let climate change go the way of the Do-Do…..

If the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to be believed, humanity has just over a decade to get carbon emissions under control before catastrophic climate change impacts become unavoidable.

The Republican Party generally ignores or denies that problem. But the Democratic Party claims to accept and understand it.

It is odd, then, that Democrats do not have a plan to address climate change.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/21/18144138/green-new-deal-alexandria-ocasio-cortez

JD_Sunrise_ClimatePetition_THX_Reps_43_1200_122018.png

The problem is not with the policy…the problem is that corporate slugs will fight this….including the MSM…they will not talk about this proposal so that the people will learn about it and possibly support the creation of the Green New Deal…..and when they face re-election and the money pours in they will make a “one time” exception…..work on getting money out of our elections!

Sorry I digress……

Then some are not so sure about this Deal……

A burgeoning save-the-climate effort called the Green New Deal, explains Vox’s David Roberts, “has thrust climate change into the national conversation, put House Democrats on notice, and created an intense and escalating bandwagon effect. … everyone involved in green politics is talking about the GND. … But WTF is it?”

Roberts goes on to give a good summary, but no one can fully answer that question until someone puts a complete plan down on paper. We do know that the vision as it’s being described by its fans (and it seems to have nothing but fans in the climate movement) explicitly draws its inspiration from the New Deal that the Roosevelt Administration launched eighty-four years ago in an effort to end the Great Depression.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/17/that-green-growth-at-the-heart-of-the-green-new-deal-its-malignant/

A new analysis by one of the nation’s top public interest advocacy groups shows that even as the planet and humanity face an existential threat due to the climate crisis, most corporate media outlets in the U.S. have largely ignored the urgent need  for a Green New Deal and the growing political movement demanding it.

Following the midterm elections in November, the youth-led Sunrise Movement flooded congressional offices and demanded that representatives back a Green New Deal and the creation of a House select committee that would be tasked with drafting legislation to create one, successfully convincing 45 members of Congress to support the proposal.

But despite the energy behind the plan, 82 percent of Americans in a Yale/George Mason poll  said they had never heard of the Green New Deal, and researchers behind the new Public Citizen study are blaming corporate news networks for failing to educate the public about the proposal.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/11/new-analysis-shows-push-green-new-deal-hindered-silence-corporate-media

I support this and I think the more the American people see about this policy the they will support…..but as long as the MSM is helping tap down any enthusiasm the popularity will not be realized.

As long as we are talking about it….the corporate media refuse to talk about the policies that actually matter…..

A new analysis by one of the nation’s top public interest advocacy groups shows that even as the planet and humanity face an existential threat due to the climate crisis, most corporate media outlets in the U.S. have largely ignored the urgent need  for a Green New Deal and the growing political movement demanding it.

Following the midterm elections in November, the youth-led Sunrise Movement flooded congressional offices and demanded that representatives back a Green New Deal and the creation of a House select committee that would be tasked with drafting legislation to create one, successfully convincing 45 members of Congress to support the proposal.

But despite the energy behind the plan, 82 percent of Americans in a Yale/George Mason poll  said they had never heard of the Green New Deal, and researchers behind the new Public Citizen study are blaming corporate news networks for failing to educate the public about the proposal.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/11/new-analysis-shows-push-green-new-deal-hindered-silence-corporate-media

The American voter should DEMAND truth, honesty and accuracy in the report that the MSM feeds to the public…..then maybe we all can make the best decisions for the country.

More on these and other issues to come……

Learn Stuff!

Watch For That Inflection Point

CoS Bolton is going around the world drumming yup support for a possible trip to Iran (by trip I mean some sort of military action)…..

Bolton is what Bolton always does….protects Israel over the interests of this country.

Hiss newest con job on the world is about the possibility of an attack by Iran….and he has gone viral with the warmongers….

Here’s the dire warning National Security Advisor John Bolton brought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jan. 6: “We have little doubt that Iran’s leadership is still strategically committed to achieving deliverable nuclear weapons.”

I have found zero evidence to support Bolton’s claim. It is unclear who “we” means, but it certainly does not include the American intelligence community. They have found exactly the opposite.

While it is currently trendy to fact-check Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, allow me to suggest that it matters more — a lot more —when  statements made by the national security advisor are untrue. This four-Pinocchio claim is a true whopper and has serious national security implications.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/01/boltons-big-iran-con/154109/

Time for all of us to start looking for that “Tonkin Moment” that will start a war with Iran over some minor incident that can be used to gin up support to the attacks.

It will not be difficult since the US and NATO pretty much have Iran surrounded….just look at the map…..

Related image

Even Pentagon officials are fearing the language of Bolton…..

Having spent decades advocating a US attack on Iran, John Bolton’s position as National Security Adviser is allowing him to push the idea hard with President Trump. For those less enamored of that war, including Pentagon leadership, there is mounting concern that Bolton might provoke such a war.

So when Bolton came to the Pentagon asking them for military options for attacking Iran, nominally in retaliation for a Shi’ite Iraqi militia firing mortar shells in Baghdad, they were reticent.

The options they delivered were reportedly very limited. They involved little more than a show of force with limited airstrikes against some random Iranian military site. This was far short of what Bolton wanted, but former Defense Secretary James Mattis argued that even this was a bad idea, and no attack has happened yet.

But the National Security Council are still saying the attack plans are being considered, and Mattis is no longer around to argue against it. This potentially would allow Bolton to push for the symbolic attack and hope it escalates into more, or to push the Mattis-less Pentagon for even bigger plans for more ambitious wars.

(antiwar.com)

Like I keep saying….watch for that one small incident that can be used to turn this from a war or words to a war of bullets and missiles.

Why would I say this?  Pompeo has trotted through the Middle East beat the drums of war…..

The United States’ international windbag, Secretary of Defense (read: War) Mike Pompeo has been acting the imperial blowhard throughout the Middle East. With his boss busy denying that he’s a Russian agent, watching advisors and cabinet members come and go with dizzying alacrity, and dodging porn-star accusations, Pompeo is trotting through the Middle East, sounding war drums.

It seems that Iran, which has long been in the crosshairs of U.S. gunboat ‘diplomacy’, remains firmly targeted. In Cairo, Pompeo promised a “…campaign to stop Iran’s malevolent influence and actions against this region and the world”.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/18/pompeo-the-u-s-and-iran/

But say that there is a short limited war with Iran?  If interested check it out.

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/16/a-really-bad-idea-a-limited-war-with-iran-the-national-interest/

For those that want to know what went wrong and the US and Iran were at each other’s throats……all this animosity began with the hostage situation from the 1970s……if one would like to see how all this manure began then the national archives can help…..

The Iran Hostage Crisis was a major international crisis caused by the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and its employees by revolutionary Iranian students, who then held the Embassy employees as hostages, in direct violation of international law. The revolutionary government of Iran, under the Ayatollah Khomeini, supported the hostage undertaking. The crisis ended with the release of the hostages after a captivity of 444 days, from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981.

https://www.archives.gov/research/foreign-policy/iran-hostage-crisis

In closing….a “what if”……https://lobotero.com/2017/05/31/iran-a-what-if/