Death By Gun

Closing Thought–24Jan19

NO! This is not intended an anti-gun post…this is continuing with my series on suicide….I am sure that some will want to tie this into my statements from the past…but it is intended as info not oppo……

I have been watching the different suicide rates in the US from farmers to vets to military and now the youth of the nation…..

But first just a reminder of the series…….

That was a quick tour of my thoughts on these suicides…..

This report on the startling amount of suicides among the nation’s young….suicide with guns involved…..

Suicide rates among U.S. children and teens have hit startling rates and a study now finds one clear predictor of youth suicide: gun ownership.

Youth suicides rates are higher in states with high gun ownership rates, a team at Boston University School of Public Health found.

“Household gun ownership was the single biggest predictor of youth suicide rate in a state,” Dr. Michael Siegel, a public health specialist at BU, told NBC News.

Again mental health has been ignored for too long….time for some sort of major change in the thinking of those that make the rules.

“Zach” Beale–R.I.P.

One of the saddest post I write are those of our fallen service people protecting our nation across the world….22Jan19 another US servicemen has been killed in Afghanistan….

SFC Joshua Beale KIA Afghanistan January 2019

SFC Joshua Beale, age 32, died on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Joshua Beale, succumbed to wounds sustained from small arms fire. He was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Beale – who was also known as “Zach” – was a native of Carrollton, Virginia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University in 2008.

Beale is survived by his wife and two children .

WE at IST send our condolences to his family….may he Rest In Peace.


As we approach the day that the president would stroll over to the Capital and give his SOTU speech before Congress has been “postponed”…..

You see Pelosi sent a letter to Trump about the SOTU……

On Jan. 3 she formally invited him to deliver the State of the Union address on Jan. 29; just shy of two weeks later, Nancy Pelosi wants it rescheduled until after the shutdown ends—or just delivered in writing. In a letter sent to President Trump, Pelosi cited security concerns, noting that in September Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen designated the address as a “National Special Security Event.” That puts it in a category that demands “weeks of detailed planning with dozens of agencies,” in an effort led by the Secret Service.

Except, she writes, the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security have gone 26 days without funding, creating the “security concerns” fueling her request. Barring an end to the shutdown this week, Pelosi asks that the president work with her “to determine another suitable date” to deliver it or just deliver it in writing, as was the practice during the 19th century and up until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.

Trump got butt hurt and cancelled a scheduled trip by the Speaker to speak to our soldiers serving overseas…..

…Thursday letter announcing he’d cancelled a military flight meant to carry Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers to Brussels and Afghanistan, President Trump noted that the House Speaker was still free to fly commercial. But on Friday, Pelosi shot back that the White House made that impossible, too. “We had the prerogative to travel commercially, and we made plans to do that until the administration then leaked that we were traveling commercially,” Pelosi said, per the Washington Post. “You never give advance notice of going into a battle area—you just never do it,” she said. The White House, however, denied that it leaked any information about a potential commercial flight and called Pelosi’s accusation a “flat-out lie,” reports the Hill. The president, meanwhile, doubled down on his move to cancel the military flight in a Friday morning tweet

What a juvenile bunch of manure!

Trump has threatened to take his SOTU on the road and give it to his supporters in a campaign-esque setting…..

The last time one of his speeches were televised it was a racist rant about the border and not enough people condemned the MSM for carrying it…

After President Donald Trump exploited the enormous free platform he was needlessly granted by America’s major television networks Tuesday night to deliver an immigration address replete with the same disinformation and dehumanizing rhetoric he has deployed since stepping foot on the campaign trail, critics denounced the corporate media’s continued role in amplifying Trump’s speeches despite knowing they will be full of harmful lies.

Hopefully the MSM will not make that mistake again!

I am a political wonk so I will keep an eye on the SOTU if he indeed takes it on the road……but that would just be another rally and would not hold the prestige of an actual SOTU.

For now the rest of the SOTU story…..

Sources say Trump is currently planning to be at the Capitol on the 29th to give the speech. However, contingency plans (including other venues, possibly even outside Washington) and alternatives (a rally, for instance) are also being considered, and all the details remain unclear at this point. “We are still in a holding pattern,” one senior source says. In fact, ABC’s sources say Trump is preparing two different speeches: One for members of Congress, as originally planned, if the speech is given in DC; the other for a rally audience if the speech is given outside DC. White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday during an appearance on Fox that if Pelosi ultimately blocks Trump from delivering the address on the House floor, “there are many ways he can” still deliver it.

Breaking News:  After I wrote this draft post word has come out the Pelosi has won the war of wills…..

Unless lawmakers strike a deal to reopen the government by next Tuesday, President Trump’s second State of the Union address will be the first in history to be delayed by a shutdown. The president was the first to blink in his SOTU standoff with Nancy Pelosi Wednesday, the BBC reports. After the House speaker told Trump that he would not be invited to deliver the address in the House chamber until the shutdown was resolved, he announced late Wednesday that he would postpone the speech. “As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed,” Trump tweeted. “She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative – I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over.”

Turn The Page!

All Hail Project Troy

After World War Two the US started fighting a new war, the Cold War….and this was fought mostly on the world stage with the use of propaganda and manipulation…..1954 the CIA won a conflict in Guatemala using psychological warfare….and that brings us to the US program of propaganda and manipulation….Project Troy.

The phrase Cold War didn’t always refer to a time period. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the very years that the battle lines between the United States and the Soviet Union were being drawn, U.S. foreign-policy strategists used the phrase to invoke a specific kind of conflict, one carried out by “means short of war.” If, as NSC-68, a key document of U.S. strategy, asserted in 1950, the United States and the Soviet Union were locked in an ideological clash of civilizations, a battle between “slavery” and “freedom,” a victory by force would be hollow. If the United States wanted to defeat communism, it needed to do so “by the strategy of cold war,” combining political, economic, and psychological techniques. “The cold war,” NSC-68 warned, “is in fact a real war in which the survival of the free world is at stake.”

This was a new kind of conflict requiring new kinds of weapons: psychological weapons. The question of psychological warfare preoccupied a small but influential group of foreign-policy officials during President Harry S. Truman’s second term. By the time that Truman left office in January 1953, the United States had laid the legal and institutional foundations for overt propaganda campaigns as well as covert action. During that period of experimentation leading up to the Eisenhower presidency, almost anything U.S. strategists could dream up, short of overthrowing foreign governments (that would come later), was up for discussion. Among other things, the Marshall Plan allotted $13 billion to rebuild Western Europe, Voice of America transmitted jazz and news to listeners in 46 languages in more than a hundred countries, and the CIA sent tens of thousands of balloons filled with anti-Communist pamphlets into China.

The Cold War gave us many new techniques for fighting an enemy without firing a shot in anger……

The history lesson is over for today……

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

If Bernie Does Not Run

Let’s say that Bernie decides not to run…..and he leaves his legacy to younger candidates……we will lose a lot…..his voice has Americans listening and thinking of a better country….I am NOT sure we would get the same dedication from some of the younger candidate hopefuls….

No secret I supported Bernie through the primaries but left the Dems behind when they chose a loser in Clinton……

I know this is a long red….but the country deserves your attention for a little while… has listed the things that we will lose if Bernie does not run….I will give them to you in their entirety….because a one click look is too difficult for some…..

1. An Improved Medicare for All

After decades of advocating for and working towards a single-payer system in the United States, the 2016 presidential campaign Sanders ran effectively and positively shifted the national discussion by making the moral argument that healthcare should not just be a privilege of the few, but a right enjoyed by every single person. The shift was so profound that many Democrats who once ran away from such a policy have now embraced the growing—and overwhelmingly popular—idea of “Medicare for All.”

But while anyone can parrot the rational and emotional arguments for such a solution, there is nobody on the national stage at this point with the depth of understanding—a result of his years debating and educating on the issue—that Sanders possesses. With the moneyed health insurance industry ready to “buy off” any politician who threatens its for-profit model, or dilute any proposal considered by Congress, such a transformational policy stands almost no chance without a truly dedicated champion leading that bruising fight. Without someone committed to the very core, a genuinely improved and expanded Medicare For All will be displaced by inadequate reforms and the profiteering off of human suffering will continue unabated.

2. A Just Education System and Student Loan Forgiveness

When Sanders first injected the idea of tuition-free college into the 2016 campaign, the corporate media and most pundits dismissed the policy as unrealistic and laughable. But with student loan debt now at a record $1.5 trillion, the U.S. has created a system in which there is no right to higher education unless you are a) wealthy; or b) agree to saddle yourself with debt for years, decades, or the entirety of your life. But like with the healthcare system, there are powerful forces who will stop at nothing to keep this system going.

Without Sanders’ continued fight for student loan forgiveness and equal access to education through tuition-free college, financial institutions and the student loan industry (of which the federal government is a key player) will continue to use their power and influence to relegate this issue to the back of the room, something not to be discussed and no bold solutions allowed.

3. More Peaceful Tomorrows and a Less Militaristic Foreign Policy

Sanders has highlighted the calamitous consequences of the right-wing both at home and abroad while at the same time striving to expand the political and moral consciousness of a nation that in recent decades has known too much war and not enough peace. With an understanding that the United States does not exist in a bubble, Sanders has made clear his belief that we must be an integral part of the international community in order to displace right-wing fanaticism with democracy and cooperation.

In addition to his wider call to bring to a close our endless wars abroad and rein in the “out-of-control” Pentagon budget, Sanders was the co-sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 54 last year calling for an end of U.S. military support for the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen. While more than 50,000 have been killed and 12 million pushed to within a knife’s edge of starvation in Yemen, the historic resolution, with Bernie’s leadership, was the first time the Senate invoked the 1973 War Powers Act.

While a tireless advocate of U.S. veterans, Sanders has long spoken out against the injustices suffered by those in foreign lands and has offered a clear-eyed and rational vision for global cooperation that rejects authoritarianism and tyranny while supporting the dignity and self-determination of all people. This cooperative approach, one which favors diplomacy over armed conflict, is in stark contrast to the routine use of military force. Sanders’ presence in the 2020 campaign would greatly expand the foreign policy discourse and promote much-needed dialogue about needless and brutal wars while also providing a framework to rebuild tattered relations with allies around the world. Taken as a whole, these possibilities serve as a moral and political mandate for Sanders to enter the 2020 election.

4. Real Regulation of Wall Street and the Robin Hood Tax

The threshold question most pundits ask when confronted with social programs for the good of the overall population is “how can the country pay for them?” Sanders introduced a Financial Transaction Tax, the Robin Hood Tax, in the 2016 campaign and has continued to fight for its enactment. This would levy a fee on the accumulated windfalls of stock, bond, and securities trades of the 1% to be justly invested in programs for the 99% and the betterment of the country as a whole. Nobody else likely running in 2020 has centered taking on the corrupt influence of corporate power and Wall Street with the same consistency and moral vigor than Sanders. Nobody.

Without his voice in the 2020 presidential election this policy proposal, which is designed to limit the enormous political and economic power of the finance sector and mitigate gross economic inequality, will be largely jettisoned. While Democrats like to portray everyone in America as part of the “middle class,” Sanders will continue to clarify the fiction of a classless society. He calls out the obscene hubris and greed of the wealthy at the expense of everyday people in our nation and has stood unabashedly with the poor and working people of this country against the extreme and exploitative excesses of the billionaire class. That legacy cannot be faked, and it must not be ignored.

5. A Progressive Populist Campaign

Sanders has done the difficult and courageous work of building a base of support around ideas – not party identity, rhetorical gimmicks, or time-worn clichés. His base is solid (and expanding) because it is grounded in action-oriented policy prescriptions aimed at solving real problems faced by tens of millions of real people each day. Even some of his more vitriolic critics have grudgingly acknowledged that Sanders fans are compelled by his authentic commitment to the issues he talks about. Imagine that?

As simple as it sounds, Sanders supporters are not enamored by the person, but the ideas he has committed to putting forth. While he has shown great skill and leadership, any potential Sanders campaign is “owned” by the base inspired by the issues, not Bernie. His supporters are dedicated to the ideals of democracy, which is why they are unwavering. That is why I am unwavering in my support. Because you cannot fake authentic commitment. Ultimately, this is what falls to the wayside in the absence of Sanders.

6. The Promise of a Green New Deal That Centers Both the Planet and Workers

Sanders—an early proponent of the newly popularized Green New Deal—has been fighting to protect the natural world from polluters and damaging industries since his initial tenure as mayor of Burlington, Vermont decades ago, long before the true threat of the climate crisis was fully understood by most. Being a warrior for climate justice requires directly engaging the root problems of human-caused global warming, including the fossil fuel industry which has waged a war of misinformation and obstruction to protect their profits. Sanders has named names and gone after the perpetrators of climate destruction, because he understands that humanity is at a tipping point.

When asked during a 2016 debate what was the most serious national security issue facing our country, Sanders answered with two words: “climate change.” During his first presidential campaign and since, Sanders has forced the topic into the national conversation, refused to entertain false solutions, and championed those clamoring for a far-reaching transformation of the nation’s energy system while also lifting up workers and the economy. With the scientific community unified in its warnings that urgent action must be taken, the stakes are simply too high to put faith in a candidate who has not internalized the threat, embraced the challenge, and articulated a bold vision forward. With a message that argues we don’t have to choose between saving the planet and working people, Bernie is that candidate.

7. A Candidate With a History of Defending Civil Rights

Senator Sanders was deeply engaged in the civil rights movement as a young man in the 1960s and has never ceased fighting alongside civil rights leaders throughout his career. He believes that civil rights are the rights of all persons in a civilized society irrespective of their national origins, heritage, religion, or immigration status. A committed advocate for racial justice, he does not pander at election time only to set aside the issue once elected and has long recognized the interplay between racial discrimination and an economy rigged against the poor and marginalized communities.

Absent Sanders’ fight for a deep, genuine program to fundamentally address the obscene imbalance of wealth inequality, attain greater power for workers, and address the political economy of structural racism, there will be much discussion without a systemic solution.

8. A Feminist Candidate With a Deep Commitment to Gender Equality and Dignity for All

Senator Sanders has been a feminist in the best sense of the term for decades. In fact, I first noticed Sanders running for mayor of Burlington when I was in college in California and was taken by his embrace of women’s equality and his demand for pay equity, choice, and opportunity. Most political candidates now will signal—at least rhetorical, if not substantive—support for women’s issues, but Sanders has always gone further. Sanders battles for material real life changes for women by challenging at the basic structural level our politics of privilege and economic apartheid that demand the disenfranchisement of women and other vulnerable populations.

He does not posture about enhancing “equal access” or “fairness of access” to a deeply flawed and corrupt political and economic system. To do so confuses mere access or “fair access” to an unjust system with equality of access to a just political, economic and social order via a reinvigorated vision of democracy. For Sanders, democracy must be both fair and just. He fights for social justice for all women, including but not limited to the expansion of Social Security; a just wage system; better job opportunities with pay parity; improved protections against domestic violence at home and sexual harassment in the workplace; excellent and affordable healthcare; expanded protections for worker organizing; retirement security; paid time off for family leave; and other programs specifically directed to the wellbeing of women, such as: safe and affordable housing, reproductive care, early childhood education, and elder care.

9. A Warrior for Voting Rights and Democratic Reform

Senator Sanders stands solidly for voting rights and while this will be a grand talking point among all Democrats, Sanders seeks to eradicate the political, economic, and social factors that disenfranchise large segments of our population. Doing so will entail a direct challenge to the bad faith politics of gerrymandering electoral districts and voter suppression by the political class as well as ripping the mask off all structures that seek to make it harder, not easier, to cast a ballot and otherwise participate in open and transparent elections.

As he works to build a mass movement to educate voters, Sanders will continue to put forth a pro-democracy platform by fighting aggressively to get big money out of politics by eschewing corporate money; promoting far-reaching campaign finance reform efforts; battling to reverse the Citizens United decision; and ending the malignant and racist voter suppression that remains pervasive across the country.

10. A Candidate Focused on Jobs as Well as the Workers and Unions That Will Build a Better Future

Bernie has always been the most pro-worker candidate in Congress. He understands the fundamental role that unions play in economic equality. Most recently, he propelled the Fight for 15 by forcing the giant Amazon to cede to raises for all workers. He was on the lines at Disney which resulted in winning raises. He understands the benefits of technology but also some of its dangers and is concerned that worker skill-enhancing technologies may be in danger of being displaced by skill-corrosive technologies in an ill-advised attempt to enhance corporate profits and assert greater control over the U.S. workforce.

Sanders stands with and for working people. He recognizes class differences and the need for the working class to organize and fight for themselves and the common good. Sanders seeks national policies and massive investments to rebuild our country’s infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water systems, and railways as well as affordable housing—all built by America’s workers.

If you would like the whole story……

I can support every one of the 10 issues….no hesitation…..the candidate that can give me these issues will gain my support.

This post will be seen on IST many times during the run up to the 2020 election….hopefully like  minded people will read and support.