OMG! It’s Gun Control!

Closing Thought–28Feb19

For the first time in decades the US will enact a gun law……the NRA will call it gun control…..but in reality it is a commonsense approach to the problem of guns that are running rampant in the US……

The Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday approved a measure requiring federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, the first major gun control legislation considered by Congress in nearly 25 years. Democrats called the 240-190 vote a major step to end the gun lobby’s grip on Washington and begin to address an epidemic of gun violence that kills thousands of Americans every year, the AP reports. The bill is the first of two the House is voting on this week as Democrats move to tighten gun laws following eight years of Republican control. The other bill would extend the review period for background checks from three to 10 days.

Both bills face dim prospects in the GOP-controlled Senate and veto threats from President Trump, who said they would impose unreasonable requirements on gun owners. The White House said in a veto message that the background-checks bill could block someone from borrowing a firearm for self-defense or allowing a neighbor to take care of a gun while traveling. Democrats called those arguments misleading and said gun owners have a responsibility to ensure firearms are properly handled. The bill includes exceptions allowing temporary transfers to prevent imminent harm or for use at a target range. The long-delayed bill would merely close loopholes to ensure that background checks are extended to private and online sales that often go undetected, Democrats said.

This will be a fart in a hurricane…….it go NO further than the Senate……the NRA has a lock on the Senate and will use their muscle to keep this from becoming law…..

I have no problem with these checks and neither should any American….keep guns out of the hands of the mental cases or as best we can.

Personally I would go with an assault weapon ban for they serve NO purpose……if a person feels the need to handle and shoot these weapons then the military is always looking for a few good people and they will allow you all the “playtime” with an assault weapon that anyone would want.

My day has come to an end…..I need to take a shower after the scummy stuff in the news….see you guys tomorrow.

Battle Of Blair Mountain

Is this a little known battle of the Revolutionary War? The War of 1812 maybe? How about a decisive battle of the Civil War?

To be honest none of those would be accurate.

As a former labor activist and union organizer I am well aware of this “battle”……this is the battle of coal miners against the exploitative coal mine owners…….

The year is 1921…….

The Battle of Blair Mountain was the result of years of bitter labor disputes between the miners and coal companies of southern West Virginia. Since the late 1800s, the coalfields of the state’s Mingo, Logan and McDowell Counties had operated under a repressive company town system. Workers mined using leased tools and were paid low wages in company currency, or “scrip,” which could only be used at company stores. Safety conditions were often deplorable, yet despite the efforts of groups such as the United Mine Workers (UMW), the mine operators had kept unions out of the region through intimidation and violence. Companies compelled their workers to sign so-called “yellow dog contracts” pledging not to organize, and they used armies of private detectives to harass striking miners and evict them from their company-owned homes.

The hostilities only ramped up in 1920, when the UMW finally started to organize workers in Mingo County. On May 19 of that year, members of the Baldwin-Felts detective agency arrived in the town of Matewan to evict union miners from houses owned by the Stone Mountain Coal Company. After catching wind of the detectives’ activities, Matewan Mayor Cabell Testerman and a pro-union sheriff named Sid Hatfield raised a small posse and confronted them near the local train station. A verbal argument quickly escalated into a gunfight, and when the smoke cleared, seven Baldwin-Felts agents had been killed along with Mayor Testerman and two local miners.

https://www.history.com/news/americas-largest-labor-uprising-the-battle-of-blair-mountain

Labor history is one part of the American history experiment that is seldom taught in our schools….sadly because it was an important part of our history…..

Image result for newserbattle of blair mountain

For the lazy among us….a short videos explaining the Battle Of Blair Mountain……

Class Dismissed!

Turn The Page!

Bernie….Bernie….Bernie

My main man Bernie (that was last election in 2016) has made it official and thrown his hat into the ring for 2020.

Contrary to popular belief Bernie does have some foreign policy chops……at least he does now…I was not so sure in the early days of the speculation on whether he would run or not…..

I was disheartened when Trump’s Boyz started their chest thumping and Bernie and the Dem majority were silent on the prospect of a war…..

When Trump announced his support for the unfolding coup in Venezuela, Bernie Sanders remained silent for 24 hours.  This matters because coups are made or broken in the first moments or hours; a day during a coup can feel like a month or more.

With each hour Bernie’s silence roared louder.  So much was hanging in the balance with Trump at home and abroad, to the point where a finger could tip the scales—  yet Bernie refused to lift his.

Among the many Democratic Party candidates running for President, only Tulsi Gabbard made an unequivocal statement condemning the coup, while leftist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez limited her criticism to a retweet.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/29/bernie-and-the-dems-flunk-trumps-test-on-venezuelas-coup/

Bernie was no so forthcoming….he has since jumped on the wagon of condemnation…..

In 2016, foreign policy was the area where Sanders distinguished himself least. For the first five months of his candidacy, his campaign website didn’t even include a foreign-policy section. At a debate on November 14, 2015, when the moderator, John Dickerson, asked Sanders about the ISIS attacks that had killed more than 100 people in France the previous day, the Vermont senator dispatched the subject in a mere two sentences and then pivoted to domestic affairs.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/foreign-policy-distinguishes-bernie-sanders-2020/583279/

This is good news to a foreign policy wonk like me….but I am not convinced that he will be an antiwar candidate…..

All that said let us look at Bernie’s candidacy…….beyond foreign policy…..

Bernie gave us hope in 2016 and in 2020 the Dem Party seems to be heading further Left than even Bernie could anticipate……

Can Sanders do it again? To get a sense of how the Bernie revolution might eat its own, let’s reflect on why he fell short the first time. Sanders is an old-school leftist who believes in the centrality of class, not race. Hailing from one of the whitest states in the country, he never made inroads in the communities of color that have become such a large part of the Democratic primary electorate—and the crucial reason Obama prevailed where Sanders’ fellow Vermonter Howard Dean did not.

Can Bernie survive the movement he helped create?

Bernie Sanders catalyzed the Democratic Party’s post-Obama move to the left. He nearly beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, and may have even been a stronger candidate against Donald Trump in the general. Now he’s back, and the party’s surging left wing is conflicted.

At one level, it’s thrilling for the left: If the self-proclaimed democratic socialist were elected president in 2020, it would represent a truly historic swing in the country’s political orientation. No one would be as committed to the party’s new, socialist-inflected policy agenda than the guy who came up with much of it in the first place.

 
I have waited and worked many years to try and move the American people to the Left…..to seed it happening before I die is just great…..but I am nor convinced that Bernie would be the best fit for this new found radicalism.
 
Even the American Conservative is worried about Bernie and even has tried to make its readers aware of the “march toward socialism”……(a little fear monger could not hurt)…..

Lately we have seen numerous conservative commentators posit the thesis that the Democrats are disqualifying themselves from a 2020 presidential victory by lurching too far left on key economic and social issues. The idea is that the American people simply aren’t prepared to follow the Democrats into the leftist territory that seems to be their nesting place these days. Ergo, the party is in the process of ceding the White House to the incumbent Republicans, meaning a likely Trump reelection triumph.

This may be comforting to conservatives, but it is based on faulty political analysis. There is a strong prospect that 2020 will see the emergence of a new leftist president who represents democratic socialism of the European style—a brand of politics eschewed by America since at least the end of World War II.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-coming-socialist-president/

Further Reading:
 
 
Let me say that to watch the media and pundits running scared is just a great feeling after years of controlling the dialog they are only by-standers.
 

Thus Spake Cohen

Yesterday the much anticipated Congressional testimony of a long time Trump “fixer”…..Michael Cohen…..

For those that had better things to do but still would like to know what Cohen had to say…..

Michael Cohen began his testimony in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, and the first words out of his mouth addressed Republican criticism that a known liar, and one who lied to Congress at that, can’t be trusted. “I am here under oath to correct the record, to answer the committee’s questions truthfully, and to offer the American people what I know about President Trump,” he said. He noted he would bolster his words by sharing “documents that are irrefutable and demonstrate that the information you are about to hear is accurate and truthful.” And then he went right at his former boss:

  • “I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him. I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts, rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist, he is a conman, and he is a cheat.”
  • “Mr. Trump is an enigma. He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.”
  • The remainder of his opening statement, which was released in advance, touched on what Cohen said was Trump’s efforts to conceal his SAT and college scores, explained that Trump knew in advance about the Wikileaks drop of emails, and discussed hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. Read highlights here.
  • CNN’s Brian Stelter notes that in addition to the cable news networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC are airing the hearing and will continue to do so for several hours, putting it in front of an audience that could hit the tens of millions. “Broadcast’s power has receded in recent years, but it still makes a big statement when the broadcasters decide to interrupt their usual talk shows and game shows for big news events.”
    The Guardian reports that there are 42 members of the House committee, each of whom will be able to ask Cohen questions. “It’s going to be a long day,” the paper quips. Read on for highlights.
    House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings dove into one of the 2017 checks Cohen presented as evidence of Trump having reimbursed him for a hush-money payment. “So let me make sure I understand. Donald Trump wrote you a check out of his personal account while he was serving as president of the United States of America to reimburse you for hush money payments to Ms. Clifford. Is that what you are telling the American people today?” Cummings asked. Cohen’s reply: “Yes.”
  • Debbie Wasserman-Schultz asked if it was “likely” Trump “had every intent,” as the Guardian puts it, of working with Russia to win the election. Cohen declines to directly answer, citing other investigations into the question, but says, “Mr. Trump’s desire to win would have him work with anyone.”
    “Republicans have clearly decided their best path to defend Trump is by attacking Cohen,” observes the Guardian. Jim Jordan, Mark Green, James Comer, and subsequent Republican lawmakers used their five minutes each to highlight Cohen’s financial crimes and lies.
  • Cohen said Trump knowingly inflated his assets to get on the Forbes richest people list, that the inflated numbers were used in an effort that could lower insurance premiums, and that they were shared with a bank on one occasion.
    Republican Jim Cooper pointed pushed Cohen on why he worked for Trump for such a long time considering all the negative attributes Cohen says he has. Cohen responded with a warning: Cohen said Trump knowingly inflated his assets to get on the Forbes richest people list, that the inflated numbers were used in an effort that could lower insurance premiums, and that they were shared with a bank on one occasion.
    Cohen got into it with the GOP’s Paul Gosar, who said to him, “You’re a pathological liar. You don’t know truth from falsehood.” Cohen’s response: “Sir, I’m sorry. Are you referring to me or the president?” Gosar pushed back that this was “my time.” “Are you referring to me, sir or the president?” Cohen pushed again.
    GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx pushed Cohen on how his appearance could benefit him. She asked him repeatedly if he could “commit under oath” that he wouldn’t ink a book or film deal in the future. He said no

There you have the breakdown……enjoy and be fearful…..

No Deal, Lucille

Looks like the trip Trump took to Hanoi may have been a fart in a hurricane……..the MSM made it to be something grand in scale and it ended with a whimper of a presser……

A planned signing ceremony between President Trump and Kim Jong Un capping the summit was scrapped Thursday in Vietnam, with no agreement reached and talks ending about an hour and a half early.

This led to a conference from President Trump, during which he called the meeting a “very productive time.” He said there were options, but that the US “decided not to do any of the options,” and that sometimes, the US “has to walk.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also talked of progress, but said it “didn’t make sense for the United States.” He claimed to be optimistic for a “really good outcome” in the future, adding that meant total denuclearization of North Korea.

Trump said all North Korea sanctions will remain in place, and confirmed to reporters that this was the sticking point. He said Kim had “wanted sanctions lifted but weren’t willing to give us the areas we wanted.” He added North Korea would ultimately give in “at a certain point in time.”

Trump said Kim has a “certain vision, and it’s not exactly our vision.” He also called Kim “quite a character,” despite praising him repeatedly throughout the talks. Trump did, however, say he trusts Kim, and that Kim has promised not to resume any testing.

(antiwar.com)

Oh God the press conference was all about Trump and his ego…..we still do not know what if anything was accomplished with our dear Beloved Supreme Leader and Li’l Kim…..

Stay Tuned….More To Come!

Closing Thought–27Feb19 #2

Cohen heads to Capital Hill to testify….and everyone in the pocket of our Beloved Supreme Leader is doing all they can to keep Cohen from being believed……

The SLUG GOP rep from the Florida panhandle…Gaetz had his moment of Trumpism in a Tweet…..

“Hey @MichaelCohen212 – Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…” the tweet said. It was unclear what prompted the allegation.

What a cowardly attempt to bully a Congressional witness…..it is a violation of Federal statues……and Gaetz quickly back peddled his worthless drunk ass and withdrew and apologized for the Tweet…..

“It was NOT my intent to threaten, as some believe I did,” the congressman wrote on Twitter. “I’m deleting the tweet & I should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I’m sorry.”

Pelosi made it clear……

View image on Twitter

The point is this man is a representative of the people of the Florida Panhandle and should not play political games and should know how to act as a public figure and not stoop to the scummy level that he has……but slime will be slime.

Okay why did I say something about his drunk ass?

Rep. Gaetz has prior experience making headlines for less-than-positive reasons. He has always been very open about his own brush with the law before he became a state congressman. (He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010 and to the U.S. Congress in 2016).

Gaetz was arrested on suspicion of DUI on October 30, 2008, when he was 26 years old. He was driving home from a nightclub and was pulled over for driving 48 in a 35 mile-per-hour zone, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The SUV belonged to his father, State Senator Don Gaetz.

Again to quote my grandfather…”When you point at someone remember there are three other fingers pointing back at you”…….a smart man my grandfather……

Be well….Be Safe!

Closing Thought–27Feb19

First there are a couple of “Biggies” that occurred on this day in history…..

1827–the first Mardi Gras was celebrated.

1933–the Reichstag is burned down…giving Hitler all the power he had always wanted.

1991–Troops liberate Kuwait after months of occupation by Iraqi forces.

Now for my mini rant to end the day……

We all get ads on our smartphones……me included…..but I got one that made me sit and laugh for about 10 minutes (I would show it but I refuse to give the group any further exposure)….it was an ad for a group called “Friends of The Israeli Defense Force”…..seriously?

These toads get mega bucks from the US and now they want me to become their “friend”?

Hey IDF!

F*ck you!

All I can say is wish in one hand and crap in the other and tell me which fills first.

My thought is first after 60 years they need to stand on their own feet or vanish.

Oh wait!

Does this make me antisemitic?

According to them it will……but then they are looking for anything to call someone out other than the truth….the truth left Israel the day it was formed.

I care nothing about their religion….I do care that their military is racist and criminal.

So the IDF can kiss my ass……NO I do NOT want to be “friends”.

PERIOD!

Rent Is Too Damn High!

Remember that guy back a few election cycles ago?

That dude with the wild sideburns and ‘stash….remember now?

Good for that has nothing to do with this post.

My regulars know that I like history and try to find unusual evets that your history teacher never had time or inclination to tell you about.

Today it is the “anti-rent movement”……..

In 1839, around the time of the Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island, the Anti-Renter movement started in New York. It was a protest against the patroonship system, which went back to the l600s when the Dutch ruled New York, a system where a few families, intricately intermarried, controlled the destinies of three hundred thousand people and ruled in almost kingly splendour near two million acres of land while the tenants paid taxes and rents.

By the summer of 1839, the tenants were holding their first mass meeting. The economic crisis of 1837 had filled the area with unemployed seeking land, on top of the layoffs accompanying the completion of the Erie Canal, after the first wave of railroad building ended. That summer the tenants resolved: “We will take up the ball of the Revolution where our fathers stopped it and roll it to the final consummation of freedom and independence of the masses.” Thus, thousands of farmers in Rensselaer country were organised into Anti-Rent associations to prevent the landlords from evicting. They agreed on calico Indian costumes, symbol of the Boston Tea Party and recalling original ownership of the soil. The tin horn represented an Indian call to arms. Soon 10,000 men were trained and ready.  Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs trying to serve writs on farmers were surrounded by calico-clad riders who had been summoned by tin horns sounding in the countryside—then tarred and feathered.

Petitions for an anti-rent bill, signed by 25,000 tenants, were put before the legislature in 1845. The bill was defeated. A kind of guerrilla war resumed in the country, between bands of “Indians” and sheriffs’ posses. Boughton was kept in jail seven months, four and a half months of that in heavy irons, before being released on bail. Fourth of July meetings in 1845 attended by thousands of farmers pledged continued resistance.

The power of the law thus crushed the Anti-Rent Movement. It was intended to make clear that farmers could not win by fighting—that they most confine their efforts to voting, to acceptable methods of reform. In 1845, the Anti-Renters elected fourteen members to the state legislature. Governor Silas Wright asked the legislature to give relief to the tenants and end the feudal system in the Hudson Valley. Proposals to break up the huge estates on the death of the owners were defeated, but the legislature voted to make illegal the selling of tenant property for non-payment of rent. A constitutional convention that year outlawed new feudal leases.

The next governor, elected in 1846 with Anti-Rent support, had promised to pardon the Anti-Rent prisoners, and he did. Throngs of farmers greeted them on their release. Court decisions in the 1850s began to limit the worst features of the manorial system, without changing the fundamentals of landlord-tenant relations.

Howard Zinn has taken a better look into this “movement”……

Howard Zinn’s short history of the Anti-Renter movement against the patroonship system, created in the 1660s when the Dutch ruled New York.

The rich had vast land holdings and the tenants paid taxes and rents. The movement grew to 10,000 men and was finally put down by a cavalry unit of 3,000 who came up from New York City.

In 1839, around the time of the Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island, when a deputy arrived in the farming area of in the Hudson Valley near Albany, New York, with writs demanding the rent, farmers suddenly appeared, assembled by the blowing of tin horns. They seized his writs and burned them.

https://libcom.org/history/1839-1846-the-anti-renter-movementthat you have a more better look into 19th century America….do you feel smarter?

Learn Stuff!

Class Dissed!

One Step Closer To War

This post could be about any country in the 21st century…..it seems that everybody is more than willing to go to war……but for this post it is the tensions between India and Pakistan…….

The usual tensions are over the Kashmir region which both countries have claimed and have fought several conflicts over the region……I wrote about the most recent clash of the two rivals…….https://lobotero.com/2019/02/20/the-sub-continent-smolders/

After I wrote that piece the tensions got more tense……Pakistan claims that it has shot down two Indian planes……

Pakistan’s military says it has two Indian pilots in custody, captured after the Pakistani air force shot down their aircraft Wednesday on its side of the disputed region of Kashmir. The military’s spokesman, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, says one of the pilots is injured and is being treated in a military hospital. He did not elaborate on the pilot’s injuries. Ghafoor says the other pilot is in custody. The military says the Indian Air Force plane was downed on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control in Kashmir—a boundary separating the disputed Himalayan region between the nuclear armed neighbors, the AP reports.

Officials say another Indian Air Force plane crashed in an Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. Tensions between the two countries started to escalate Tuesday following a pre-dawn airstrike by India that New Delhi said targeted a terrorist training camp in northwest Pakistan. Pakistan says Indian warplanes dropped bombs near the town of Balakot but that there were no casualties. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swara said the objective of the strike was to act decisively against the Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a convoy of India’s paramilitary forces in the Indian portion of Kashmir on Feb. 14 that killed 40 troops. (Read more India-Pakistan relations stories.)

This situation deteriorates and the US has troops in the region….just how will that effect those troops?

The US does not need another conflict to manage……and without the proper diplomats in place a conflict to manage is what we shall get.

It is sad that this news gets no response…..our troops…..our sons, daughters, Moms, Dads and others could be at risk and NO one can take the time to acquaint themselves with this situation…..it is pathetic…..and to say they support the troops is a goddamn LIE!

Coups, Regime Change, Oh My

I have tried to point out that Venezuela is NOT our first rodeo with regime change or military coups…..we can look at Iran, Chile as examples….but it did not stop with those two…..

The US has been involved in the practice of “regime change” in over 81 countries since 1946…..that is 81 countries……

The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.

Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.”

These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of “partisan electoral interventions” to be only about a 3% increase in vote share

https://www.globalresearch.ca/military-coups-regime-change-the-cia-has-interfered-in-over-81-foreign-elections/5567422

As pointed out in the report….the US is not alone…..

Russia attempted to sway 36 foreign elections from the end of World War II to the turn of the century – meaning that, in total, at least one of the two great powers of the 20th century intervened in about 1 of every 9 competitive, national-level executive elections in that time period.

For the MSM and the US to be outraged by the Russian interference in the 2016 elections is just hypocritical….the US has a long history of not accepting the outcome of some elections and has worked to overthrow duly elected leaders.

My grandfather use to tell me….”When you point remember that there are three other fingers pointing at you”……a smart man  my grandfather.