Closing Thought–13Mar19

Poor go to work

The Rich go to college

A whole new story on how the rich get their larvae into college….they buy their way into academia…..

It’s the biggest college admissions bribery case the DOJ has ever prosecuted, and it has snared some pretty big names: Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among those indicted for mail fraud Tuesday in an alleged bribery scam. The latest:

  • A name fit for Hollywood: The investigation is called “Operation Varsity Blues,” and CNN cites US Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling’s description of most of those indicted: 33 parents; 9 coaches (from schools including Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest, and Georgetown) in sports like soccer, water polo, tennis, and volleyball; one college administrator; two SAT/ACT administrators; and an exam proctor. The AP reports a former soccer coach at Yale pleaded guilty and helped prosecutors make their case.
  • At the center of it all: … is allegedly a man named William Singer. He ran a college-prep company called the Key and allegedly facilitated the scheme. Prosecutors claim he bribed college coaches to put individual students on a recruited athletes list, though CNN notes the coaches were aware the students weren’t recruitable players. NPR reports that in the case of a Yale women’s soccer recruit, the student didn’t even play soccer. Per the indictment, parents in one case allegedly had fake photos taken of their child participating in sports. Charges against Singer include racketeering conspiracy.
  • The timeline: Prosecutors say payments were made to Singer between 2011 and February 2019. Per NPR, parents typically allegedly paid $250,000 to $450,000, but one is said to have forked over $6.5 million. Singer’s alleged total take: about $25 million.
  • Words come back to haunt him: In a January interview with Parade magazine, Huffman’s husband, William H. Macy, had this to say of their 18-year-old daughter: “She’s going to go to college … We’re right now in the thick of college application time, which is so stressful. I am voting that once she gets accepted, she maybe takes a year off. God doesn’t let you be 18 twice… But it’s just my opinion, and we’ll see what she wants to do, what Felicity thinks and how the chips fall.”
    The allegations against Huffman: People reports the feds say they taped calls between the 56-year-old actress and a cooperating witness about an alleged SAT scam. A chosen proctor was reportedly sent to West Hollywood and allegedly allowed the teen to have extra time and changed her incorrect answers.
    The allegations against Loughlin: She allegedly paid $500,000 to get her daughter “recruited” for a rowing team. Her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was also charged.
  • Other parents: The AP lists executives among those indicted: Law firm co-chair Gordon Caplan of Greenwich, Connecticut; marketing company CEO Jane Buckingham of LA; packaging company founder Gregory Abbott of New York; and finance CEO Manuel Henriquez of Palo Alto.
    Who hasn’t been charged: Authorities say the schools aren’t targets, and no students were charged, with many unaware of what was even going on. Macy was not charged; prosecutors did not say why.
    Initial fallout: The AP reports Wake Forest University has suspended head volleyball coach Bill Ferguson, who is “accused of accepting $100,000 to recruit a student who had been on Wake Forest’s wait list

I do believe that we have an answer on how an idiot got through a prestigious business school….

Need we say more?

Spain 1808

The Birth Of Guerilla Warfare!

As a student of conflict (war) I have found insurgent warfare (guerillas) the most interesting……my interest was peaked while serving as a recon specialist in Vietnam for guerilla warfare was about the only warfare in town.

In seem to be the choice of the century…..from Vietnam to Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia to Syria….the fight is no longer massive troops in a single encounter but rather small unit ops…….

But when did this type of warfare come into being?

These days it is not called “guerilla warfare” but rather “asymmetric warfare”…….(sorry had to add that tidbit in for clarification)……..

This type of warfare began when Napoleon decided to invade the Iberian Peninsula….the years was 1807…….

Most Napoleonic historians recognize in the Spanish campaign the real cause of Napoleon’s defeat. From 1805 to 1808, the French Emperor dethroned the noblest Europe sovereigns defeating Austria and Russia in Austerlitz (1805), and Prussia in the battle of Jena in 1806. Due to a series of treaties and opportune alliances the “Little Corsican” tried to bend to his will the English Empire which, thanks to the Royal Navy seapower, had control of the trade routes, but gradually lost landfalls on the Continent.

However, the Continental System imposed by Napoleon, had several flaws that still allowed England a little breathing room: Portugal, more than others, guaranteed secure access to its ports and the delivery of British food. Among the anti-Bonapartists was the Bourbons’ Spain, which had a tough time, caused by malevolent “court games” aimed at destabilizing King Charles IV. The Spaniards’ characters differed from the rest of western Europe because their culture was influenced by various rulers over centuries. Superstitions and fear of God dominated rural populations: outside the city walls, the clergy exercised absolute domination. Keep in mind that the Inquisition still played a key role in Spaniards’ lives during the Middle Ages.

Mexico has Cinco de Mayo…..Spain has Dos de Mayo……

History lesson is finished……

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Waiting For The Middle East Peace Plan

Our Dear Supreme Leader has put his son-in-law in charge of finding a peace deal for the Middle East…….and what about this dude makes him qualified for such a task? Well he is Jewish……(thinking….thinking)……that is about it.

After two years we are still waiting for this miraculous thing that has eluded all qualified people….a peace plan for the Middle East…..there have been many plans and none have come to fruition….why? Israel is a stumbling block….NO it is not the unarmed protesters that Israel kills daily…it is the attitude of the Israeli government and their search to erase the Palestinian bloodline from the region.

So what would a devout Jew actually bring to the table that would assure peace and civil rights for all concerned?

That my friends is a good goddamn question!

There are as many situations in the Middle East as there are grains of sand…..what is driving the situation in the Middle East?

Politics in the Middle East have long been as fluid as the sands which make up much of the region. From the crusades to colonialism to the present, many political players have vied for power and found at best only temporary success. Since the discovery of oil in the region in the early twentieth century, politics have become mixed with business; however, other considerations have more recently come into play such as extremism, revolution, and non-state actors. Couple these with the long-standing animosity between major regional powers such as Iran, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia and the Middle East seems like a political powder keg waiting to explode. In addition, there has been almost constant intervention by foreign countries, most notably the United States. Together all these events have turned the politics of the region into one of the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzles. Learn more about the most pivotal issues currently embroiling the region–although this is by no means an exhaustive list–as well as their root causes and possible solutions.

https://lawstreetmedia.com/issues/world/middle-east-politics-important-issues-region/

The Palestine-Israel situation is the most pressing for the novice “mover and shaker”….and some minor rumblings have leaked out……

Israel’s Channel 13 has leaked what it says are the contents of President Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan for Israel and Palestine. The report would grant the Palestinians a state that encompasses 85%-90% of the occupied West Bank.

The plan would be for Israel to keep its settlements, though no longer expanding isolated outposts. Moreover, the plan would mandate Israel evacuate any outposts which are illegal under Israeli law. That’s a big deal, because Israel has recently changed its own laws to facilitate retroactively legalizing a lot of these outposts.

The Palestinian capital would be in East Jerusalem, and the Palestinians would be given “most of the Arab neighborhoods” there. Some areas would also be jointly run by Jordan and Palestine.

The White House is denying that this report is true at all, saying all speculation on the peace plan is inaccurate, and declining to offer any specifics. The US has long promised to make such a plan publicly available, but has yet to do so.

(antiwar.com)

FOX News (the Trump information network) on 10 February said that the Trump Peace Plan was finished and would be rolled out……

The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan is finished and President Trump has been briefed on its contents, two senior administration officials told Fox News on Sunday.

The final draft of the administration’s “Deal of the Century” is 175 to 200 pages long — and fewer than five people have access to the complete document, sources told Fox News.

“The plan is done… [the president] is happy with the parameters of the deal,” a senior administration official said.

Officials said that the plan is unlikely to be released before upcoming Israeli elections on April 9. “We are not going to do anything that threatens Israel’s security,” a senior administration official said

(FOX News)

Wait! WE are postponing the release of the plan because of a foreign election, right? What part of that is not showing allegiance to a foreign power? And a Congresswoman gets in trouble for saying the truth…..you have lost all hope for a free democracy now….you morons!

There is an option being discussed to the two state solution….

There has been more talk recently from the Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians about the option of a confederation as an alternative to the two-state solution in light of the political impasse reached between Ramallah and Tel Aviv. So what are the true positions of the three governments on this option, the chances of this being achieved on the ground, the official reactions of these countries, and public opinion on the matter?

Such a confederation aims to establish one state for two peoples after the Palestinian state is established on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. This single state will have two capitals — Jerusalem for the Palestinians and Amman for the Jordanians — as well as a central judicial authority and joint armed forces led by the Jordanian monarch. It will also include a central council of ministers and parliament elected by both nations, while both will be allowed to move freely between the two areas.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190218-a-palestine-jordan-confederation-is-becoming-a-very-real-possibility/

Something to consider because the Israelis have NEVER been keen on the two state solution…..

State Of Defense–2019

We all are aware of the speech the president delivers to a join session of Congress, the State of the Union……but there is also a report on the condition of our armed forces…..

As an analyst of international situations I am always watching the major arm of our foreign policy the military…..there is an annual report on the condition of our armed forces (prepared by a defense industry site so it is skewed a bit)…..

I you are interested in our armed forces and would like to read about the preparedness then pick a service and learn stuff…..

If we had written this State of Defense report two months ago, it would have been almost entirely different. For better or worse, President Trump brings the nation into 2019 with a new attitude and new attention to the U.S. military’s ground wars. 

By presidential order, this will be the year the U.S. ground war in Syria ends. Trump also reportedly wants a drawdown in Afghanistan, but hasn’t started planning for one, and was looking into restricting U.S. special operations forces fighting across Africa, though U.S. combat in Somalia appears to be escalating. In fact, in 2019, the sprawling footprint of the U.S. military from southwest Asia to north Africa may not change much at all.

So in the upcoming budget hearings, expect service leaders to argue that too much is being asked of too-few troops with too-few resources. That means some hard choices and some exciting ones. Read on, in Defense One’s 2019 State of Defense:

Again….pick a branch and see what is what for 2019…..remember we are still fighting on many fronts….how will that effect or services?