Closing Thought–12Apr19

Medicare For All!

There has been a raging debate on just how all Americans can get the health coverage they need and want…..most from the Dems….the Repubs have NOTHING to offer but opposition to anything at all.

I spend a lot of time research stuff…..and so far I see only one way for people to get their health coverage……Medicare For All.

I’ve spent decades studying US health care. Time to get real: Medicare for All is the only reasonable path to controlling costs and covering everyone.

There is an instinct among political pundits to confuse caution for practicality — an assumption that those who advocate for incremental change are being reasonable, while those pushing for bold reforms aren’t. This is seen most starkly in the debate around health care reform, despite the fact that the “practical” pushers of limited reform fail to address the real problems in our health care system.

We all recognize that the status quo isn’t working. We spend more per person than any other country on health care, but we aren’t getting any bang for our buck. We have lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality rates and more preventable deaths, and too many personal bankruptcies are due at least in part to medical bills.

Where we disagree is the solution. The favorite new “reasonable” plan is “Medicare for America,” a bill from Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Rosa DeLauro that has won the support of big names like Texas presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke and the Center for American Progress, the left-of-center think tank where the plan originated as “Medicare Extra for All.” It has been extolled in opinion pieces for some of America’s largest newspapers as a “realistic” plan to fix what’s broken in our health care system.

 
We will hear all sorts of lies about this plan…..the biggest will be the “S” word bullshit that Repubs still use and unbelievably is still effective……but regardless it is a LIE……
 
If Americans want health care for themselves and their families then Medicare For All is the only answer….it will control costs and cover everyone…..it is that simple.
 
Speaking of costs…..how will we pay for this program?
 
Sen. Bernie Sanders is not ducking the key question constantly posed to Medicare for All supporters by journalists, fellow members of Congress, and critics: “How will you pay for it?”
In a white paper (pdf) released Wednesday alongside the 2020 contender’s updated and improved Medicare for All legislation, Sanders’ office outlined a number of possible funding mechanisms for the comprehensive bill and detailed the enormous savings the U.S. would reap by transitioning to single-payer.
 
Further Reading:
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Was War Declared?

While everybody was being told that there was no collusion and the exoneration of a president…..the US moved a little closer to a possible war with Iran.

In the first such move of its kind, President Trump has labeled Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Never before has the US made that declaration about a foreign military, reports Reuters. In fact, never before has the US used the label against any part of a foreign government, notes the New York Times. In response, Iran is expected to label the American military a terrorist organization, too, reports NPR. “This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” Trump said in a statement.

“If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism,” Trump said. The IRGC has about 150,000 members, including ground forces, navy, and air force personnel, reports the BBC. The move will allow the US to seek penalties against members of the group and bar their entrance to America. The same applies to individuals or entities providing assistance to the Guard. The Washington Post notes that the move comes one day before Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch ally of Trump who has made Iran a focal point of his tenure, seeks re-election as prime minister of Israel

Let me help to catch you up…….

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/08/stir-the-pot-for-war/

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/08/stir-the-pot-for-war/

Now what about this war thingy?

It is no longer a question of if Americans will die in a conflict with Iran, but when.

The United States has long been engaged in a secret shadow war with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), dating back to the American invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

This conflict took the lives of hundreds of American troops and hundreds more IRGC members. The Iranian opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and the inability of the U.S. to militarily defeat Iranian forces inside Iraq, was just one reason that the Obama administration decided to withdraw American troops in 2011.

 
This is just an attempt to protect Israel…..for most Americans cannot remember what happened in 1979….all they know is that Iran wants to destroy Israel and that is enough to possibly go to war.

Space Law

I have been amiss in my writing on foreign policy and international situations…..politics has taken over as a major concern for me…..then there is the damn silly proposal for a Space Force.

What about “Space Law”?

A new SciFi Channel series?

NO!

I have been one of the few bloggers that have been watching the new proposal by Trump to expand our military branches by one….a Space Force or Corps or whatever the name they choose…..who know maybe “Starship Troopers” will become popular.

I am opposed because of the massive amount of funds it will take from concept to reality……then there is the thing called “Space Law”…..yep there is a set of legal positions when it comes to space…..who knew? Well I did.

Then I read an article about the idea of space mining…..again another subject that I have posted several posts about….

https://lobotero.com/2012/04/29/the-new-world-of-mining/

https://lobotero.com/2013/02/02/mining-a-new-frontier/

https://lobotero.com/2016/05/22/miners-not-minors/

It seems that Russia is interested in asteroid mining……

Space mining has been the realm of science fiction, but a handful of firms and governments are pursuing the idea of making it a reality. The small Duchy of Luxembourg became the first country to adopt legal regulations relating to mining in space, including from asteroids.

“In January we offered Luxembourg a framework agreement on cooperation in the use of (mining) exploration in space. We expect an answer from Luxembourg,” said Golikova, part of a Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-luxembourg-russia-space/russia-wants-to-join-luxembourg-in-space-mining-idUKKCN1QN1OQ

 

All this got me to thinking……is there legal aspects to all this outer space stuff? 

What happened to that UN Space Law from the 1960s?

The onset of domestic space programs during the Cold War propelled the official creation of international space policy (i.e. the International Geophysical Year) initiated by the International Council of Scientific Unions. The Soviet Union‘s 1957 launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, directly spurred the United States Congress to pass the Space Act, thus creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).[3][6] Because space exploration required crossing transnational boundaries, it was during this era where space law became a field independent from traditional aerospace law. Since the Cold War, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the “Outer Space Treaty”) and the International Telecommunications Union have served as the foundational legal framework and set of principles and procedures constituting space law.  Further, the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, along with its The Office for Outer Space Affairs subcommittee, aid in governing international space law and policy.  Challenges that space law will continue to face in the future are fourfold—spanning across dimensions of domestic compliance, international cooperation, ethics, and the advent of scientific innovations. Furthermore, specific guidelines on the definition of airspace have yet to be universally determined.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_law

Is it possible that a Space Force would be in violation of treaties already in place?

  • the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
  • outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
  • outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
  • States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
  • the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
  • astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
  • States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
  • States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
  • States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

The proposal of a US Space Force could break a couple of these long standing laws……time for the UN to step in and talk with all the countries involved in the rush to space….again.

Some of my friends say that I have too much time on my retired hands…..to that I say….”Brain worms gotta feed”!

Now aren’t you sorry you asked?

Peace Out My Friends!

Foreign Policy Disconnect

My area of what little expertise I possess is in foreign policy and international relations…….especially in the field of conflict (war)…….

My ventures out to the public sphere I encounter many people that have NO idea what foreign policy the US is pursuing other than China bad……there is a disconnect and huge disconnect…..

The American people have not grasp the idea that the US is a global nation, as much as Trump and his minions want it otherwise, and they. the people, need to know what is being done internationally in their name…..

During the Cold War, Washington’s foreign policy establishment operated comfortable in the knowledge that sizeable majorities supported vigorous American global leadership in the struggle with the Soviet Union. More recently, however, many observers have started worrying about the growing disconnect between the Washington’s elites and the public. The scholar Walter Russell Mead argued in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece that the most important question in world politics today is “Will U.S. public opinion continue to support an active and strategically focused foreign policy? 

The answer is a qualified yes. Americans on balance remain committed to international engagement but advocates of the status quo are right to worry because Americans increasingly disagree with Washington about how to engage the world.

https://www.cato.org/blog/mind-gap-foreign-policy-disconnect-between-washington-america

Another problem with this disconnect is that the wars we are still fighting has no end…..because most Americans could care less….and this apathy is effecting the Pentagon……

Donald Trump’s three-quarters-of-a-trillion-dollar defense budget request submitted to Congress last month contains a dirty secret, one that should make us all think twice about perpetual war and public support for it.

The youth of America don’t want to serve in the military any more.

The situation has become so dire that just to maintain America’s ground forces – the army and Marine Corps – the two services are resorting to unprecedented pay raises, bonuses and socialist trappings.

And things are going to get worse. This year, for the first time ever, Americans born after 11September 2001 will be able to enlist in the armed forces. It’s a sobering reminder both of how long we’ve been at war but also how distant those very wars have become from America’s youth. And yet official military polling shows that fewer and fewer young Americans consider the military as a career or as a transitional step – only some 12.5% – the lowest number in a decade.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/10/fewer-americans-serve-military-pentagon-panic

The Pentagon as well as the M-IC needs warm bodies to keep the profits rolling……if it falls too low I look for the chance of another draft to fill the unused sections of the military.