Closing Thought–17Apr19

Fire has destroyed a cultural icon….Notre Dame and the world has pledged to have it rebuilt…..

“Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral went up in flames on Monday evening, a blaze that devastated the landmark, destroying its wooden-beamed roof and collapsing the iconic spire in a searing loss for Paris and France,” Reuters reports.

“President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the Gothic masterpiece, and within the first 24 hours after the fire began, tycoons, companies and local authorities stepped forward with large donations,” Reuters reports. “French billionaire businessman Bernard Arnault’s family and his LVMH luxury goods group said they would donate 200 million euros to help repair the cathedral.”

“French luxury and cosmetics group L’Oreal, along with the Bettencourt Meyer family and the Bettencourt Schueller foundation, will donate 200 million euros in total,” Reuters reports. “CEO Tim Cook said on Twitter Apple would donate an unspecified sum to rebuilding efforts.”

At the exact time that Notre Dame was burning so was the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem….has anyone stepped forward to offer help?

How about those black churches in Louisiana?

Fires that destroyed three predominantly black Baptist churches in St. Landry Parish in the last 10 days are “suspicious,” the state’s top fire investigator said Thursday, adding that they’ve discovered several “patterns” at the three crime scenes.

But it’s too soon to classify the fires as arson, State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said at a press conference, walking a tight line without actually linking the three blazes.

“There certainly is a commonality,” he said. “Whether that leads to a person or persons or groups, we just don’t know. And that’s not unusual for us not to know at this point.”

The fact that it is three black Baptist churches in the same parish is obviously a pattern. “And there are several other patterns,” Browning added.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/05/3-black-churches-10-days-burned-louisianas-st-landry-parish/3384344002/

Has Apple stepped forward to help in these reconstruction efforts?

What makes Notre Dame more important than al-Aqsa or the churches in Louisiana?  All are houses of worship none more important than the others.

Looks like Apple goes where they can get the most PR bang for their bucks….I was considering an Ipad but now Apple can…….. kiss my ass!

Enough said!

People have steeped up for the churches in Louisiana……

Less than 24 hours elapsed between President Macron’s call for donations to rebuild Notre Dame and nearly $1 billion being pledged, reports Time. In comparison, a nearly week-old campaign seeking funds to rebuild three historically black churches destroyed by arson in Louisiana within the last month had raised only $93,000 as of Tuesday morning, reports the New York Times. A day later, that number has skyrocketed to more than $1.1 million thanks to social media promotion from journalists, pro athletes, and politicians, including Hillary Clinton, reports the Hill. “As we hold Paris in our thoughts today, let’s also send some love to our neighbors in Louisiana,” Clinton tweeted alongside a link to the GoFundMe campaign from the Seventh District Baptist Association, which includes the three Baptist churches gutted in fires on March 26, April 2, and April 4.

More than 21,000 people have donated as of this writing, with funds to be split evenly between the churches in St. Landry Parish, each more than 100 years old. “It’s a total, complete loss at all three sites,” association president Freddie Jack tells the Times. Mount Pleasant Baptist in Opelousas fared best, but at St. Mary Baptist in Port Barre and Opelousas’ Greater Union Baptist Church—which had taken out a mortgage to cover a recent renovation—”all you see is charcoal.” The fund seeks $1.8 million total; Jack notes insurance coverage is limited and strict building codes have been put in place since Hurricane Katrina. The money raised so far is “a blessing,” Rev. Gerald Toussaint of Mount Pleasant Baptist tells CNN. “What the devil meant for bad, God’s going to turn it into something good.”

I am pleased to see that the money is helping but sad that it took the fire in Paris to start the wheels moving……

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Another Veto Issued

Oh goody our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader has issued is next veto……he has chosen to play favorites on the world stage and to let the Saudis and their minions, UAE, continue their assault on humanity.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end US military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, the AP reports. In a break with the president, Congress voted for the first time earlier this month to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop US involvement in a foreign conflict. The veto—the second in Trump’s presidency—was expected. Congress lacks the votes to override him. “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote in explaining his veto. Congress has grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival.

Many lawmakers also criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States and had written critically about the kingdom. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October and never came out. Intelligence agencies said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the killing. The US provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

I just cannot understand the lack of sympathy for children being killed, maimed and starved by out “good friend” the Saudis.

My question is how much does Trumpy owe the Saudis that he can turn his back on starving people?

What a disrespectful toad we elected…well you did for I did not vote for the ego-centric d/bag……are you proud?

Accept No Substitutes

The 2020 election is a mere short months away from its kick-off….and the Dems are fighting amongst themselves….as usual…..healthcare will be a hard sell this time around.

There is a debate on health care…..not between parties for the GOP has already lost that debate many years ago……instead the debate is between progressives and others…….Medicare For All is the answer and the attacks have begun……

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019. A companion bill of the same name has already been introduced in the House by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). That’s good news for the country. Unfortunately, these bills are facing opposition from what, for some people, will be an unexpected direction.

I don’t mean Republicans. They’ve already lost the health care debate, in one sense, now that large majorities of voters support Medicare for All. The real threat may well come from its Democratic friends. They’re the people who say they support Medicare for All’s “goals,” but claim to have found a better way to achieve them.

Intentionally or not, Medicare for All’s “frenemies” are sowing confusion about it. Among them is Ezekiel Emmanuel, who argues, “At least four different approaches to health reform could truthfully carry the Medicare for all label.”

 
Those in opposition are those from the Obama admin that let the industry write the law that created the ACA, Obamacare if you are dense……that same industry that is pulling no punches to defeat the idea of Medicare For All……
 
In an effort to inform the public about the corporate forces working to crush Medicare for All, an employee at the insurance giant UnitedHealthcare leaked a video of his boss bragging about the company’s campaign to preserve America’s for-profit healthcare system.

“I felt Americans needed to know exactly who it is that’s fighting against the idea that healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” the anonymous whistleblower told the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein.

During an employee town hall in February, Stein reported on Friday, UnitedHealthcare CEO Steve Nelson boasted about how much his company is doing to undermine Medicare for All, which is rapidly gaining support in Congress.

“One of the things you said: ‘We’re really quiet’ or ‘It seems like we’re quiet.’ Um, we’ve done a lot more than you would think,” Nelson said. “We are advocating heavily and very involved in the conversation. Part of it is trying to be thoughtful about how we enter in the conversation, because there’s a risk of seeming like it’s self-serving.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/12/i-felt-americans-needed-know-insurance-industry-whistleblower-gives-glimpse-effort

My personal opinion is the Medicare For All would be the best and the easiest to put into action……we will hear all the tired old excuses…like it will stifle innovation…..BS…..or that the quality of care will go down….another BS…..

We all agree that adequate health care is needed then why not take the easiest road to that end?

Is NATO Dying?

Since Trump became the leader, of whatever it is he thinks he is the leader of, NATO has had a PR problem……there have been several bad moves made by the organization plus the question whether it has out-lived it’s usefulness……I have written on the organization in the past year or so…..https://lobotero.com/2018/07/24/lets-look-at-nato/

Is the NATO we know out-dated?

When NATO was formed seven decades ago, the world was very different: The Soviet Union had advanced into Central Europe, and Western European nations were still recovering from World War II. NATO would help them, Secretary of State Dean Acheson warned, but it would not do so forever. When asked if the United States would need “to send substantial numbers of troops over there as a more or less permanent contribution,” he assured Congress that it wouldn’t. Even Dwight Eisenhower, NATO’s first commander and a future U.S. president, presciently warned that such an American garrison could “discourage the development of the necessary military strength Western European countries should provide themselves.”

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/outdated-alliance

Some say save the organization by re-purpose it……

NATO’s expansion under the Clinton administration, he observes in his Liberty Forum essay, did not strengthen the alliance that brought down the Soviet Empire, but rather transformed it into something different. The 1999 war against Serbia, which the Clinton administration forced upon Serbia in emulation of the 1914 Austrian ultimatum, provided “the chance to demonstrate NATO’s new agenda and ‘out of area’ operations,” as an instrument of the world’s natural evolution towards a “globalization[that]toppled all barriers to the flow of capital, goods, labor, and ideas, spreading democracy, human rights, peace and prosperity.” Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan was “NATO’s second war.” As McDougall observes, “Unanimity in the face of Al Qaeda was squandered, however, when President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq in a wider war that 70 to 80 percent of French and Germans opposed. It might even be said that the alliance fell into abeyance during the final six years of Bush’s tenure.”

 
Then there is the continuous war that NATO seems to embrace….and those that want a way out of the vicious cycle that NATO embraces…….

A strong engagement to find a way out of the war system is of vital importance. This raises the question of the affiliation of Italy and other European countries with NATO.

NATO is not an Alliance. It is an organisation under the command of the Pentagon, and its objective is the military control of Western and Eastern Europe.

US bases in the member countries of NATO serve to occupy these countries, by maintaining a permanent military presence which enables Washington to influence and control their policies and prevent genuine democratic choices.

NATO is a war machine which works for the interests of the United States, with the complicity of the major European power groups, staining itself with crimes against humanity.

 
Let me remind my readers……I am not a supporter of China in any way but look how far they have come without spending massive amounts of cash on war.
 
Just something to think about…..