Closing Thought–19Aug19

The news is that the peace deal the US was working on with the Taleban has fallen through and the word is that we are staying for the long run.

But I subscribe to a Neocon hot spot, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and they published an article that I disagree with on all levels…..

Two years ago this month, Zalmay Khalilzad, the distinguished diplomat who has served as America’s ambassador to both Iraq and Afghanistan, praised President Trump for adopting “a realistic position regarding peace talks” with the Taliban, “moving away from President Barack Obama’s pursuit of reconciliation regardless of the deteriorating military situation.”

A year later, Mr. Khalilzad was appointed U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation. Since then, he has adopted an unrealistic position regarding peace talks with the Taliban, moving toward President Obama’s pursuit of reconciliation regardless of the deteriorating military situation.

If I’m wrong about this, I’ll be pleased to eat my words. But the evidence is compelling.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/08/14/in-afghanistan-no-deal-is-better-than-a-bad-deal/

I disagree.

Any deal is a better deal than we have now.

Our troops do not need some world changing deal….they need to come home and get a rest from the silliness the US has been playing at for the last 15 years.

Stop playing into the hands of the defense industry….care more for the lives of troops than for the profits of corporations.

The word is that Trump wants out of Afghanistan……it will look good on the resume for 2020…..

Donald Trump has met his peace envoy to Afghanistan and top security advisers to discuss progress in the latest round of talks with the Taliban, fuelling speculation that a deal to end America’s longest war might be within reach.

“Many on the opposite side of this 19-year war, and us, are looking to make a deal – if possible!” Trump tweeted after the meeting at his golf club in New Jersey, where the group is believed to have discussed a draft peace plan.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/17/trump-hints-america-close-to-deal-with-taliban-others-question-peace

That was last weekend and we enter a new week…..and we know that Trump changes his mind on a dime…..will we see and end of the longest war?

In closing….50 years ago Jimi Hendrix took to the stage at Woodstock….

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

KamalaCare

That time of the election cycle…..we have health care issues and promises from all sides…..with the exception of Republicans…..we have Madicare For All, Medicare USA, and now KamalaCare.

This is Kamala Harris proposal for solving our health care dilemma…..but what is it….no really what?

There’s no question that the American health care system is a crazy quilt that leaves health “insurance companies in charge,” as Senator Kamala Harris appreciates. Unfortunately, her health reform proposal, “KamalaCare” does not match her rhetoric. It leaves health insurers running the show.

Harris’ proposal relies extensively on for-profit health insurers to provide coverage. But, they are the reason health care is unaffordable and the reason people are often faced with denials of care and coverage. She claims her plan will hold the health insurers to account if they game the system. That sounds great in theory, but how exactly would it work in practice?

Like Senator Bernie Sanders’ and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All legislation, Harris’ proposal makes an improved traditional Medicare public plan available to all Americans. Unlike Sanders and Jayapal, after a ten-year transition, she keeps the for-profit health insurance industry in business, offering Medicare Advantage plan options to people who want a private plan.

KamalaCare leaves health insurers running the show

As usual from the “corporatist” candidates….the health industry stays in control of your health care….so basically it is the status quo with some minor adjustments…..

If you get health insurance at work or buy your own plan, will you be able to keep it? No. Harris says insurance companies will be allowed “to offer a plan” in the government-run system but only if they follow the government’s strict rules to skimp on what’s spent on your care. “If they want to play by our rules, they can be in the system. If not, they have to get out,” she says.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/07/31/the_truth_about_kamalacare_140894.html

This one has holes all through it to allow the industry to keep control of your health care.  Is that what you want?

Leran Stuff!

VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What About China?

OMG!

The news is back and forth….China good….China a bad player….China this…..China That…….

We have a monarch that demonizes China when it suits him….and pretends he likes them when he needs something.

But cut through the BS….is China an enemy?

China has one-fifth of the planet’s population; the world’s second largest economy; a small but significant nuclear arsenal for deterrence; and an increasingly repressive government which combines elements of market economics with single-party totalitarianism, incredibly invasive surveillancemass internment camps; and a newly minted “president for life,” Xi Jinping. Should it also be the recipient of Washington’s antagonism?

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/457098-china-is-a-rival-not-an-enemy

A group of China experts here in the US has written a letter to the White House…..

An open letter from 100 well-known China experts in America, critical of Washington’s adversarial stance towards Beijing, has highlighted – and fuelled – the ongoing debate in the United States over how to deal with China.

The public pushback from moderates was prompted by concern over worsening US-China relations, amid a hardening anti-China line from Trump administration officials and a festering trade war that has spilled over to competition in technology and other arenas.

Their letter was addressed to President Donald Trump and members of Congress, and published in The Washington Post on Wednesday. Headlined “China is not an enemy”, it outlined the authors’ problems with the current US approach to China and laid out their tenets for a better foreign policy.

https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/open-letter-to-trump-china-is-not-an-enemy

Think about it…have you heard from the MSM on this subject?  Probably not.

An article from 5 years ago about China and its role……

The rise of China as America’s chief rival on the international stage has long been a staple of our foreign policy pundits’ alleged wisdom. The Chinese, simply by virtue of their enormous population, have been deemed the inheritors of the earth. China, we are told, has been in the process of overtaking us in terms of virtually every metric imaginable: demographic, economic, and, most important of all, military. There’s just one problem with this Sinocentric view of the future: it’s based on nonsensical assumptions. And the central wrongheaded assumption – that China is a stable unitary country and will always remain so – is being disproved (once again) by the events now unfolding in Hong Kong.

China Is a Paper Tiger

This whole China thing is a mash up of policies that no one understands….especially analysts that must to have the national security at heart.

Time to bring Foreign Policy out of the black hole that Trump and Gang have put it into.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That Wayward Missile

By now everyone with a Twitter feed or a TV has heard about the missile accident in Russia…..but in case your rock is not equiped with either of those news sources….I can help……

A deadly explosion rocked the Nenoksa Missile Test Site in Russia last week, and Moscow has offered shifting accounts of what happened. A new report in the New York Times might explain why Moscow is being so cagey: This might have been the region’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, though on a much smaller scale. Specifically, US intelligence officials think a nuclear-powered cruise missile exploded just offshore, or at least a prototype of one that is near and dear to Vladimir Putin’s heart. On Sunday, officials of a Russian research institute confirmed that a nuclear reactor exploded, though they did not say it was linked to cruise missile tests. Seven people were killed, including five scientists. The institute says only that they were working on “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”

It’s not just US experts who suspect this involved an experimental cruise missile. A UK scientist tells the Guardian that independent experts think the blast came from the failure of a missile NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall and Russia calls the 9M730 Burevestnik. Putin boasted of the weapon in 2018, saying its nuclear source would make it virtually unstoppable. However, international nuclear experts have remained skeptical about whether such a missile could actually work. The Times phrases the biq question like so: “Beyond the human toll, American intelligence officials are questioning whether Mr. Putin’s grand dream of a revived arsenal evaporated in that mysterious explosion, or whether it was just an embarrassing setback in Moscow’s effort to build a new class of long-range and undersea weapons that the United States cannot intercept.”

This is a nuclear powered missile….do you know what the means?

We are not talking about a warhead attached….we are saying that the missile has its own nuclear power source.

Maybe you should think about that for a minute.

A flying unshielded nuclear reactor would spew massive amounts of radiation, and that’s if it’s working correctly.

When President Donald Trump heard that Russia’s experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile had exploded, killing seven scientists and causing a major radiological incident less than 300 miles from the Finnish border, he fired off a boastful tweet. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology,” he said. 

This is…not accurate. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United States pursued a less advanced version of a similar technology but abandoned the effort before ever launching an actual test vehicle. Nuclear-powered cruise missiles, the Pentagon concluded, are a bad idea. 

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/08/nuclear-powered-cruise-missiles-are-terrible-idea-russias-test-explosion-shows-why/159189/

Now what about the US…well I do what I always do…..give you a shot of history….

The US spent a few years looking into something along these lines…it was called Project Pluto…..

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the development of controlled release of nuclear energy (as opposed to runaway reactions in nuclear weapons) seemed to make previously impossible things straightforward matters of engineering. On occasion, it made the unthinkable all too thinkable. Project Pluto, also known as the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM), is one of the most extreme exemplars of this epoch. Unlike Project Orion, which envisioned a four thousand ton interplanetary spaceship powered by nuclear bombs, and Project Plowshare, which proposed using nuclear explosions for large civil engineering projects such as digging a new sea-level Panama canal, Pluto/SLAM (which I’ll henceforth refer to as Pluto) was developed and tested to the point where the technology had been proved. Pluto could have been deployed in the 1960s had the project not been cancelled due to financial reasons, competition from rival technologies, and people coming to their senses.

https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/pluto/

The history says it was abandoned in 1964….but after Trump Tweeted what he did are we still pursuing this or did it die in 1964?

Did Trump let slip some state secret that needed to remain secret?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”