Baby Wrote Me A Letter

Closing Thought–17Oct19

The news around Turkey and Syria seem to change by the hour…as a student of international relations and conflict management I have heard, seen and read a bunch of unbelievable stuff……

In a presser with the Italian president our president made several comments to questions asked that would make any sane person grimace……

“The Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they’re not angels. They’re not angels, if you take a look. You have to go back and take a look. But they fought with us, and we paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us.”

“The Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they’re not angels. They’re not angels, if you take a look. You have to go back and take a look. But they fought with us, and we paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us.”

Then shortly after the presser a letter was released that Trump sent to the leader of Turkey……at first I thought it was a release by The Onion or some equally absurd outlet….but after some research it is a real letter sent by an American president to the leader of another country.


That is embarrassing….but it did remind me of a song from the Box Tops in the 60s…..which was far better than this letter…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Death Of A Statesman

Sad news today….the death of one of the last statesmen left in the US Congress, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland….

Rep. Elijah Cummings died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office says. He was 68. A sharecropper’s son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a House committee that investigated President Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs. As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings, including probes in 2019 relating to the president’s family members serving in the White House, the AP reports.

Cummings was born on Jan. 18, 1951. In grade school, a counselor told Cummings he was too slow to learn and spoke poorly, and he would never fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer. “I was devastated,” Cummings the AP in 1996. “My whole life changed. I became very determined.” It steeled Cummings to prove that counselor wrong. He became not only a lawyer, but one of the most powerful orators in the statehouse, where he entered office in 1983. He rose through the ranks of the Maryland House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in a special election in 1996. The Baltimore archdiocese tweeted that Cummings “generously shared his God-given gifts and talents w/the people of his beloved city, state, and nation for so many years.”

Rep, Cummings will be sadly missed by the Congress and the nation…..our Congress have so few actual statesman…men/women of conviction and decency….

IST would like to offer our warmest feelings toward the Representative and his family……

May He Rest In Peace.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

And No One Cares!

It is about time for the MSM to define what “our shared values” means.  What are these mythical “values” by which we live?

Think about that as I flesh out this post.

Let us not pretend that what Pres. Trump is doing is important or not……after all the Constitution is just a piece of paper that means all things to all people and NO one has any idea what the document actually says…other than guns are allowed and I have free speech and can go to church….beyond that it is a political prop that means little.

Then there is the lie the fantasy of bi-partisanship from our past….not happening people….once in awhile a couple of politicians get together and agree on a single issue and we are told that a new age of bi-partisanship could be on the horizon.

We are told that this age of division of our society is not us….that we are better than the vitriol that is spewed by politicians, journalist and people alike…..I say we are not. This is the nation we have made and it will take too much work for the population to really care.

38% of the public will support Trump and his issues blindly….it has nothing to do with party affiliation… has everything to do with the simmering resentments that have been allowed to boil over and create a country that some of us are ashamed of…..that racism has always been there just they were held up in the past and that kept them simmering and then in the 1990s the simmering became a boil and with Trump it boiled over into mainstream.

That 38% will never conform to the ideals that this country was founded on…..founded on?…there is a term that means NOTHING as well in these days of tribalism.

Trump’s lies have been brought to light and the campaign of BS has started to obfuscate the facts……his economic message is a lie, his foreign policies are based on flattery, immigration policies are based on racism….all his lies are golden as along as he keeps brown people out of the supermarkets.

Pundits are surprised at this turn in our attitudes……why?  Those attitudes have been there from the beginning and hidden now they have become acceptable and they came out of the shadows to mainstream.

STOP using “better angels”……those days are gone we now operate on our “Bitter Angels”.

Do you think with the defeat of Trump in 2020 things will change?

The political cowards have illustrated how to deal with DC and the Congress…the precedent has been set….the worms are out of that damn can……

Go ahead and impeach Trump!  What will that accomplish?

Without the Senate he will remain and spin the impeachment as a good thing for him and his 38% of the country will nod incessantly and the crap will continue…..another waste.

Pundits go on and on about the Repubs that are secretly embarrassed by Trump and his antics…..I disagree……the GOP will NEVER be embarrassed by Trump because his policies are their policies…..words are cheap, actions speak volumes and the GOP is but a murmur barely audible of its former self.

Better Angels My Ass!

WE can say one thing for sure…this country is truly in the middle of a Constitutional crisis……

President Donald Trump and his administration will not participate in the Congressional impeachment inquiry, the White House announced Tuesday, setting up a constitutional crisis in the conflict between two ostensibly co-equal branches of government.

“There is no legal basis for Trump’s position,” tweeted NBC analyst Katie Phang. “Hard stop.”

“The Trump administration’s flat refusal to cooperate with congressional oversight is, itself, impeachable,” tweeted Vox‘s Ezra Klein.

The news sparked a call from Credo Action co-director Heidi Hess for immediate impeachment.

“It’s absolutely outrageous that Donald Trump sent a letter to Congress informing them that he is above the Constitution and every law in America,” said Hess. “House Democrats need to move immediately and use all the power at their disposal to compel testimony and delivery of documents, hold administration officials accountable for their contempt of Congress, and draft articles of impeachment that span all of Trump’s crimes.”

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Should We Redraw Our Map?

The country is “Slipping Into Darkness”……song made famous War….(the group not the conflict)……

For a couple of decades now the US has been separating itself into tribes…..and it has only gotten worse and the last election illustrates just how far this division has gone.

Of course you know I have written on the subject before, right?

Our beloved nation is slipping further and further into ‘tribalism’…..which, in my opinion, will destroy this country and all we have made of it in the last 200+ years.

For about five decades the politics of fear have us dividing ourselves into tribes….basically it is ‘us against them’……these tribes that will destroy all we have accomplished.

People have always used fear for intimidation of the subordinates or enemies, and shepherding the tribe by the leaders. Recently, it appears that Pres. Trump has used fear by suggesting in a tweet that four minority congresswomen go back to the places they came from.

There is a longstanding history of employing the fear of “the others,” turning humans into illogical ruthless weapons, in service to an ideology. Fear is a very strong tool that can blur humans’ logic and change their behavior.

Fear is arguably as old as life. It is deeply ingrained in the living organisms that have survived extinction through billions of years of evolution. Its roots are deep in our core psychological and biological being, and it is one of our most intimate feelings. Danger and war are as old as human history, and so are politics and religion.

How you may ask?

All this division and tribalism is threatening the pillar of our nation…the Constitution.

“Americans have come to view the Constitution not as a statement of shared principles but as a cudgel with which to attack their enemies”  Gordon Wood…….Not a more accurate observation has been found.

The U.S. Constitution was and is imperfect. It took a civil war to establish that the principles enumerated in its Bill of Rights extended to all Americans, and the struggle to live up to those principles continues today. But focusing on the Constitution’s flaws can overshadow what it did achieve. Its revolutionary ambition was to forge, out of a diverse population, a new national identity, uniting Americans under a banner of ideas. To a remarkable extent, it succeeded.

Maybe we should forget about Greenland and do some work on the good old US of A…..(link has an interactive map for your ease of comprehension)….

… a new way to map the diverse lands that make up the United States. Unlike a traditional classroom map, this uses counties rather than states as the building blocks for its regions. The United Regions of America map solves the problem that many states actually lie in more than one distinct region (for example: Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Colorado, California, or New York, to name a few). And since there are 3,142 counties (including areas equivalent to counties), the regional boundaries can be drawn much more precisely than with just 50 states.

If you did not like that map…then maybe this one will be more to your liking…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Your Country Needs You!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Only As Good As Your Last War

***This was a draft that got pushed back with all the breaking news***

We will celebrate the D-Day Landings, Operation Overlord, and the world will remember the heroes that came ashore in the North of France and fought all the way to the gates of Berlin….our “Greatest Generation”…..

And the peasants danced!

Do not misunderstand me…..I firmly believe that we should remember those that died and fought from France to Germany…..but I fear that this will be the last war that the soldiers will be fondly remembered and celebrated.

Seriously name me another war that garners such reverence?

Korea?  Vietnam?  Grenada?  Panama?  How about our newest war of justification…Afghanistan and Iraq.

Do you see any of those conflicts producing the emotions and the gratitude that WW2 envisions.

The wars since WW2 it is the veterans that do the remembering…everyone else only remembers when forced to do so.

But we Americans are always fighting the last war we remember…..

America is still fighting the last war. I admit to having a bit of the same problem. I’m now working on a new book to follow-up my previous one about the war in Afghanistan. The tentative title is Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism. [You are cordially invited to participate in a fundraiser for the project here.] The biggest problem with writing this book now is that the times have changed. The terror wars may all still be raging, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Mali, but the government’s main attention has been turned back toward great power competition with Russia and China.

The neocons’ declared “unipolar moment” is over. America’s relative power is in decline, in no small measure due to the horrible waste and destabilization wrought by the Middle Eastern terror wars in the first place. In response to this, the empire is frustrated, lashing out at the closest things they have to near-peer competitors, accusing them of aggression and declaring an intent to fully renew the old Cold War. Nixon may have ended the previous Cold War with China 45 years ago and Reagan and Bush Sr. the Cold War with the USSR even before it finally dissolved 30 years ago, however, the two independent nations remain the greatest excuse for the special interests at the heart of the American empire to exploit to the ends of the earth and cash in bigtime in the process.

Fighting the Last War

Americans need to learn more about war for they NO longer see the results of these situations…..the media soft soaps the coverage and pundits build the need for war…..all in all we are nation that “needs” war.

“War is good business Invest your children”

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Turkey And Syria

Enter the 3 Blind Mice…….Pompeo, Pence, O’Brien go to Turkey to basically demand a ceasefire in Syria….

The whole things reminds me of the opening of Dr. No……

Look familiar?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will join Vice President Pence on a trip to Turkey this week in an attempt to broker a cease-fire in northern Syria.

Pence will lead a delegation on behalf of President Trump that includes Pompeo and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, the vice president’s office announced Tuesday.

Pence will meet Thursday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a bilateral meeting as the two sides seek to broker a deal to end the bloodshed that was sparked after Trump announced he was pulling U.S. troops out of the region.

The delegation will depart on Wednesday. It’s unclear when they will return.

Trump’s desired ceasefire may not be the ideal answer…..

Russia said it was working to prevent a conflict between advancing Turkish and Syrian government forces on Wednesday, as Turkey’s president defied growing pressure and sanctions from Western allies for a ceasefire in northern Syria. Russia moved quickly to further entrench its leadership role in the region after President Trump ordered the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria, the AP reports. The American move effectively abandoned the Kurdish fighters who were allied with the US and cleared the way for Turkey’s invasion aimed at crushing them. America’s abrupt reversal pushed the Kurds to strike a deal with the Russia-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Late on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed he would not accept a ceasefire in northern Syria, despite growing pressure from the US and Europe. Speaking to a group of journalists, Erdogan said Turkey would only consider a ceasefire once it had cleared the border region of Kurdish fighters that it considers a threat for links to an insurgency within its own territory. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is committed to ensuring security in the region as it works to mediate between the Syrian government and Turkey. Erdogan told journalists that he had rejected US offers to mediate. He also said Turkey was “not concerned” by US sanctions.

During a news conference with the Italian president Trump made some of his weirdest comments about the situation in Syria….

In what Politico calls “perhaps the president’s most dismissive defense of his widely condemned decision earlier this month to allow Turkey to invade Syria,” the president on Wednesday cast the US-allied Kurds as “not angels” who are fighting a battle “that has nothing to do with us.” In comments made from the Oval Office as he sat beside Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Trump had had this to say: “The Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they’re not angels. They’re not angels, if you take a look. You have to go back and take a look. But they fought with us, and we paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us.”

Politico notes the Kurds have turned to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for support. “The Kurds actually are pulling back substantially from Turkey, and Syria is pulling in,” Trump said. But the New York Times writes he waved off concerns that he has provided an opening for Russia, Iran, and Syria to swoop into the area. “I wish them all a lot of luck,” Trump said. “If Russia wants to get involved in Syria, that’s really up to them.” In the AP’s view, “The president appeared to make light of the desperate situation the Kurdish fighters face with the loss of US military support,” and it points to this line as evidence of that: “They’ve got a lot of sand over there, so there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.” NBC News notes Trump characterized the decision to pull US troops as “strategically brilliant.”

Trump caught lots of flak from the GOP over his decision to bring the troops out of Syria…..but they are now kowtowing to the president and his ill conceived decision……

The Republican rebellion against President Donald Trump was short-lived.

Republicans unleashed perhaps their most aggressive outcry of the Trump era after he abandoned the U.S.’ Kurdish allies and ceded northeastern Syria to Turkey. But now GOP lawmakers are dialing back their direct criticism of the president — instead working with Trump, dinging Democrats and trying to move forward.

Just makes me more positive that the GOP is manned by spineless cowards that have NO morals left to use….

I will admit that I am with Trump when he says he wants to bring our troops home……I just think that he is going about it all wrong.

The Republican rebellion against President Donald Trump was short-lived.

Republicans unleashed perhaps their most aggressive outcry of the Trump era after he abandoned the U.S.’ Kurdish allies and ceded northeastern Syria to Turkey. But now GOP lawmakers are dialing back their direct criticism of the president — instead working with Trump, dinging Democrats and trying to move forward.

I find myself agreeing with Trump on ending our endless wars….however I do not agree with his strategy to do so…..

Retreating and abandoning allies may not be the optimum strategy

Whatever might be said about Donald Trump, I always figured him for a savvy New Yorker who knew a good deal when he saw one.

A prime example was in Syria where the commander in chief, despite understandable misgivings about foreign entanglements, had deployed a small contingent of highly skilled troops to accomplish a mission vital to America’s national security.

In military jargon, President Trump was employing “economy of force.” In the context of recent history, he had adopted what might be called a Goldilocks Doctrine.

I wish I could feel better about this decision by our president……but sadly I feel it will not make things better at all.


And Thursday begins!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”