It Went Up In Smoke

Closing Thought–19Nov19

I heard more about vaping a couple months ago and the president went on a tear, the warpath, on the sell and use of a vaping trend…..He, Trump, even went in front of the press and promised that a policy on the banning of vaping would be forthcoming….why because he caught kid vaping in his room……that was a couple months ago….and now we have our policy…..(or is that…lack of a policy?)

In September, President Trump said his administration would ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes. “We can’t have our kids be so affected,” said Trump at the White House, making reference to first lady Melania Trump’s concern over the dangers of vaping. Now two reports say Trump abruptly reversed course, mostly because he became worried about the political fallout from young voters and lost jobs in the vaping industry. The Washington Post first reported the reversal, and the New York Times confirmed. Both accounts say Trump made the final decision on Nov. 4, while aboard a plane to a political rally in Kentucky. Health and Human Services chief Alex Azar had until then been scheduled to have a press conference the following day to announce the federal restrictions.

The Post has a critical take on all this: “It was the latest example of the chaotic way policy is made—and sometimes unmade—in a White House where the ultimate decider often switches gears after making a controversial vow, whether on combating gun violence, pulling troops from Syria or promising to deliver an Obamacare replacement plan.” The gist of both stories is that Trump was surprised at the negative reaction his initial announcement received. Political advisers including 2020 campaign manager Brad Pascale also warned him that the backlash could hurt him in battleground states. The administration is now working on a new plan, and it’s not clear when it will be unveiled.

Not to worry this is a typical track for a Trump promise….go out make wild accusations and consequences and then after the  press value is gone to then just blow off all the promises made.

This was not the first time he did this and it will not be the last….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

50 Years Ago

“It was 50 years ago today
Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play,
They’ve been going in and out of style,
But they’re guaranteed to raise the smile,
So may I introduce to you,”

Sorry I digress….a short trip down Memory Lane….

But speaking of protests as I did earlier….a little history……

As a young man I was an antiwar activist…I had witnessed war first hand and wanted to see the whole concept disappear…..I have heard people say that protests do very little in the grand scheme of things……I dis agree….

Ergo 50 years ago this Autumn……

“Demonstrations don’t work.” Next time you hear someone (or yourself) say that, you might consider the Moratorium and Mobilization demonstrations in the fall of 1969 — both commemorating their 50th anniversaries this year.

On Oct.15, 1969, more than two million citizens took part in the Moratorium — a one-day national strike against the war. In hundreds of cities, towns and campuses throughout the country, people from all walks of life took the day off to march, rally, vigil or engage in teach-ins. Until the Women’s March of 2017, the Moratorium held the title as the biggest nationwide demonstration in American history.

Exactly a month later, on Nov. 15, more than a half-million war opponents flooded the nation’s capital for the Mobilization. That was more than double the number of marchers who participated in the famous 1963 March on Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 100,000 rallied in a simultaneous antiwar demonstration in San Francisco.

How anti-Vietnam War protests thwarted Nixon’s plans and saved lives

Do not let them (whoever them are) tell you protests do not work….they do and the American people need to remember that and act accordingly.

In closing a bit of protest musical interlude……

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

My Tulsi News–November 2019

I have stated many times that I am supporting Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for the Dem nomination in 2020….basically her antiwar stance appealed to me after decades of antiwar activism it is wonderful to finally have a true antiwar candidate….plus the MSM is worried about her candidacy…..her antiwar is a bane to the ad dollar.

I love watching the MSM dance to diss Tulsi…even to the point of having Hillary try to do a hatchet job on her.

Most America feels that these wars are wasted lives……it is the MSM that continues to sell these wars to the public so that their corporate owners can rake in the cash…..

The latest Pew Research Center survey on the issue finds that 64 percent of Veterans say the Iraq War is “not worth fighting,” along with 62 percent of all American adults who agree. Only 33 percent of Veterans say the Iraq War is worth fighting.

Likewise, nearly 60 percent of Veterans and all American adults say the Afghanistan War was not worth the fight. Less than 40 percent say the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was worth fighting.

The numbers indicate that the majority of Americans agree with Tulsi on war….and yet her voice is in silent mode thanx to the DNC and the MSM……

Recently failed Dem candidate Hillary Clinton accused Tulsi of being a Russian agent….now her lawyers have struck back….

The Tulsi Gabbard-Hillary Clinton beef now includes lawyers. Attorneys for the 2020 hopeful on Monday sent a letter to Clinton demanding that she “immediately” retract her “defamatory” comments on Gabbard; they want a verbal retraction, as well as one posted to Twitter, reports the Hill. The comments in question were made in October during an episode of David Plouffe’s Campaign HQ podcast. Clinton said of Gabbard, “She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her, so far.” She also said “they” are grooming Gabbard to mount a third-party campaign; a Clinton rep later said the “they” referred to the GOP. Gabbard’s lawyers aren’t buying it.

Their letter states, “It appears you may now be claiming that this statement is about Republicans (not Russians) grooming Gabbard. “But this makes no sense in light of what you actually said. After you made the statement linking Congresswoman Gabbard to the Russians, you (through your spokesman) doubled down on it with the Russian nesting dolls remark.” Fox News reports the lawyers proposed a statement for Clinton to make, which includes an admission of a “grave mistake and error” and proclaims her “support” and “admir[ation]” of Gabbard’s work. CNN notes Clinton’s comments may have actually helped Gabbard qualify for November’s debate; she had previously never polled above the necessary 3%

Tulsi went on Breitbart to defend her antiwar positions….

Gabbard joined Breitbart News Daily on Sirius XM Patriot 125 for a live interview with Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow, who asked her if Democrats still deserved to be known as an “anti-war” party. She said they did not. Certainly, not anymore,” she said.

“Rather than actually standing up for the best interest of our country, standing up for the best interest of our people and for peace, decisions are made and criticisms are levied based on, well, if it’s a president from the other party, then we’re going to stand up against everything they do. And this is something we see on both sides of the aisle,” she said.

Clinton accused Tulsi of wanting to run as a third party candidate and Tulsi has stated that she has NO such desire and yet the MSM still plays that card whenever her name comes up…….

October, in the small town of Blackstock, South Carolina, Tulsi Gabbard — dressed, as she frequently is, in white — sat in a seafood restaurant. She listened attentively while members of the state Democratic Party’s rural and black caucuses met as part of a listening tour. This was a meeting mostly about local issues, and though Gabbard had earlier made some remarks, she was now quiet and took notes, occasionally tapping on her phone. She was the only presidential candidate there, though other campaigns had put up signs or sent representatives. After the meeting was finished, she stayed and shook hands, the very picture of a candidate doing basic, non-flashy retail politics. The appearance wasn’t designed for cameras or attention — Gabbard’s campaign hadn’t even put the event on her press advisory, though a few reporters showed up anyway.

It was an average day on the campaign trail, but Gabbard’s campaign isn’t average.

An opinion writer that I respect is also a Tulsi supporter and has written a piece in defense of Tulsi…..

At times it’s been a decidedly lonely journey, particularly in the many years I remained on active duty while actively dissenting. I was, and remain, struck by how few of my fellow soldiers, officers and recent post-9/11 veterans felt as I did—strongly enough, at least, to publicly decry U.S. militarism. Then I discovered Tulsi Gabbard, an obscure young congresswoman from Hawaii who, coincidentally, serves in the Army and is herself a veteran of the war in Iraq. In the current climate of Gabbard-bashing, where even sites like Truthdig offer measured criticism, it’s hard to convey the profound sense of relief I felt that someone as outspokenly anti-war as Gabbard even existed way back in 2016. She said things I only dared think back then; and as I did, she backed Bernie Sanders—a risky endeavor that likely doomed her to the recent slanderous accusations of treason by Hillary Clinton. That’s called courage.

In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi is met with obstacles at every turn…obstacles set up by the DNC trying to limit the candidates to those in the “Center”….and yet Tulsi keeps finding ways to get into the conversation….but not to worry the debates are rigged to showcase the centrists and anyone else not standing in the center will be marginalized……

To listen DNC leader Perez talk about progressive politics is just a lie in the best examples of a lie…..after all he is a Clintonian toadie.

Until has to leave the campaign I am in her corner and will do all I can to help her win.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”


Protests Go Global

The world is a light with the sounds of protests…Hong Kong, Lebanon, Iraq, Bolivia, Venezuela, Iran, Chile et al……the entire globe seems to be in protest….that is except here in the good old US of A…….

This country use to lead the world in protests for a wide array of reasons…..women’s rights, civil rights, antiwar, etc…… etc…..but these days we are a bit too lazy to actually care for much to protest….or so it seems……Without a mass movement continually pushing and prodding for real change and holding politicians accountable—for their policies as well as their words—our neoliberal rulers assume that they can safely ignore the concerns and interests of ordinary people.

The waves of protests breaking out in country after country around the world beg the question: Why aren’t Americans rising up in peaceful protest like our neighbors? We live at the very heart of this neoliberal system that is force-feeding the systemic injustice and inequality of 19th century laissez-faire capitalism to the people of the 21st century. So we are subject to many of the same abuses that have fueled mass protest movements in other countries, including high rents, stagnant wages, cradle-to-grave debt, ever-rising economic inequality, privatized healthcare, a shredded social safety net, abysmal public transportation, systemic political corruption and endless war.

We also have a corrupt, racist billionaire as president, who Congress may soon impeach, but where are the masses outside the White House, banging pots and pans to drive Trump out? Why aren’t people crashing the offices of their congresspeople, demanding that they represent the people or resign? If none of these conditions has so far provoked a new American revolution, what will it take to trigger one?

As a long time antiwar activist I cannot believe that after almost 20 years of continuous war and there is NO antiwar movement…..

It is embarrassing to witness just how LAZY the American people have become….that they cannot be bothered to learn about our many wars and decide if they are worth the cost in blood and treasure.

All I can say is “Be the change you are looking for”!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Is Saudi Arabia Broke?

I ask this question because of a report that I read last week……I seems that the oil arm of the Saudi royal family, ARAMCO, is about to offer an IPO on the stock exchange……

Saudi Arabia began an initial public offering Sunday of a sliver of oil giant Saudi Aramco after years of delay, hoping international and local investors will pay billions for a stake in the kingdom’s crown jewels, reports the AP. An approval by Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority served as the starting gun for an IPO promised by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since 2016. But unlike traditional IPOs, Saudi Aramco offered no hoped-for price range nor idea how much of the firm would be offered on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange. Analysts say the kingdom likely hopes local investors will push share prices toward a desired $2 trillion valuation and buoy that price ahead of any further listing abroad. Saudi Aramco made a point in its filings to highlight its profitability and low costs through data once held as a state secret by the royal family, euphemistically referred to as its “current shareholder.”

However, economic worries, the trade war between China and the US, and increased US crude oil production have depressed energy prices. A Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Aramco spooked some investors, with one ratings firm already downgrading it. It’s hard to overstate Saudi Aramco’s power: It produces over 10 million barrels of crude oil a day, some 10% of global demand. The firm’s net income in 2018 was $111.1 billion, far beyond the combined net income of oil giants BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total SA. Al-Arabiya reported last week that pricing for the stock will begin Nov. 17. A final price will be set Dec. 4, with shares beginning to be traded on the Tadawul on Dec. 11. Analysts say a $2 trillion valuation—Apple and Microsoft are $1 trillion each—may be a stretch. By announcing the start of the IPO on Sunday, Prince Mohammed may have been convinced to take a lower valuation in order to get the IPO moving.

Why would the Royals who own the oil in Saudi want to submit to the regulations of a stock exchange?

Then maybe Gen. Petraeus has the answer……

Gen. David Petraeus, the retired four-star Army general and former head of the CIA, told CNBC on Thursday that Saudi Arabia is “gradually running out of money.”

Petraeus said the Saudi’s need their initial public offering (IPO) of the state-run oil company Aramco, to be successful. In December, the Saudis plan on releasing some shares of Aramco to the public in an effort to attract outside investors.

The IPO is part of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s “Vision 2030,” his effort to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy and reduce its dependence on oil exports. Petraeus said Saudi Arabia’s budget deficits can be “anywhere from $40 to $60 billion” each year, depending on the price of oil.

When asked about other people’s criticisms of the crown prince, Petraeus said it was in the entire world’s interest to see “Saudi Arabia succeed” and to also see it “moderate” some of its practices.


Petraeus is currently the chair of the KKR Global Institute, a branch of the American global investment firm KKR. Petraeus said there is no KKR investment into Saudi Arabia he is aware of yet, and that the Saudis need to “regain the confidence of all the investors of the world.” But Petraeus did say KKR has invested elsewhere in the region and put $2 billion into the United Arab Emirates’ Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

Why is Saudi running out of cash?

Why would the Royals allow someone to gain control over their production?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”