Growing Old Sucks!

Closing Thought–31Dec19

My final thought for 2019…….

A friend on mine sent me this in an email and since Christmas Eve is a short day for IST….I thought I would share this for my old farts and for the younger so they can grasp what is ahead for them….

Some senior citizens are being criticized for the present deficiencies of our modern world; real or imaginary, present or past, foreign or domestic.     
We take responsibility for all our actions and omissions; we do not try to blame others for our past imperfections, ignorance or failures.

Our generation saved the World from Fascism, Communism, and Racism, while we raised the Standard of Living, Health Care, and Life Expectancy.


HOWEVER,  upon reflection   , we would like to point out that it was   NOT     senior citizens who took:

The melody out of music,

The     pride     out of appearance,  

The     courtesy     out of driving,  

The     romance     out of love,

The     commitment     out of marriage,  

The     responsibility     out of parenthood,  

The     togetherness     out of the family,  

The     learning     out of education,  

The     civility     out of behavior,

The     refinement     out of language,

The     dedication     out of employment,

The     prudence     out of spending,

 

 And, we DO understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.  


 YES, I’M A SENIOR CITIZEN !

YES, I’M A SENIOR CITIZEN !

 I’m the life of the party . . . even if it lasts until 8 p.m. 

I’m very good at opening childproof caps . . .     
With a hammer.  

I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up. 

I’m smiling all the time, because I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.   

I’m sure everything I can’t find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.  

I’m wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that’s just my left leg; but I haven’t made my skin look like wall paper or snake skin.

My ears, nose, tongue, or naval haven’t been pieced with metal rings.

  
I’m beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.  
   
Yes, I’m a SENIOR CITIZEN, and I think I am having the time of my life! 

Now if I could only remember who sent this to me, I wouldn’t send it back to them.


Or, maybe I should send it to all my friends anyway.  
They won’t remember, even if they did send it. 

Spread the laughter

If you celebrate the new year please drink responsibly and do not drive…..

Be well, be safe

“lego ergo scribo”

A Decade Of Idiocy?

Today not only ends a year but also the end of a decade…..and a helluva decade it has been….

The decade of the 2010s just how will it be remembered?

We aren’t just approaching the end of a very newsy year; we’re approaching the end of a very eventful decade. To mark the occasion, Politico Magazine asked a group of historians to put all that happened over the past 10 years in its proper historical context—and literally write the paragraph that they think will describe the 2010s in American history books written a century from now.

Will the seemingly significant events we have lived through this decade be important in the grand scheme? Are there powerful historical forces playing out that we’re missing? Where will Black Lives Matter, the social media revolution, #MeToo, climate change, Barack Obama and Donald Trump fit into the history books?

Many described the 2010s, in the words of Andrew Bacevich, as an era of “venomous division,” characterized by massive racial, economic and political divisions. Some saw hope in the discord—as a catalyst for much needed reform, soon to come. Still other historians pointed out less-noticed trends—in technology and foreign policy—that will resonate far into the future.

How will the future remember the 2010s? Here’s what the experts had to say:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2019/12/27/how-will-history-books-remember-the-2010s-089796

Let’s be honest…..the decade of the 2010s has been chole full of morons, idiots and buffoons…..it has been an insufferable decade at best…..

Congrats are in order. We survived to the end of the decade! And if the people detailed in the story you’re about to read have their way, it’ll be one of the last decades anyone survives at all.

Look: It feels like the last ten years has been an endless onslaught by people who are so willfully-ignorant of science, so regressive and backwards, and so unimpeded by the ethics of discovery and innovation, it’s a miracle we haven’t ripped every last follicle out of our heads.

And yet, because we here at Futurism Dot Com are gluttons for punishment, and because we love you, our readers, we sacrificed some brain cells to round up the absolute worst of the people who did the most damage to the Earth, society, and cogent thinking, as well as those who happily trotted alongside them. Please, enjoy, and more than that: Whatever you do, don’t be these people.

https://futurism.com/decade-dumbasses-idiots-morons-science-tech

But not everything in 2019 was a bummer…..there were a few things that can be said to be positive aspects of the year…..

Impeachment, Trump, impeachment, Trump. It’s hard to think of this year without obsessing about the occupant of the White House. But yes, there were lots of other events going on in the world this year. Some of them were tragic, like the coup in Bolivia, but some are hopeful and move us in a positive direction. Here are ten. Please add more.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/30/10-good-things-about-2019

Not to worry….the decade of the 2020s can either be an extension of the idiocy of the 2010s or Americans could get a goddamn grip and change the direction of this country to the better.

I feel that we are “Slipping Into Darkness”…..and that reminds me of a song I want to share…..

Tell me….which do you think will it be?

Peace Out!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Killings Of 2019

As the year come to an end we should look back at 2019 and the record setting year for mass shootings.

It all began just 19 days into the New Year….

The first one occurred 19 days into the new year when a man used an ax to kill four family members including his infant daughter. Five months later, 12 people were killed in a workplace shooting in Virginia. Twenty-two more died at a Walmart in El Paso in August.

A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University shows that there were more mass killings in 2019 than any year dating back to at least the 1970s, punctuated by a chilling succession of deadly rampages during the summer.

In all, there were 41 mass killings, defined as when four or more people are killed excluding the perpetrator. Of those, 33 were mass shootings. More than 210 people were killed.

https://apnews.com/4441ae68d14e61b64110db44f906af92

Sadly it is NO longer shocking…..even sadder is that these killings have become common place and in doing so has become a so-so event……even the MSM does not dwell on the shootings as it once did.

The new year and the new decade may prove to be yet another record setting time for our gun violence and mass killings.

It is truly sad.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Steel Promises

Closing Thought–30Dec19

Does anyone remember the promises Trump made in 2016 about the return of our industries like steel?

If you are a Trump supporter you will NOT remember that lie or that promise broken…..

Just to let Americans know…the steel industry is struggling and NOT returning….as a matter of fat it is closing down another plant…..

U.S. Steel Corp. announced this week that it will close a mill near Detroit, laying off more than 1,500 workers as it tries to address financial losses.

The news comes just months after U.S. Steel announced it would be laying off 200 workers at the same mill, Great Lakes Works. 

U.S. Steel said they expect to end the mill’s iron and steelmaking operations by April 1, 2020, with another part of the mill closing by the end of 2020. The estimated job loss is 1,545 workers.

Steel production will instead be shifted to a plant in Gary, Ind., where the company has invested $750 million after both the city and state gave U.S. Steel tax breaks. Those tax breaks aimed to keep at least 3,875 jobs at the plant.

The changes, along with a plan to slash its dividend and suspend stock repurchases, come as the company predicts major losses in the fourth quarter of the year. According to MarketWatch, U.S. Steel reported an adjusted loss of $1.15 a share in the fourth quarter. The number is far more than analysts’ original projection, which put losses at 62 cents a share. 

“We are conscious of the impact this decision will have on our employees, their families, and the local community, and we are announcing it now to provide them with as much time as possible to prepare for this transition,” CEO David Burritt said in a press release.

“These decisions are never easy, nor are they taken lightly.  However, we must responsibly manage our resources while also strengthening our company’s long-term future – a future many stakeholders depend on.  We will be taking steps in the weeks and months ahead to assist impacted employees by providing additional education about benefits available through our company, as well as community resources.”

The announcement comes as steel has been at the center of President Trump‘s ongoing trade war with China. After the first round of tariffs, the White House celebrated domestic steel price increases and Trump said tariffs were rebuilding the industry, but the prices have since seen a sharp decline.

The U.S. and China have closed in on a new trade deal this month, and are working out the final details. Officials said the deal involves lifting some U.S. tariffs on China, while Beijing has agreed to purchase more agricultural products from the U.S.

(thehill.com)

Just another lie that will go unchallenged…..

We hear all the time just how good the economy is doing….but do not ask the steel workers they may crap all over the “good news”….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Military Tech of 2019

I write a lot about war and the need for us to find another way of dealing with international situations…..I am not naive enough to think that war will end overnight….but at least we should try to find a cessation point.

But since we still have war let’s look at the tech of 2019…

PUTTING ASIDE our personal feelings on the nature of war and what it is or isn’t good for, the fact is that it’s a terrible reality of life. It’s also, often, where technological development advances at several paces beyond every other sector even remotely like it. These are some of literature’s best (and most dystopian) ideas, fully realized. And 2019 especially boasted some of the most mind-bending military tech the world’s ever seen.

From an invisibility cloak to a sonic gun that vibrates a target’s brain, military researchers really pushed the limits of what we thought was scientifically possible this year, no doubt at least partly thanks to their sometimes astronomically high budgets — looking at you, America.

Without further ado, here is The Coolest (and Scariest) Military Tech of 2019. 

https://futurism.com/coolest-scariest-military-technology-2019

We have another year of wars and conflict to look forward to….but there is a possibility the Trump will do something about war because of the election in November…..he may need to find a whole new batch of voters to help him win.

I read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Space 2019

I close out the year with a reminder that the US now has a separate Space Force…..what does that mean?

I will help everyone understand before it is too late…..

A little background…….https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-33_Issue-4/F-Townsend.pdf

Now just what will this elite Space Force actually do?

“Space is the world’s newest war-fighting domain,” President Trump said during the signing ceremony. “Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough. But very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”

The idea was widely mocked when it was first floated, providing fodder for late night hosts, newspaper cartoonists and comedy writers. Senior military officials have previously raised concerns about what it will cost, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned against rushing into creating the force without clearly defined goals.

“This is not a farce. This is nationally critical,” Gen. John Raymond, who will lead the Space Force, told reporters on Friday. “We are elevating space commensurate with its importance to our national security and the security of our allies and partners.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/21/790492010/trump-created-the-space-force-heres-what-it-will-do

I have had a problem with this decision from the beginning….for one there is the cost to the taxpayer in a era of tax cuts and increased spending….second then there is the Area Of Operation (AOR)……does anyone realize just how massive that would be?

It is a BAD IDEA!

One of the distinguishing characteristics of space is that it has no natural boundaries and is inherently international. With the exception of satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO), all satellites pass over various parts of the Earth’s surface every day. This physical feature of the domain has led to a unique international approach to space missions, as any country’s satellites have free rights of passage over other nations’ territories. Furthermore, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which the United States has ratified, states that “outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States” and that “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” From the outset, the international community realized that unlike the air, sea, and land domains where countries can claim sovereign areas, the space domain is inherently international.

So why did the US military re-establish Space Command as a geographic command if there are no distinct territories or regions in space?

CSIS Bad Idea: Giving Space Command An AOR

Just a few thoughts on our new Space Force to close out the year.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan And Years End

2019 slowly comes to a climax and many of us will settle back and be thankful that it ended on a high note…..

A high note?

The release of the Afghanistan Papers…..a subject that I felt needed to be covered more so than the MSM has done so far…..https://lobotero.com/2019/12/11/afghanistan-papers/

This is my wrap up of the news in Afghanistan….

Can our presence actually fix the nation?

President Trump is reportedly preparing to announce a withdrawal of 4,000 troops from Afghanistan. This comes as negotiations between the United States and the Taliban restarted before being suspended again as a result of the Taliban assault on Bagram Airfield. All this comes on the heels of a new World Bank report arguing that even with some sort of ceasefire, the Afghan government would still need significant foreign aid for many years to spur economic growth. Its public expenditures are 58 percent of gross domestic product right now, and grants from international donors make up 75 percent of those expenditures. But the ongoing problems in Afghanistan are beyond the ability of the international community to fix.

Any kind of reduction in American troops is a step in the right direction. As the Afghanistan Papers report in the Washington Post makes clear, this war will not be “won” in any sense of the term. But the talks are ultimately unnecessary and the Trump administration should take the extra mile of bringing everyone home. The United States does not need to work things out with the Taliban before keeping ourselves safe, and there is simply not much else the United States can accomplish in Afghanistan at this point.

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/475343-outsiders-will-not-fix-afghanistan

Not to worry….the US is helping corporations rake in billions while raping the country of Afghanistan……

This week, the Washington Post published a devastating account of the situation in Afghanistan. What the paper revealed should come as no surprise to WhoWhatWhy readers and anybody who has been paying attention.

In 18 years, the US has achieved virtually nothing. For this complete failure, it has paid a staggering price — not only in terms of taxpayer money but, most importantly, the loss of life of Afghans and coalition forces alike.

We thought we’d take this opportunity to look ahead and predict what it might sound like when the US finally withdraws from this ill-fated adventure.

Afghanistan — the Gift That Keeps on Giving (to Defense Contractors)

So did our troops die in vain for the policies around Afghanistan?

The Pentagon says NO……

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley sought to defend the Afghan War on Friday, despite the Afghanistan Papers showing systematic official lies about the failed conflict, insisting that the documents were a “mischaracterization” of the war, and that there was no unified decision to deceive the public.

Rather, the position here seems to be that hundreds of Pentagon officials took it upon themselves and each individually decided to deceive the public a little bit, culminating in a colossal lie which couldn’t be explicitly blamed on anyone.

Gen. Milley insisted the war had been a success in that there hadn’t been any specific terror attacks out of Afghanistan for the war’s duration, and particularly objected to the idea that anyone had died “in vain” in the conflict.

I don’t think anybody has died in vain, per se,” Milley said, saying if anyone’s death was in vain, he “could not look at myself in the mirror.” Since he can still do that, he’s concluded no one died in vain.

The entire idea that troops died in vain is largely a military creation at any rate, built to try to shame politicians into keeping the war going on the notion that if the war is lost all the deaths were in vain.

(antiwar.com)

WE have spent 18+ years trying to give democracy to Afghanistan…..maybe we should have asked if they wanted it before committing our troops to install it…..

When the United States invaded Iraq in the early 2000s, President George W. Bush pledged to turn the autocratic nation into a democracy. “Iraqi democracy will succeed, and that success will send forth the news from Damascus to Tehran that freedom can be the future of every nation,” Bush said in a speech in November 2003.

The idea that installing a democracy in a country causes a populace to embrace democratic values, such as respecting the rights and freedoms of all people, has often influenced the foreign policy decisions of the United States and other countries. Yet a recent study of the attitudes of almost 500,000 individuals worldwide suggests that Bush and others have that equation backwards. Such interventions will likely fail unless a country’s citizens have already adopted values that accompany democracy, researchers report December 2 in Nature Human Behaviour.

Installing democracies may not work without prior cultural shifts

If it is not wanted then why are we still there?  (I know the answer….it was rhetorical)…..

Just a thought.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

North Korea At Year’s End

It seems that I may have told a fib when I said I would post only drafts for the rest of this year…..my bad.

This report has to be posted because of the implications for the coming year……..

We all know of the song and dance, the dog and pony show that Trump and Kim have given the world this year……well it has gotten more threatening as 2019 comes to an end….

The start of the year 2020—or, in North Korea, the year 109—is approaching and observers fear Kim Jong Un might be planning something big. According to North Korean state media, the dictator told a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee Sunday that North Korea needs to “take positive and offensive measures” to “fully ensure the sovereignty and security of the country, as required by the present situation,” the BBC reports. The AP notes that in the Korean-language report in state media, Kim’s words were given as “active and offensive measures.” The ominous-sounding “Christmas gift” Kim promised the US never materialized, but he has said the end of this year is the deadline for Washington to make major concessions in nuclear talks.

Analysts suspect Kim might use either the Central Committee meeting, which continues Monday, or his New Year’s Day address to announce that he has decided to end the moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests. “By ‘positive and offensive measures,’ they might mean highly provocative action against the United States and also South Korea,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, tells Reuters. White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that the US has “many tools in its toolkit” to deal with a resumption of nuclear testing. “If Kim “takes that approach we’ll be extraordinarily disappointed and we’ll demonstrate that disappointment,” he said.

What does “extraordinarily disappointed” mean?

This continues to be based on weeks of speculation of a Christmas surprise coming out of North Korea, and several days after Christmas, with no signs of anything being done, US officials are still threatening North Korea in case anything ever happens.

O’Brien didn’t say what the US would actually do, but has “tools in its tool kit” to do something if they want to, and that they’ll want to in response to tests which, again, were only mentioned in North Korean state media offhand once, and then for weeks in US media as a foregone conclusion that they were going to happen.

For now, there is no reason to expect North Korea is on the verge of any sort of test, except for all the talking about it that the media has been doing. Now, with media frenzy being coupled with US threats, there are still no signs what North Korea’s plans are, if any.

What a way to begin a new year….with threats.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Posts At The End Of Year

This is the last few days of 2019….I still have many drafts in waiting so I will continue to post them unless something important comes up.

Hope that my regulars are not too bored with these ramblings that I have kept for a rainy day or the end of a year….it must be the later.

Thanx for your understanding and may the coming new year be a good one for us all.

“lego ergo scribo”

The Terror Of The Ancient World

Sunday and a short history lesson…..

I know that sounds like a SciFi movie waiting for funding…..but not this time…..this post is about a people that held the ancient world hostage for decades…the mysterious Sea People.

Sea People?

Yes the Sea People…the very people that brought about the collapse of the Bronze Age…..a short video to help you understand just how ruthless these people were…..

 
The history of the Sea People has been masked by history for centuries….but now there is a new found interest….for me I have always had an interest since I have studied Middle East history and the history of conflict, something the Sea People were experts at carrying out.
 

“Sea Peoples” sort of sounds like the name for a band of Disney villains, or maybe something you would mail order from the back of a comic book in the 1960s. It doesn’t sound much like a fitting moniker for the mysterious group of people that helped bring the Bronze Age to its knees. Maybe if someone dropped the “s” at the end of the name, because seriously, “Sea Peoples” is what a 2-year-old would say while trying to announce the presence of humans on a beach in San Diego.

The Sea Peoples would probably be a bit miffed to learn that today, thousands of years after they terrorized the ancient world, almost no one remembers them. Worse, some people don’t think they really existed, and even worse, we think their name is kind of stupid. But the Sea Peoples did exist, and yes their name sounds kind of stupid but that doesn’t actually diminish the part where they literally destroyed civilization. So here’s the truth about the Sea Peoples, those dudes with the stupid name who you probably never heard of until exactly this moment.

https://www.grunge.com/174222/the-truth-about-the-sea-peoples-who-terrorized-the-ancient-world/

These raiders were a scourge in the Bronze Age kinda like the Vikings in the Dark Ages were to Europe….

The Sea People and how they devastated the Ancient World…..https://allthatsinteresting.com/sea-peoples

Then there is this for the lazy…..

My Sunday history lesson as well as a bit of archeology thrown in….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”