Closing Thought–10Dec19

Uber!

I believe we hear all kinds of horror stories about Uber and the drivers and yet no seems to care about the reports……if only they would pay attention….

More than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during US Uber rides in 2018, the company said in a long-awaited safety report. That figure includes 229 rapes across the company’s 1.3 billion rides. Uber noted that drivers and riders were both attacked, and that some assaults occurred between riders, the AP reports. In 2017, the company said 2,936 sexual assaults were reported. Uber bases its numbers on reports from riders and drivers — meaning the actual numbers could be much higher. Sexual assaults commonly go unreported. “I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted. “Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right.”

Uber and competitor Lyft have faced a backlash for not doing enough to protect the safety of its riders and drivers. Dozens of women are suing Lyft, claiming the company should have done more to protect them from driver assaults. A Connecticut woman sued Uber last month, claiming she was sexually assaulted by her driver. Uber’s safety report is the first of its kind, the company said in a tweet. The reported assaults ranged from unwanted touching and kissing to rape, per NPR. The number of reports could increase in future years, Uber said, if more people are encouraged to report sexual assault

And stupid prevails…..and the sexual assaults will continue….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

John Hancock

How much do you know about American history?

Since the US Constitution is in the news almost daily….let’s look at one of the boyz of Summer that gave us the document……

For instance one of the founding fathers, John Hancock…..what do you know beyond his famous signature?

John Hancock and his signature are two of the best-known elements related to the Declaration of Independence. But how much do you know about the former president of the Continental Congress?

On May 24, 1775, Hancock was named as the presiding officer over the Second Continental Congress, which was meeting in Philadelphia to discuss the military threat posed by the British. A little more than a year later, Hancock was the first to sign the document declaring independence.

Here are 10 facts about the man whose name is now synonymous with impressive signatures.

1. Hancock was a wealthy guy. He was from Massachusetts and his family had money, which he inherited when his uncle died. In fact, Hancock may have been the richest man in New England when he inherited a shipping fortune.

2. He was a bright student. Young Hancock graduated from Harvard at the age of 17. He was also a quick learner in the business world.

3. Hancock should have been a Loyalist, but he wasn’t. With his wealth and social standing, Hancock should have been a leading member of an elite group that didn’t want independence. Instead, he sympathized with people like John and Samuel Adams, who were patriots.

4. John Hancock, smuggler? Well, he may have been an importer, too, but goods like tea that arrived in New England on Hancock’s ships may have escaped paying a duty. The suspicions led the British to seize Hancock’s ship, Liberty, which started a riot. John Adams got Hancock off the hook from the smuggling charges.

5. Hancock also had a role in the Boston Tea Party incident. While Hancock wasn’t on a ship tossing tea overboard, he was at meetings when outrage was vented at the British. He riled up the crowd with a famous statement: “Let every man do what is right in his own eyes.”

6. The British really didn’t like Hancock. The British troops that set out to Lexington and Concord in 1775 may have been hunting for Hancock and his friend, John Adams, as well as for military supplies that were stored for militia use. Hancock had to be talked out of taking the battlefield against the redcoats. And his arrest was ordered by the British after the battles.

7. Hancock was a behind-the-scenes force early in the American Revolution. Hancock raised money for the Revolution, he helped secure troops, and he played a role in getting naval forces organized. But a homesick Hancock left Congress in 1777 to return to Massachusetts.

8. He was the longtime governor of Massachusetts. Hancock was elected in 1780 to lead his state and was its governor for most of the remaining years of his life. He was immensely popular in his home state.

9. Hancock wasn’t at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Hancock had health issues by 1787 and wasn’t in the Massachusetts delegation. But he played a key role in his state’s ratification of the Constitution, when he overcame his own objections about the lack of a Bill of Rights to urge its passage.

10. What’s the deal with the signature? It’s not true that Hancock signed the Declaration in a big way to taunt the King of England. The legend goes that Hancock stated that “King George will be able to read that!” In reality, Hancock was the first to sign in a matter fitting for the president of the Congress. And only one other person was in the room when he signed it, unlike in that famous painting that shows a gaggle of patriots witnessing the event. Hancock did take a big risk: His signature was evidence of treason if things didn’t go well in the war!

They do not make Americans like that any more…..or should I say American politicians?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Judicial Impeachment Hearing–Day 2

The drama in DC picked up again yesterday…..this is day two of the Judicial Committee hearing on the possible impeachment of Pres. Trump.

My short summary for those that had better things to do….I watched so you did not have to…..

For those interested in the process I give you the impeachment report that was released by the House Intel Committee……https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6566093-House-impeachment-report-PDF.html#document/p1

The day’s doings……

The House Judiciary Committee resumed its impeachment proceedings Monday, with each party laying out familiar narratives. For example, Democratic staff investigator Daniel Goldman said President Trump’s “persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” per the Hill. Countered GOP lawyer Stephen Castor, as quoted in the Washington Post: “The impeachment inquiry has returned no direct evidence that President Trump withheld a meeting or security assistance in order to pressure President Zelensky to investigate former vice president Biden for the president’s political benefit.” Other highlights:

  • From the GOP: “This may become known as the focus group impeachment because we don’t have a crime, we don’t have anything we can actually pin, and nobody understands really what the majority is trying to do except make sure the president can’t win next year if he’s impeached,” said the panel’s ranking Republican, Doug Collins of Georgia.
  • About Pelosi: Collins also objected to Nancy Pelosi’s directive last week to write up articles of impeachment, even before the panel’s hearings were complete. “She just quit,” he said. “She just stopped.”
  • From Democrats: “The evidence shows that Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States, has put himself before country, he has violated his most basic responsibilities to the people, he has broken his oath,” said the panel’s chairman, Jerry Nadler of New York. Regarding the parties’ differing views: If “we could drop our blinders for just one moment, I think we could agree on a common set of facts as well.”
  • Rancor: The GOP’s Jim Sensenbrenner said Democrats were badgering Castor during questioning, but Nadler said “sharp” questioning was par for the course. Politico notes that at one point, Nadler banged his gavel, prompting Collins to mutter, “Bang the gavel harder—still doesn’t make it right.”
  • Protester: A protester shouting that Democrats were committing “treason” was escorted from the proceeding as it began, per CBS News video.  (Treason is for a time of war)
  • Next: Pelosi was meeting with other House leaders Monday night, per CNN. She hasn’t scheduled a meeting with the full caucus on impeachment, but she’s invited all House Democrats to a meeting Wednesday morning.

As with all these…Dems were serious and presented evidence and the GOP spend their time playing political games and attacking everybody as a “whistleblower”…….

Rumor has it that the Dems will issue their articles of impeachment on Tuesday……and we wait!

For those that cannot bother with the process I will help make it simple without the use of “big” words…..

If you missed it……not to worry….There is more!

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Here Comes The Noise

We need something massive to change the attention of the country from the impeachment thing…..and presto change-o….we have suspicious missiles appearing in Iraq…..was reported over the weekend.

There are always missiles in Iraq but these are reported to be Iranian missiles….

Ballistic missiles are appearing in Iraq, US officials say—only they’re not Iraqi. Details are scant, but Iran has apparently taken advantage of Iraqi unrest by sneaking short-range missiles into the country, the New York Times reports. Seems Iran is using Shiite militias under its control to move and conceal the missiles, which can probably fly about 600 miles and hit Jerusalem from Baghdad. Iran’s placing of missiles in Iraq isn’t new—Reuters reported on it last year—but the latest intelligence shows it hasn’t stopped, either. “People are not paying enough attention to the fact that ballistic missiles in the last year have been placed in Iraq by Iran with the ability to project violence on the region,” says Rep. Elissa Slotin, D-Mich

The news comes amid ongoing Mideast turbulence, with Washington trying to bolster its military presence with about 14,000 more troops, Iran engaging in shadow attacks on other countries, and violent protests rocking Iran. Just this week, CNN reported on Iran moving weapons and forces to possibly attack US interests. Missiles positioned in Iraq could also be used to disguise their true origin, the Times notes. All this can be seen as an indictment of America’s attempts to deter Iran’s interests in the region. It also reaffirms Iran’s military strategy: “Lacking a modern air force, Iran has embraced ballistic missiles as a long-range strike capability to dissuade its adversaries in the region,” the Defense Intelligence Agency said in a report last month.

None of the officials offered any evidence that this was the case, simply claiming this was a known part of Iran taking advantage of “chaos and confusion in the Iraqi central government.”

Which isn’t to say that there aren’t Iranian missiles in Iraq. Iran and Iraq are allies, and Iranian arms are often exported into Iraq for use by Shi’ite militias. With the US generally confusing Iraqi militias with “Iranian proxies,” it wouldn’t be surprised if they treated arms sold to the militias as Iranian stockpiles.

For me this news is a bit suspicious….why?  It was released the day that the impeachment thing moves into the drafting of the articles of impeachment….

I do not believe in coincidence!

Beyond that……is there a threat of Iranian “muscle”?

Iran’s missile force is in fact a product of Iranian weakness, not Iranian strength. A state that wants a deep strike capability and pursues missiles rather than aircraft suffers real disadvantages. It’s the same story with Iran’s proxy groups, covert actions, and small boat swarms: as ballistic missiles are the weaker substitute for an air force, these are substitutes for more effective forms of power. Yet missiles, proxy forces, covert action, and small boats make up the bulk of Iran’s ability to hit back at those who might hit it.

Pentagon Report Undermines Hawks’ Claims On Iranian Ballistic Missile Threat

The war drums are heating up….how long will they play?  Why are they playing at all?  Who are we protecting?  Everyone in the region spends billions with the US on defense and yet they need the protection of the US.  So do they spend the money on ordinance or on people?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

As The Saudis Quiver And Quake

The powers of the M-IC have made it clear that the narrative that the Iranians will attack Saudi Arabia and the kingdom is shivering in their boots . And what do they do when they are afraid?

They turn to the US for protection.

Top CentCom general is the lead voice on this fear….

Months upon months of US military buildups in the Middle East, all around Iran, combined with near-constant threats to attack Iran outright have sure been raising regional tensions, but according to US Centcom commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, it is not believed to be deterring Iran.

To be clear, deterrence in this case means reducing the US-perceived “threat” posed by Iran, and with US officials, particularly military officials, constantly seeing Iran’s threat increasing, this should not be a surprising turn of events. As ever, expensive deployments against a US regional rival are being seen by military officials as justification for more deployments going forward.

(antiwar.com)

This probably assured this general a job for his help when he retires.

So Trump is facing a dilemma of protecting his “good friend” and fellow authoritarian or to hold to a promise of ending these wars…..looks like he is leaning to the former.

According to Pentagon officials, the US has begun negotiations with Saudi Arabia on the question of cost-sharing for the ever-growing US military presence in the Saudi kingdom. Talks began with the arrival of US radar and air defense systems.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley met with the Saudi crown prince this week and brought up this matter. Milley was presenting the US presence as aimed squarely at Iran, and deterring Iran from attacking the Saudis.

Gen. Milley also intended to give the impression that this was not a short-term mission, either, saying the US wants to maintain this presence in the region as part of America’s overall regional footprint.

The US commitment of thousands of troops, warplanes and missiles into Saudi Arabia is potentially an expensive proposition, and the administration has been keen in those cases to push for the host country to help defray the costs. It is not clear how much the presence is costing the US so far, and it is unclear how much the US is seeking from the Saudis.

All of this talk of long-term presence and cost-sharing is also likely to portend yet more US deployments into Saudi Arabia, as the administration continues to talk up Iranian “threats” and the need for a US presence in the area.

(antiwar.com)

I have a couple of questions.

Will we or won’t we send my troops to KSA?

Further evidence of some sort of planned increase came during Congressional testimony Thursday by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, whose answer to a question about a proposed troop increase was equivocal, leaving open the possibility of “dynamic adjustments to our posture” to deter Iran.

“We are evaluating the threat situation, and the secretary, if he chooses to, can make decisions to deploy additional forces based on what he’s observing there,” Rood said. “Based on what we’re seeing with our concerns with the threat picture, it is possible we would need to adjust our force posture.”

So 14,000 Troops to the Middle East a Myth? Not So Fast

A word game…..

The Saudis spend billions upon billions on weaponry from the US why do they need the US to “protect” them from anybody.  Are they that inept?  Then what is the money spent really going for?

Second question ….when did the US military become a mercenary force?  A force paid by a foreign government?

Both of these question should be answered…..the American people need to know just what our interests in protecting the Saudis from local “bad boys”….who are we really protecting?  And why are we protecting them?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”