Closing Thought–26Dec19

Lots has been written about the problems we all suffer if we use the internet….the tracking of our visits, etc….

If you are worried then you need to read this article I found….

Here are some mildly terrifying things I learned when I recently did an online privacy checkup: Google was sharing my creditworthiness with third parties. If you want Target to stop sharing your information with marketers, you have to call them. And, my favorite: If you would like Hearst, the publishing giant, to stop sharing your physical mailing address with third parties, you have to mail a physical letter with your request to the company’s lawyers.

Cool cool cool.

I was inspired by this story my colleague Kashmir Hill wrote this month about the company Sift, which collects your consumer data and analyzes then scores your transactions.

Me?

I do not care that they track me.  I do no business on-line that could be used against me…..I am an old radical so I am use to watching what I do or say for the government is listening. (COINTELPRO).

Bernie is doing what all politicians do….promise.

Vowing to take on the telecom giants that have monopolized the web for private profit, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday unveiled a $150 billion plan to make the internet a public utility, break up and tightly regulate corporate behemoths like Verizon and AT&T, and provide high-speed broadband for everyone in the United States.

“It is outrageous that across the country millions of Americans and so many of our communities do not have access to affordable high-speed internet,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement. “Access to the internet is a necessity in today’s economy, and it should be available for all.”

Sanders vowed that, if elected president in 2020, he will ensure that every American household has affordable and high-speed internet by the end of his first term.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/06/vowing-deliver-high-speed-broadband-all-sanders-plan-would-enshrine-internet-public

I like the idea….but this is a non-starter…..big business will, never allow such a move.

Just thought you might like to know.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Do They Hate Us?

I recently wrote a post about something the president stated…that the Saudis love Americans….I disagree and it is a blatant LIE!

But read it for yourself……https://lobotero.com/2019/12/12/saudis-love-americans/

But then we should ask why do they hate us?

I read a piece for explaining this in the Future of Freedom Foundation, a Libertarian leaning site…….the lie that they hate us because of our “values and our freedom” is crap…it is a spin on the real reasons we are hated in the Middle East.

The recent shootings of three U.S. soldiers in Florida at the hands of a Saudi citizen raises a standard question in the U.S. government’s perpetual “war on terrorism”: “Why do they hate us?”

Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the official mantra began being issued: The terrorists just hate us for our “freedom and values.” No other explanation for motive was to be considered. If anyone suggested an alternative motive — such as “They are retaliating for U.S. governmental killings over there” — U.S. officials and interventionists would immediately go on the attack, heaping a mountain of calumny on that person, accusing him of treason, hating America, loving the terrorists, and justifying their attacks.

It happened to me and other libertarians who dared to challenge the official motive behind the 9/11 attacks. Shortly after the attacks, I spoke at a freedom conference in Arizona consisting of both libertarians and conservatives. When I pointed out that the attacks were the predictable consequence of a foreign policy that kills people over there, another of the speakers was filled with anger and rage over such an “unpatriotic” suggestion. Then, a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, FFF published an article by me entitled, “Is This the Wrong Time to Question Foreign Policy?” in which I pointed out the role that U.S. interventionism had played in the attacks. FFF was hit with the most nasty and angry attacks I have ever seen.

Why Do They Hate Us?

Please if you disagree aim your insults and vitriol to the FFF and the author of the article.

Other than that please let the comments roll.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Our Endless Wars

A brand new year (almost) and a new opportunity for me to bitch and moan about our continuous and endless wars.  (Yes I am a staunch antiwar writer)

I appreciate the new opportunities.

We, the U.S. A., have been fighting one war for damn near two decades, 2020 will be the 19th year of the war, and there seems to be no way out of the quagmire we have created for ourselves.

Those endless conflicts are having a toll……

Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer was fired last month, a consequence of President Donald Trump’s foolish decision to pardon three servicemen who were either convicted of or awaiting trial for crimes committed in combat. The president has been rightly excoriated for these pardons, which dishonor the U.S. military and may degrade good order and discipline. But amid this uproar, Americans should note the bigger lesson: Endless wars, especially endless counterinsurgency or counterterrorism wars, slowly chip away at both a military’s ethics and its critical war-fighting skills.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-opinion-defense-endless-wars-trump-20191204-3sehviyiibhktlyyowzfbvv3ru-story.html

It is time for us mere mortals to start taking command to the rhetoric…..like how much are these endless wars costing the American people?

Wars cost too much.

That’s really not a surprise. The surprise is how much more they cost than we’ve been told.

It might help to think of the nation’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq like a pair of icebergs. The Pentagon has a web page that tells us how much we’ve each paid for the wars. But that only tells us how much of those icebergs we can see above the waves. While it includes totals for war fighting, it doesn’t track the Pentagon’s bigger war budget, interest paid on money we’ve borrowed to fight the wars, veterans’ care, and other ancillary costs. There’s a whole lot more hidden beneath the waves. The real issue isn’t whether the cost of war is high; the issue is why the U.S. government keeps under-estimating it, and why U.S. citizens and taxpayers keep tolerating it.

https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/12/adding-up-the-cost-of-our-never-ending-wars/

Now ask….is it possible to get out of all these endless wars?

Donald Trump in 2016 ran in opposition to the Iraq war and more generally to massive US commitments around the world. His denunciations of “endless wars” resonated enough that many voters ignored his documented early support for the Afghan and Iraq wars. Indeed, areas where casualties in those wars were highest voted more heavily for Trump than other demographic and economic factors would have predicted. Voters, with plenty of justification from her record as Secretary of State, thus pegged Hillary Clinton as a warmonger.

Trump, at least so far, is a militarist too. He has yet to withdraw the remaining troops from Afghanistan or Iraq. In Syria, he ended up merely redeploying soldiers from the border with Turkey to further within the country, if anything deepening American involvement. In the rest of the world, Trump has yet to close a single base or return home any troops stationed abroad.

Can the US Get Out of Its Endless Wars?

We can get out of these wars….but it will take courage and a spine from the voter….

I am not sure the American voter is ready for a change….especially in foreign policy……when there they WILL make a difference.

I Read, I Wrote, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Magical Mystery Tour

This post is about that ever elusive “Peace Plan” that has been promised by Trump and his ilk for the Middle East…in June a meeting was held (there is always a meeting being held)……

Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants to strike a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. Details about his on-again, off-again peace plan are sparse. Washington recently unveiled the economic component of its vision, which will be discussed at the Peace to Prosperity workshop in Bahrain this week. But neither the Israeli government nor the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will be there.

What do the countries involved think of the latest attempt to resolve one of the world’s thorniest diplomatic challenges?

https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/06/24/trump-s-middle-east-peace-plan-is-in-works.-what-does-region-think-pub-79365

Trump’s self entitled the “Deal of the Century” has been released (sort of)…….

The so-called “Deal of the Century” would see a trilateral agreement signed between Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas, with the establishment of a Palestinian state branded “New Palestine” on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/1576531861-report-trump-middle-east-peace-draft-supports-formation-of-new-palestine

Now that you have the details (as much as we can give the reader)……but all the optimism has come to a raging abrupt HALT…….

A bi-partisan move has put a dagger in that deal….

The United States Congress has rejected a request from the White House for $175m in funds that would go towards pushing the Trump administration’s Middle East “peace plan”.

In a bipartisan decision on Monday, lawmakers rejected having funds be set aside in the government’s 2020 budget.  

In a section devoted to the Middle East, a Congressional document stated: “The agreement does not provide $175,000,000 for a Diplomatic Progress Fund, as proposed in the House report.” 

The Trump administration’s “deal of the century” plan for the future of Israel and Palestine has faced one obstacle after another since inception, including a complete boycott by Palestinian officials. 

The plan calls for $50bn in regional investments over 10 years, with $28bn going to the Palestinian territories – the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip – as well as $7.5bn to Jordan, $9bn to Egypt and $6n for Lebanon.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/congress-rejects-trumps-175m-request-deal-century-funding

Did you see that…BI-PARTISAN!

Oh crap!

Well “back to the drawing board” as they say……

But good news for Jared….he gets to travel on the taxpayers dime and do god knows what for this country.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”