Closing Thought–07Jan20

We are always looking for someone to blame for the poor nutrition of our children…..and we have found a new foes….Dollar Stores…..

This latest front in the food wars has emerged over the last few years. Communities like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Fort Worth, Birmingham, and Georgia’s DeKalb County have passed restrictions on dollar stores, prompting numerous other communities to consider similar curbs. New laws and zoning regulations limit how many of these stores can open, and some require those already in place to sell fresh food. Behind the sudden disdain for these retailers—typically discount variety stores smaller than 10,000 square feet—are claims by advocacy groups that they saturate poor neighborhoods with cheap, over-processed food, undercutting other retailers and lowering the quality of offerings in poorer communities. An analyst for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, for instance, argues that, “When you have so many dollar stores in one neighborhood, there’s no incentive for a full-service grocery store to come in.” Other critics, like the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, go further, contending that dollar stores, led by the giant Dollar Tree and Dollar General chains, sustain poverty by making neighborhoods seem run-down. “It’s a recipe for locking in poverty rather than reducing it,” an institute representative told the Washington Post early this year.

https://www.city-journal.org/banning-dollar-stores

Sorry but blaming a store is just lazy and avoids responsibility…..

We could fix the problem of children’s nutrition….make healthy food cheaper….yep it is that simple……and yet not possible in our current society.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A President Yang?

Back in early 2019 I introduced my readers to a young man that was running for president, Andrew Yang…..but in case you have missed my intro…..https://lobotero.com/2019/04/10/yang2020/

Back in those early days he was given no chance of succeeding….but as the Dem candidates, well know Denms, keep dropping out one by one and Yang still persists….

Is it possible that Andrew Yang could go on to win this thing?

The Yang Gang is working hard to make it so……..

“I tweeted a while ago that this is the simulation where we win — and that’s what it feels like now,” Andrew Yang told me between campaign stops in New Hampshire Thursday night.

He was speaking — as he does in media interviews — with careful space between words, thinking about how they’ll look when they’re written down.

Yang’s stunning fundraising figures Thursday — $16.5 million in the last three months of 2019 — are the latest of the boxes he’s checked to indicate that, yes, he’s a serious candidate for president of the United States. That’s not the only box: He regularly occupies the second tier of key polls, behind the four central candidates, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg, but ahead of any number of well-credentialed politicians, quirky microcelebrities, and well-funded randos — numbers that indicate support beyond the #YangGang faithful. Now he’s spending real money on television in Iowa.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/bensmith/andrew-yang-could-win

The MSM likes him but will they like him enough to make him top tier candidate?

I think not.

He is too much a capitalist for me….but in a pinch I could vote for him over some of the others like Biden….and if my candidate does not make it then I will look hard at his campaign.

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“lego ergo scribo”

That Senate Impeachment Trial

Paper #3

And The Saga Persists!

I have tried to keep my reader informed…it matters not whether you believe Trump is guilty or not….the important thing is the adherence to the Constitution.

I realize that it has been 2+  weeks since my two papers on the subject of impeachment and since there has been so much time under the bridge I feel I need to refresh my readers knowledge of those 2 papers…….never let it be said that I would leave you hanging…..

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/19/the-house-on-impeachment/

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/20/impeached-now-what/

To begin in case you spend your time under a rock or on FOX News……

The president of the United States has been impeached by the US House of Representatives and now it moves to the Senate for the trial…..

Keep in mind there will be a trial and like all trials there is an oath that the Senators must take before the “Trial” begins…..

“I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that in all things pertaining to the trial of the impeachment of __________________, now pending, that I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.”

Will this oath mean anything these days in the hyper-partisanship?  I think it will mean NOTHING!

The media has done little to clarify what a “trial” is all about…instead they throw a wealth of opinion from a wealth of lawyers on what all this means.

That leads the Old Professor to try and help where he can.

If the “Trial” is to be fair then it needs to adhere to some principles…..first the process……

Article I of the Constitution grants the House the sole power of impeachment, and if the House does impeach, the Senate the “sole power to try all impeachments.” It also provides that the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will preside if the trial involves a president. The Constitution authorizes the Senate to “determine the rules of its proceedings,” including additional rules governing an impeachment trial by the Senate. The Senate has established and may modify its own rules supplementing these constitutional requirements.

Now we go to the Senate and there are some principles that must be observed…….

Four principles for conducting a full, transparent, and fair impeachment trial:

  1. Trial procedures should be established before the trial commences. A trial can only be fair if the rules are agreed to in advance. For that reason, any supplemental rules or modifications to the existing rules should be agreed to before the trial commences.
  2. The Senate should hear the full case before voting on the President’s removal. The Senate must allow members of the House to present the case for the President’s removal and the President should be afforded an opportunity to respond. Both should occur before a vote to dispose of or approve an article of impeachment.
  3. The trial should be open to the public. An impeachment trial of a president is a matter of exceptional importance to the American people. They should be able to understand the case for the President’s removal and the President’s defense. The doors to the Senate chamber should be open and the American people permitted to witness the proceedings to the extent possible. Transparency should only be sacrificed to advance compelling interests such as the sanctity of Senate deliberations, the need to protect legitimately classified information, or the recognition of a whistleblower’s right to anonymity.
  4. Each Senator should take seriously his or her oath to “do impartial justice” and to “support and defend the Constitution.” The question is not whether to support the President. The question is whether the President has committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors within the meaning of the Constitution.

(Public Citizen)

The problem with this Trial is that I already see where two of the principles have been violated…..and that would mean that this will NOT be a FAIR trial.

There is a process for a fair and transparent trial…and so far Mitch has done neither….but do not take my word for it…..

How a Fair, Transparent Impeachment Trial Should Proceed

My problem is that too many Americans are allowing partisan stupidity to take hold and are turning this process into a circus of lies and moronic babble.

This country is better than this sideshow…at least I still believe we are….but that belief is getting weaker by the day.

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“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Middle East Hole

NOTE: I wrote this draft before the attack that killed the al-Quds general in Iraq.

These conclusions may prove to be a moot point.

The US started digging a hole for itself in the Middle East in 2003…..and there seems to be no way to stop digging the hole…..any hope that an end was insight was dashed at every turn….

America’s post–Cold War journey in the Middle East looked a lot more promising at first than it does today. Blessed with a stronger geopolitical position than its successors, the George H. W. Bush administration was also less prone to magical thinking. The administration brought discipline to the challenge of mobilizing the Desert Storm coalition—and to resisting the temptation to pursue fleeing Iraqi forces to Baghdad and overthrow Saddam Hussein. Secretary of State James Baker masterfully orchestrated the Madrid peace conference between Arabs and Israelis, but kept his expectations in check, careful not to overpromise what might come of the long slog of negotiations.

Bill Clinton built on that foundation, with painstaking progress throughout the 1990s but a debilitating setback at the Camp David Summit in 2000. George W. Bush’s modest successes, such as persuading Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya to abandon terrorism and a rudimentary nuclear program, were overwhelmed by the massive failure of the Iraq War in 2003. That tragically unnecessary conflict laid bare the deep and violent fissures of Iraq, opened the playing field for Iranian ambitions, and unsettled Arab partners already drowning in their domestic dysfunctions. The War on Terror crowded out other priorities. To the extent that the administration tried to press other concerns—about the political and economic stagnation on which terrorists fed, for example—the debacle in Iraq and our own War on Terror abuses made us unpersuasive messengers.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/end-magical-thinking-middle-east/602953/

Let’s say that the US does find a way to end its involvement in the Middle East…..what then?

It was 5 August 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had invaded and conquered all of Kuwait, and US President George H.W. Bush could not have been clearer as he spoke from the South Lawn at the White House: ‘This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.’ Over the next six months, Bush proved to be a man of his word, as the United States sent half a million soldiers to the Middle East and led an international coalition that liberated Kuwait.

Three decades later, a very different American president embraced a very different US policy. In the wake of abandoning its Kurdish partners in Syria who had fought valiantly in defeating Islamic State terrorists, the US stood by as Iranian drones and missiles attacked Saudi Arabian oil installations, temporarily taking half of its capacity offline.

Welcome to the post-American Middle East. To be fair, the phrase is something of an exaggeration, as the US hasn’t withdrawn from the region. In fact, it has recently sent additional troops to deter and, if necessary, help defend Saudi Arabia from future Iranian attacks and possibly respond directly to them. But there’s no getting around the fundamental truth that the US has reduced both its presence and role in a region that it has dominated for nearly half a century/

The post-American Middle East

Recently at the NATO meetings the French made several comments about the US and the Middle East…..

with all due respect to the French defense minister, her analysis is both backwards and tone-deaf. She rightly mentions France’s (and America’s) role in fueling the Syrian Civil War, but totally ignores the indescribable damage that has ensued. The human cost alone of that conflict has been staggering, yet nothing has been achieved aside from the rise of the Islamic State and other radical Sunni groups.

Parly also has the audacity to decry Iranian influence in the Middle East. Yet she glossed over the fact that that influence in Syria and Yemen, over its Shia Muslim friends, was directly proportional to the pressure being placed on those Shia groups by Sunni forces, which were backed by Western military might. In other words, Iran only became heavily involved in Syria after the West decided to foment a civil war and attempt to topple the Assad regime.

Likewise did the chaos in Syria resulted in Assad inviting Russia to enter the region.

If France Wants the Middle East, Let Them Have It

France does not want the Middle East….they have had bad history there and why would anyone embrace them as a leader in the region?

As I wrote earlier……this is mostly a moot point now that the US has decided to escalate by adding more troops and using drones to kill opposing generals……https://lobotero.com/2020/01/03/big-news-in-the-middle-east/

All we can do is wait and see what form the retaliation will take….

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“lego ergo scribo”