Tet–1968

Closing Thought–31Jan20

On this day 52 years ago the US troops were ass deep in the NVA’s offensive which began on 30Jan….the Tet Offensive……

On Jan. 30, 1968, Vietnamese communists attacked the American embassy in Saigon. For several hours they held the embassy grounds, inflicting injury and damage and trapping a small group of U.S. military and diplomatic personnel within the embassy. The assailants failed ever to enter the building, and all of them ultimately were killed or captured. This was part of the broader Tet offensive, a military campaign that carried the Vietnam War from the countryside into cities and towns.

In strictly military terms the assault on the embassy, and indeed the broader offensive failed. The attackers occupied the embassy compound and caused considerable damage but never succeeded in entering the building itself. All of the attackers were killed or captured. But the Vietnam War never was entirely military. Americans had been told — and many then still believed — that the war was being won. How, then, could a supposedly ragtag guerrilla army suddenly assault the citadel and symbol of America’s presence in Vietnam, the very building from which the daily war- progress reports flowed?

“Viet Cong Invade American Embassy” — The 1968 Tet Offensive

And with this anniversary we have yet another film about the Vietnam Ear….movies I never watch because of Hollywood’s treatment of the war as some sort of noble endeavor…it was not!

For instance there are several things that were part of that war that are seldom if ever portrayed in film.

Every soldier’s favorite detail…..Shit Burning

Yeah, the military still has this detail. But whenever you hear the telltale sounds of Hueys over the music of Creedence Clearwater’s “Fortunate Son,” the newly deploying troops are always headed to some very green, very loud base filled with troops who are grilling out and kitting up to go on a search and destroy mission.

These new privates are given their marching orders to go out on a combat patrol immediately, even though they’re still green. When (if) they get back, they get time to sit in the bunks and chatter.

No. While they were gone, the REMF NCOs made quick use of that grilled food. It’s time to do the private’s work. Here’s your diesel fuel, Tom Cruise. A lot of Vietnam vets say that’s the newcomer’s first work detail.

Next are those Body Counts that were reported back home in the evening news…..

After an operation the dead were laid out to be counted and that included humans, pigs, monkeys chickens, anything that was dead was counted.

And that is how they got the high body count for the news.

Finally there was the Body Bag Detail…..

I will not go into that because this was so disturbing that I still have vision of the results…..a smell I will NEVER forget.

I just had to vent on this day of remembrance…..at least for me.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Green New Dud

Lots has been writing, argued, debated and lied about when the climate is brought out in polite circles (that excludes deniers and the network they worship)…..

The Dems have been pushing a Green New Deal….well true progressives that is…..and there have been some attempts to calm the rhetoric around climate.

Then there is the worthless attempt by Pallone of New Jersey……

Broadly, Pallone’s climate plan—which came after 15 committee hearings about the human-caused crisis—aims to enable the United States to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050. It would direct all federal agencies to use their existing authorities to meet that goal, and includes provisions for the power, building, transportation, and energy sectors.

The proposal would require states to develop plans to meet the 2050 target that must take into account the needs of communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. It would also establish a first-of-its-kind National Climate Bank to help states, municipalities, and companies transition.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/27/extremely-disappointing-new-analysis-offers-scathing-critique-top-democrats-clean

It is a dud……this does little but help the industries that profit from exploiting the climate for profits….

The draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation (CLEAN) Future Act—largely seen as a “competing plan” to the Green New Deal—was announced earlier this month by the committee’s chair, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Crafted after 15 committee hearings, the bill (pdf) aims to ensure that the United States achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050.

In a joint statement with Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Pallone said Tuesday that “every day, communities across the country are paying the price for inaction through record wildfires, flooding, and drought, and Congress cannot afford to simply watch from the sidelines.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/28/green-new-dud-not-green-new-deal-climate-groups-denounce-draft-bill-house-democrats

Just another attempt to be doing something while doing NOTHING substantial.

But for those that need a simpler explanation to why this is not a good deal then please click on this analysis….https://1bps6437gg8c169i0y1drtgz-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Pallone-Energy-Report-Final.pdf

You truly want some true action on climate change?  Then use a Tried a true technique of presidents……Executive Order.

Not long lasting but it would be a start….and the planet will thank you.

This Dem proposal is weak and a worthless waste of time…..but can we expect from them?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 9

Before I get the guts of the day’s doings there is something I want to pass on……

This trial is a work of absurdity…why? Some jurors have stated without hearing evidence that the accused is not guilty….that flies into the face of our so-called fair and balanced judicial system.

I am not alone in seeing the absurdity…….

President Trump is on trial.

As in a real trial, charges have been asserted: the House alleges high crimes and misdemeanors. A judge presides: Chief Justice John Roberts sits in his fine black robe at the head of the chamber. There are prosecutors (the House impeachment managers) and defense counsel (Trump’s “A-team” of lawyers).

And pursuant to our Constitution, the jurors—the members of the Senate—have sworn an oath to render “impartial justice” at the end of the trial.

So, it looks like a trial. Except that in my 40 years as a lawyer, I’ve never seen a trial that corruptly flouted the basic requirements for fairness as brazenly as this one.

In a real trial, any juror who admitted conspiring with the defendant would be unceremoniously ejected from the jury. Yet Republican Senate leader and sworn-to-be-impartial juror Mitch McConnell openly proclaims on television, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House counsel.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/29/senates-make-believe-trial-donald-trump

Day 9 is in the bag…….what amazing stuff has transpired (you realize that is sarcasm, right?)

Question and answer portion continues…….

Let’s go the analysis shall we?

After a dinner break, senators have resumed their final round of questions in President Trump’s impeachment trial, a session expected to last into Thursday night. (Read highlights from the first round.) That will set the stage for Friday’s much-anticipated vote on whether to call witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton. Ongoing coverage:

  • Rand Paul: For the second straight day, Rand Paul submitted a question that named the person believed to be the whistleblower in the Ukraine controversy, and for the second straight day, Chief Justice John Roberts refused to admit it. “The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted,” said Roberts, per CNN. Paul said afterward that his submitted question made no reference to a whistleblower and read it aloud to reporters. The Hill, however, notes that it did include the name that has been reported in conservative media as the whistleblower. Paul said Roberts had no right to block the question.
  • Paul’s explanation: “My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings,” he tweeted. CNN reports he walked out of the impeachment trial to talk to reporters after Roberts blocked his question. On Wednesday, after his first question was rejected, a reporter for Roll Call said Paul was visibly angry during a break in the trial. “I don’t want to have to stand up to try and fight for recognition,” Paul said loudly, according to Niels Lesniewski. “If I have to fight for recognition, I will.”
  • The question gets asked, sort of: Later in the day, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson submitted a question the Guardian says was “clearly based off” Paul’s rejected question, only this one did not include a name. Roberts read the question, which had to do with a right-wing claim that the whistleblower schemed with Democratic staffers of House intelligence committee members in an attempt to take down the president. CNN notes the question was about lead Democratic impeachment manager Adam Schiff’s staffer who used to work at the NSC, and that Schiff was “really mad” when it was asked.
  • Is it actually illegal to out the whistleblower? Short answer: It’s complicated. CNN explains all the ins and outs here.
  • Who is the whistleblower? Schiff said at one point, before Johnson’s question, “I can’t tell you who the whistleblower is because I don’t know, but I can tell you who it should be. It should be every one of us. Everyone one of us should be willing to blow the whistle on misconduct.”
  • Awkwardness for Roberts: The chief justice read a question from Sen. Elizabeth Warren that he might have been tempted to answer. The Democrat asked whether “the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court and the Constitution.” The GOP side of the Senate began buzzing, per the Washington Post, while Democrats showed no emotion. After a pause, Schiff deflected from Roberts, saying it’s Congress that’s taking the hit. “It reflects adversely on us,” Schiff said.
  • Trump’s slam: In a tweet Thursday, the president went after Schiff. “His District is in terrible shape,” wrote Trump. “He is a corrupt pol who only dreams of the Impeachment Hoax. In my opinion he is mentally deranged!”
  • More Schiff: Another one of Schiff’s notable answers of the day came when he was asked why some aid freezes are OK, but the Ukraine aid freeze is not. “No one has suggested you can’t condition aid, but I would hope that we would all agree that you can’t condition aid for a corrupt purpose, to try to get a foreign power to cheat in your election,” he said.
  • Tie-breaker? A big question in regard to witnesses is whether Roberts would break the tie if the vote is 50-50. On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi said he should do so, per the Post. She also said that if the trial does not allow witnesses or new documents, it will be a sham and thus any acquittal will be meaningless. Trump, she said, will be “impeached forever.”
  • A DoJ comment makes waves: In an unrelated trial related to the 2020 census, a Department of Justice lawyer said in federal court Thursday that the House can use its impeachment powers to enforce subpoenas. Schiff mentioned the comment at the impeachment trial a few hours later, saying it was “in the category of ‘you can’t make this stuff up.'” CNN explains more here.
  • General mood: CNN describes the senators as “lackadaisical” on Q&A day 2, noting that some were not present when the session got started and some wandered in late.
  • Dershowitz circles back to Wednesday: On day 1 of Q&A, Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz offered what the AP calls a “stunning defense” of Trump’s aid freeze, arguing that a president can’t be impeached for something he does in the interest of getting himself re-elected, if he believes that re-election is in the public interest. That sparked quite an outcry, with critics saying it sets a dangerous precedent, but Dershowitz tweeted two dozen times Thursday on the matter. The first one: “Taking advantage of the fact most of their viewers didn’t actually hear the senate Q and A, CNN, MSNBC and some other media willfully distorted my answers.”

Sorry but to me this day was more about the game than the trial….the questions were for their persons time on camera than the evidence…..and then there is Rand Paul…..if there was ever a “media whore” it is this slug.

Not to worry there is more to come…..the fun is not over yet.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

 

Oops! (The Border Wall)

Remember that “wonderful” border wall that is now being built?

If not let me refresh your memory on what the president has said about the wall…..

“Now, the wall still, obviously, has a ways to go, but we’re building it at a breakneck speed. I wanted them to show you the interior of parts of the wall and what’s inside of each individual slat. And you’ll see it’s a combination of steel, concrete, and — as one of the folks just said — it really is virtually impenetrable. Any walls that were put up would get knocked down very quickly, very easily. This wall is not something that can be really knocked down. I guess anything can, but this is very tough.

And it goes down six feet. It’s three and four feet wide. The concrete — you see it right here; it’s exposed. And I might ask General Semonite to say a few words about it.

And I’d like to bring them right up — look at the inner tube — to see what happens. Because after the wall is up, we pour concrete, and concrete goes into the tube. And in addition to that, we have rebar. So if you think you’re going to cut it with a blowtorch, that doesn’t work because you hit concrete. And then if you think you’re going to go through the concrete, that doesn’t work because we have very powerful rebar inside.

So it’s a very powerful, very powerful wall — the likes of which, probably, to this extent, has not been built before.”

(Pres. Trump Sep 2019)

I refresh your memory because I want to explain the title of “Oops!”…….

A newly installed section of border wall toppled over onto the Mexican side amid high winds Wednesday. Steel barriers had been erected between Mexicali and Calexico, Calif., but a concrete base had not yet cured when the 30-foot-high panels fell onto trees lining a parallel street, reports the Guardian. “Luckily, Mexican authorities responded quickly and were able to divert traffic from the nearby street,” Border Patrol agent Carlos Pitones tells the Los Angeles Times. “We are grateful there was no property damage or injuries,” he adds, per CNN, which notes wind gusts in the area reached as high as 37mph on Wednesday.

The section of wall, part of an effort to replace 11 miles of existing barrier, has since been re-erected. Customs and Border Protection “will work with the construction contractor to mitigate the impact of high winds as construction continues,” Pitones tells the Times. The outlet reports “the barrier is constructed of steel bollards filled with concrete and rebar, then topped with metal plates.”

If a bit of wind toppled it how can we expect it to hold up to determined violators of our immigration laws?

More money that has been pissed away…..

How fucking sad!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iran–Let’s Talk?

This post ought to get the slugs to come out and call me all sorts of things…..most of which are nothing new at least they could be more imaginative….but that would be asking for a little intellect and the naysayers are in short supply of intellect.

The war of words and the exchange of lethal force has the whole Middle East region waiting for the next shoe to fall.

So when I heard that the Iranian FM was willing to consider talks I was optimistic….but that quickly got crapped on…..

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Iranian FM Javad Zarif said Iran is continuing to not rule out the possibility of talks with the US, saying it was always possible for the other side to change their approach. He reiterated that Iran wants the US to lift sanctions.

Even though talks with Iran were long a major goal for President Trump, he quickly declared “no thanks” on Twitter, saying he is not willing to offer sanctions relief as part of this process.

This is in keeping with Trump’s position on almost all matters of diplomacy, which is that he wants negotiations and wants a lot of concessions, but only so long as it doesn’t require the US to give up anything in return.

(antiwar.com)

But that was no surprises ….but interesting since Trump has ling wanted talks with the Iranians.

Iran is the go to bad guy of the Middle East….why is that?

We could blame it on 1979 but is that the whole story?

I read the transcript of a radio interview about this subject….this is a podcast of whowhatwhy

Gary Sick was there when the US-Iran relationship quite literally blew up.

He worked on Iran issues as part of the National Security Council staff in the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations. During the Carter administration, he was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the ensuing hostage crisis. In this WhoWhatWhy podcast, he reviews 40 years of failed US policy toward Iran, and discusses the following matters:  

Why Iran has become the “go-to enemy” for the US in the Middle East.

Why, unlike other US enemies, Iran has no friends in the US policy establishment.  

The Iranian revolution took place just after the US retreated from Vietnam, where 50,000 Americans died. Today, Vietnam is an ally and a popular tourist destination while Iran remains a nemesis. 

Why the Iran nuclear deal was actually working, and why those who advocate regime change are wrong. 

The US relationship with Saudi Arabia, the Saudis’ relationship with Iran, and why the Europeans are basically unable to make anything better.

A future Iranian reaction to the death of General Qassem Soleimani, and why, in the long run, we should be very afraid of the potential response.

Full Text Transcript:

As a service to our readers, we provide transcripts with our podcasts. We try to ensure that these transcripts do not include errors. However, due to time constraints, we are not always able to proofread them as closely as we would like. Should you spot any errors, we’d be grateful if you would notify us

Why Iran Is the US’s Go-To Enemy in the Middle East

This situation is more complex that some religious BS or some isolated point in history.

Hopefully you will read and listen with an open mind or stay put in one dimensional thinking and continue to be ignorant.  Your choice.

There is more about our extreme hatred for Iran…..

A question that naturally arises but one that the mainstream press never asks is: What is the reason for the deep-seated hatred that the U.S. national-security state has toward Iran?

No, the answer doesn’t begin with the fact that Iranian revolutionaries took American diplomats hostage during the Iranian revolution in 1979, which is what the mainstream press often asserts. The U.S. hatred for Iran stretches back even further than that.

In fact, to understand the hatred that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA have for Iran, it is actually necessary to go back to the founding of the United States.

The Roots of U.S. Hatred Toward Iran

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”