Closing Thought–13Mar20

I just would like to pass on a few thoughts on writing.

I write all the time, everyday……between taking notes and writing in IST most of my time is spent doing what I enjoy…..first is what I think when I read some blogs/posts…..that’s not writing, it is typing.

These are a few thoughts that one should consider before they attempt to write…..

“The heart and soul of good writing is research; you should write not what you know but what you can find out about”. Robert J. Sawyer

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

You are always seeing those “how to” blog post on the proper way to write…..well there are 3 rules to writing whether blog or book….

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” W. Somerset Maugham

“Good sense is both the first principal and the parent source of good writing.” Horace

“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” Tennessee Williams

“Writing is good, thinking is better. Cleverness is good, patience is better.  Hermann Hesse
 
“Writing is a calling, not a choice.”  Isabel Allende
 
“Most so-called writers keep writing and writing with the hope, some day, to find something to say.”   Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This is my favorite quote about writing…..I do not know who said it but it is very true to me.

“Writing takes an act of love or it is just scribbling”?  (There is lots of scribbling out there)

I Read I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Southern Democrats

In the last round of primaries my state of Mississippi voted for Biden (go figure)….but that was going to be a “gimme” for Biden.

The turnout in Mississippi was up 17% from last election and that was a surprise for me.

Southern Democratic voters are more conserv than most GOPers….why is this?

the website….fivethirtyeight takes a look at these voters….

From 1964 to 2008, three Democratic presidential candidates made it to the White House. All of them were southerners. Yet for the last half-century, the GOP’s Southern strategy eroded the Democratic Party’s stronghold on the South. States on the edges of the South — Virginia, Florida and North Carolina — have turned purple or a light shade of blue, but the heart of the South unquestionably remains Republican territory in presidential elections.

Nonetheless, Democratic voters in the South still exert significant influence on the party during the primary season. The states of the former Confederacy1 will elect a little over one quarter of Democrats’ pledged delegates in 2020 — six of them on Super Tuesday (Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia). And so as the 2020 Democratic primary contests move to the South, I figured it was worth a dive into what happened there in the 2016 Democratic primary, based on a 2016 survey of 3,668 Americans by the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics, of which I am the director.2 It illustrates the ways in which Democrats in the South are different from Democrats outside of the region — differences that may again come into play in 2020.

What Makes Southern Democrats Unique

The problem I see, especially in Mississippi is the voter has a tendency to vote against their own best interests.

Take Rep. Gene Taylor who was a staunch conserv Blue Dog Dem and voted with the feelings of his people only to lose his seat in 2010 and his only crime was he was a Dem and was linked to “demon” Pelosi….his voting record meant NOTHING to low information voters.

Now my state has a toadie sycophant that will be lead around by his genitals by the president and business.

So Biden’s win in the primary was not a surprise for the Mississippi voter will fall for every one liner and slogan that comes down the pike.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Picking A Nominee

College of Political Knowledge

2020 and we are off to the races as they say in picking our next president….personally I think it is a silly operation from the start…..but we continue to do the same thing over and over (and you know what that means)……we, as voters, need to take stock in the nomination process and other political theatrics……..

There is always criticism but it seldom leads to any reform or change….2020 is no different….

Want evidence that our process for selecting presidential nominees is a joke? Look at the last Democratic debate: “Three candidates in their 70s—and no African-American or Latino,” writes David Leonhardt in the New York Times. “There are two people who have never won an election—and zero who have ever run a state.” Want more evidence? Look at the “reality-television star” who hijacked the GOP nomination process in 2016 and now sits in the White House, he adds. People say this is merely democracy in action, but it’s not, writes Leonhardt. “It’s one version of democracy,” and the US is pretty much the only nation that relies on this weird mix of polls, donor numbers, and “distorted” primaries. Other countries give political parties more say in picking nominees, and Leonhardt thinks a middle ground can be found here.

“I’m not suggesting we return to the smoke-filled rooms of the past,” he writes. “But the current process puts a higher priority on the appearance of democracy than the reality of it.” Some suggestions: On the debates, it’s fine to give poll leaders guaranteed spots, but the party could also reserve spots for a governor and perhaps a swing-state senator. In the primaries themselves, more states should embrace ranked-choice voting, rather than the winner-takes-all approach. And the primary calendar should rotate every four years to end the ridiculous prominence given to Iowa, New Hampshire, etc. The first to vote would always include “a mix of states: big and small, young and old, urban and rural, coastal and heartland.” Change is long overdue, writes Leonhardt. Read his full column.

Primaries and such are nothing more than beauty contests and a gold mine for the media….beyond that they are worthless in picking the nominee.  Real issues are seldom on the agenda…..the voter gets one liners and slogans….and in the end NOTHING ever changes.

Can we please change this silliness?

Can we please get back to that lost art of democracy?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Women’s History Month–Rosa Luxemburg

It is Women’s History Month…..and I have several posts from years past….a little something to help understand where women have fit into history…..chuq

In Saner Thought

We enter into a new month and new period of celebrating our history….history should be celebrated everyday not just once a year….

When I was younger my grandfather gave me a few books and among them was one by Rosa Luxemburg, Reform Or Revolution….she was a fascinating woman of her time……regardless her politics she did much to further the cause of women……

Born on March 5th, 1871, Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish Jew and participant in the Russian Revolution of 1905, was a co-founder of the Social Democratic Party in the joint Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania.

Next to Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg was the most important representative of the left-wing socialist, anti-militarist, and internationalist positions in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany before 1918. She was a passionate and convincing critic of capitalism as well as anti-democratic and dictatorial tendencies within the Bolsheviki. She confronted the compelling logic of…

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Afghanistan In The News (As Always)

Yes we have a deal with the Taleban…..and the best news possible is that the US has already started withdrawing troops from the conflict…..

Just over a week after the signing of the Afghan peace deal, the first few hundreds of US troops are rotating out of the country. The rotation was planned before the deal, but in keeping with the US withdrawal, the troops will not be replaced.

This is just the first few hundred troops leaving out of an estimated 13,000 US troops present in Afghanistan. The plan is to cut troops in the near-term to about 8,600, and officials say this is the official start of a pullout. After this, the goal would be to cut troop levels to zero, ending a 19 year US occupation. The peace deal says this should happen in nine and a half months.

The Trump Administration wanted the troop cuts, deal or no deal, by the 2020 election. Going from 8,600 to zero, under the deal, however, is based on metrics. Indications are that a secret annex to the deal makes this very vague, allowing the US to withdraw from the rest of the pullout at will.

Still, with uncertainty ongoing, the fact that the US is moving forward with the pullout as planned, indications are that the US is at the very least moving to continue its existing position, and isn’t immediately rethinking things.

(antiwar.com)

Hopefully they all make it home before something goes to crap.

As a student of conflict I would love to read the agreement the US signed with the Taleban…..but I cannot……WHY?

The details of how the U.S. military will withdraw from Afghanistan – including the types of attacks U.S. troops and the Taliban have agreed to not conduct – are part of two classified annexes to the recently signed withdrawal agreement, according to the New York Times.

While some members of Congress will be able to read the annexes, the vast majority of the American public will have no idea what their government has agreed to as part of the deal to end the war in Afghanistan, which is in its 19th year.

The U.S. military has “legitimate reasons” why it does not want some information to become public knowledge, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said on Tuesday.

https://taskandpurpose.com/analysis/afghanistan-peace-deal-secrets

What could the reasons for the public not having access to this document?

Could it have anything to do with November?

Just Asking!

But there are a few analyses on the agreement….

Hundreds of dedicated diplomats, intelligence and military officers from numerous nations have been helping to shepherd the Afghan and U.S. governments towards the agreements signed February 29. I have been working on it since May 2009 and wanted to explain what the US-Afghan and US-Taliban agreements mean with my context of knowing the original plan devised over a decade ago by the Afghan government.

Deciphering the Afghanistan Peace Agreements: How the Afghan Government Got the Taliban to Enter Peace Talks

There is more……

The agreement outlines two sets of commitments. The US has pledged to withdraw one-third of its approximately 13,000 troops in 135 days, and the remaining 8,600 before the end of April 2021. America’s coalition partners would withdraw their troops by then as well. The US further agreed to withdraw all ‘private security contractors, trainers, [and] advisors’ from the country and work towards removing sanctions on the Taliban and releasing Taliban prisoners.

For its part, the Taliban has committed to doing all it can to ensure that terrorist organisations don’t use Afghan territory to target the US or its allies. The Taliban also agreed not to cooperate with or support individuals associated with such groups, including al-Qaeda, which was based in Afghanistan when the Taliban were in power and used the country to train those responsible for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US that killed nearly 3,000 people. The Taliban did not agree, however, to any limits on their military capabilities now or in the future. Nor did they agree to recognise the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s current government.

How to leave Afghanistan

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”