Closing Thought–16Mar20

The response to the virus has been an interesting story in itself…..but I think there are some extreme decisions that are a violation of some basic rights……take Champaign, Illinois…….

Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen has issued an executive order declaring an emergency in the city. 

City officials said the emergency is related to the COVID-19, which is anticipated to cause an impact on the health of community members. Champaign Municipal Code allows the mayor to declare an emergency for a limited time. 

Included in the executive order are ordinances that would give the city extraordinary powers to the Mayor. 

  • Violating parts of the Open Meetings Act
  • Ban sale of firearms and ammunition
  • Ban sale of any alcohol
  • Closing of all bars, taverns, liquor stores, etc
  • Ban sale or giving away of gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank permanently fixed to a motor vehicle
  • Direct the shutoff of power, water, gas, etc
  • Take possession of private property and obtain full title to same
  • Prohibit or restrict ingress and egress to and from the City

“The executive order allows the city to be flexible to properly respond to the emergency needs of our community. None of the options will necessarily will be implemented but are available in order to protect the welfare and safety of our community if needed,” Jeff Hamilton the City of Champaign’s Communications Manger told WAND-TV. 

(wandtv.com)

Someone explain how the confiscation of private property will help this response to a pandemic….

Any thoughts on your side?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020 Dem Candidates Debate–#11

Will this one be popular since there will be no March Madness bracket crap…….and we are down to 2 candidates….well 3 but only 2 participating…….

But first I think that the whole process of debates should be repaired for as it is now….it is badly broken.

We must break ourselves from the (relatively) new phenomenon of these mass-debates. After all, we’re now almost in the third decade of the new century. There is absolutely no need to remain in the framework of setting a mass debate (or, God-forbid, a two-tiered set of mass debates).

It starts with this straightforward concept: over the months leading up to the first primary, each candidate will debate every other candidate in the field once, for one hour, in a traditional political debate. This means that if there are twenty candidates in the Democratic Primary field, once a week in the six months between June 2019 and January 2020, each candidate will match up against another.

With a one-minute introduction from the moderator, this debate clocks-in at sixty-one minutes, giving each candidate a full twenty-nine minutes per debate to make their case!

This should help those on the fence (if there are truly anyone left with that much integrity) decide who will be the man….will it be Biden….or maybe Bernie?

The night was eventful……no audience to cheer or boo or moan or……..

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are taking part in a very unusual Democratic debate: Because of the coronavirus crisis, there is no live studio audience at the debate, which was shifted from Phoenix to Washington DC. Before their first head-to-head matchup, the two candidates greeted each other by bumping elbows. In accordance with CDC guidelines, the podiums a the CNN-hosted debate are 6 feet apart. Moderators confirmed that the debate’s main focus would be the COVID-19 pandemic. Some highlights:

  • “This is bigger than any one of us.” Biden, asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper what he would tell Americans affected by the closure of schools and businesses, said “This is bigger than any one of us” and called for a “national rallying” to fight the virus, reports the Guardian, which notes that he coughed several times during his response.
  • Medicare for All. Biden and Sanders clashed over whether Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan would have improved the situation, the AP reports. “One of the reasons that we are unprepared, and have been unprepared, is we don’t have a system. We’ve got thousands of private insurance plans,” Sanders said. “With all due respect to ‘Medicare for All,’ you have a single-payer system in Italy,” Biden said. “It doesn’t work there.”
  • Protecting themselves. The candidates were asked how they were protecting themselves from infection, with moderator Dana Bash noting that Sanders, 78, had a heart attack last fall. Both candidates said they had stopped holding rallies and were washing their hands frequently. “Fortunately I don’t have any of the underlying conditions you talked about that I have to worry about,” said Biden, 77.
  • Bank bailouts. The candidates clashed over the value of bank bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis, with Sanders arguing they should have been paid for by a tax on the wealthy. “We can’t repeat what we did in 2008. Joe voted for that. I voted against it,” he said.
  • Biden would mobilize military. Biden said he would call out the military to deal with the crisis, the Hill reports. “They have the ability to provide this surge that hospitals need,” he said. “They have the capacity to build 500 hospital beds and tents that are completely safe and secure.” Sanders said calling out the National Guard is something that “has to be done.”
  • Sanders targets Trump on China. Sanders, asked about China’s downplaying of the outbreak when it was in its early stages, slammed the way Trump had spoken about the country, the Washington Post reports. “What bothers me very much is you have a president of the United States today, Mr. Trump, who was praising China for the good work that they are doing when in fact, as you indicated, they were lying to their own people and allowing that virus to move much more aggressively than should have been the case,” he said.
  • Bailout for families. Biden said the country needs a “major, major, major bailout package” to help families that have taken a financial hit from the crisis. “We do not “reward corporations, we reward individuals who in fact are really put to the test here,” he said.
  • A pledge to support each other. Asked how he would attract Sanders supporters, Biden said “he’s making it hard for me right now” with attacks on his voting record in the Senate, CBS reports. But he vowed to campaign for Sanders if he becomes the nominee, and Sanders said he would do “everything humanly possible” to defeat Trump.
  • Agreement on immigration. Both candidates agreed on the need for immigration reform, with Sanders pointing out that he is the son of an immigrant, ABC reports. “Kids are scared to death when they come from school, their mom or dad may not be there,” Sanders said. “I will end this on day one, the ICE raids, that have been so harmful to so many people.”
  • Promise on female running mates. Biden promised to pick a woman to be his vice president, saying “There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow.” Sanders decline to make the same promise, but that said “in all likelihood” he will choose a female running mate.
  • Biden’s Iraq vote. Asked by Tapper what he learned from his 2003 vote for the Iraq war, Biden said he “learned I can’t take the word of a president when in fact they assured me that they would not use force,” the New York Times reports.
  • Cuba comments resurface. Sanders was once again asked about remarks he made praising some of Fidel Castro’s programs. the Guardian reports. “I have opposed authoritarianism—whether it’s in it’s in Cuba, whether it’s in Saudi Arabia, whether it’s in China or whether it is in Russia,” Sanders said. “That is my life record.”
  • Final coronavirus question. In the final question of the night, the candidates were asked how they would reassure Americans about the outbreak. the Post reports. Sanders said it was an opportunity to “rethink America and create a country where we care for each other.” Biden said it was an “all-hands-on-deck” situation. “This is about America. This is about the world. This is about how we bring people together and make the kind of sacrifices we need to make to get this done,” he said.

Not as interesting as I had hoped…..be thankful you have someone to break it down and you can read a good book.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Professor’s Classroom

Since most Americans have more on their minds than my silly little classroom….I will make it as easy as I can….enjoy chuq

In Saner Thought

Sorry for the delay in the latest classroom, but the Professor had a sick day, yesterday. He is sick of the lame ass participation.

What does the term New Harmony have to do with history?

I tried to make it as simple as possible…I do not need any strokes to explain to the administration. You may begin.

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What Happened To The Arms Race?

If you are old enough to remember the Cold War then the term “arms race” is something you are aware of…..but for those youngsters here on IST….

An arms race occurs when two or more countries increase the size and quality of military resources to gain military and political superiority over one another. The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union is perhaps the largest and most expensive arms race in history……

But thank God with the end of the Cold War the dangerous game of arms race in nuclear weapons disappeared….think again!

We ended our involvement in the INF and that is an invitation to an arms race……

If you asked the Pentagon, they would tell you in no uncertain terms that the US is not engaged in any sort of nuclear arms race. At the same time, the US is spending heavily on new nuclear weapons, and is particularly scrambling to get weapons designed to target Russia.

Officials described a recent table-top war game where Russia carried out a tactical nuclear first-strike against NATO territory during a conflict in Europe. This idea of Russia attacking first seems to be informing a lot of US policy decisions.

The exercise saw a low-yield Russian nuke deployed, and the US arsenal, still limited on lower options, ultimately decided that their only response was a much bigger strategic nuclear strike on Russia, starting a civilization-ending nuclear exchange.

Though seemingly the risk of such a war would be a deterrent against a Russian first-strike, the Pentagon is arguing they need more low-yield options so they can engage in tit-for-tat nuclear wars at a lower level.

Analysts have been very concerned about these developments, because the Pentagon very publicly views lower-yield nukes as more usable, and this risks the US deploying them in attacks on non-nuclear states.

(antiwar.com)

If there is NO arms race then why would the Pentagon be begging for more funds for nukes?

The US spends tens of billions of dollars annually on nuclear weapon modernization schemes. Every year, the Pentagon complains it is insufficient, and that continued with StratCom head Admiral Chas Richard, who warned that the US is “almost on a path to disarmament.”

Given how much the US spends, this is a vastly expensive sort of disarmament. Since the US outspends all other nuclear powers, it is hard to imagine that the problem is that the US needs to spend more, and while the admiral suggested the US should “invest smartly,” it’s clear he also wanted more money.

The narrative is that if the US continues at the current heightened level of spending they’ll still end up having to virtually rebuild their entire infrastructure or no longer be a nuclear power. This seems to be overly alarmist, but is just the sort of thing that would sell Congress on bankrolling more arms.

Still, while Strategic Command is built around always spending more money on more arms, and never couches it as an option, it must be considered if proper disarmament is worth considering. After all, if tens of billions of dollars every year can’t maintain an arsenal, the US could at least save that money by no longer pretending to be modernizing it.

(antiwar.com)

In case you want more info…..

he Pentagon’s five-year nuclear weapons plan calls for requesting at least $167 billion through 2025 — building from the $29 billion sought for next year to $38 billion, according to previously undisclosed figures.

The commitment includes research, development, procurement, sustainment and operations. It reflects a major boost to an effort started under President Barack Obama to replace aging nuclear systems, such as Minuteman III missiles and command and control systems.

It doesn’t include funding for the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which is requesting $19.8 billion for fiscal 2021, including $15.6 billion for nuclear weapons activities.

https://time.com/5790901/pentagon-nuclear-weapons-spending/

So all indications are that we are still in an arms race with the USSR….my bad….Russia.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”