Closing Thought–17Apr20

One of the sad things around the Covid-19 is the loss of small businesses….here I am talking about the Mom and Pop operations that are being hit the hardest by the pandemic.

But not to worry the government is here to help…..with some stim money and interest free loans and I am sure something other or else…..

But sadly all is not going well for the help these businesses need…..

Millions of small businesses are barely staying afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the feds are offering help—but getting that help is another thing, the New York Times reports. Two federal efforts, the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, are both low on funds and swamped with requests. The Paycheck program is embroiled in a partisan political battle on Capitol Hill over how to add another $250 billion, per the Washington Post, while applicants to both programs are fighting red tape or waiting for their funds. It’s a huge topic, but here’s a primer and a few tips for applicants:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program has $349 billion to incentivize banks to grant small-business loans. The loans need to be repaid at an interest rate of 1% over two years unless certain metrics are met for retaining employees—at which point a loan is forgiven by the feds, per the Times.
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is designed to offer loans up to $2 million, but recent applicants say the cap is now $15,000 as requests flood the program. According to a fact sheet, the interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without available credit elsewhere, and 2.75% for non-profits.
  • The Times advises Paycheck applicants to apply in off hours and remember two things: It might be better for companies with workers who are higher-paid or can work at home; and worse for businesses that don’t know when they can re-open, like restaurants and bars.
  • Forbes gives hard-hitting advice “to avoid going to prison” over a Paycheck program loan. Stung by fraud related to Katrina, TARP, and other programs, the feds will prosecute scammers.
  • At BizJournals, expert James Lozano suggests asking a bank or credit union for advice before proceeding with either program—and says “larger small businesses” might want to apply to both.
  • My biggest advice is take away the fear,” Tennessee realtor Matt Golley tells WAAY TV. “Let someone else walk you through the process and tell you what you need and make sure it’s submitted correctly. I don’t know how to submit documents like that to the government and the bank took care of that for me.” Golley says he’s been approved with the Paycheck program but hasn’t seen the money.
  • Whatever path is taken, expect frustrating delays. “Essentially, there’s a massive bottleneck in trying to get this money, incredible demand and not the ability to get it out,” says a reporter on PBS Newshour.

Another clusterf*c k this pandemic has created and the government has little solution……

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Sorry We Are Open

There has been a media storm on Donald the Orange for saying that he will force the states to open f he says so….well he walked that back a tad (something he always does and does not know how pathetic he looks)….

Trump has said that 29 states are in good shape…..

“The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak of new cases.” That was the word from President Trump Wednesday as he promised that certain parts of the US would soon begin to reopen, the BBC reports. Per CNBC, Trump said new cases of the coronavirus are “declining” in New York and are “flat” in Denver and Detroit; the rate of new cases across the US has been declining for the past six days. While the latest federal guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 go through May 1, Trump said some states may begin to ease restrictions before that. The AP reports that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, noted there are nine states with fewer than 1,000 cases and just a few dozen new cases each day, and that those will likely be the first to see social distancing restrictions eased.

“I would say that we have 20 states, at least, but you really have 29 that are in extremely good shape. You have others that are getting much better,” Trump added Wednesday, echoing the CDC director’s comments that same day that “19 or 20” states could be ready to reopen by May 1. The White House is set to discuss guidelines for reopening the country Thursday, and the AP says that while the ultimate decisions will remain with the governors of each state, the new federal guidelines “are aimed at clearing the way for an easing of restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in place in harder-hit places.” However, when Trump spoke with dozens of industry leaders Wednesday, they warned that protective equipment and increased testing will be needed before their businesses can safely resume operations

A real doctor has stated that the states could open in a staggering manner…..

Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, on Wednesday offered hope that areas with robust testing capacity and few confirmed coronavirus cases may be able to begin drawing down some of their restrictions.

She cautioned, however, that any changes must be one in a “laser-focused, data driven manner.”

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/492938-birx-data-shows-some-states-could-do-very-well-with-some-decreasing

And now we have a “road map” from the Orange…..

President Trump presented a road map Thursday for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out “a phased and deliberate approach” to restoring normal activity in places that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases. “We’re starting our life again,” Trump said, per the AP. They make clear that the return to normal will be a far longer process than Trump initially envisioned, with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year. And they largely reinforce the plans under development by governors, who have the primary responsibility for public health in their states. Trump reinforced that earlier in the day. Trump’s three phases:

  • Phase 1 recommends that strict social distancing for all people in public remain in effect. Gatherings larger than 10 people should be avoided, and nonessential travel is discouraged.
  • Phase 2 would have people still be encouraged to maximize social distancing and limit gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautions are taken. Travel could resume.
  • Phase 3 envisions a return to normal for most Americans, with a focus on identifying and isolating new infections.

Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci said at the briefing that it will be a “new normal.” But Trump pushed back, suggesting that people want to go to football games and fill restaurants again. “That’s going to happen, and it’s going to be relatively quickly,” he predicted.

This is the great idea that Donald the Orange has…..and if it goes to crap then it will be the governors fault not his (Trump’s)…..another deflect for have NO idea how to handle a crisis.

All in all this whole thing is a sh*t show……I know it….. he knows it and now you know it.

An attempt by President Donald Trump to enlist the assistance of private business leaders in his efforts to reopen the U.S. economy by early May was panned as a failure by participants and observers alike as the White House response to the coronavirus pandemic appears set to make an economic crash worse.

“He’s got to stop talking about turning the economy back on and start talking about making people feel safe, things that are happening around testing, and the health care system,” one CEO who commented anonymously for fear of White House reprisals told Politico. “That’s the only way you will really get the economy reopened over a period of time.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/16/utter-sht-show-trump-effort-enlist-private-companies-reopen-economy-derided-disaster

Please Be calm and be safe and stay prepared.

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Who Will Joe Choose?

We have had enough Covid-19 news for now….after all we have an election approaching and it looks like it will be Biden vs Donald……Trump will keep Pence as VP but who will Biden lean on in this time of need?

He has said he will choose a woman as his running mate….my thought is it will NOT be Warren or Gabbard….that leaves Harris and Klobuchar of the candidates for 2020…..there are others and fivethirtyeight.com takes a look at all the possibilities…..

One view of the vice presidential selection process, often expressed by people who themselves work for campaigns, is that the presidential nominee is making a personal choice, opting for someone whom he or she connects with and feels would be a strong partner in governing. Another view, according to research we (Adler and Azari) have done, is that the vice presidential choice often reflects broader dynamics in the party. In this view the nominee often chooses a running mate who connects with some broader goal of the party or who helps appeal to some faction or ideological bloc in the party that is not well represented by the candidate at the top of the ticket.

It’s really hard for us to establish whether Biden enjoys chatting more with Sen. Kamala Harris or Sen. Amy Klobuchar, so we’re going to take a party-centered approach to this question. We can look at the Democratic Party and some of its goals and use those as a rubric to evaluate some of Biden’s potential running mates. We have focused here on women who are either governors or senators — the traditional resumes of a vice presidential pick — but have also included a few noteworthy figures who don’t hold statewide office.

How Will Biden Choose His Running Mate?

I think it should be Klobuchar…why?  They are very similar…..will do any and everything for corporations and big money donors…..

Oddsmakers like Kamala Harris. Elizabeth Warren has made clear she’d be open to a spot on the ticket. But at the Washington Post, David Byler lays out the case for Amy Klobuchar to be Joe Biden’s pick for vice president. Yes, an all-white ticket isn’t ideal in 2020, and those in the progressive wing of the party wouldn’t be thrilled. “But nobody is perfect, and Klobuchar is as good as it gets,” writes Byler. She certainly has the resume for it—13 years as a Minnesota senator, a strong presidential campaign behind her, and no whiff of a major scandal. She’s also in sync with Biden’s brand of bipartisan, pragmatic politics, which would help deflect from the inevitable GOP attacks of a “socialist” takeover. And she has proven success at getting legislation passed.

What’s more, Klobuchar is relatively young at 59—a contrast to Biden’s 77—and her strength with swing voters would help in battleground states. Essentially, Klobuchar could not only help Biden win, she could then help him govern, writes Byler. “Maybe more important, whoever Biden picks would likely start out as the favorite in the next open Democratic primary,” he adds. “If he picks someone who is ideologically simpatico, then he could cement the Obama-Biden-Klobuchar brand of neoliberalism as the dominant strain of the Democratic Party for years to come.” Click to read Byler’s full column, but those who favor other candidates might take heart to know that he’ll lay out the cases for others in coming days.

Both are perfect for each other….for both are spineless centrists that will not change a damn thing……. only the face in the White House…..

I know…..I know…..the important thing is to beat Trump…..but that does not change my opinion of Biden and his choices.

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Covid-19–What To Do?

This virus caught our leadership with the drawers down servicing the donors and we are having to suffer for their lack of foresight.

Our silly leadership dismissed the pros in a pandemic task force after coming to office and now we are scrambling for answers….maybe these silly foolish people in the government should have developed a strategy for this very thing…..

COVID-19 is absolutely a threat to the American people. It poses a catastrophic health risk, economic devastation, and if we are not careful, permanent damage to our American democracy. We need to fashion an effective strategy with precise short- and long-term objectives, supported by a sustainable and resilient crisis-management system. To do that, we must rely on the proven foundations of American democratic institutions, sharing power and informed by specific lessons from around the world

In responding to the COVID-19 crisis, the United States is operating with decentralized institutions naturally ill-suited for strategy-making, a preexisting condition that dates to the country’s founding. We will suffer for that in the short run. But in meeting this deadly threat, even a suboptimal approach will prove better than an authoritarian power grab that permanently alters our society.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-needs-american-pandemic-strategy-143637

This is the plan from the CDC…..read it and see that the Trump admin did little to avert this rising problem according to the plan….https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/pandemic-influenza-implementation.pdf

According to WHO…..

the central government should:

  • identify, appoint, and lead the coordinating body for pandemic preparedness and response; enact or modify legislation and policies required to sustain and optimize pandemic preparedness, capacity development, and response efforts across all sectors;
  • prioritize and guide the allocation and targeting of resources to achieve the goals as outlined in a country’s Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan;
  • provide additional resources for national pandemic preparedness, capacity development, and response measures; and
  • consider providing resources and technical assistance to countries experiencing outbreaks of influenza with pandemic potential

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK143067/

Just read the two sources and then tell me that Trump did all he could when he was warned about the rise.

Countries need to put together a plan and a response for another pandemic…..

A crisis can expose and exacerbate fault lines. The greater the crisis, the deeper the fissures. By the time an infectious disease reaches pandemic-level, the opportunity to build tested and trusted systems and relationships has long passed. Any novel structures implemented at this point are ad-hoc, but not necessarily ineffective.

Globally, there were many opportunities to foresee a major pandemic. As a consequence of accelerated globalisation, there have been infectious diseases with major regional and global impacts. The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 impacted Asian countries, H1N1 in 2009 showed the scope and impact of pandemic influenza and the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa showed how disease spreads in weak health systems.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/ready-pandemic-200404103548183.html

Just look at the botched responses from Trump……https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/3/14/21177509/coronavirus-trump-covid-19-pandemic-response

We need pros to step up and do the hard lift because this president cannot….he is incapable of seeing his mistakes and his bullshit news that he passes around….he is worthless….he is a criminal.

How about we try to do a better job the next time we are facing a pandemic……and leave all the blame game and false bravado behind…..just a thought.

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“lego ergo scribo”

More Trump Antics

We all know the stuff that Donald the Orange has been spreading in his daily campaign rallies on TV……but there are other things he will be doing behind the scenes that may not be reported…..and that is why I write……

Dr. Trump has made a pronouncement that the worse is over with in this country and we will soon be back to work……

“The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak of new cases.” That was the word from President Trump Wednesday as he promised that certain parts of the US would soon begin to reopen, the BBC reports. Per CNBC, Trump said new cases of the coronavirus are “declining” in New York and are “flat” in Denver and Detroit; the rate of new cases across the US has been declining for the past six days. While the latest federal guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 go through May 1, Trump said some states may begin to ease restrictions before that. The AP reports that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, noted there are nine states with fewer than 1,000 cases and just a few dozen new cases each day, and that those will likely be the first to see social distancing restrictions eased.

“I would say that we have 20 states, at least, but you really have 29 that are in extremely good shape. You have others that are getting much better,” Trump added Wednesday, echoing the CDC director’s comments that same day that “19 or 20” states could be ready to reopen by May 1. The White House is set to discuss guidelines for reopening the country Thursday, and the AP says that while the ultimate decisions will remain with the governors of each state, the new federal guidelines “are aimed at clearing the way for an easing of restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in place in harder-hit places.” However, when Trump spoke with dozens of industry leaders Wednesday, they warned that protective equipment and increased testing will be needed before their businesses can safely resume operations.

This man is a moron to think he is smarter than the health pros.

Herr Trump wants to use his dictatorial powers and force the Senate to do his bidding…..

President Trump on Wednesday threatened to use a constitutional clause that’s never been invoked before in order to forcibly adjourn Congress so he can push through nominees that would otherwise need to be confirmed by the Senate. He says there are 129 nominees for various federal agencies awaiting confirmation, and since senators are away from Washington until May 4 amid the coronavirus pandemic, he needs to do something. “As the entire US government works to combat the global pandemic, it is absolutely essential that key positions at relevant federal agencies are fully staffed,” Trump said during Wednesday’s daily coronavirus briefing. “We have many positions that are unstaffed because we can’t get approval.” More:

  • Recess appointment: As the AP, CNN, and NBC explain, the president has the power to make “recess appointments” to fill certain positions without Senate confirmation while Congress is in recess—but Congress has in recent years refused to fully adjourn in order to prevent Trump and, before him, President Obama, from making such appointments.
  • The current situation: So, while lawmakers have gone back home on a break, Congress is not technically in recess. The unstaffed positions include the director of national intelligence, two members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, an assistant secretary of the Treasury Department, and an undersecretary of agriculture, and Trump seemed to be arguing Wednesday that he needs people filling those vacancies in order to help with the government’s coronavirus response.
  • Trump’s take on the recess appointment provision: “The Constitution provides a mechanism for the president to fill positions in such circumstances,” Trump said. “The Senate’s practice of gaveling into so-called pro-forma sessions, where no one is even there, has prevented me from using the constitutional authority we’re given. … The current practice of leaving town while conducting phony pro-forma sessions is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis.”
  • What he might do next: He called on Congress to adjourn so he can make the appointments, but said “if the House will not agree to that adjournment, I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress.”
  • How that would work: The constitutional clause Trump is threatening to invoke allows the president to adjourn Congress if there is a disagreement between the House and the Senate as to whether to adjourn. While Obama did attempt to make recess appointments during a pro-forma session and was thwarted by the Supreme Court, SCOTUS has not ruled on this clause, because no prior administration has ever invoked it.
  • What would need to happen: The House is unlikely to hold a vote to adjourn, so the most likely scenario involves senators coming back to Washington and voting to adjourn, thus creating the necessary disagreement with the House.
  • Trump’s take on the never-before-invoked clause: “I have a very strong power. I’d rather not use that power but we have way over a hundred people that we very badly need in this administration that should have been approved a long time ago. … Perhaps it’s never been done before, nobody’s even sure if it has, but we’re going to do it.”
  • One expert’s take: “To get away with it, he would obviously have to do this with the support of the Senate,” says a senior fellow in governance studies at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution. “If [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell agrees to this, it would be the most extraordinary abdication of power. And somehow I can’t believe he would do it. Maybe in [Trump’s] own mind he’s thinking ‘This is my way to push Congress out of the way and do anything I want.’ It’s sort of an autocratic move.”
  • Will it come to that? A spokesperson for McConnell later said the Senate majority leader and Trump talked about the issue, and that McConnell “pledged to find ways to confirm nominees considered mission-critical to the Covid-19 pandemic, but under Senate rules that will take consent from [Minority] Leader [Chuck] Schumer.” NBC notes that appeared to be an attempt to “defuse” the situation by acknowledging Democrats would need to agree to adjourn.

My thoughts before…..https://lobotero.com/2020/04/15/when-did-we-get-a-dictator/

If you think the Constitution is important to this country then you should read this…..

President Trump’s current campaign of reprisal against his critics within the federal bureaucracy has become a Soviet-style purge, a vendetta, that resembles the actions of an old-fashioned Mafia boss targeting perceived enemies. Former FBI director James Comey, who started his career in government fighting crime families, warned us in 2018 that an early encounter with the president was reminiscent of these bosses. In his book, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey described Trump’s requirement of a “silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.”

The President and His Mob: the Autopsy of Governance

He, Trump, seems to think that he is all powerful……

President Donald Trump lacks the social graces and the administrative competence of the French monarch Louis XIV. But he does share one sentiment with him. “L’etat c’est moi,” Louis is believed to have proclaimed. “The state, it is I.”

The king presumably saw no separation between himself and France. Trump also doesn’t seem to accept the fact that the federal government has a mission beyond serving his own needs and ego. He mistakes the Justice Department for his team of personal lawyers. He considers the Supreme Court a body to ratify his decisions. The federal stockpile of personal protective equipment is his own stash to share or withhold. And the US treasury? It’s his own personal checkbook.

Why Trump’s Contempt for Oversight May Sink Pandemic Stimulus

Finally Donald the Orange came close to competing with Rush on the radio……

President Trump almost launched a White House talk-radio show last month but backed off in deference to Rush Limbaugh, the New York Times reports. Three unnamed White House officials say Trump walked into the Situation Room with a pitch: Listeners would call in and talk to him directly, without screening, so he could address their concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. But Trump ditched the idea that same day, not wanting to compete with Limbaugh. Someone at the meeting suggested airing on weekends or mornings to avoid Limbaugh’s schedule, but the president shook his head. Instead, he chose to hold long daily media briefings that often sideline the pandemic in favor of attacks on reporters, per Vanity Fair.

Meanwhile, Limbaugh—a close ally and golf buddy of the president—is maligning the virus (calling it the “common cold”) and medical experts (“Hillary Clinton sympathizers”) as he attacks the economic shut-down on The Rush Limbaugh Show. “Are we just going to sit by and watch $22 trillion—that’s the value, that’s the sum total of the GDP, that’s the US economy—are we just going to sit by here and watch it evaporate?” he said March 31 on his hugely popular show, a vanguard for conservatives. “Because that’s what we’re doing, under the guise of not losing any unnecessary life.” Yet the vast majority of Americans appear to support the shutdown. Which leaves Trump where? He says the question of when to reopen the economy is “the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

Every day our Fearless Leader thinks he has unlimited power and is given by God….he does not know that we fought a war to avoid those political downfalls…..maybe he should have stayed awake in school or better yet served in the military so he would know what this country is really about.

This is not the country that our Founders believed in…..and it gets worse by the day…..not to worry Trump has waffled again….he got his minutes in the headlines and now he backs off…..

One final thought…

Image

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War, What’s It Good For?

Yep I am one of those….. a devout antiwar supporter….having seen the obscenity of war up close and personal has lead me to reject it in most forms…we need to teach our children about our wars…..

“I’m always surprised by how schools in America teach. I mean there’s wars all around us and the teachers here act like they don’t exist and then don’t directly teach the wars they do teach.” The other students in the discussion agreed. “Yeah, it’s like they teach that war is bad…but we already know that…we never teach in depth. I mean I know 1939 and Eisenhower and all that…I got an A but I feel like I know it skin deep. We never really talk about anything.” Another student agreed providing an example of when they did go in depth. “When we studied the Atomic Bombs being dropped on Japan we had a two-day seminar examining documents but it wasn’t really anything different from what was in our textbooks. I mean we all know that atomic bombs are bad, but didn’t anyone speak out against them besides like Einstein? I didn’t know there was like an anti-war movement for like always until this unit.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/20/teaching-war-so-it-matters

We need an antiwar movement once again…..it is difficult because the corporate media will use all its power and influence to make these things acceptable to the population.

So there are 10 messages of antiwar….READ THEM!

1) “We should never have been there in the first place.” By the end of the Vietnam War, this straightforward idea was popular anti-imperialism and it challenged the US role as cops of the world. It was stock wisdom among millions of everyday anti-war Americans. We should have never been in the Middle East, or anywhere else, in the first place.

2) Empire abroad means empire at home. War and empire do not defend democracy but destroys it. It was the empire that undermined what little remained of representative democracy once the Executive Branch took over all war-making powers and everyone else fell into line. When the Military-Industrial-Complex and the secret police became major players in the government and media, democracy gave up its last ghost. Proof? We have not had a constitutional declaration of war since WWII. If the highest law of the land is routinely violated for 70 years — so much for the rule of law.

3) Stop the Poverty Draft! The lack of decent wages, universal health care, and free higher education are the main recruiters for the poverty draft. The 1.2 trillion we spend annually for war enforces austerity at home by diverting funds and resources. Only the 1% get rich on war. The war machine thrives on and creates poverty.

4) Hate and fear of the “other” is the culture of war. Hate and violence abroad and the culture of hate and violence at home exist in a vicious feedback loop. It’s not a coincidence that the hate demanded by the wars inflicted upon black and brown people abroad find a direct domestic parallel in the militarized penal system aimed at black, brown and poor and the attacks on immigrants of color.

5) And make no mistakes, its war that drives climate change. Not only is the military the largest consumer of fossil fuels, its the enforcer of an oil empire. War captures resources and forces countries to submit to a global regime where the US dollar is the only acceptable currency for trading fossil fuels. Stand outside of the oil empire –refuse to pay imperial tribute —  and its regime change time for you.

6) Defend democracy and national sovereignty. Not only does the US routinely violate the national sovereignty of other countries but also attack legally elected governments. This is not debatable but plain fact — know the history.

7) “We are sick of being lied to.” We have decades of proof that the war-makers lie — the Afghanistan Papers being the most recent. Every claim made by every political official should be judged in that light. The public record is clear — war is based on lies and deception. Remember: “In War Truth is the First Casualty.”

8) Listen to anti-war soldiers and veterans. The greatest challenge to war is anti-war soldiers and veterans because they completely upset the empire’s narratives and are the most effective of all protestors. The peace movement from within the military’s ranks is a bridge between some hard-won, down and dirty knowledge about war and millions of people who do not currently define themselves as anti-war. Support About Face, Vets for Peace and Veteran’s Power.

9) Empires rise and empires fall — without exception. American Exceptionalismhas conditioned us to see the US as a moral force outside of history. Exceptionalism is a master narrative of war that blinds us to the dangers of an empire in decline. The liberal aspects of Exceptionalism are the hardest to see but they encourage us to understand war as a morality play with the US acting as a force for good in the world.

10) Imperial wars are unwinnable wars. Eighteen years in Afghanistan and over 25 years of on-again-off-again war with Iraq prove that these wars are unwinnable. Unwinnable wars are just permanent military occupations — the hallmark of empire. Sooner or later the facts become obvious to the people under US control and they want their countries back.

I firmly believe that any diplomacy is far superior than war…..any moron can start a war but it takes a real statesman to prevent one.

One of my favorite antiwar people was Gen. Smedley Butler…..

There once lived an odd little man — five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet — who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country’s most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.

Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America’s “Banana Wars” from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.

Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler?

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”  Eisenhower

Orwell made a great point…….”War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”  And this is why we have the wars we have today……

All I am saying is….Give Peace a Chance!

And that is what the UN may be attempting….

With the world in the throes of the calamitous COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres is pushing for a global ceasefire, seeing a planet-wide halt to war as a chance to allow an all-out effort to fight the virus.

This is getting some interest beyond NGOs and the Pope. As of Friday, 11 countries have endorsed the idea, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

Recognition that the wars would only make their situations worse, these nations are backing the global ceasefire, and while it’s still a long way from stopping any huge wars, it shows promising understanding that war and pandemic are two distinct priorities.

(antiwar.com)

At least one think tank has come out on the side of reason and the UN resolution on war……

Crisis Group has joined other non-governmental organisations in backing the Secretary-General’s initiative. It represents the clearest formulation of the need to limit deadly conflict in the face of COVID-19. The disease has the potential to undermine weak states, aggravate social tensions, give unscrupulous leaders an excuse to repress dissent and distract major powers from diplomacy and crisis management. But there are also historical precedents for major natural disasters (such as the 2004 Asian tsunami) creating conditions for peacemaking in affected regions. This Secretary-General’s initiative offers a useful reference point for international efforts to find similar opportunities as the coronavirus spreads. It could also act as a simple framing device for the Security Council, which has been split over how to handle the pandemic, to take a common stance on its emerging security implications.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/global/global-ceasefire-call-deserves-un-security-councils-full-support

At least one major nation has signed onto the idea of a UN ceasefire….France……

French President Emmanuel Macron says he hopes that “in the coming days” the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council can discuss and endorse U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a cease-fire to all conflicts in the world in order to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Macron, who has been pushing for more international cooperation in fighting the virus, said in an interview with French radio RFI broadcast on Wednesday that he is only waiting for agreement from Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold the 5-country video conference.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/france-urging-top-powers-endorse-213349036.html

One more time….All I’m saying is give peace a chance….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”