Closing Thought–27Apr20

Our seniors are living alone and in dire straights….they have few people checking on them and few chances to go to the store for food stuffs….I saw a program brought about by Gov. Newsom of California that I think is an excellent idea…..

Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom has put into immediate effect “Restaurants Deliver: Home Meals for Seniors”, a program that will pay local restaurants to deliver three nutritious meals every day of the week to at-risk seniors during the coronavirus epidemic.

When announcing the program on Friday, Newsom said that 1.7 million of California’s 5.7 million seniors live alone. He hopes the program will help ensure that high-risk seniors and other adults stay at home to avoid potentially contracting the virus.

Additionally, Newsom intends for the program to help “provide essential economic stimulus to local businesses and workers struggling to stay afloat during the Covid-19 crisis.” Restaurants can receive up to $16 for breakfasts, $17 for lunch and $28 for dinners.

A shame that more governors are not this forward thinking instead of following Trump around waiting to kiss his ass.

Over the weekend I also wrote about a program by Publix to help food banks that are struggling…..

Farmers around the country have been forced to dump milk and waste fresh produce as schools, restaurants and other institutions remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Supermarket chain Publix launched a new initiative Wednesday to help struggling farmers — and get the food to Americans who need it most.

The company’s press release said it will purchase fresh produce and milk from farmers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and donate the goods directly to Feeding America food banks that are in its “operating area.” During the first week of the initiative alone, some 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk is expected to be donated, the company said.

“As a food retailer, we have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the needs of families and farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Todd Jones, Publix CEO. “In addition to providing much needed produce and milk to food banks, this initiative provides financial support to farmers during this challenging time.”

(CBS News)

My hat tips to these forward thinking people….these are the people that should be getting the Medal of Freedom not some mealy mouth radio personality that kisses Trump’s ass.

Then there are corporations like the worthless Whole Foods that will stop at NOTHING to screw their employees……

Whole Foods, the Amazon-owned grocery chain known for its pastoral chic and its mainstreaming of organic food commerce, is reportedly using demographic numbers and other data points to identify which stores are most at risk for unionization efforts, with the goal of clamping down on that activity before it becomes “problematic,” according to leaked internal documents.

The company is allegedly using a “heat map” to track the stores across the country most vulnerable to union agitation. Key data which it uses to make those judgments include the demographic diversity of a store, the unemployment rate in the region around it, company violations documented at the location, and the number of calls each store logs to human resources.

Bezos should follow in Publix lead….after all he is making millions off the pandemic try giving something back to the workers and society.


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World War One–How It Started

The war that most Americans seem to ignore most times is that of World War One…..

The most common and popular reason for the start of WW1 was the assassination of Archduke and his wife……but it all began many years before that event in 1905 and not in the Balkans but North Africa.

The major European powers began to flex their muscle……

The First Moroccan Crisis is seen as one of the long term causes of World War One as it led to a breakdown in trust between the major European powers. Morocco became the centre of the world’s attention between 1905 and 1906 and the crisis clearly indicated that Germany’s relation with France was at best fragile.

In 1905 Morocco was one of the few African states not occupied by a European power. It had been ruled by Sultan Moulay al Hasan from 1873 to 1894 and he had carefully played off one European power against another to such an extent that in 1880 Morocco had been given what amounted to a guarantee of independence by the Madrid Convention. The Sultan was succeeded by Abdul Aziz who proved to be a weak ruler. He lost control over the Berber people in the Atlas Mountains and they fought to assert what they believed to be their rights. The Berbers were so successful that by 1903, Fez, the capital, was under attack and Aziz controlled only a small part of the country.

The First Moroccan Crisis

And that was not the end of the muscle flexing exercises by the European powers……1911……was 1905 all over again….

The Morocco crisis of 1911 arose out of the dispatch of the German gunboat Panther to Agadir on July 1. The ostensible ground for this action was the request of German firms in Agadir for protection in the disordered state of the country. But inasmuch as there were no German subjects at Agadir and the port was not open to Europeans, it was clear that the real motive was a desire to reopen the whole question. The German Government resented the complete failure of the convention of 1899, and determined now, by a show of force, to prevent a further French penetration unless France would negotiate for a final settlement of the problem.

It is highly probable that Germany hoped to break up the Triple Entente. It is also probable that at the beginning of the affair Germany expected to obtain part of Morocco for itself, counting upon the known military weakness of France and the confusion in England produced by the struggle over the House of Lords to prevent serious opposition.

Further reading for those interested in this lesser known action as a prequel to WW1……

As a closing thought….why did the US enter into WW1?

In August, 1914 the United States declared its neutrality in the war then engulfing Europe. President Woodrow Wilson, reflecting the views of much of the nation, announced that his country would be “impartial in thought as well as in action”. But this stance soon came under pressure, as the impact of events across the Atlantic were felt in the US. By 1917 isolation had become untenable. In April, Wilson sought the approval of Congress to go to war. Several key factors played a part in this change of course.

5 Reasons the United States Entered the First World War

For me it was all about the money and the prestige once the war was finished.

War is always about the money….then as now!

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Re-Open America Act Of 2020

Donald the Orange has been beating his chest like a sex crazed primate about the country re-opening amidst a pandemic…..he needs the economy to get moving after all an election is waiting in the wings and the economy is all Trump has these days….

Not to be outdone by the Trumpian sycophants…the Dems have come up with their on plan to re-open the nation….they call it the “Re-open America Act Of 2020″……

The RAA rests on the idea that two public health conditions must be met for America to reopen safely and durably: 1) social distancing must have lowered infection rates sufficiently to allow hospitals to properly care for the infected population and 2) public health safeguards must be able to keep transmission rates below one.

The RAA invites states, coalitions of states, the District of Columbia, territories, and tribal governments to submit their detailed reopening plans to the HHS Secretary and upon approval, receive federal funding for the costs associated with implementing them. In evaluating whether a plan can keep infection and transmission rates low, the Secretary will be advised by an expert advisory panel and guided by scientific principles and data. Upon approval of a plan, states will receive federal funds to pay for state costs associated with a safe reopening to make sure that testing, treatment, contact tracing and other public health measures are in place.

Because the states have been laboring under conditions of supply scarcity and vicious interstate competition and bidding wars, the RAA creates a federal Health Equipment Production Board to activate industry to generate all the tests, protective equipment, ventilators, and effective treatments necessary to reopen commerce and social life in a way that puts public health first. The Board will be responsible for ensuring national and regional availability of medical supplies and equipment needed for COVID-19 response and the safe implementation of reopening plans. It will be empowered to procure and distribute supplies and equipment as needed. The Board will also assure manufacturing and distribution capacity so the government is ready and able to produce and distribute as rapidly as possible coronavirus treatments and vaccines as they become available. If necessary, the Board can invoke the authorities of the Defense Production Act.

Not to worry you can read the entire “Act”….. H.R. 6525, the Reopen America Act of 2020

The full text of the bill, H.R. 6525, can be found here.

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Trump Has A Brand New Bag (Strategy)

Apologizes…..Had to show some love to James Brown…..

Donald the Orange has had some really bad weeks lately with his constant babbling during the virus update briefings….drinking bleach was just the last screw up……and that was covered here on IST….. (for those that missed my analysis)……

Finally it appears as if there is a muzzle for Donald after all….and it is his chances in 2020…..the new plan …..

After two months of frantic response to the coronavirus, the White House is planning to shift President Trump’s public focus to the burgeoning efforts aimed at easing the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, the AP reports. Days after he publicly mused that scientists should explore the injection of toxic disinfectants as a potential virus cure, Trump has now rejected the utility of his daily task force briefings, where he has time and again clashed with scientific experts. Trump’s aides are aiming to move the president onto more familiar—and safer, they hope—ground: talking up the economy, in tighter controlled settings. It’s a political imperative as allies have seen an erosion in support for the president.

His ability to blanket news headlines with freewheeling performances, has seemingly turned from a strength to a daily liability. At the same time, new GOP polling shows Trump’s path to a second term depends on the public’s perception of how quickly the economy rebounds from state-by-state lockdowns. Aides said the president would hold more frequent roundtables with CEOs, business owners, and beneficiaries of the trillions of dollars in federal aid already approved by Congress, and begin to outline what he hopes to see in a future recovery package. Trump last left the White House grounds a month ago, and plans are being drawn up for a limited schedule of travel within the next few weeks, aide said. It would be a symbolic show that the nation is beginning to reopen.

He should have been talking the economy up a lot sooner….kinda hard to convince people how good they are doing when 20 million are unemployed…..but I am sure he can spin this into something the loyal batcrap moron will embrace.

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NK’s Kim: Is He Is Or Is He Ain’t?

The reports for the past couple of weeks has been that Kim has disappeared from public eye……and that absence has started all sorts of rumors and speculations…..

Is he suffering from the Covid-19?  Did he have a stroke like his father? Is he in a coma?  Is he dead?

Kim Jong Un is either vegetative or dead after undergoing a failed cardiovascular procedure on April 12, according to Asian media reports—but Reuters has been unable to confirm or deny. All reports agree that China has sent a team of doctors and officials to North Korea to advise on the nation’s leader, but beyond that, it’s a wash. The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai reports that a member of the team said Kim grabbed his chest and fell to the ground on a visit to the countryside in early April, per the Jerusalem Post. The team member also said Kim’s accompanying doctor called for the team’s help, and Kim was in a vegetative state.

Kim Jong Un is either vegetative or dead after undergoing a failed cardiovascular procedure on April 12, according to Asian media reports—but Reuters has been unable to confirm or deny. All reports agree that China has sent a team of doctors and officials to North Korea to advise on the nation’s leader, but beyond that, it’s a wash. The Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai reports that a member of the team said Kim grabbed his chest and fell to the ground on a visit to the countryside in early April, per the Jerusalem Post. The team member also said Kim’s accompanying doctor called for the team’s help, and Kim was in a vegetative state.

Is he is or is he ain’t?

Kim Jong Un hasn’t been seen in public in more than a week, but South Korea is refuting reports that the North Korean leader’s health is in danger. The denial came soon after a CNN report claiming that the US is monitoring intelligence suggesting Kim is “in grave danger” after an unspecified surgery, plus a report from South Korea’s Daily NK claiming Kim was recovering from a cardiovascular procedure. Two South Korean government sources say those reports are incorrect and Kim is not gravely ill, Reuters reports.

If he is not capable of using the reins of power who will step in and fill the leadership void?

Kim Jong Un is in a “vegetative state” or flat-out dead after a failed heart surgery. Or he’s got COVID-19. Or just a sprained ankle. The rumor mill is turning after reports emerged that a Chinese medical team had been dispatched to help North Korea’s leader in his time of need, the New York Times reports. With some Asian media outlets reporting the worst news, and Western media taking a mostly careful approach, we look at the latest:

  • ‘Shocked’: Sen. Lindsey Graham says he would be “shocked” if Kim wasn’t “dead or incapacitated” at this point, per the Hill. “You don’t let rumors like this go forever or go unanswered in a closed society, which is really a cult, not a country, called North Korea.”
  • Kim’s train—if it really is his train—could play a role. A US-based project called 38 North, which monitors North Korea, says the train has remained at the “leadership station” at Wonsan since at least Tuesday, per the Guardian. “The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” the project says.
  • ‘Game changer’: North Korea watchers are giving the story a raised eyebrow but won’t toll the death knell just yet, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Kim Jong Un’s death is a low-probability event,” says an Asan Institute research fellow. “But his death would be a game changer.”
  • Little sister: In that vein, the Daily Beast looks at Kim’s younger sister, 31-year-old Kim Yo Jong, who is apparently feared and respected for her high position in the North Korean government. But is she capable of leading the brutal regime if her brother dies? Fox News calls her “his most likely successor” and Reuters says she “has a firm control of key party functions, setting herself to be the main source of power behind a collective leadership.”
  • A half-brother: A rumor flourishing on messaging apps in South Korea has Kim in a coma and Kim Pyong-il, half-brother to Kim’s deceased father, already seizing power. The Asia Times reports that Pyong-il was once rising in the ranks before angering the elder Kim and spending time in exile.
  • No worries: Yet South Korea maintains that Kim Jong Un is “alive and well.” Moon Chung-in, the South Korean president’s top foreign policy adviser, tells CNN that Kim “has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
  • And so? Whether any of this matters is open to interpretation. “Regardless of who assumes power, there are no indications that a successor would pursue different domestic or foreign policies,” writes Bruce Klingner, an ex-CIA Korea official, per the Washington

Some think it is his sister, Kim Yo Jong…..yes he has a sister and she is moving up in the governmental apparatus… thought as well…..what do we really know about sis?

Full siblings: Kim Yo Jong and Kim Jong Un have the same parents (their mother was a dancer who was one of Kim Jong Il’s wives), and she has for years been seen at her brother’s side at public functions, reports Reuters. The pair, along with another full sibling, Kim Jong Chol, who stays out of politics, are believed to have attended school in Switzerland. She is also believed to be married, possibly to the son of a powerful party secretary.

Her job: Kim Yo Jong is now an alternate member of the party’s decision-making body, which generally rubber-stamps Kim Jong Un’s mandates. But she would theoretically get to take part in debates on issues including military decisions. She is only the second woman known to get such an appointment. The first was her aunt, who hasn’t been seen in public in years and may be under house arrest. The aunt’s husband was executed in 2013, per the Times.

Since the position of Supreme Leader is a family affair then sister would be a logical person to step into the shoes of power.

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