China–Time To Collect

Closing Thought–04May20

May the Fourth be with you!

Since Trump has been in the White House he has seemed to hold some sort of warm place in his heart for China (that is until the virus and he blames it all on China for now)……and I have thought it was unusual as he seems to try and protect China from all sorts of bad press and criticism…..why is that?

I think maybe I found the answer and it as simple as an IOU…..

But Trump himself has taken on debt from China. In 2012, his real estate partner refinanced one of Trump’s most prized New York buildings for almost $1 billion. The debt included $211 million from the state-owned Bank of China — its first loan of this kind in the U.S. — which matures in the middle of what could be Trump’s second term.

Steps from Trump Tower in Manhattan, the 43-story 1290 Avenue of the Americas skyscraper spans an entire city block. Trump owns a30 percent stake in the property valued atmore than $1 billion, making it one of the priciest addresses in his portfolio, according to his financial disclosures.

Trump’s ownership of the building received a smattering of attention before and after his 2016 campaign. But the arrangement with the Bank of China in 2012 has gone largely unnoticed. The questions surrounding Trump’s ties to the Bank of China come as his campaign is claiming that Biden would be a gift to the Communist country and America’s chief economic rival

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/trump-biden-china-debt-205475

That could explain a lot…..

Somehow it always comes down to Donald the Orange’s financial shenanigans….even as president.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Kent State–50 Years On

Before the days when cops have a free hand at killing American citizens….there were antiwar protests all over the nation……one particularly deadly encounter was Kent State….

Do you remember this iconic photo from the massacre?

Image

On this day in 1970 Ohioan National Guard open fire on protesting students……with disastrous results….death and maiming……

On May 4, 1970, in Kent, Ohio, 28 National Guardsmen fire their weapons at a group of anti-war demonstrators on the Kent State University campus, killing four students, wounding eight, and permanently paralyzing another. The tragedy was a watershed moment for a nation divided by the conflict in Vietnam, and further galvanized the anti-war movement

Two days earlier, on May 2, National Guard troops were called to Kent to suppress students rioting in protest of the Vietnam War and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The next day, scattered protests were dispersed by tear gas, and on May 4 class resumed at Kent State University. By noon that day, despite a ban on rallies, some 2,000 people had assembled on the campus. National Guard troops arrived and ordered the crowd to disperse, fired tear gas, and advanced against the students with bayonets fixed on their rifles. Some of the protesters, refusing to yield, responded by throwing rocks and verbally taunting the troops.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/national-guard-kills-four-at-kent-state

What did those deaths accomplish?

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/05/03/day-all-hell-broke-loose-local-lives-lost-forever-changed-kent-state-shooting-50-years-ago.html

As usual nothing happened…other than the deaths of some students….of which some were not part of the protest…..and yet they are dead…..

Phillip Lafayette Gibbs met Dale Adams when they were in high school, in Ripley, Mississippi, a town best known as the home of William Faulkner’s great-grandfather, who ran a slave plantation, fought in the Mexican-American War, raised troops that joined the Confederate Army, wrote a best-selling mystery about a murder on a steamboat, shot a man to death and got away with it, and was elected to the Mississippi legislature. He was killed before he could take his seat, but that seat would have been two hundred miles away in the state capitol, in Jackson, a city named for Andrew Jackson, who ran a slave plantation, fought in the War of 1812, was famous for killing Indians, shot a man to death and got away with it, and was elected President of the United States. Phillip Gibbs’s father and Dale Adams’s father had both been sharecroppers:  they came from families who had been held as slaves by families like the Jacksons and the Faulkners, by force of arms.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/04/kent-state-and-the-war-that-never-ended

For those that did not read the links….these are the names and wounded at Kent State on 04 May 1970…..

Killed (and approximate distance from the National Guard):

  • Jeffrey Glenn Miller; age 20; 265 ft (81 m) shot through the mouth; killed instantly
  • Allison B. Krause; age 19; 343 ft (105 m) fatal left chest wound; died later that day
  • William Knox Schroeder; age 19; 382 ft (116 m) fatal chest wound; died almost an hour later in a local hospital while undergoing surgery
  • Sandra Lee Scheuer; age 20; 390 ft (120 m) fatal neck wound; died a few minutes later from loss of blood

Wounded (and approximate distance from the National Guard):

  • Joseph Lewis, Jr.; 71 ft (22 m); hit twice in the right abdomen and left lower leg
  • John R. Cleary; 110 ft (34 m); upper left chest wound
  • Thomas Mark Grace; 225 ft (69 m); struck in left ankle
  • Alan Michael Canfora; 225 ft (69 m); hit in his right wrist
  • Dean R. Kahler; 300 ft (91 m); back wound fracturing the vertebrae, permanently paralyzed from the chest down
  • Douglas Alan Wrentmore; 329 ft (100 m); hit in his right knee
  • James Dennis Russell; 375 ft (114 m); hit in his right thigh from a bullet and in the right forehead by birdshot, both wounds minor
  • Robert Follis Stamps; 495 ft (151 m); hit in his right buttock
  • Donald Scott MacKenzie; 750 ft (230 m); neck wound

Least we forget……may they R.I.P.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“Lego ergo scribo”

“Covid-19 Will Never Affect The US”

****Famous last words category****

Those are the words of our president, Donald the Orange, predicted this very thing in February of 2020…

Since then we have 1.1+ million cases…..and 67,000+ dead….

I would say that the prediction was manure (as most everything coming from his mouth)…..

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday there were “very good experts” who predicted that the coronavirus outbreak “would never affect the United States.”

He made the remark during a White House speech to small-business owners in response to CNN’s Jim Acosta, who asked Trump about the number of confirmed cases in the US passing the 1 million mark. Acosta pointed to Trump’s prediction in February that the number of US cases would go down to zero.

“How did we get from your prediction of zero to 1 million?” Acosta asked.

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-very-good-experts-said-coronavirus-would-never-affect-us-2020-4

Not to worry that is NOT the only LIE Trump has told……

Almost eight weeks ago, President Trump appeared at the CDC and announced, “Anyone who wants a test can get a test.” That was approximately as correct as promising anybody who wants a private jet can one. Rather than own up to the lie, or even to quietly pull back to a more realistic schedule of promises, Trump has continued telling wild lies about testing availability.

Yesterday, a reporter asked the president if and when the country could reach the benchmark of 5 million coronavirus tests per day recommended by some public-health experts. “Well, it will increase it, and it’ll increase it by much more than that in the very near future,” he replied, before rambling on semi-coherently. The reporter followed up, “Sorry, are you saying you’re confident you can surpass 5 million tests per day?” Trump responded in the affirmative:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/trump-coronavirus-test-lie-5-million.html

Everything Trump is doing is trying to reverse this trend in the economy……

The United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) shrank at an annual rate of 4.8% during the first quarter of 2020, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The contraction is the first in six years, and the worst since the Great Recession, which ended in 2009.

The new number is the result of businesses across the nation closing down temporarily or permanently, laying off or furloughing tens of millions of workers, and facing general economic uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic continues to bulldoze the American economy.

https://justthenews.com/nation/economy/us-gdp-contracts-48-during-first-quarter-2020

All this has NOTHING to do with the welfare of the American people but everything to do with Donald the Orange’s chances for re-election.

Since the president will not do it…I will help my readers how to fight this pandemic…..

Accessible and universal testing and free treatment for all infected: The absence of a coordinated system to test those who may have the disease makes any rational response impossible. It is essential that testing be made available immediately throughout the United States and the entire world.

The treatment of all those infected is an urgent necessity not only for the ill, but also to stop the spread of the disease. Care must be given at no cost, regardless of insurance coverage or income.

An emergency program to expand health care infrastructure: The overwhelming of hospitals not only leads to a sharp increase in the death toll from the coronavirus, as has happened in Italy, it also means that those suffering from other diseases and injuries are unable to receive care. The lack of adequate equipment and health care infrastructure means that doctors are already being forced to choose who among their patients will live and who will die.

(Please read on……)

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/17/pers-m17.html

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Venezuela: Trump’s Bay Of Pigs?

I am still waiting for some news report on this situation…..so far I got nothing (but I am not watching every channel)….

Looks like Trump has his own Bay of Pigs disaster……(not to worry the MSM is trying desperately to avoid this story)

Bay of Pigs? (Don’t hurt yourself and Use Google)

It appears that an attempt was made over the weekend to kidnap the president of Venezuela…..a failed attempt.

A former Green Beret has taken responsibility for what he claimed was a failed attack Sunday aimed at overthrowing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and that the socialist government said ended with eight dead, the AP reports. Jordan Goudreau’s comments in an interview with an exiled Venezuelan journalist capped a bizarre day that started with reports of a pre-dawn amphibious raid near the South American country’s heavily guarded capital. More:

  • Both Goudreau and retired Venezuelan Capt. Javier Nieto declined to speak to the AP on Sunday when contacted after posting a video from an undisclosed location saying they had launched an anti-Maduro putsch called “Operation Gideon.” Both men live in Florida. “A daring amphibious raid was launched from the border of Colombia deep into the heart of Caracas,” Goudreau, in a New York Yankees ball cap, said in the video standing next to Nieto who was dressed in armored vest with a rolled-up Venezuelan flag pinned to his shoulder. “Our units have been activated in the south, west and east of Venezuela.”
  • An AP investigation published Friday found that Goudreau had been working with Ret. Maj. Gen. Cliver Alcala, a retired Venezuelan army general now facing US narcotics charges, to train dozens of deserting Venezuelan soldiers at secret camps inside neighboring Colombia. The goal was to mount a cross border raid that would end in Maduro’s arrest. But from the outset the ragtag army lacked funding and US government support, all but guaranteeing defeat against Maduro’s sizable if demoralized armed forces. It also appears to have been penetrated by Maduro’s extensive Cuban-backed intelligence network.
  • On Sunday, Goudreau said cells of his men were still on the ground and activating inside Venezuela, some of them fighting under the command of Venezuelan National Guardsman Capt. Antonio Sequea, who participated in a barracks revolt against Maduro a year ago. He said he hoped to join the rebels soon and invited Venezuelans and Maduro’s troops to join the would-be insurgency although there was no sign of any fighting in the capital or elsewhere as night fell.
  • In an interview later with Miami-based journalist Patricia Poleo, he provided a contradictory account of his activities and the support he claims to have once had—and then lost—from Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader recognized as Venezuela’s interim president by the US and some 60 countries. He provided to Poleo what he said was an 8-page contract signed by Guaidó and two political advisers in Miami in October for $213 million. The alleged “general services” contract doesn’t specify what work his company, Silvercorp USA, was to undertake.
  • He also released via Poleo a four-minute audio recording, made on a hidden cellphone, in the moment when he purportedly signed the contract as Guaidó participated via videoconference. In the recording, a person he claims is Guaido can be heard giving vague encouragement in broken English but not discussing any military plans. “Let’s get to work!,” said the man who is purportedly Guaido. The AP was unable to confirm the veracity of the recording.
  • There was no immediate comment from Guaidó on Goudreau’s claim that the two had signed a contract. Previously, Guaidó has said he hadn’t signed any contract for a military incursion. Goudreau said he never received a penny from the Guaidó team and instead the Venezuelan soldiers he was advising had to scrounge for donations from Venezuelan migrants driving for car share service Uber in Colombia. “It’s almost like crowdfunded the liberating of a country,” he said.

Goudreau said everything he did was legal but in any case he’s prepared to pay the cost for anything he did if it saves the lives of Venezuelans trying to restore their democracy. “I’ve been a freedom fighter my whole life. This is all I know,” said Goudreau, who is a decorated three-time Bronze Star recipient for courage in deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as a special forces medic.

Asked about why his troops would land at one of Venezuela’s most fortified coastlines—some 20 miles from Caracas next to the country’s biggest airport—he cited the example set by Alexander the Great, who had “struck deep into the heart of the enemy” at the Battle of Guagamela.

What a perfect example of how America’s regime change policies are a failure.

In a new Foreign Affairs article this week, Eric Edelman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Ray Takeyh argue that the United States should be using every tool of statecraft at its disposal to aid dissidents in Iran to overthrow the regime.

They bluntly state that, with Iran, the “only U.S. policy that makes sense is to seek regime change.” They contend that the Iranian regime is inherently revolutionary, and as such, American interests in the Middle East can only be secure once the regime is deposed.

Here we go again with the regime change

I fail to understand how a failed policy can remain popular in some circles.

This has all the makings of a novel and then a film……not as successful as the hostage rescue from the Canadian embassy……but just as disastrous as Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs fiasco.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan–Troops Come Home

The IG report on Afghanistan has been published……

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has published its quarterly report to Congress covering the months of January through March of 2020. The report provides updates and assessments on the Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF), governance, economic and social development, and the effort to reduce the narcotics trade. In addition the report includes a section about the impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan. The 217-page report (PDF) published on April 30, 2020 provides an independent assessment of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

For the Afghan conflict observer or commentator this report is valuable reading and a good resource. SIGAR is not constrained by the DOD ‘info ops’ machine as it is a Congressional mandated organization. The report provides an up-to-date assessment of the US effort in Afghanistan and is one of the more accurate unclassified publications on the current security situation.

SIGAR Quarterly Report on Afghanistan – April 2020

Please do not take my word on this….read it for yourself……https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2020-04-30qr.pdf

Pres. Trump has said on numerous occasions that he would end the US involvement in Afghanistan…..and the recently ceasefire with the Taleban has given him the opportunity to make good on the promise….this situation warranted a post…..https://lobotero.com/2020/04/14/say-goodbye-afghanistan/

Earlier this week, it was reported that President Trump was keen to speed up the pullout from Afghanistan, because of concerns that the nation could soon find itself with coronavirus problems. The US has been cutting troops all this time, and are ahead of schedule.

When the peace deal was reached, the goal was to have 8,600 troops left by July. There are fewer than 10,000 left right now, and officials say that the 8,600 goal could be reached in just a few weeks. More cuts are expected after that.

The US never set a date to be out of Afghanistan at the time of the peace deal, but with Trump wanting out there seems to be a good chance that the level is just going to keep going down for the time being.

Trump had wanted cuts before the 2020 election, and cemented that this was going to happen with the Taliban peace deal.  Even though post-deal progress has been slowed by the Afghan government’s lack of prisoner releases, the US is continuing the cuts.

(antiwar.com)

I applaud Trump and his admin if they manage to get American troops out of this quagmire…..a basic stalemate for 18 years….

As the US is preparing to get our troops out the Taleban has stepped up attacks and the Covid-19 is raising Hell in the country as well….

Clashes between Taliban fighters and Afghan forces intensified in northern Balkh and southern Logar province as warring sides fought to control checkpoints and the number of coronavirus cases in Afghanistan rises,

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-afghanistan-taliban-attacks/afghanistan-suffers-upsurge-in-fighting-and-in-coronavirus-idUKKBN22D5KV

I agree with the statement that 2 decades of war in Afghanistan…..time for us to end this thing…..

The Trump administration is edging America toward the exit in Afghanistan, nearly two decades after President George W. Bush intervened in the aftermath of 9/11. The U.S. quickly dispersed Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda and ousted the Taliban, only to spend the following years failing to build a stable, liberal democracy centered in Kabul.

America’s extended commitment of lives and resources to Afghanistan never made sense. If there is one spot on the planet in which the US has little strategic interest, it is Afghanistan. The latter is geographically distant, landlocked among Iran, China, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Two Decades of War in Afghanistan Is Enough

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”