Hamburger Hill

Closing Thought–12May20

It’s official designation is Hill 937…..or Ap Bia Mountain…….in the A Shau Valley……

51 years ago this week….the US forces faced the forces of the Army of North Vietnam…..a loss of 400 American soldiers and 600 for the NVA…..the battle was fought over 10 days in 1969.

This battle was a failure in more ways than not…..and helped turn the temperament of the nation against the war…..there was more to this battle than the entertainment of the movies….

Information on the Battle of Hamburger Hill during The Vietnam War, also known as Hill 937. The battle, which was fought on May 10-20, 1969 was a direct assault against a heavily defended and strategically insignificant hill, resulted in over 400 U.S. casualties and caused an outrage back home.

‘Don’t mean nothin’. That was the refrain of the powerful 1987 movie about the battle for Hamburger Hill, more correctly called Ap Bia Mountain or Hill 937. Many veterans of that May 1969 fight would no doubt agree, since the hill was abandoned to the enemy soon after it was taken. But the truth is that it was one of the most significant battles of the war, for it spelled the end of major American ground combat operations in Vietnam.

The Hamburger Hill battle had run afoul of a fundamental war-fighting equation. Master philosopher of war Karl von Clausewitz emphasized almost a century and a half earlier that because war is controlled by its political object, the value of this object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it both in magnitude and also in duration. He went on to say, Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be renounced. And that’s exactly what happened. The expenditure of effort at Hamburger Hill exceeded the value the American people attached to the war in Vietnam. The public had turned against the war a year and a half earlier, and it was their intense reaction to the cost of that battle in American lives, inflamed by sensationalist media reporting, that forced the Nixon administration to order the end of major tactical ground operations.

Battle Of Hamburger Hill During The Vietnam War

“When will we ever learn?”

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Palmetto Ranch

Your history lessons continue…..

What significance does this place hole in history?

(Pause here….and give those who need it time to use the Google machine)

In case you did not use Google then let me help….this was the very last land battle of the American Civil on this day in 1865.

By May 11, 1865, nearly everyone in the United States and in the moribund Confederacy considered the Civil War over. Both of the South’s principal armies had capitulated. Lieutenant General Richard Taylor had surrendered most of the remaining Confederate forces east of the Mississippi. President Jefferson Davis had just been captured, and his cabinet had scattered to escape Yankee vengeance. Even the elusive Confederate guerrilla William Quantrill had been fatally wounded. The martyred president, Abraham Lincoln, had been buried a week before, and Federal troops had begun their long occupation of Dixie. Arrangements were underway for a grand review — a victory parade — in Washington, and the War Department was preparing to muster out most of the huge Union Army. Peace had come at last.

As usual, things were different in Texas. Hostile forces still faced each other at the southernmost tip of the state, where the Rio Grande spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. On Brazos Santiago Island lay nearly 2,000 Union troops, including the 62nd and 87th U.S. Colored Infantry, the 34th Indiana and a few dozen loyal Texans who had volunteered for cavalry service but remained dismounted. Across the bay and several miles inland, fragmented battalions of Confederate cavalry guarded the Mexican border, beyond which French imperial forces and native Juaristas vied for control of the northern province.

Battle of Palmetto Ranch: American Civil War’s Final Battle

Now you know…..

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pullman Strike

What does that mean?

126 years ago yesterday, 11May, workers of the Pullman Company went out on strike…….

It was a general strike against the railroads and was squashed by Pres. Cleveland and the use of federal troops…..

The Pullman Company built and leased passenger train cars, thousands of which were in operation around the United States by 1893. George Pullman also built a planned community or company town for his workers in Illinois, where workers enjoyed many amenities but were also financially dependent on the Pullman Company for their homes and utilities.

After a severe depression in 1893, wages fell about 25 percent for the Pullman workers while living costs remained the same. The workers then sought out union representation. Former railroad worker Eugene V. Debs and his American Railway Union, which had won a strike earlier in 1894, became involved in the Pullman situation. The May 11 “wildcat” strike wasn’t directly organized by the ARU, but Debs and the union quickly became involved in the strike as it escalated.

https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/on-this-day-the-pullman-strike-changes-labor-law

The Pullman Strike of 1894 was a milestone in American labor history, as the widespread strike by railroad workers brought business to a standstill across large parts of the nation until the federal government took unprecedented action to end the strike. President Grover Cleveland ordered federal troops to crush the strike, and dozens were killed in violent clashes in the streets of Chicago, where the strike was centered.

Key Takeaways: The Pullman Strike

  • Strike affected rail transportation nationwide, essentially bringing American business to a halt.
  • Workers resented not only cut in wages, but management’s intrusiveness into their personal lives.
  • The federal government became involved, with federal troops being sent to open railroads.
  • Massive strike changed how Americans viewed relationship of workers, management, and the federal government.

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-pullman-strike-of-1894-1773900

This strike helped launch the political career of Eugene Debs…..an eventual presidential candidate that opposed Wilson in 1912….

I know….who?

Outspoken leader of the labor movement, Eugene Debs opposed Woodrow Wilson as the Socialist Party candidate in the 1912 Presidential Election. Later, he would continue to rally against President Wilson and his decision to take American into war — and be jailed for it under the Espionage Act.

Debs was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1855, the son of poor Alsatian immigrants. Though his parents encouraged an intellectual spirit, Debs left high school after one year to become a locomotive paint-scraper. There, among the rough-and-tumble of railway men, Debs found his calling. From his membership in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen to his role co-founding the Industrial Workers of the World (the “wobblies”), Debs raised his voice in defense of the common man

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/wilson-eugene-debs/

Labor has given the workers ALL the benefits they have used over the last century……and now is the time for labor unions to step up and be at the front of the struggle for the people of this country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Covid Capitalism

The workers are losing their jobs….and yet the markets are doing so well during this time that shareholders are making billions…..why is this?

Five major U.S. corporations that have laid off thousands of workers in recent weeks have simultaneously dished out hundreds of millions of dollars in cash dividends to wealthy shareholders, drawing outrage from Sen. Bernie Sanders and others who say the companies should be using the money to keep people employed.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that manufacturing giant Caterpillar, toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker, clothing company Levi Strauss, office furniture company Steelcase, and World Wrestling Entertainment have paid out a combined $700 million in cash dividends to shareholders while they shutter operations and lay off employees as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. economy.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/06/outrageous-major-us-companies-hand-shareholders-hundreds-millions-dividends-while

Seems like bodies are commodities…..

The allure of capitalism has never been a clean or ethical one—the very roots are predicated on a system of continued growth and extraction, only becoming less feudal and more “modern” with the advent of beliefs that technological advances could usher in continued input to help the system survive. This has been true in some ways, such as the advent of fracking, which was able to massively disrupt Hubbert’s peak (the bell curve expected to show the gradual diminished reserves of oil). That peak was extended like a covid graph 10 days after an evangelical beach party. The rub with all things extractive and unsustainable is that there is always inherent blow-back. Just because there is more petro-product to burn doesn’t mean those greenhouse gases won’t build up from actually burning them—there will be hell to pay. This is because the natural world has a way of slapping down hubris with an intangible, almost sentient response to the greed.

Capitalism’s Voracious Appetite: Bodies are the Commodities

Instead of helping the US deal with the coming viral storm….companies kept shipping much needed supplies overseas…..

U.S. companies continued their massive sell-off of medical masks overseas throughout March, well after the coronavirus began infecting Americans and draining hospitals of critical supplies and even as White House officials raised red flags, a USA TODAY investigation found. 

America exported more protective masks — including disposable surgical masks and N95 respirator masks — this March than in any other month in the past decade. In all, $83.1 million worth of such products were sent from the United States to the rest of the world, according to an analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau trade data for the export category that includes textile-based protective masks.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/05/08/u-s-companies-kept-shipping-masks-overseas-despite-warnings/3090505001/

The capitalism has grown into profits even at the price of screwing the country…..there is no “patriotism” in the souls of these corporations….

…consider 23 ways in which it is a crisis of and by capital and its class rule profits system:

+1.  The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back. United States capitalism was already on the verge of a major recession before COVID-19 hit.  All the classic signs were there:  absurdly inflated P/E ratios s (an absurdly inflated stock market), massively deb-leveraged corporations, giant consumer and student debt, savage economic inequality (so extreme that the top tenth of the U.S. upper 1 percent had more wealth than the nation’s bottom 90 percent), tens of millions living just one inadequate paycheck away from being unable to meet basic living expenses, and more.  If the virus hadn’t broken that camel’s back, something else would have done the job, albeit with a less devastating impact than an epic pandemic.

Coronavirus Capitalism and “Exceptional” America  

It is time for a change….but this election will bring NO CHANGE….mostly a few reforms that do nothing but strengthen the hold that capital has on the nation….and more people will suffer and die…..

WE NEED CHANGE NOW!

WE NEED STRONG UNIONS!

Will you be part of it or just a by-stander?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A New Economic Solution

During this time of the pandemic and the loss of jobs the American people are suffering and the economic solutions of Donald the Orange have helped NO one but the already rich…..

Has anyone asked why this pandemic is harder on the economy than the 1918 pandemic which was far deadlier?

“Congress [has] a responsibility to make sure that people aren’t left behind,” a release from Harris says. “Every US resident” would receive a payment, even if they don’t have a Social Security number or didn’t file taxes last year. Debt collectors would also be forbidden from taking the payments. Forbes notes that it’s tough to see the billing passing as is, given that it would give a family of four $8,000 a month. That translates to $96,000 a year, above the median income of $62,000 in 2018. The bill is also competing for funds with similar ones in the works; the magazine notes that “while it is possible an additional stimulus bill may be passed, we will likely see major revisions that would reduce [the] total expenditure of this or other proposals.”

This catastrophe naturally hurt the economy. The Spanish Flu, unlike Covid-19, tended to kill people in their 20s and 30s — their peak productive years. Additionally, many cities responded to the threat the same way states are now with social distancing. These included closing schools and churches, banning mass gatherings, mandated mask-wearing and other restrictions.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-05-06/why-coronavirus-is-punishing-the-economy-more-than-spanish-flu

A little historical perspective and now for the plan…..

A few senators have offered a new economic solution to help us mere mortals through this crisis…..

Americans who received a $1,200 stimulus check from the government to help mitigate financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic could now be coming to a sobering realization: It may not be enough. Three senators are saying the same, and they’ve just put forth a “big idea” to deal with the issue, per Politico. On Friday, Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey unveiled the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would give a monthly $2,000 check to each American who makes less than $120,000 a year. Married couples filing jointly would get a total of $4,000, while each child (up to three of them per family) would bring in $2,000. The payments would be retroactive to March and would continue until three months after the virus emergency is officially declared over by Health and Human Services.

“Congress [has] a responsibility to make sure that people aren’t left behind,” a release from Harris says. “Every US resident” would receive a payment, even if they don’t have a Social Security number or didn’t file taxes last year. Debt collectors would also be forbidden from taking the payments. Forbes notes that it’s tough to see the billing passing as is, given that it would give a family of four $8,000 a month. That translates to $96,000 a year, above the median income of $62,000 in 2018. The bill is also competing for funds with similar ones in the works; the magazine notes that “while it is possible an additional stimulus bill may be passed, we will likely see major revisions that would reduce [the] total expenditure of this or other proposals.”

Does this sound like a plan that you would support?

Of course this will go NOWHERE….but it looks good on an resume for the next election….personally, I support the idea….

Spain has rolled out the idea of “universal income”…..

Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as possible” to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

Minister for economic affairs Nadia Calvino told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Sunday night that the move was intended to help families during the pandemic.

But Ms Calvino, who is also deputy prime minister, said the government’s ambition was that UBI could become something that “stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-spain-universal-basic-income-europe-a9449336.html

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Sale Of The Century

Can a person/business sell something that does not belong to them?

I know scams like selling the Brooklyn Bridge or selling Florida land by the gallon….and since Americans elected a con man as president then his newest scam is a monumental one……he wants to sell the Moon…..not tracts but the whole damn planetoid.

When astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon in 1969, it was seen as an idealistic leap into the cosmos – a “giant leap for mankind”. 

Earlier this month, the real estate developer who improbably became US President legally declared that he sees the Moon in far less elevated terms. He signed an executive order authorising private, commercial uses of the Moon and other “off-Earth” “resources” like Mars and meteors.

Heavenly bodies are now seen as underleveraged assets meant to generate profits.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/trump-scheme-sell-moon-200421085841018.html

Trump is drafting the plan called the Artemis Accord……

The Trump administration is reportedly working on an international agreement that would lay out ground rules for moon bases and lunar mining. The Artemis Accords, named for NASA’s new Artemis moon program, proposes having “safety zones” around a country’s moon base. “The idea is if you are going to be coming near someone’s operations … then you need to reach out to them in advance,” a source tells Reuters. The outlet notes a base can’t be claimed as sovereign territory, as the 1967 Outer Space Treaty states celestial bodies are “not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” But the goal here is coordination so as to prevent interference between rival operations, a source says. These bases will be hugely important when it comes to mined resources.

While Trump has signed an executive order allowing the US to claim resources it mines in space, per Fox News, this agreement lays out international rules for doing so, according to sources. Rather than enter the lengthy United Nations treaty process, which would involve working with countries with no interest in space, the US is seeking an agreement with “like-minded nations,” a senior administration official tells Reuters. Negotiations with Canada, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and European countries are expected in the coming weeks. It looks like Russia is to be excluded after launching a missile system believed to be able to destroy satellites in low Earth orbit, reports Newsweek. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Tuesday that participation hinged on adhering to “norms of behavior that we expect” in space.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-space-exploration-moon-mining-exclusi/exclusive-trump-administration-drafting-artemis-accords-pact-for-moon-mining-sources-idUKKBN22H2S1

Is this just another con by Trump Enterprises?

Not to mention that treaty that the US signed back in the day…..

Don’t solely blame Trump….his nemesis Obama also signed unto this when he was president…..

European specialists in space law on Dec. 4 said the recently enacted U.S. Commercial Space Act may contravene international treaties and will inevitably stir up a hornet’s nest of opposition.

The law confers on U.S. citizens the right to engage in commercial exploitation of outer space minerals, a right that might be viewed as violating the United Nations Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which says in part: “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”

New U.S. Space Mining Law’s Treaty Compliance May Depend on Implementation

It is a violation of the Treaty…no matter how flowered you want to talk about it….it violates the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”