Closing Thought–14May20

How About A Global Ceasefire?

The pandemic is raging across the global….and the UN has floated a great idea…..while the nations fight to control this virus there should be a global ceasefire on the numerous wars being fought…..

On 23 March 2020 the UN issued the call for a global ceasefire…..

“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war”, he said.  “That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.  It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” 

The ceasefire would allow humanitarians to reach populations that are most vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, last December, and has now been reported in more than 180 countries. 

So far, there are nearly 300,000 cases worldwide, and more than 12,700 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

As the UN chief pointed out, COVID-19 does not care about nationality or ethnicity, or other differences between people, and “attacks all, relentlessly”, including during wartime. 

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059972

As a long time antiwar activist I believe this is an excellent idea that should be embraced by all nations in this time of need.

Especially the US…..we are fighting numerous unwinnable wars and this would be the perfect time to bow out of all of them…..

As President Trump has complained, the U.S. does not win wars anymore. In fact, since 1945, the only 4 wars it has won were over the small neocolonial outposts of Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and Kosovo. Americans across the political spectrum refer to the wars the U.S. has launched since 2001 as “endless” or “unwinnable” wars. We know by now that there is no elusive victory around the corner that will redeem the criminal futility of the U.S.’s opportunistic decision to use military force more aggressively and illegally after the end of the Cold War and the horrific crimes of September 11th. But all wars have to end one day, so how will these wars end? 
 
As President Trump nears the end of his first term, he knows that at least some Americans hold him responsible for his broken promises to bring U.S. troops home and wind down Bush’s and Obama’s wars. Trump’s own day-in-day-out war-making has gone largely unreported by the subservient, tweet-baited U.S. corporate media, but Trump has dropped at least 69,000 bombs and missiles on Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, more than either Bush or Obama did in their first terms, including in Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. 
 
All I am saying is you want out of these wars and now you have the perfect excuse to get out of them…..why not take it?
 
Plus there is a  movement to get Biden to speak up in favor of ending these wars he helped start…..

In a letter Monday to former Vice President Joe Biden, over 50 groups urged the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president to embrace “a principled foreign policy, one that prioritizes diplomacy and multilateralism over militarism.”

“The American people are looking for a leader who will turn the page on 9/11 policies that have resulted in an endless cycle of war, countless lives lost, increased global instability, large-scale refugee flows of the displaced, and the violation of Americans’ civil liberties and human rights,” explains the letter (pdf), first reported by HuffPost.

 
I like the effort but I just do not see Biden giving any thought to doing so…..but he will give it lip service.
 
All I am saying is….Give Peace A Chance!
 
After writing this draft news came to me on this proposal……
 
After six weeks of negotiations, the United States shot down hopes for a resolution to be approved in the United Nations Security Council on May 8, refusing to back worldwide cease-fires as the US continues to castigate China and the World Health Organization for the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, momentum behind tenuous cease-fires is vanishing, experts say.
 
Is there any doubt that the US is a warmongering nation that lives for death and destruction?
 
Not to me.
 
I Read, I Wrote, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Dems And Stims

Then Congressional Dems have offered up economic stim plan #5….a 3 trillion virus relief plan….

US Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus response package, the largest yet, to fund efforts to fight the pandemic and provide emergency payments to millions of American households.

The Heroes Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and could be voted on in the Democratic-led chamber as early as this week.

But the 1,815-page measure faced immediate opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where leaders have said a new round of emergency funding is not yet needed.

President Donald Trump has also said recently that he is against rushing through new coronavirus legislation.

Trump has signed four pandemic relief measures into law in recent months.

They including a massive, $2.2 trillion rescue package in March known as the Cares Act, and a $483 billion measure to pump funds into a popular loan program for small businesses devastated by lockdowns.

The new bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dubs Cares 2, includes a second round of payments of up to $6,000 per household, in an effort to ease the burden for tens of millions of Americans who have lost jobs in the pandemic.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-democrats-unveil-3-trillion-virus-relief-package-205046095.html

But is this plan as good for us mere mortals as it sounds?

The answer is…..”Democratic leadership has had plenty of input from progressive thinkers over the past couple of months. They just care more about the input from corporate lobbyists.”

There is your answer……

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a sprawling 1,815-page, $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that spurns many of the key demands of progressive activists and lawmakers while including proposals that immediately provoked backlash, such as a tax cut for the wealthy and a provision that would allow corporate lobbying organizations to take part in federal small business loan program.

Formally titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill (pdf) would provide $1 trillion in additional funding for state and local governments, extend beefed-up unemployment benefits through January of next year, authorize an additional round of one-time $1,200 stimulus payments for adults earning up to $75,000 per year, expand federal nutrition benefits, provide $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, establish a hazard pay fund for frontline workers, and increase spending on Covid-19 testing.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/12/no-excuse-house-dems-unveil-1815-page-bill-would-bail-out-corporate-lobbyists-omits

More info on the Dems big plan……

The Heroes Act proposes fully subsidizing COBRA, an existing health insurance program that allows laid-off or furloughed workers to remain on their employer-provided insurance plans. Under normal circumstances, COBRA is extremely expensive for individuals—recipients have to cover both their own and their employer’s premium payments—but the Democratic plan would cover 100% of the premium costs through next January.

COBRA expansion has the backing of a bizarre alliance of interests, including big business and some labor unions, but critics say the proposal is wildly inefficient and does not come close to matching the scale of the nation’s current healthcare crisis.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/massive-giveaway-health-insurance-ceos-democratic-cobra-plan-denounced-costly

“The historic crisis Americans are facing will not end on its own. To end it, these three things—getting people paychecks, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting businesses and their workers—are critical. But this legislation does not yet address them at the scale necessary.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/jayapal-rips-democratic-covid-19-bill-doesnt-end-mass-unemployment-or-ensure

Sounds more like a major bail-out for the profit health industry…..when an expansion of Medicare would have benefited more people…..it is all fraudulent relief……

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday released a $3 trillion coronavirus “relief” bill and scheduled a vote for Friday. The Democratic leadership has acknowledged that the measure has no chance of gaining passage in the Republican-controlled Senate, let alone being signed into law by President Trump.

The release of the bill initiates a process of political theater in which the two parties posture to rally their respective bases and generate sound-bites for campaign ads ahead of the November elections. It is expected that the measure will pass on a party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled House, setting off weeks of negotiations between the Democrats and the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/14/dems-m14.html

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This show just how non-progressive the Dem leadership truly has become…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Famous Mississippian And Welfare Fraud

One famous Mississippian is one Brett Favre…..he went from Delisle in Hancock County to University of Southern Mississippi to Atlanta Falcons to Green Bay Packers where he made a name for himself in football that lead to the Hall of Fame….

Since his retirement he has had his fingers in many things but the one thing that did not add to his good name was he being named in a welfare fraud case……

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre is repaying $1.1 million in welfare money that he received for multiple speeches where he did not show up, the Mississippi state auditor said Wednesday. Auditor Shad White said his office received $500,000 from Favre on Wednesday, plus a commitment that Favre will repay the other $600,000 in installments over the next few months, the AP reports. Favre’s effort to repay the money came two days after White released an audit of spending by the Mississippi Department of Human Services that showed Favre had been paid by Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit group whose former leader has been indicted in a welfare embezzlement scheme. The center had contracts with Human Services to spend money through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, also known as TANF.

In an audit, White said his employees identified $94 million in questionable spending by the agency, including payments for sports activities with no clear connection to helping needy people in one of the poorest states of the US. The audit released Monday said the center paid Favre Enterprises $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018, and he was supposed to make speeches for at least three events. The auditor’s report said that “upon a cursory review of those dates, auditors were able to determine that the individual contracted did not speak nor was he present for those events.” In a Facebook post Wednesday night, Favre said he didn’t know the payments he received came from welfare funds and noted his charity had provided millions of dollars to poor kids in his home state of Mississippi and Wisconsin, where he played the bulk of his Hall of Fame career with the Green Bay Packers

Not to worry this situation will not tarnish Favre and he will continue to be the hero of every wannabe quarterback in South Mississippi.

For Favre can do NO wrong.

“lego ergo scribo”

From Pandemic To Totalitarianism

This pandemic thing has me thinking of all sorts of scenarios….I studied comparative politics which gives you ideas that could come about in our government brought on by this pandemic……

Think about this…..the pandemic of 1918 help give rise to the fascists in Europe……can it happen again?

A new study by an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York linked the 1918 flu pandemic to the rise in Nazi support in Germany, a finding that could have significant relevance as the United States and the world grapples with the health and economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus.

Experts have frequently compared the current health crisis to the 1918 pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. A new report by Kristian Blickle, an economist at the New York Fed, suggests that along with high death tolls and an economic downturn, the 1918 flu also correlated with the rise in support for extremist right-wing parties, particularly the Nazis, in regions with the highest death rates.

1918 Flu Was Linked to a Rise in Nazi Support. Will This Pandemic Be Similar?

There are seven (7) steps from pandemic to totalitarianism……read and know these steps…..

Here is the template for rolling this out.

Step 1

A new virus starts to spread around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares a pandemic.

International agencies, public-health officials, politicians, media and other influential voices fan fear by focusing almost exclusively on the contagiousness of the virus and the rising numbers of cases, and by characterizing the virus as extremely dangerous.

Within a few days governments at national and local levels also declare states of emergency. At lightning speed they impose lock-down measures that confine most people to their homes – starting with closing schools – and shut down much of the global economy. World markets implode.

The stunned, fearful and credulous public – convinced over the previous few years that their bodies do not have the natural ability to react to pathogens by producing antibodies that confer long-lasting immunity – largely complies willingly.

The first weekly virtual class on local emergency and crisis responses to COVID19 is held for mayors and other city officials around the world. Coordinated by a handful of American organizations in the academic, medical, financial, political and transportation spheres, the classes feature guests ranging from Barack Obama to Bill Gates.

The Seven-Step Path from Pandemic to Totalitarianism

Then there is that thing called “Religious Nationalism”…….you know when the so-called Christian demand that we all live by their ideas (does that sound familiar?)……this pandemic has brought out the mental cases yet again…..

Many of the anti-lockdown protesters we’ve seen in places like Michigan, Florida, and Texas are part of the religious right. Some are members of Christian nationalist groups which proclaim to be pro-life in the extreme but also don’t seem to care that thousands may die in the name of their freedom to go shopping and bowling.

In this week’s podcast, we talk with Katherine Stewart, a journalist who has spent years examining the religious right. In her first book, The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, she wrote about their attempts to influence the public school system; in her more recent book, The Power Worshippers, she turns her attention to religious nationalism.

She argues that this group is proudly anti-science, anti-fact, and anti-expert, and that their cavalier attitude toward the coronavirus mirrors their denial of climate change.

Religious Nationalism and the Reopening of America

Whatcha think?  Any of this looking familiar?

Could history be in a repeating cycle?

What about those mental midgets with the assault weapons at state capitals…..they are forcing the government to do what they want….what would you call those actions?

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Yeah it is the mask….(sarcasm)……

Time for rational people to take over and get the facts out to the people……apparently we cannot depend on our churches to do the right thing.

Can someone please explain these poll numbers to me…..

Finally there are some things that are once seen cannot be unseen….this photo is one of those……

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Be Well….Be Safe…Be Informed

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Do We Still Need Nuke Control?

That is the question.

I spent many years fighting against the spread of nuke weapons and energy…..and after the USSR collapsed we had some good times with both sides agreeing to limit the weapons and destroy those over the limit…..good times…..but I knew they could not last……and then the nightmare scenario came about this country elected Donald the Orange…..and the nuke race was once again in the forefront of foreign policy.

Since Trump he has wanted more nukes as a “deterrent”….but that is not what the story is….

Gen. Paul Selva, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee in March 2017 that while Russia and China continue to modernize their nuclear forces, “we [the United States] do have a qualitative advantage.” 

The Trump administration, as outlined in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) released on Feb. 2, 2018, intends to continue the modernization plan laid out by the Obama administration, and also develop several new nuclear weapons capabilities that will add to the price tag for nuclear forces, including the near-term development of a low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and the longer-term development of new nuclear submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM).

The NPR acknowledges that the upgrade costs are “substantial” but claims that nuclear weapons will consume no more than 6.4 percent of the defense budget. This projection does not include the cost of the new capabilities proposed in the review nor the major costs that must be borne by NNSA to upgrade nuclear warheads and their supporting infrastructure.

https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USNuclearModernization

Not to be outdone (as usual) Russia has plans as well…..

In the big strategic game, the Russians and Americans have the same reason for modernizing their nuclear forces: they want to maintain parity. If the two sides have the same number of nuclear warheads deployed, then they will not be tempted to shoot at each other. They also have a reason to avoid an arms race that would entail constantly seeking more nuclear weapons to try to achieve superiority—however temporary. As expensive as nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles are, parity has kept the costs down by holding the arms race in check.

In the past few years, President Vladimir Putin does seem to be after nuclear weapons for another reason—to show that Russia is still a great power to be reckoned with. He has been trumpeting new and exotic systems that are unique, like the nuclear weapon delivery system known as the Burevestnik nuclear-propelled cruise missile.

https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/01/29/russia-is-updating-their-nuclear-weapons-what-does-that-mean-for-rest-of-us-pub-80895

Now the BIg Two are going after more nukes…a third player has entered into the desire…..China.

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of an English daily tabloid published by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, urged his nation to expand its nuclear arsenal in response to “bullying” from the U.S. in a new editorial.

In the article published by The Global Times on Saturday, Hu argued that China needed to build up its stockpile of nuclear weapons as a “deterrent,” as U.S. officials have been increasingly critical of the Chinese government amid the coronavirus pandemic. The editor argued that this would “safeguard national security.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/chinese-state-media-calls-for-building-up-chinas-nuclear-deterrent/ar-BB13S6uJ

To answer my original question…the answer is a resounding YES!

Why?

The Trump admin is traveling down a new road…..with No rules……

In a departure from this history, the Trump administration has abandoned U.S. leadership in the arms control field and seems guided by a contrary set of assertions that have gained salience on the hawkish side of the Republican party, namely:

• The United States should not discuss vital national security issues, or consider compromise, with adversaries such as Iran until they have fully met U.S. demands in all fields.

• Arms control agreements grant unwarranted concessions to opponents, and they constrain the United States’ freedom of action. (This has been the guiding principle for John Bolton, former national security adviser and a serial assassin of arms control agreements.)

• Arms control agreements serve little value if they do not solve every problem between the parties. This all-or-nothing approach is exemplified by the U.S. decision to withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

• We must be prepared and willing to wage, and prevail in, a “limited” nuclear war, which can remain “limited.” This mirrors an increased Russian interest in the same topic and is exemplified in the renewed U.S. program for construction of nonstrategic (so-called “low-yield”) warheads and delivery systems.

• The United States can achieve a numerical or technical advantage over our nuclear-armed adversaries by constantly pursuing improvements and new nuclear weapons capabilities. (The administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review makes several references to the U.S. “technical edge,” which is of little relevance in an all-out nuclear conflict.)

http://www.afsa.org/why-nuclear-arms-control-matters-today?mc_cid=678c11d675&mc_eid=91f0c9a21d

Time for people to get their idiot heads out of the sand….we are starting down a familiar path that can lead to nothing but apprehension and dread.

Time for the people to FIGHT back.

Bread for people…No Nukes!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”