Closing Thought–20May20

I apologize for the tardiness of this post….it should have been posted yesterday but since I was caught up with massive doctors appointments I missed the posting deadline….

On this day, 20 May 1925, Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska…..

His mother, Louise Norton Little, was a homemaker occupied with the family’s eight children. His father, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist minister and avid supporter of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Earl’s civil rights activism prompted death threats from the white supremacist organization Black Legion, forcing the family to relocate twice before Malcolm’s fourth birthday.

Regardless of the Little’s efforts to elude the Legion, in 1929 their Lansing, Michigan home was burned to the ground. Two years later, Earl’s body was found lying across the town’s trolley tracks.

Police ruled both incidents as accidents, but the Little’s were certain that members of the Black Legion were responsible. Louise suffered emotional breakdown several years after the death of her husband and was committed to a mental institution. Her children were split up amongst various foster homes and orphanages.


For the younger generations that have not found reading informative…there is a short cut…..

As an angry young man he joined the Nation of Islam….and anyone with half a brain could understand is hatred….but then things changed after his Hajj….

A few of Malcolm X most notable quotes…..

A man that most Americans know but do not know the man.

We need leaders like him again for today we have spineless self-absorbed slugs leading the country.

Learn Stuff!

I read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why No Side Choosing During The Civil War?

Most Americans have studied the American War Between The States….but the one question that seldom gets asked is….why did the European powers not choose sides to support?

After all it would have been the perfect time to flex their muscle and make in-roads into the United States of America or the Confederated States of America. The nation would be focused on the internal struggle leaving lots of opportunities for influence peddling.

So again….why no choosing of sides?

By the beginning of the American Civil War, the United States was a little more than 50 years of age. They had started to develop relationships with all the major powers in Europe and the rest of the world.

It was evident both sides wished to gain the support of specific major powers, to enable them to take advantage of both military and financial assistance.

However, each nation remained “officially neutral” throughout the entirety of the war (although most favored one or the other). Some did not go as far as recognizing the Confederacy as a real country, but rather saw the South as an organized rebellion.

In fact, the Union told all the European countries if they recognized the Confederacy’s legitimacy, it was equal to declaring war against the Union. This neutrality for the most part, however, did not keep European countries from participating in various ways

This would be an excellent question to ask grad students in either international relations or conflict management…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A ‘Badge Of Honor’ (WTF)

May I see a show of hands?

How many readers still support Trump and his pandemic response?

Never mind…..just thinking out loud.

Recently the US topped 1.5 million cases of Covid-19…..and Donald the Orange has called it a Badge of Honor…..seriously…a badge of honor?

The US has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, but the leader of the nation doesn’t appear to be discouraged by that fact. In fact, he called it a “badge of honor,” per the BBC and CNN. “By the way, you know when you say that we lead in cases, that’s because we have more testing than anybody else,” he told reporters Tuesday as he hosted his first cabinet meeting since the start of the US outbreak. “If you’re testing 14 million people, you’re going to find many more cases. Many of these people aren’t very sick but they still go down as a case, so, actually, the number of cases—and we’re also a much bigger country than most. So when we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing, I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better.”

He continued, “So I view it as a badge of honor. Really, it’s a badge of honor. It’s a great tribute to the testing and all of the work that a lot of professionals have done.” The US has conducted more than 12 million tests, the most of any country by volume—but when looked at on a per capita basis, the US ranks 16th in testing, and experts have said testing needs to be ramped up even further before the country can reopen safely. Time notes that the US gets a positive case for every 7.8 tests, while other countries have to test more people than that in order to find a positive. The DNC’s response to Trump’s comments? “Trump says he views our 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases as a ‘badge of honor,'” it tweeted. “We view it as a complete failure of leadership.”

And the ‘Badge of Honor’ has killed 92,000 Americans and yet Donald wants us to be proud of that…..

This spineless creep is more delusional everyday……and he has delusional supporters that fell of the turnip truck recently.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

“Illiberal” Democracy On The Horizon

I know there is lots of speculation about the direction of this country now and in the future.

First of all…”Illiberal”…against liberal principles(that is the political philosophy not some political party)…..

Personally I feel that this nation is approaching this tipping point for it has already begun….

Consider the following:

  • A coordinated mobilization of armed militias threatens elected officials in Democratic states, with open White House backing;
  • The most powerful member of the national legislature interferes in judicial appointments to gain his party permanent dominance over this branch of government;
  • A top official who has admitted his guilt in a major breach of national security is released from prosecution by the nation’s chief judicial officer.

The biggest threat to our republic is the loss of an independent judiciary…….

For good reason, many people will snort at the notion that the U.S. has ever lived up to the core premises of liberal democracy: the rule of law applied equally to all citizens; majority rule through free and fair elections. As the author of “Why the United States is Not a True Democracy, Parts 1 and 2,” I can hardly disagree! Majorities do not rule in this country. Basic citizenship rights, whether the right to vote or to be secure in one’s own person, are routinely violated by local and state governments.

But it could get much worse if Trump wins again. In a second Trump administration, with Republicans controlling the Senate and the federal court system, it is more than possible that the U.S. will move sharply towards illiberal democracy.

An “Illiberal Democracy” if Trump Wins Again

And there is a way to fight this possible coming storm….but not as long as the people are too goddamn lazy to look beyond their news organization….those the echo their biases and hatreds.

Look beyond the “divide and conquer” mentality of ignorance.

It is hard to see the signal amid the noise in the best of times, but the everyday chatter is especially difficult to comprehend in times of war, disaster, and infectious outbreak. Imagine a game of broken telephone with billions of speed-of-light internet connections – chances are the message will look nothing like the original at the other end, touched up by systemic misfirings and our own bias. But can we separate truth from pixie dust, fact from fiction? Can any of us agree if the sky is or is not falling?

To Divide and Conquer: Science, News, and Hate in the Age of Instant Media

But not to worry there are some Americans that want this so they can discriminate…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mercenaries To The Right…Mercenaries To The Left

I have written many times about the modern use of mercenaries. I do not approve of using mercs to fight wars. If the war is necessary and for the right reason then man up and use the military…….do not use thugs masquerading as “security specialists”.

Like I stated I have lots to say about the use of mercs……pick on or read them all…..

Now you know how and why I feel that way about the use of mercs in today’s world.

Occasionally I get to read some of the papers that grad students are writing on international relations and conflict management…..this one is very interesting…..

The roots of the mercenarism can be traced back to the sixteenth century, argues Janice Thomson in one of the most comprehensive studies dedicated to this issue, in her book entitled “Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe”. Countries like Switzerland were the main suppliers and France, one of the main beneficiaries of mercenary troops in the 16th and 17th century. By the 18th century, armies could be considered truly multinational. “Frederick the Great recruited all over the Holy Roman Empire (…) At the onset of the Seven Years War he attempted to incorporate the entire Saxon army into his own”, argues Thomson. Large scale mercenarism began to fade in the 19th century, and by the 20th century the citizen-army became the norm with the employment of foreign fighters beginning to be regarded as an anomaly, representing either the remnants of imperialism or an ad-hoc response to a shortage in fighting forces. Janice Thomson argues, and her view is consistent with Barry Posen’s, the fading of this practice can be seen as a corollary of the evolution of state authority claims.

The practice of mercenarism is sanctioned under Humanitarian and Public International Law, under Article 47 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, the 1989 International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and under a regional convention sponsored by the African Union. The 1989 Convention describes a mercenary as “any person who is especially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight an armed conflict” who is “motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain”. The convention entered into force in 2001 and was signed only by 36 countries – with notable absentees like the US, Russia, Turkey or the UK. Arguably, these states have not ratified it because they use Private Military Contractors (PMC), who are of a different kind from mercenaries. However, the distinctions are more often hard to make – it is hard to find out whether foreign fighters are hired in a registered organization – which is what defines a PMC.

Opinion – The Rise of Mercenarism: Avoiding International Accountability

Let’s not forget that failed merc operation to kidnap Venezuela’s Maudro…..of course this was not in any way sanctioned by the DoD.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”