Closing Thought–25May20

Today we remember our veterans and those lost in combat…..I will wait for the traditional day….

This Memorial Day eCard - Free Memorial Day Cards Online

News success for our workers (sarcasm)….nearly 40 million unemployed….

More than 2.4 million people applied for US unemployment benefits last week, per the AP. That means roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced businesses to shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure is slightly below last week’s revised total of 2.7 million claims, notes the Wall Street Journal. An additional 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor, and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time. The continuing stream of job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the worst quarterly contraction on record.

During April, US employers shed 20 million jobs, eliminating a decade’s worth of job growth in a single month. The unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression. Millions of other people who were out of work weren’t counted as unemployed because they didn’t look for a new job.

What better time than a pandemic to lay-off health care workers…..(again…sarcasm)……

Even as American deaths from COVID-19 exceed 90,000 and frontline health care workers are needed more than ever, hospitals and other medical facilities, guided by market forces, are closing or laying off large sections of their workforces.

The US Commerce Department reported at the end of April that health care spending by consumers had dropped by 18 percent during the first quarter of 2020. This is the largest drop since records began in 1959, contributing substantially to the annualized 4.8 percent decline in US gross domestic product. Morgan Stanley forecasts a breathtaking 37.9 percent decline in GDP during the second quarter

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/22/hosp-m22.html

An update…..the number of deaths should read 96,000+…….

But not to worry those parasites on Wall Street are still making money hand over fist while the rest of us suffer…..

While many Americans are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak, US billionaires saw a boost in net worth in the first two months of the pandemic, according to a new report.

According to the report, published on Thursday by the left-leaning think tanks Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, the total net worth of all US billionaires got a $434 billion boost since March 19, when many US states were placed on lockdown.

According to Forbes, 623 billionaires live in the US, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, investor Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The report indicates that just those top five billionaires saw their wealth increase by a total of $75.5 billion, or 19%. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-billionaires-434-billion-richer-during-pandemic-report-2020-5

Ain’t an oligarchy great?  (Once again…..sarcasm)….

Sorry for the bad news…..someone has to tell you since the government does not want to….

Be Well….Be Safe….Be Informed

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

On To Gallipoli

Not some movie about the event with Mel Gibson….but the actually event and what it meant in WW1…..

The bright idea from Winston Churchill was to inavde the peninsula of Gallipoli with the expressed purpose of defeating a weak Ottoman army and take them out of the war….this was in 1915……

gallipoli peninsula 1 - Welcome to Turkey Honeymoon Tours & Packages

The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-16, also known as the Battle of Gallipoli or the Dardanelles Campaign, was an unsuccessful attempt by the Allied Powers to control the sea route from Europe to Russia during World War I. The campaign began with a failed naval attack by British and French ships on the Dardanelles Straits in February-March 1915 and continued with a major land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, involving British and French troops as well as divisions of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Lack of sufficient intelligence and knowledge of the terrain, along with a fierce Turkish resistance, hampered the success of the invasion. By mid-October, Allied forces had suffered heavy casualties and had made little headway from their initial landing sites. Evacuation began in December 1915, and was completed early the following January.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/battle-of-gallipoli-1

For those too lazy to read…a short video…..

This brilliant offensive ended in complete defeat and an utter failure…..

In 2015 during the 100 year anniversary of the military invasion….which had several “new” military techniques…like the amphibious invasion of the beaches…..

A team doing research of the military action has found something interesting….the Turks used alcohol to help their soldiers find their “will”…..

But the ongoing fieldwork by the joint Turkish-Anzac team doesn’t always bolster the official narrative. A few years ago, in the Ottoman trenches, the archaeologists discovered bottles of Bomonti beer, a popular wartime brand brewed in Constantinople. News of the find was published in Australian newspapers; the Turkish government reacted with dismay and denial. “They said, ‘Our soldiers didn’t drink beer. They drank tea,’” says Tony Sagona, a professor of archaeology at the University of Melbourne who leads the Australia-New Zealand team at Gallipoli. Turkish officials insisted that the bottles belonged to German officers who often fought alongside Turkish conscripts and put subtle pressure on the team leaders to back up that version of events. “I told them that the evidence is inconclusive,” says Mithat Atabay, leader of the project and a history professor at March 18 University in Canakkale, across the Dardanelles from Gallipoli. Drinking alcohol was a normal activity in the Ottoman Empire, he points out, “a way for young men to find their freedom.” It perhaps offered a small bit of comfort for men marooned in one of history’s bloodiest battlefields.    

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/new-view-battle-gallipoli-one-bloodiest-conflicts-world-war-i-180953975/

History is amazing……the things we can learn……

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden’s VP

The time is nigh (I always wanted to use that term)….the time is approaching when Dem. presidential candidate Joe Biden must choose his running mate, the VP candidate.

I gave my thoughts a few months back on who I thought he would choose…….https://lobotero.com/2020/04/28/vp-the-2020-64-question/

My thought was Amy Klobuchar…..but apparently black activists do not like the idea of her being the pick for VP…..

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has many qualities Joe Biden is looking for in a running mate. She’s experienced and aligned with the former vice president on the issues. They get along and didn’t have any ugly clashes during the primaries and debates. But she won’t help him beat President Trump, black and Latino political leaders say. Klobuchar didn’t attract the support of minority voters in the primaries, Politico reports. The sentiment that the Minnesota Democrat has ignored black voters is so strong that after a speech in South Carolina in February, the Rev. Al Sharpton publicly told her to address it. “Y’all need to talk to the black press,” he told Klobuchar in front of the audience, per the Washington Post, pointing to a journalist in the crowd. In Nevada, just 4% of the Latino votes went to Klobuchar.

Putting her on the Democratic ticket would “risk losing the very base the Democrats need to win,” said Aimee Allison of She the People. An op-ed in the Post by a group of black activists and strategists argued that picking Klobuchar would “only alienate black voters.” Many see Klobuchar as embodying the party’s larger dilemma: whether to focus on getting voters of color to the polls who sat out the 2016 election, or on the white voters in the Midwest who went for Trump. She “represents that tension,” Sharpton said. The senator recently has taken steps, working to pass legislation sought by black and Latino groups. And Klobuchar took part in an NAACP town hall about the pandemic’s toll on minority Americans. But one activist cautioned that building such relationships takes time. “It isn’t something you can do in a matter of weeks,” she said.

Amy is a perfect fit for the mamby-pamby policies of Biden….will be interesting to see who Joe listens to in this process.

Speaking of Afro-Americans……In familiar territory…..Biden speaks and has to remove foot from mouth and walk back the statements…..and he had a really monumental FU recently…..

Joe Biden made inadvertent headlines during an interview that aired Friday with Charlamagne tha God, co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club. The exchange came near the end of the interview, when the African-American host asked Biden to make a return visit because we’ve “got more questions,” reports NBC News. To which Biden responded:

  • “You got more questions? But I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
  • Walking it back: After a day of negative reaction, Biden tried to do some damage control in a call with black business leaders, reports the Hill. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” he said. “I don’t take it for granted at all and no one should have to vote for any party based on their race, religion, or background. There are African-Americans who think Trump is worth voting for. I don’t think so and I’m prepared to put my record against his, that was the bottom line. … I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”
  • Testy interview: During the interview, Charlamagne pressed Biden on a number of issues, including the 1994 crime bill he co-authored, calling it “damaging to the black community,” per Politico. Biden defended himself: “Take a look at my record, man! I extended the Voting Rights [Act] 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run. I mean, come on.” The Hill has more on the overall interview, which it calls “at times contentious and awkward.”
  • Biden adviser: “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest,” tweeted Biden adviser Symone D. Sanders, “but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.”
  • Trump adviser: “It is clear now more than ever, following these racist and dehumanizing remarks, that Joe Biden believes Black men and women are incapable of being independent or free thinking,” writes Trump adviser Katrina Pierson.
  • Sen. Scott: Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only African-American GOP senator, faulted Biden on Twitter: “1.3 million black Americans already voted for Trump in 2016. Joe Biden told every single one of us we ‘ain’t black,'” he wrote. “I’d say I’m surprised, but it’s sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and browbeat those that don’t agree.”
  • A key issue: A New York Times story on the controversy suggests that Biden’s words “exposed wounds among Democrats that date to 2016, when many leaders felt the party took black voters for granted.”
  • A solution: At the Root, an exasperated Stephen A. Crockett Jr. makes clear he’s still voting for Biden. But that’s only because he’ll vote for anyone other than Trump. On Biden: “He’s the old white guy at the job who always wants to talk with you about basketball or hip-hop to prove that he’s not like the other white guys who mistake you for the valet.” Crockett’s solution to all this: “All Biden has to do is announce that his running mate is a black woman and then get out of her way. We know who Joe is and nothing he’s doing is making it better; in fact, he’s only making things worse.”

That interview should tell black people everything they need to know about Biden.

But are they listening?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That “Free Market” Illusion

We hear a lot about “free markets” and “free trade” these days…well for many decades…..it has been the clarion call of conservs….

Let’s look at the term “free markets”…..

A free market economy is a type of economy that promotes the production and sale of goods and services, with little to no control or involvement from any central government agency. The economic system is primarily based on supply and demand. Order and power in a free market are decentralized, with individuals making all of their own voluntary economic choices.

In a free-market economy, firms and households act in their own self-interest to determine how resources get allocated, what goods get produced, and who buys the goods. A free market economy functions in the opposite manner as a command economy works, where the central government gets to keep the profits and choose how to use them.

Read More….https://www.intelligenteconomist.com/free-market/

That is what a free market world would look like if it were truly a free system…..it is not.

Let’s be honest……A pure market economy has no barriers to economic exchange: you can sell anything to anyone else for any price. In reality, this form of economics is rare. Sales taxes, tariffs on imports and exports, and legal prohibitions—such as the age restriction on liquor consumption—are all impediments to a truly free market exchange.

So free market is total BS.

Now comes the term “free trade”…..Free trade is a largely theoretical policy under which governments impose absolutely no tariffs, taxes, or duties on imports, or quotas on exports. In this sense, free trade is the opposite of protectionism, a defensive trade policy intended to eliminate the possibility of foreign competition.  

Free Trade has an ugly side…..

  • It causes job loss through outsourcing: Tariffs tend to prevent job outsourcing by keeping product pricing at competitive levels. Free of tariffs, products imported from foreign countries with lower wages cost less. While this may be seemingly good for consumers, it makes it hard for local companies to compete, forcing them to reduce their workforce. Indeed, one of the main objections to NAFTA was that it outsourced American jobs to Mexico.
  • It encourages theft of intellectual property: Many foreign governments, especially those in developing countries, often fail to take intellectual property rights seriously. Without the protection of patent laws, companies often have their innovations and new technologies stolen, forcing them to compete with lower-priced domestically-made fake products.
  • It allows for poor working conditions: Similarly, governments in developing countries rarely have laws to regulate and ensure safe and fair working conditions. Because free trade is partially dependent on a lack of government restrictions, women and children are often forced to work in factories doing heavy labor under slave-like working conditions.
  • It can harm the environment: Emerging countries have few, if any environmental protection laws. Since many free trade opportunities involve the exporting of natural resources like lumber or iron ore, clear-cutting of forests and un-reclaimed strip mining often decimate local environments.
  • It reduces revenues: Due to the high level of competition spurred by unrestricted free trade, the businesses involved ultimately suffer reduced revenues. Smaller businesses in smaller countries are the most vulnerable to this effect.

(thoughtco.com)

There you have it “Free Markets” is an illusion….”Free Trade” is an illusion……all made up benefits to make it more appealing to the workers which are continuously scorched by the lies of the oligarchs.

We have come to a point in our nation’s public discourse where there is a widespread realization that many of the economic policies pursued and promoted by our political, business and media elites have failed us in multiple ways. We have heard our trade policies called “Free Trade” and “Free Market”, but those statements were often dishonest.

When crafting these agreements, our elites have been responding to incentives which are beneficial to their institutions but detrimental to the well-being of American citizens.

Traditional conservatives have been observing and asking about these policy failures for some time and have been met with name-calling and general denigration. During this current pandemic crisis, the magnitude of the failure of these misguided agreements and policies has become unavoidably obvious.

The Illusion of ‘Free Markets’ and ‘Free Trade’

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

And Join a Union and fight for your rights and your life….being a passive spectator will NEVER give you the end that you seek.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Spend China And Russian Into Submission

Since we have bowed out of every nuke deal ever made and China and Russia have stepped up to get in the nuke game….but not to worry the US is willing to spend whatever it takes to crush their rivals in the nuclear arms race….

US arms control negotiator Marshall Billingslea, far from focusing on avoiding an arms race, saying that the US “sure would like to avoid it” but is also willing to spend Russia and China “into oblivion” to win a nuclear arms race.

“The president has made clear that we have a tried and truce practice here. We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.” This was the go-to US strategy in the Cold War, where the US vastly outpsent the Soviet Union.

With the US scrapping the INF and Open Skies treaties, it seems unlikely to extend New START, making a costly arms race an increasing risk. Since the US vastly outspends everyone on the military, there seems to be an assumption they can win by just keeping up the spending.

Whether that is practical going forward, however, is another matter. With the US engaged in a costly battle with coronavirus, there was already talk the US would have to slash spending, particularly on arms, to deal with the deficit. A huge arms race is just not affordable.

(antiwar.com)

So the US cannot find the cash for a failing infrastructure or the fight against Covid-19….but they are willing to spend whatever it takes to embarrass their rivals….is that about it?

The US has enough nukes to make humanity suffer a bunch…..so do we really need more?  According to Donald the Orange….we do.

How does the US get Russia and China to the negotiating table? Senior administration officials came up the idea of carrying out the first US nuclear test explosion since 1992, and this conversation is still ongoing.

Carrying out nuclear tests is a hugely provocative move on the global scale, and yet the Trtump Administration thought it could “prove useful” in trying to get Russia and China into trilateral nuclear talks.

This probably was also informing the administration in accusing, without evidence, both Russia and China of conducting nuclear tests in secret. Global monitoring makes secret tests all but impossible, but allegating them of having done so would be cover for the US to do it too.

Officials said the December discussion on the matter didn’t end with any agreement to conduct a test, but that it is an “ongoing conversation” that they keep going back to as a possible idea in response to threats from Russia and China.

(antiwar.com)

For those too damn young to remember all the PR about nukes and the results…..let me refresh some memories…..

A professor at Georgetown University, he’s taught an undergraduate course on nuclear weapons and world politics for the past decade. He always asks the same question on the last day: How many of his students think they’ll see nuclear weapons used in their lifetime?

For many years, no more than one student would raise their hand. That made sense, he told me, because in those days, “talking about nuclear war was like talking about dinosaurs — it’s just something from the past that won’t be something in our future.”

But the past couple of years have been different. When he asked that question again this spring, roughly 60 percent of his students raised their hands. What’s more, he agrees with them. “If I had to bet at least one nuclear weapon would be used in my lifetime,” says the 40-year-old Kroenig, “my bet would be yes.”

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/19/17873822/nuclear-war-weapons-bombs-how-kill

We need sanity in our approaches to the rest ofm them world…not knee jerk reactions and a dash to the TV for the delivery of lies and disinformation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”