Closing Thought–08Jun20

This is my closing thought early for I must visit my doctor and this afternoon will be a bit busy…..so enjoy and be well and be safe…..

First…TS Cristobal dumped lots of rain and wind with a bit of flooding but damage was minimal in my area…..but the heat and humidity is stifling…..

Now the count for the Covid-19…..

Pandemic….Cases–2.0 million  Deaths–110,000+

Onward to the rest of the world…..

We hear all the time from some economic wannabes about the money we owe to China….well they are the same low IQ weasels that use to bitch about the same thing only it was Japan in the 1980s.

Have you ever wanted to ask….just how much money is owed to China anyway?

China has been rapidly rolling out its Belt and Road Initiative to build new roads, ports and rail lines in mostly developing nations, extending the country’s reach across continents.

China says the infrastructure will benefit countries while critics say China is extending unfair influence over others.

Many nations have been rethinking their involvement amid accusations that China has overpriced projects.

Between 2000 and 2017, the world’s debt obligations to China rose from $500bn to a staggering $5 trillion – about six percent of the world’s economic output – according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Researchers also found that China and its subsidiaries have lent $1.5 trillion directly to 150 nations – making China the world’s biggest creditor, overtaking the IMF and World Bank. It has also made unreported loans worth $200bn.

We talk to Professor Christoph Trebesch from the Kiel Institute, who explains how China’s opaque lending practices make it difficult for investors and international lenders to make accurate investment decisions.

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2020/05/money-world-owe-china-200530080200892.html

But I guess you might not know what the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is all about and why is it a big deal….

The BRI comprises a Silk Road Economic Belt – a trans-continental passage that links China with south east Asia, south Asia, Central Asia, Russia and Europe by land – and a 21st century Maritime Silk Road, a sea route connecting China’s coastal regions with south east and south Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East and Eastern Africa, all the way to Europe.

The initiative defines five major priorities:

  • policy coordination;
  • infrastructure connectivity;
  • unimpeded trade;
  • financial integration;
  • and connecting people.

The programme is expected to involve over US$1 trillion in investments, largely in infrastructure development for ports, roads, railways and airports, as well as power plants and telecommunications networks.

https://www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/belt-and-road/overview.html

Read that last paragraph closely……$1 trillion US….we had better get our heads out of the sand and soon.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“Lego ergo scribo”

8 Point Plan To End Police Brutality

The protests as usual have brought about lots of talk about what is need to make the use of police brutality a thing of the past.

Operating with the backing and encouragement of President Trump—who has threatened to deploy the military to suppress protests—and the aid of thousands of National Guard soldiers, police forces throughout the US are engaged in an ongoing rampage.

More than 11,000 people have been arrested in the less than two weeks of protests that followed the police murder of George Floyd. Most have been attacked by police and arrested for “failure to disperse” or violating curfews, under both Democratic and Republican mayors.

Thousands of peaceful demonstrators have been teargassed, pepper sprayed, shot with rubber bullets and beanbags, beaten with truncheons and pushed to the ground, leading to serious injuries and in some cases death. While largely ignored by the mainstream media, video after video of police attacks have gone viral on social media, fueling popular outrage.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/06/viol-j06.html

Lots of talk, especially from politicians, it is a good subject to pad the resume for the next election….I am sorry but I doubt see many of them as sincere……

These protests and the brutality are NOTHING new.

Police brutality has been with us for many many years…..

Eugene Williams, a 17-year-old black boy, was stoned to death by white people in 1919 after he swam into what they deemed the wrong part of Lake Michigan.

In response, black people in Chicago rose up in protest, and white people attacked them. More than 500 people were injured and 38 were killed. Afterward, the city convened a commission to study the causes of the violence.

The commission found “systemic participation in mob violence by the police,” Khalil Muhammad, a professor of history, race, and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and author of the book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, told Vox. “When police officers had the choice to protect black people from white mob violence, they chose to either aid and abet white mobs or to disarm black people or to arrest them.”

https://www.vox.com/2020/6/6/21280643/police-brutality-violence-protests-racism-khalil-muhammad

We all, except for the racist, want to see an end to the brutality….and there is a proposal that I kinda like…..it has an 8 fold path…..

Amend federal civil rights laws to allow more effective prosecution of police misconduct by changing the standard from willfulness to recklessness;

Abolish “qualified immunity,” so police officers can be held civilly liable for abuses; Prohibit the transfer of offensive military equipment to police departments

Strip federal funds from departments that violate civil rights;

Create a federal model policing program that emphasizes de-escalation, non-lethal force and culturally competent policing in which access to federal funds depends upon the level of reform adopted. As part of this effort to modernize and humanize police departments we need to enhance the recruitment pool by ensuring that the resources are available to pay wages that will attract the top-tier officers we need to do the difficult work of policing;

Provide funding to states and municipalities to create civilian corps of unarmed first responders to supplement law enforcement, such as social workers, EMTs, and trained mental health professionals, who can handle order maintenance violations, mental health emergencies, and low-level conflicts to aid police officers;

Require agencies to make records of police misconduct publicly available;

Require all jurisdictions that receive federal grant funding to establish independent police conduct review boards that are broadly representative of the community and that have the authority to refer deaths that occur at the hands of police or in police custody to federal authorities for investigation.

In addition, the boards would be authorized to report to federal authorities other types of abuses by police including patterns of misconduct. This would be supplemental to current federal authority to commence investigations. Clearly we need to enhance federal funding for such investigations.

So far these are the best I have heard…..

I see where there can be cheating on these requirements…but that is nothing unusual….there is always fudging federal statutes….there has been too much for too long…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

USS Liberty–2020

Today in history…..

452 AD  Attila invades Italy

1953  Supreme Court forbids segregated lunch counters

1965  LBJ allows US troops in combat in South Vietnam

1967  Israeli forces attack USS Liberty….and this where this post picks up…..

Fifty three years and counting…….

Every year on the day of the attack, 08 June, I do a post on the USS Liberty in honor of those killed and wounded by the cowardly attack by Israel on a US Naval ship….there are many articles and papers written about this attack and I try to give my reader a library of work on the situation…..so they can better understand what happened on that fateful day.

Image result for USS Liberty

And yes it was a fateful day…34 American sailors were murdered by a supposed ally, Israel and the US allowed the cowardly attack to go unanswered.

John McCain’s father is the one that allowed the attack to go unanswered…..

The below sources are the writings on the dastardly attack by the Israelis on the Naval vessel. USS Liberty…..

Source: Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty – The Unz Review

Source: Infamy at Sea: Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years Later

Source: The Day Israel Attacked America – Al Jazeera English

Source: USS Liberty crew member recalls fatal ’67 US-Israeli skirmish – News – Stripes

Source: 50 Years Ago: NSA’s Deadliest Day | Observer

Source: The USS Liberty Must Not Be Forgotten – The Unz Review

Source: https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/fifty-years-later-nsa-keeps-details-of-israels-uss-liberty-attack-secret/

https://lobotero.com/2015/07/09/still-waiting-for-uss-libertys-truth-by-ray-mcgovern-antiwar-com/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/08/uss-liberty-end-of-the-day/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/08/leaving-the-uss-liberty-crew-behind-by-ray-mcgovern-antiwar-com-2/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/08/the-case-of-the-uss-liberty-anatomy-of-an-israeli-provocation-world-socialist-web-site/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/08/uss-liberty-israeli-pilot-speaks-up/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/08/dead-in-the-water-the-sinking-of-the-uss-liberty-must-watch-uprootedpalestinianss-blog/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/08/uss-liberty-incident-in-saner-thought/

Source: Two important lessons from Israeli attack on the USS Liberty – In Saner Thought

Source: USS Liberty Veterans Association | Letter to Bibi – In Saner Thought

Source: Liberty Survivors Say US Still Downplays Israel’s Attack on Ship – In Saner Thought

Sad thing is Americans thump their chest and hate Iranians because of the attack on the embassy in 1979 but yet the death of 34 American sailors means NOTHING to them.  I find that PATHETIC!

In case you are interested…..these are the dead killed by Israel…..

Never Forget and Never Forgive!

The brave men of the Liberty deserve better than this nation has given them…they died for nothing more than to preserve a notion of friendship.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That White Privilege

The protests continue and for the most part are less violent (for now)….I did see a sign that states “All Life Matters”…..I look at that as the same as a white person saying “I have black friends”…a sure signal of a racist.

What is white privilege?

White privilege means your skin color offers you a certain measure of protection in our society—and that privilege can be used as a tool. That might mean stepping in with your voice when you witness injustice happening, knowing that a fellow white person or person in authority is more likely to listen to you than a person of color. Sometimes it means physically standing between a person of color and someone who is trying to harm them. We may not think it makes much of a difference, but it does. White folks are less likely to be viewed by other white folks as a threat or a suspect or a potential criminal, and we can physically disrupt racial injustice simply by placing our white self in front of it.

https://www.upworthy.com/white-americans-asking-what-can-i-do

I cannot wait for the retorts to start (mostly by whites)…..(I await the “All Lives Matter”…excuse)

So many of the incidents have involved traffic stops….but what about at night?

That is one of several examples of systematic bias that emerged from a five-year study that analyzed 95 million traffic stop records, filed by officers with 21 state patrol agencies and 35 municipal police forces from 2011 to 2018.

The Stanford-led study also found that when drivers were pulled over, officers searched the cars of blacks and Hispanics more often than whites. The researchers also examined a subset of data from Washington and Colorado, two states that legalized marijuana, and found that while this change resulted in fewer searches overall, and thus fewer searches of blacks and Hispanics, minorities were still more likely than whites to have their cars searched after a pull-over.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200507094621.htm

I have been saying for many years that all these “conversations” are not accomplishing anything at all….all it is a rehash of grievances and little about solutions other than a real conversation is needed.

A conversation that is never actually held.

And with all the protests and violence in the latest edition of “Racial Inequality” is another call for a ….you got it….a conversation.

Demands for systemic change in the U.S. grow louder by the day following the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man in Minneapolis.

Activists say white populations need to listen, but also take action in their own lives.

Those demanding change say in states such as Wisconsin, which is 83% white, it might be uncomfortable for some to openly discuss racial issues.

Tim Cordon, board president of the Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice and Sustainability, says whites who feel guilt over the generational pain expressed during the protests shouldn’t worry about how they’re viewed in openly examining their contributions to that pain.

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2020-06-04/housing-homelessness/wisconsin-group-time-to-peel-off-band-aid-discuss-race-openly/a70433-1

How about how the police feel about race issues they face?

In that survey, 67 percent of officers said they thought the deaths of black people in encounters with the police were isolated incidents, compared with 31 percent who said those deaths were part of a broader pattern. The public,

by comparison, had almost exactly the opposite reaction — only 39 percent of Americans said the police killings of black Americans were isolated incidents, while 60 percent said they were part of a broader pattern. (More recent surveys of the public also indicate that around 60 percent of Americans think that these incidents are part of a broader pattern.)

Just 35 percent of officers in the 2016 survey said they thought protests against the killings of black Americans were motivated at least in part by a “genuine desire to hold officers accountable” for their actions. In separate questions, almost all officers (92 percent) said that these protests reflected at least some long-standing bias against the police, and 86 percent said that the attention surrounding high-profile incidents of police killings of black men and the resulting protests has made their jobs harder.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-the-police-see-issues-of-race-and-policing/amp/

Time for America to have that conversation…..(a typical call I know…but it is time)….if we want to lead the world ever again then we need to step up….

The United States arguably has one of the most dynamic political systems in the world, with powerful legal protections for the news media and expansive freedom to associate and peacefully protest. Yet journalists covering the recent demonstrations have been harassed, assaulted, and arrested even as they identify themselves as reporters—a profound breach of constitutional guarantees. And the right to assemble is being denied, as militarized police forces tear-gas peaceful protesters in many cities. These immediate abuses must stop, but the nation must also come together to address the underlying problem.

Racial Injustice Remains the Great Weakness of American Democracy

One obstruction to a real talk on solutions is the media and its enabler social media….these influence the feelings of the masses….so are we seeing riots or resistance?

The general public’s opinions about protests and the social movements behind them are formed in large part by what they read or see in the media. This gives journalists a lot of power when it comes to driving the narrative of a demonstration.

They can emphasize the disruption protests cause or echo the dog whistles of politicians that label protesters as “thugs.” But they can also remind the public that at the heart of the protests is the unjust killing of another black person. This would take the emphasis away from the destruction of the protests and toward the issues of police impunity and the effects of racism in its many forms.

The role journalists play can be indispensable if movements are to gain legitimacy and make progress. And that puts a lot of pressure on journalists to get things right.

https://theconversation.com/riot-or-resistance-how-media-frames-unrest-in-minneapolis-will-shape-publics-view-of-protest-139713

I have never believe that the media was to help solve the problems…..they get too much traction out of reporting the problems….”If it bleeds it leads” is the motto of all media outlets.

What we are witnessing in real time is a fascist politics that believes in racial purity, social Darwinism, and supports the collapse of moral and political accountability. We see evidence of this in the viciousness of Trump’s everyday language, as for instance when he criticizes a reporter for wearing mask for being politically correct, when in actuality the journalist was being socially responsible–a notion Trump despises. We also see it in its more obvious toxic forms as when he states in the aftermath of the mass protests, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” All the while echoing a racist phrase by a former Miami Police Chief Walter Headley who liked to brag that he only hired white police officers and prided himself for using violence against Black people. There is nothing new about the police killing black people. Nor is there anything new about the United State engaging in state sponsored violence by way of a racially marked mass incarceration system.

Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence

I admit that I have no answers…..I will not pretend that I know what it is to be treated like so many black people…..and there is where I think the opposition comes from……they are afraid if they treat blacks as equal it will come back and bite them so they turn a blind eye at the problems and make up silly excuses for it happening…..and silly reasons why protesters get support….like they want to destroy our country (of course they do not say who “our” are (but we know)).

Seems everybody is afraid of being labeled on social media and we know what kind of damage that can do to one’s rep, right?

Be The Change You Want…a believe that is a paraphrase of a thought by Gandhi.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

TO ALL BLOGGERS! Millions of WordPress accounts targeted in major cyberattack

Please my fellow bloggers read this and be warned of the attempts on your site……chuq

Penable

Hundreds of thousands ofWordPress websiteswere targeted over the course of 24 hours in a large scale cyberattack with the aim of harvesting database credentials.

The cybercriminals behind the attack were attempting to download the wp-config.php configuration files from users WordPress sites as they contain valuable information including database credentials, connection info, authentication unique keys and salts.

For more information, Check out this link NOW: https://www.techradar.com/uk/amp/news/millions-of-wordpress-accounts-targeted-in-major-cyberattack

I have found a lot of messages asking me to click on a link to get more followers, you may have received some too, but don’t click on the links!

Make sure your passwords are strong and don’t post anything personal.

If you find any messages asking to click on a link, spam them right away and permanently bin them. If someone asks you for any personal info, don’t answer and spam them.

Stay safe everyone and share this post to alert…

View original post 2 more words

The Protest Blame Game (Again)

There one thing that we can be sure of these days……the Trump White House will blame whoever they can to avoid accountability…..Dems…Media…Obama…..et al…..and these protests are no different….

The White House has now blamed Venezuela…..yep you read that right….Venezuela is at the heart of these daily protests…..

The best part of a major, nationwide protest movement is having someone to blame. This weekend, the new narrative embraced by the White House would pin large US protests against police brutality on Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.


The White House is refusing to offer any proof on this, saying it was “non-open source.” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) cited certain news reports from Latin America. The whole thing, incredibly, all falls back on Max Blumenthal’s T-shirt.

Blumenthal, from TheGrayZone.com, was shown in a DC protest as wearing a T-shirt with “Hugo Chavez eyes” on it. This was taken as a sign of  Venezuelan links to the protests, and doubled down on with Blumenthal having interviewed Maduro, and been photographed shaking his hand.

This all starts a not particularly complicated story of Max Blumenthal having gone to a protest and having worn a Venezuela-themed t-shirt. Turning this into the protests being a Venezuela thing is another matter, however, as there is no sign Blumenthal himself was in any way driving the protests.

This would be a tough case to make, however, since Blumenthal’s presence wasn’t even a point of focus for media outlets until some saw this as a chance to make this vaguely about Venezuela.

(antiwar.com)

Does this stupidity surprise anyone?

I cannot wait to see who is next to be blamed for stuff….

I was thinking of turning this into a gambling game on-line……since so many are addicted to on-line gambling it could be popular.

Let’s say they are behind these protests….it would be tit for tat since the US has been fueling protests in Venezuela for years….then why would Venezuela do this? Trump already embarrasses himself daily so all they need do is sit back and let Donald assassinate his own political standing.

Just a thought.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Remember ISIS?

That bunch a barbarous bastards that everybody had an opinion about just a few months ago….remember them?

The pandemic and no the protests have kept my attention elsewhere…so many things happening and so little time and space……..

Using Open Source info I have updated my files….but they are expanding into the Sahel (rapidly)……a quick reference if the term floored you….

Sahel region, Africa

FRANCE 24’s Wassim Nasr, the author of the article entitled “The End of the Sahel Exception”, talks about why the Sahel was the only area in the world where the two groups al-Qaeda and IS were not fighting each other for a long time, until a few weeks ago.

https://www.france24.com/en/20200604-africa-s-sahel-region-becomes-latest-battleground-for-jihadist-groups

Yep ISIS is expanding in Africa…..

There had been hints about the intentions of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, to develop a Central Africa Province (ISCAP) in a speech by the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in August 2018. However, it was not until April 2019 that an attack in Beni, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was claimed as the work of ISCAP by ISIS-run media outlets. Later that month, Baghdadi formally acknowledged it as an ISIS ‘wilayah’ (meaning ‘province’ and referred to as ‘wilayat’ in the plural) in a video message. 

In addition to attacks in the DRC, in June 2019 ISIS started to attribute attacks in Mozambique to ISCAP. The media campaign around ISCAP has been extremely active – in February 2020 a graphic was released comparing the number of attacks conducted in each of the Islamic State’s wilayat, with ISCAP ‘scoring’ the highest number for the month. However, the picture on the ground is very different to what ISIS portrays. The wilayah in fact consists of two armed groups operating in different countries, with only loose connections. Both groups are driven by complex motives, which are predominantly shaped by their local surroundings.

https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2020/06/csdp-isis-militants-africa

Could Africa become the next caliphate?

They have lost most of their punch in the Middle East and they are expanding into the Sahel…..is it possible this is the new home of the caliphate?

In 2018, when the Islamic State began losing its “territorial caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, ISIS’s leadership knew that the organization would have to depend on external “provinces” (called wilayat) to keep its global project thriving. The provinces would launch attacks and remain loyal to ISIS, and ISIS could claim that that the “caliphate” might no longer be expanding, but it was remaining. With setbacks in Afghanistan and the Philippines, Africa emerged as the only continent where ISIS could operate like it did in Syria and Iraq during its heyday. So long as ISIS thrives in Africa, the dream of the global caliphate remains alive. 

Not only can ISIS conduct sophisticated attacks in Africa, it also can occupy territories and overpower armies. Moreover, with rapidly increasing populations, historical narratives about reviving pre-colonial Islamic states, and challenges resulting from weak governance and security forces’ abuses, ISIS finds fertile ground on the continent. While foreign policy often focuses on geopolitical competition in Africa, especially between the United States and China, the emergence of the Islamic State as a power player on the continent – on top of al Qaeda’s presence there since as early as Osama bin Laden’s 1990s stay in Sudan – means the Islamic State will be a force that governments, armies, aid organizations, multinational corporations, and, of course, civilians will inevitably have to confront.

ISIS in Africa: The Caliphate’s Next Frontier

Let us not forget about al-Qaeda…..French claims to have killed the emir of North Africa…..

France said on Friday that its military has killed al-Qaeda’s North Africa chief Abdelmalek Droukdel, a key fighter who its forces had been hunting for more than seven years, during an operation in Mali.

“On June 3, French army forces, with the support of their local partners, killed the emir of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abdelmalek Droukdel, and several of his closest collaborators, during an operation in northern Mali,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly wrote on Twitter.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/france-army-killed-al-qaeda-abdelmalek-droukdel-200606033045666.html

Did not know that AQ had gone this far South?

Let me help…..

Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), to give its full name in English, has its roots in the bitter Algerian civil war of the early 1990s, but has since evolved to take on a more international Islamist agenda.

Its reach has also expanded across the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert, attracting members from Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Senegal as well as from within Mali where, in alliance with other Islamists, it is fighting French troops on the ground.

During the Mali crisis, its fighters have dramatically increased their profile, allowing them to further their aim of spreading Islamic law and jihad across West Africa.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-17308138

These groups are still very active….they did not take time off for a virus…..I feel we will be hearing more fromm these groups in the coming months.

Plus there is a worry about the armies of the Sahel countries may be making matters worse…..

The Sahel has seen years of conflict with Islamic militants, who first emerged in northern Mali in 2012 before sweeping into the centre of the country, and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict to date and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

Worries from allies such as the United Nations and former colonial power France about the conduct of Sahel soldiers are not new. But reports of abuses have increased significantly over the past few months.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/sahel-armies-accused-of-disappearances-and-killings-raising-alarm/ar-BB156emB

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”