That Flag Thing Again

Closing Thought–22Jun20

I recently wrote about my city voting to take down the offensive Mississippi flag….and flag another state flag…..the Magnolia Flag……read my thoughts on this…..State Flag Is Gone! – In Saner Thought

Now the beleaguered state flag is under assault again….this time from the NCAA……

Mississippi is the only state in the nation to still feature the Confederate symbol, which consists of 13 stars and a blue cross, on its flag—and that hasn’t escaped the NCAA’s eye. Now, the college athletic organization’s Southeastern Conference is warning the state that if it doesn’t nix the symbol from the flag, it risks a big consequence. “It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” reads a Thursday statement from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, noting if that significant tweak isn’t made, the conference will mull keeping SEC championship events out of the Magnolia State. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.”

ESPN notes there hasn’t been an SEC championship game held in Mississippi since 2016. In a 2001 referendum, voters in the state opted to keep the flag as is, but after the death of George Floyd and a resurgence of Black Lives Matters rallies, the outcry to change the flag was re-upped. Among those who’ve joined that call: the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, both SEC members that say they’ve been lobbying for years for this change. “Mississippi needs a flag that represents the qualities about our state that unite us, not those that still divide us,” reads a statement from University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce and his vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, Keith Carter. A bipartisan proposal to change the flag has been submitted to the state’s Legislature.

We will see just how far a bi-partisan proposal will go n the “good old boys” club of Mississippi.

Before some unknowing dolt tries to give me heritage BS…the present flag was adopted in 1894….had more to do with post Civil War sentiments than anything historic…..read a book!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

To Fight Or Not To Fight?

That is the question.

What made me think of this again was the president’s orders for troops to go help with crowd control and of course there were his mindless threats of extreme us of our troops.

It seems that the spread of Covid-19 has made the leaders (some leaders) think of a cessation of hostilities during the pandemic…

Which nations are most vulnerable to a coronavirus outbreak? Nations without a robust health-care system can’t handle a major outbreak, and perhaps the easiest way to tell which nations those are going to be is to look at which nations are being torn apart by war.

That’s why five years into Yemen’s war they’re a major area of concern. That’s why 19 years into the US occupation, Afghanistan is seen as so vulnerable President Trump wants to leave before the outbreak gets there. Where war goes, coronavirus follows, and fighting the pandemic is wholly incompatible with fighting one another.

That’s why when the pandemic started, the UN Secretary General made the unusual move of calling for a global ceasefire, and slowly but surely, the call is gaining traction, with most of the world now on board. The US and Russia are the last outliers likely to stop the matter at the UN Security Council.

Even there, the idea of a global ceasefire has enough traction that the idea isn’t dead on arrival. With a vote expected soon, some experts say that a few exceptions may be all it takes to get Russia and the US to stop resisting the measure.

Russia wants to be free to strike in Syria if they feel the need to, and the Trump Administration wants to support the ceasefire, so long as it doesn’t hinder any of America’s many, many wars. Reconciling that is easier said than done.

Which isn’t to say the plan isn’t going forward. If anything, it is a testament to how important the ceasefire is that despite the substantial obstacles, there are still efforts to keep advancing the push.

(antiwar.com)

Brought that up to show that some leaders are trying to do the right thing and focus on the pandemic…..

But until it gets more leadership I have a thought about the military……

Think UNIONS!

Back in my years in the military there were a few of us that thought the military should be unionized……..

This is a DoD report in military unions…..https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/734746.pdf

Fascinating reading……

Like the report stated many disagreed and the biggest opposition was what if we had a war and no one wanted to fight…..which is the doctoral dissertation……

Justin Colby deserted the US military due to his belief that the war in Iraq was unjust. “The army did a lot of good things for me. It taught me responsibility. But I won’t bite my tongue anymore and continue doing something I think is wrong.”[1] Colby is deemed a deserter, having refused to return to the war in Iraq, a war he no longer believed to be just. His case represents one of 3,101 US soldiers who refused to fight in the US Coalition in Iraq between 2005 and 2006 alone.[2] Thus representing a growing phenomenon for active military personnel as they act on their moral agency by refusing to fight. The alternative course of action is to apply for conscientious objection status. However, applicants face a steep burden of proof demonstrating “firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in the war in any form or the bearing of arms, by reason of religious training and belief.”[3] From 2003-2005, the US approval rate was just over fifty per cent.[4] A core dilemma for combatants is that there is no option for selective conscientious objection; a refusal to fight on the grounds of “political, philosophical or sociological beliefs,”[5] permitting the unwillingness to fight on moral grounds. Due to restricted legal avenues and lack of rights associated with military refusal, combatants are left with no other choice but to desert.

By focusing on the notion of combatants’ right to refuse wars which they deem unjust, this essay will challenge the ethics of just war scholarship using a revisionist framework, effectively determining the extent to which soldiers have the right to be held morally accountable for their participation in an unjust war and, further, have the right to refuse. The first section will explore the justifications of orthodox just war theory and the reasons why combatants under just war theory are denied the right to the moral agency to determine the justness of war. The second section will examine the revisionist justification for the reconciliation of just war principles, reinstating moral agency in combatants. The third section will use the case study of the Second Gulf War, led by the US coalition, to assess, first, whether this war satisfied the just war doctrine and, second, whether soldiers had an obligation as moral agents to evaluate its failures and refuse to fight. The final section will explore the hierarchy of moral responsibility, concluding that if moral responsibility is not accounted for in the higher tiers of a military command, soldiers have a moral obligation to apply their moral agency in warfare.

Can Soldiers Refuse to Fight? The Limitations of Just War Theory

As a student of conflict I find this an interesting topic……

Now the pandemic has taken over the news cycle daily…..gone are the reports on the military and as the world suffers the Un has a message and some countries are signing on…..

With the world in the throes of the calamitous COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres is pushing for a global ceasefire, seeing a planet-wide halt to war as a chance to allow an all-out effort to fight the virus.

This is getting some interest beyond NGOs and the Pope. As of Friday, 11 countries have endorsed the idea, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

While the UN is still looking for a big nation engaged in foreign wars to really make this a thing, but some of these nations have some substantial domestic conflicts that might benefit from a ceasefire, and countries like Syria may find themselves influencing others.

These are also some of the countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemics, with countries like Yemen, Libya, and Syria some of the nations least prepared for an outbreak, with war leaving the countries with little medical infrastructure.

(antiwar.com)

Only a small group of nations have signed on and as we should expect none of the “Big Guys” are willing to give up on war even in these trying times.

What say you about this situation?

Sorry that post was a rambling mess….oh god is trumpitis wearing off on me?  (I need a shower!)

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Steaming Over Tulsa!

Kinda reminds me of a country song by Don Williams….Living On Tulsa Time……but this Tulsa Time is about the crowd at a Trump “rally”……

Image

After more than a month of BS around Trump’s re-entry into the world of rallying….the result was far from an overwhelming success.

Word was there were a million requests for tickets making the rally sound like a sure fire win for the Donald…..the arena could hold up to 19.000 and a overflow area was set up……the rally was a bust…..less than 7,000 attendees were there….and Donald the Orange is pissed!

Looks like size really does matter—again. In a story that echoes the debate over President Trump’s inauguration crowd, CNN is reporting on competing head counts at Trump’s Saturday rally in Oklahoma. While the Tulsa fire marshal says 6,200 showed up at the Bank of Oklahoma Center, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh sees it differently: “12,000 people went through the metal detectors so that number is way off,” he says. Team Trump is also blaming “radical” protesters for blocking the entrances, though a Secret Service spokesman says just one arena entrance was temporarily blocked by “several individuals.”

“The local police temporarily closed the gates at that entrance point,” the rep says. “As soon as local law enforcement was able to provide a clear path, the entrance point was reopened and attendees were permitted to enter.” Not surprisingly, Trump was said to be “furious” over the undersized crowd. Multiple people connected to the White House tell NBC News Trump was also angry before the event started, when news broke that six rally workers had tested positive for COVID-19. Public health experts warned the event could become a “super spreader,” and USA Today reports that most attendees didn’t wear masks or observe social-distancing guidelines.

https://therecount.com/watch/trumps-tulsa-calamity/2645860447

The fireworks over a reignited Trump was a total fizzling dud…..

The mounting threat to his reelection clearly preoccupied Trump in the course of his 107-minute address in Tulsa, which meandered even more than usual. He was clearly far more concerned with his own political survival than with the survival of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose lives are threatened by the worst epidemic in a century. He made no mention of the human toll of the pandemic, which should have led local authorities to ban the rally on public health grounds, while remarking that he had told his aides to slow down the rate of coronavirus testing, which White House officials later claimed was a joke.

Trump began the speech with a declaration that “the silent majority is stronger than ever,” reviving a Nixonian turn of phrase without apparently considering Nixon’s eventual fate as the only president to be forced to resign. Then followed the usual praise of the performance of Wall Street (“the strongest 50 days in the history of the stock market”), always the central focus of the White House.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/22/tuls-j22.html

The president blames others for his stupidity….and I hope the people of Tulsa fair well from this possible exposure.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Tinker, Sailor, Hooker, Pimp

Closing Thought–Jun20

That title sounds like something from the typewriter of John LeCarre….right?

But this time it is a real situation uncovered in Bahrain that involves a sailor and human trafficking…..

It all started on WhatsApp.

The first in a cascade of U.S. Navy investigations into sailors accused of trafficking, housing and pimping female prostitutes in the Middle East can be traced back to June 2017 and a string of sex-charged encrypted text messages between a sailor in Bahrain and a Thai prostitute he met on the island.

“Yo u sexy than a mother fucker with your mean ass,” Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Jihad H. Littlejohn had texted the woman on June 4, 2017, according to Navy court records.

Prosecutors would later allege that Littlejohn, a 29-year-old from New Jersey then assigned to the patrol ship Hurricane, had paid the so-called “working girl” for sex.

“I want to sleep on your titty,” the sailor had texted her.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/06/16/tinder-sailor-hooker-pimp-the-us-navys-sex-trafficking-scandal-in-bahrain/

But there may be a problem in getting a conviction….

While the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated numerous sailors for crimes involving sex trafficking and prostitutes in Bahrain in recent years, Navy prosecutors have struggled at times to win criminal convictions in court.

The Navy filed charges against at least nine sailors for such offenses in 2017 and 2018, including one mid-grade officer and five chiefs. The charges included allegations that some sailors were trafficking or attempting to traffic Thai prostitutes into Bahrain and housing them in their off-post apartments with the intention of taking a cut of their nightly cash earnings.

Navy prosecutors secured guilty pleas in five of those nine cases, but officials concede that they offered watered-down plea deals to some of the accused sailors due to a recurring problem: the failure to get the Thai prostitutes at the center of the cases into a military courtroom to testify.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-navy/2020/06/16/why-the-navy-struggled-to-convict-in-bahrain-sex-crime-cases/

This comes at a terrible time for the Navy…they are already dealing with scandalous events and situation within their elite fighting force, the SEALs….https://lobotero.com/2019/08/15/seals-have-a-problem/

Our military has Special ops soldiers killing each other, soldiers accused of war crimes, spying accusations, on and on…..and now this little piece of human trafficking for sexual stuff…..

Someone needs to get a grip on these things….and by someone I mean the Pentagon…..and yet the best we can do from them is a yes man for Donald the Orange….

These problems will continue until there is someone who will stand up and do what is needed to clean up our services.

But who?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”