Closing Thought–25Jun20

Today 70 years ago America’s most forgotten war began….

Seventy years ago, the Korean War broke out. On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, leading to one of the gravest crises of the Cold War.

For the leaderships of South Korea and the United States, the North Korean attack constituted a strategic surprise for which they were totally unprepared. Yet, within two days, the administration of President Harry Truman in the United States managed to mobilize the United Nations Security Council into adopting two crucial resolutions. The first criticized the North Korean invasion and called for its armed forces to withdraw immediately from South Korea; the second called on members of the United Nations to lend assistance to South Korea in its efforts to repel the invasion.

https://thediplomat.com/2020/06/the-korean-war-at-70/

What could possibly make the world go to war again just a few short years after the last one had ended?

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them. Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China–or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many in the U.S. refer to as “the Forgotten War” for the lack of attention it received compared to more well-known conflicts like World War I and II and the Vietnam War. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.

https://www.history.com/topics/korea/korean-war

I refuse to let this date go by without a mention of the brave men and women that fought and died in a froze wasteland on the Korean Peninsula.

Please take a few minutes to give these people the respect they are due.

“lego ergo scribo”

The Confederacy

There is lots of debate these days about the short lived Confederate States of America…..to some it is “heritage” (for me that is just a cover term) to others it was a repressive state dedicated to the ideal of white supremacy.

Let the old Professor take you on a trip down that historical lane…..

We can pretend that the cause of the war were several factors but the truth of the matter is…..Confederates fought the war mainly to protect a southern society of which slavery was an integral part.

For any of my history buffs….if you would like to see how the CSA was set up then here is a copy of the Constitution…..https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_csa.asp

Here is the sanitized version of the CSA from the History Net….

The Confederacy, when used within or in reference to North America, generally means the Confederate States of America. It is also called the Southern Confederacy and refers to 11 states that renounced their existing agreement with others of the United States in 1860–1861 and attempted to establish a new nation in which the authority of the central government would be strictly limited and the institution of slavery would be protected. Secession from the existing Union led to the American Civil War, a bloody, four-year struggle that left much of the South in ashes and ended its hope of creating a new confederacy of states on the North American continent.

Confederacy

If you want a truly sanitized look at the American Civil War then let AARP show you the way…..https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-04-2011/8-ways-civil-war-changed-lives.html

Now let’s look beyond the sanitation of the events of 1861-1865……the Confederacy…..

For the four years of its existence, until it was forced to surrender, the Confederate States of America was a pro-slavery nation at war against the United States. The C.S.A. was a big, centralized state, devoted to securing a society in which enslavement to white people was the permanent and inherited condition of all people of African descent.

The Confederates built an explicitly white-supremacist, pro-slavery, and antidemocratic nation-state, dedicated to the principle that all men are not created equal. Emboldened by what they saw as the failure of emancipation in other parts of the world, buoyed by the new science of race, and convinced that the American vision of the people had been terribly betrayed, they sought the kind of future for human slavery and conservative republican government that was no longer possible within the United States. This is the cause that the statues honor.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/confederacy-wasnt-what-you-think/613309/

There you have the facts about the Confederacy.

Now a little extra for this post…..could the Civil War ended earlier than 1865?

In fact, some of the war’s finest scholars, and more than a few ‘armchair historians’ as well, have explored all manner of ‘what if’ scenarios. And playing these sorts of guessing games carries risks – anyone bold enough to hypothesize is often greeted with scorn, derision and ridicule. After all, Civil War buffs are a passionate breed!

Nevertheless – and grasping full well the firestorm such speculation often ignites among aficionados of the period – I will offer up a few speculations of my own, stipulating as I do, that they are my own humble opinions, and nothing more.

Missed Opportunities – Four Battles That Might Have Ended the U.S. Civil War Long Before 1865

Could the war had been avoided with a bit of a compromise?

The only compromise that could have headed off war by then was for the Southern states to forgo secession and agree to abolition. Conceivably Lincoln would have agreed to gradual abolition to avoid war; he certainly believed before the war began that he lacked the constitutional authority to emancipate the slaves unilaterally.

Once the Confederate states seceded and troops fired on Fort Sumter, the only solution possible was complete Southern surrender. And as the war continued, and slavery became an explicit justification for the conflict, emancipation became central to a resolution.

https://www.history.com/news/could-compromise-have-prevented-the-civil-war

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

New Pandemic Records

Today has the totals of Cases at 2.4 million and deaths at 122,000 I am still waiting for this to disappear as my president predicted it would….and if we had not done testing then his prediction would have come true.

Just yesterday we as a nation hit some new highs (from a virus that is not that bad)(sarcasm)…..

The US added 36,358 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, a single-day high that broke the previous record of 36,285 set on April 26, during what NBC News refers to as the coronavirus pandemic’s first peak. Similarly, Sunday set a new global record with 183,020 new cases, the highest ever reported in a single day, Time reports. On a podcast interview this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that over the course of his career in epidemiology he’s never seen anything like the coronavirus, the Hill reports. “I’ve never seen anything closely resemble the virus in the spectrum of what it can do,” he said. On Tuesday, while testifying before lawmakers, he made a similar comment, per MarketWatch. “I’ve been dealing with viral outbreaks for the last 40 years. I’ve never seen a single virus—that is, one pathogen—have a range where 20% to 40% of the people have no symptoms.”

In the US, California also set a single-day record Wednesday, with 7,149 new cases. As the Northeast has seen cases decline, southern and western states are seeing increases that officials say are tied to Memorial Day weekend, when many states began loosening restrictions. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesay tied the surge in new infections to the state’s reopening of the economy, which has been gradually ongoing for about a month, as well as continuing social justice protests. Adopting what NBC 4 calls “an almost fatherly tone,” he said, among other things, “Washing your hands isn’t just putting your damn hands, forgive my language, under the faucet for two seconds and calling it a day. We’ve all seen that. Many have done that. But in this pandemic, come on. We can do a little more and a little bit better.”

News from the front lines in the Covid-19 fight……

9 out of 10 people polled thinks Pharma will raise prices during this pandemic….

Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. adults are “very” (55%) or “somewhat” (33%) concerned that the pharmaceutical industry will leverage the COVID-19 pandemic to raise drug prices. Similarly, 84% are very or somewhat concerned that the general cost of care will rise, and 79% are very or somewhat concerned their health insurance premiums will go up in response to the pandemic. In each of the latter two scenarios, 41% of Americans are very concerned.

The new findings, released today by the nonprofit West Health and Gallup as part of ongoing research on the rising cost of healthcare in the U.S., come from a nationally representative survey of 1,016 U.S. adults. Amid a mounting death toll, the results underline the knife-edge fears associated with paying for care in the U.S.

https://www.newswise.com/coronavirus/9-in-10-americans-concerned-pharma-will-use-covid-19-pandemic-to-raise-drug-prices/

Dems saw the polls and decided to act……to try and stop any price gouging…..

On the heels of polling that showed 88% of Americans worry Big Pharma will exploit the ongoing pandemic to hike drug prices, House Democrats on Monday introduced two bipartisan bills to prevent price-gouging for Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and to strengthen oversight of federal spending on coronavirus research and development.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/22/house-dems-introduce-bill-prevent-big-pharma-price-gouging-during-covid-19-pandemic

Nice try but how many see this going anywhere?  Most Dems are owned by lobbyists and that includes Big Pharma……do you really think this was anything but a piece of theater?

Be Well…..Be Safe……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Let’s Form A Commission

Good grief we have been fighting for racial equality for how long?

And in the 21st century we have come back to the bad old days of the 1960s and the fight for equality and the end of racism…..and the civil rights movement thought they had accomplished that with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act……but apparently nothing was truly settled in those days with those Acts.

I know let’s form a commission to get to the bottom of this problem.  Seriously?  A Commission?  Action to let politicians feel good about their cowardice.

That seems to be the reaction that all politicians have to the spiraling violence centered around the deaths of black citizens…..Trump has a plan, Dems have a plan and the GOP has a plan….https://lobotero.com/2020/06/19/gop-answer-to-police-violence/……..and all of them basically call for a commission or study group or whatever the politically correct term is these days….but in reality they are just giving a delaying game in the hopes cooler heads will prevail……in other words they are calling for what they always call for….INACTION!

There is nothing new about these calls for a “commission”…..it has been going on since the 1960s….and look where we are today…..fighting the same battles they fought in the 60s…..where’s the progress?

There’s a limit to the relevance of the so-called race riots of the nineteen-sixties to the protests of the moment. But the tragedy is: they’re not irrelevant. Nor is the history that came before. The language changes, from “insurrection” to “uprising” to the bureaucratic “civil disorder,” terms used to describe everything from organized resistance to mayhem. But, nearly always, they leave a bloody trail in the historical record, in the form of government reports. The Kerner Report followed centuries of official and generally hysterical government inquiries into black rebellion, from the unhinged “A Journal of the proceedings in the Detection of the Conspiracy formed by some White People, in conjunction with Negro and other Slaves, for burning the City of New-York in America, and murdering the Inhabitants,” in 1744, to the largely fabricated “Official Report of the Trials of Sundry Negroes, charged with an attempt to raise an insurrection in the state of South-Carolina,” in 1822. The white editor of the as-told-to (and highly dubious) “The Confessions of Nat Turner, the Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Va. . . . also, An Authentic Account of the Whole Insurrection, with Lists of the Whites Who Were Murdered . . . ,” in 1831, wrote, “Public curiosity has been on the stretch to understand the origin and progress of this dreadful conspiracy, and the motives which influences its diabolical actors.” What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again and again?

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/06/22/the-history-of-the-riot-report

Now is not the time to be faint at heart…..protesters MUST not settle for talk…..they have in the past and look where we are today.

Stay in the streets!

Do Not Settle!

“lego ergo scribo”

Our Syria Policy

That’s right there is still a major conflict going on in Syria….it has been push to Page 3 with all the pandemic and protests….but make no mistake it is still as volatile as ever.

And Trump is gonna use one of his favorite things in the whole world….sanction…..to punish Syria.

More specifically the Caesar Act….

The Caesar Act, passed in Congress last year, took effect on Wednesday. It seeks to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into negotiations with Washington, while preventing foreign allies from assisting the reconstruction of Syria’s devastated cities and economy. 

It targets the supporters of the Assad government in politics, business and banking. From Russia to Europe, the Gulf, Lebanon and beyond, the new sanctions may freeze assets and trigger travel bans and arrest warrants against violators.

All that is just good and well….but our policy is not as all that as the neocons pretend……

Washington is deliberately hindering Syria’s economic and physical reconstruction as it pursues regime change in Damascus. Until Assad makes significant political compromises to his opponents, abides by U.N. Security Council Resolutions weighted against his own government, or agrees to resign — demands he has shown no willingness to consider — U.S. sanctions will remain intact and may even tighten. The 83% of Syrians already living in poverty are effectively being punished for the barbarity, corruption, and ineptitude of their government.

In addition to utilizing the power of the U.S. financial system, the Trump administration is also dipping into the U.S. military toolkit. Officially, the American people are told, U.S. troops stationed in Eastern Syria are performing counterterrorism operations against ISIS. The reality, however, is hundreds of American military personnel are being used to block Damascus and Moscow from accessing Syria’s meager oil fields. The logic is fairly straightforward: If Assad is unable to access these fields and export oil again, the financial pressure eventually will force him to offer political concessions to his Syrian adversaries. 

https://www.realclearworld.com/2020/06/16/our_syria_policy_is_broken_496391.html

All this is just the wrong policy…but not according to the Neocons….they say more and stricter sanctions will help the Syrian people…..

The collapse of the lira brought with it rapid inflation. The United Nations’ World Food Programme estimated in April that the cost of a basket of basic goods such as flour and oil had increased by 111 percent over the previous 12 months. Already impoverished by the war and reliant on foreign aid, Syrians are increasingly going hungry, even in areas where Assad’s grip has long been firm. Restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 made the situation more dire, although the regime has begun to lift them. Last week, Assad fired Prime Minister Imad Khamis as public anger rose in areas under the regime’s control. The population of major urban centers seems resigned to Assad’s rule, but there have been unprecedented protests in the southern province of Suwayda, where demonstrators called for Assad’s ouster.

The deprivation Syrians were already enduring raises the perennial question of whether the sanctions will strike a balance between the pressure they exert on rogue regimes and the costs they inflict on civilians. In the case of Syria, the grisly evidence of systematic mass torture has minimized the extent to which elected officials on either side of the Atlantic have questioned the justice of sanctioning Assad and his accomplices. Still, there are a handful of analysts who equate the thinking behind the Caesar Act with the mentality of the Assad regime.

Sanctions Against Syria Will Help, Not Harm, Civilians

Once again the Neocons prove that their only concern is regime change and NOT the good of the Syrian people.

Slapping Assad on the pee-pee does nothing to help the Syrian people that are hungry without health care or any benefits…..

These sanction are effecting more than Syria….Lebanon’s economy is tied with Syria and theirs will collapse with the Syrian….

Syria is also in economic freefall and the value of its curency plummeting. Before the war began nine years ago, $1 was equivalent to around 50 Syrian Pounds. Today, the exchange rate has $1 trading at almost 3,000 Syrian pounds. 

The collapsed financial system has made Syrians more dependent on Lebanon’s banking system, but it is facing its own financial crisis. 

With interlinked economies, the prospect of Lebanese banks dropping Syrian businesses for fear of sanction penalties has sparked concerns that the Caesar Act may worsen the situation in both countries.  

For instance, without access to Lebanese banks, goods and trading partners, the average Syrian may have no other choice but to turn to those empowered in their own country, likely Assad’s allies. 

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-caesar-act-syria-maximum-pressure-campaign

Where does all this insanity stop?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”