Closing Thought–30Sep20

Is it a bribe for their votes?

Trump has signed a Executive Order….it is easier than going through Congress… help seniors with their ever expanding drug prices……but will it truly help or just a blatant attempt to bribe the seniors for their vote?

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of a “transparent and pathetic attempt to bribe” seniors for their votes after Trump vowed to send $200 prescription drug discount cards to more than 30 million Medicare recipients just weeks ahead of the November election.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, called Trump’s highly dubious promise “bizarre” and said that “seniors and all Americans don’t need Trump cards, they need real solutions to rip-off drug prices,” which have continued to soar during Trump’s presidency despite his repeated vows to lower them.

“The solution to outlandishly high pharmaceutical prices is not to give people money to offset extortionate drug prices; the solution is to end price gouging altogether,” Weissman said in a statement.

“Seniors and all Americans don’t need Trump cards, they need real solutions to rip-off drug prices.”

Why now?

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What Cost Racism?

This country is once again trying to have that much needed conversation on racism and as usual we are failing miserably.

For instance did you realize that the US could have been $16 trillion (yes, that is trillion with a “T”) but systematic racism deprived the nation of the money.

A report issued by Citigroup, a bastion of capitalism and not some phony Left wing think tank…..

America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years, new research concludes.

The study, released this week by Citigroup, is the latest in a body of research that attempts to quantify the economic impact of systemic racism. Citigroup arrived at its $16 trillion figure after estimating that:

  • Black workers have lost $113 billion in potential wages over the past two decades because they couldn’t get a college degree.
  • The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black applicants couldn’t get home loans.
  • About $13 trillion in business revenue never flowed into the economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn’t access bank loans.

What’s more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today, the study indicated.

“Racial inequality has always had an outsized cost, one that was thought to be paid only by underrepresented groups,” Citigroup Banking Chair Raymond McGuire said in a statement.

If you cannot understand the cost of racism from the point of social issues then maybe you can put your small head around the monetary cost of hatred.

Does this change anything?

Of course not.

This subject will never be settled until until people learn to talk to each instead of at each other.

Or until the country moves past the silly tribalism that is griping our society by the nuts.

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2020 Presidential Debate #1

Last night the long awaited 1st presidential debate was given to the country……and it is now in the can as they say in showbiz…..

This debate was as I thought a war of interruptions and antics…..and political silliness.

The actors in this passion play are President Trump and Joe Biden……and the scenes went something like this…..Trump spend most of his time insulting someone……

With just 35 days until the election, President Trump and Joe Biden took the stage in Cleveland for their first face-off but declined to shake hands due to the coronavirus—one of six topics moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News plans to question the candidates about tonight. The others: the candidates’ records, the Supreme Court, the economy, race and violence in our cities, and the integrity of the election. Up first was SCOTUS, but within minutes the debate had taken on a life of its own, with Trump sparring with Wallace and Trump, Biden, and Wallace talking over each other in a heated and insult-studded early exchange on health care.

  • Wallace began by asking why each candidate’s opinion on the timing of filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat is correct. Trump expressed that “we won the election. Elections have consequences.” Biden responded that “we should wait and see what the outcome of the election is, because that’s the only way the people can express their view.” Trump’s retort: “I’m not elected for three years, I’m elected for four years.”
  • Biden brought up Amy Coney Barrett’s past writings on the Affordable Care Act, which opened the door on a discussion of pre-existing conditions. When Wallace pushed Trump about what his healthcare plan is, Trump said, “I guess I’m debating you, not him. But that’s OK, I’m not surprised.”
  • Trump then went after Biden on the topic, saying that what he has said about health care would turn off progressives. Biden called him a “liar” and a “clown.” After another interruption, Biden said, “Will you shut up, man?”
  • Up next: COVID. Trump vowed a vaccine would be ready “soon” and said he was speaking “sarcastically” when Biden brought up Trump’s previous comments about Americans consuming bleach. When asked about masks, Trump said “I think masks are OK. I put a mask on when I think I need it.” He then mocked Biden for wearing one all the time. Biden then expressed that experts have said 100,000 lives could be saved by January if mask wearing and social distancing recommendations are adhered to. Trump responded that many health experts have said “the opposite” on the subject of masks. Biden: “No serious person has said the opposite.”
  • Wallace asked Trump directly if reports he paid just $750 a year in federal income tax was true. After pushing him to directly answer the question on how much he paid in 2016 and 2017, Trump said, “Millions of dollars. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws and that’s what it is.” Biden kept pushing Trump to releasing his tax returns, finally saying, “You are the worst president America has ever had.”
  • Trump went after Biden’s son Hunter, asking after his business dealings in Ukraine. It was an expected topic, and Biden had a response ready: “This is not about my family or his family, this is about your family—the American people. He doesn’t want to talk about what you need.”
  • Things devolved to the point that when Wallace began the segment on race, he told Trump he was going to ask about race but Trump could use his two minutes to say whatever he wanted. Trump quickly referenced the 1994 crime bill Biden helped pass, accusing Biden of treating the Black community “about as bad as anybody in this country.” Said Trump, “You called them superpredators and you’ve called them worse than that.”
  • On the subject of law and order, Trump called out Democratic-led cities like New York and Chicago and said Biden would destroy the suburbs. “He wouldn’t recognize a suburb unless he took a wrong turn,” quipped Biden.
  • Wallace asks Biden about “reimagining policing,” which is stated in the Biden-Sanders document, and whether he backs Black Lives Matter’s call for community control of policing. Biden said he is not in favor of defunding the police. Trump said Biden “has no law enforcement support” and pushes him to name a law enforcement group that is backing him; Biden doesn’t answer.
  • Wallace then asked the candidates, “Why should voters elect you president?” Trump was up first: “Because there has never been an administration or president that has done more than I’ve done in a period of three and a half years,” even with “the impeachment hoax.” From Biden: “Under this president we’ve become weaker, sicker, poor, more divided, and more violent.”
  • On the topic of climate change, Trump said, “I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air, immaculate water.” When asked about greenhouse gas emissions as a contributor he said yes, they’re a factor. But he said we need better forest management, citing the fires in California. “That’s burning down because of a lack of management.”
  • The last topic was about mail-in ballots and the integrity of the election. “We might not know who wins for months,” said Trump. “He’s just afraid of counting the votes,” said Biden at one point. As for the ballots, Trump said solicited ballots are just fine but that unsolicited ones sent automatically to voters aren’t, and said there are examples of fraud already. “This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,” he said.

This debate was the worst and best thing I watched all day.  He sounded like a 4 year old and a total amateur….and this person wants 4 more years…..sadly I think Nero would have been a better candidate.

I have a few words from those that analyzed the debate…..

  • RedState: “This is a hard one, folks. Time and again, this debate proved to me that this is a terrifying time to be alive,” writes senior editor Joe Cunningham. “Two old men shouting at each other while a third old man tries to get them to stop shouting at each other? Watching this debate was a type of self-destructive behavior that I’ll be recovering from for a while, I think.” He declares Trump the winner, “but barely.” Full piece here.
  • Vox: A number of writers at the site list three winners (none of them Trump or Biden) and four losers of the night. One of the winners? China. “No government can feasibly end American global hegemony—except for the American one,” argues Zack Beauchamp. “Nobody benefits more from this kind of internal discord in the world’s most powerful state than China.” Full piece here.
  • Washington Post: Aaron Blake is one of many naming Wallace a clear loser of the night. “What struck me most was Wallace’s attempts to almost placate Trump,” Blake writes. “‘Mr. President you’re going to be very happy, because we’re going to talk about law and order,’ Wallace said at one point while trying to move past Trump talking over Biden. ‘Let me ask—sir, you’ll be happy, I’m about to pick up on one of your points to ask the vice president,’ Wallace said at another point.” Full piece, which is one of multiple to use the word “unwatchable,” here.
  • More from the right: Hot Air’s livestream combines tweets from a number of Townhall Media editors; see it here. A number of the tweets slam Wallace, most seem happy with Trump’s performance, and at least one points out that Biden refused to answer a question about Democrats potentially packing the Supreme Court.
  • Axios: Mike Allen, who calls the debate “a hot mess,” was apparently so disheartened by the whole thing the site’s own format sort of fell apart. In the “Why it matters” section after one point, Allen writes simply, “Honestly, who the hell knows?” Full piece here.
  • Politico: David Siders says the “mayhem” of the night didn’t throw Biden off, and writes that if the talking points around the election itself are any indication, the aftermath is going to be “war.” The president said at one point that he is “counting on” the Supreme Court to “look at the ballots.” Full piece here.
  • Wall Street Journal: Rebecca Ballhaus writes that amid the “messy” debate, Biden “gave a more forceful performance than the low expectations set for him by the president and his allies.” That said, Trump did appear to “rattle” him several times. Full piece here.
  • Fact checking: ABC News fact-checks the debate, and finds multiple falsehoods. Full piece here. CNN’s version is here. The Federalist has a piece about Biden making a false claim about Dr. Fauci; see that here.

All in all the night did one thing…..let people know that Joe Biden is by far a better candidate….it was the most nonsensical evening I have ever spent.

Debate #2 will be 15 October 2020 and I will be watching (if my stomach can hold up)…..but my thought is that we do not need another debate for we have seen and heard everything we need to know about the people running…..

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New Map For Middle East

It has finally happened….all the influence that the US has in the courts of the Middle East has proven to be just what Israel needed…..

And the Neocons dance.

The new agreement signed between Israel and UAE and Bahrain threatens to draw a new map…but to what end?

The imminent establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, is part of an on-going process of security cooperation going back many years. While that robs the event of some drama, it also increases its significance. It means that the process of ending the era of Arab-Israeli confrontation will continue, culminating perhaps in a political upheaval in Iran. That is the road that the Middle East may now be on.

Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait are some of the Arab countries reported to be considering peace deals with Israel. One or two of those countries may hold back, and Saudi Arabia, while supporting the process of regional normalization with Israel, may officially withhold formal recognition. It doesn’t matter. Even without official ties, all these countries have in a spiritual sense ended their hostility to the Jewish state.

Sudan and Oman may be the next to jump on this doomed agreement…

According to reports in Israeli media, Sudan and Oman could announce normalization deals with Israel as soon as next week. The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Friday that Oman and Sudan are currently involved in US-brokered talks with Israel.

Israel’s i24News reported on Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to meet with Sudan’s Sovereignty Council Chairman Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda in the coming days.

Sources also told i24News that a Sudanese-Israeli Friendship Association will be inaugurated in Khartoum on Saturday. This inauguration is expected to start a normalization process between the two countries.

Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terror by the US in 1993. Khartoum has been negotiating with the US to be removed from that list for over a year. Sources told Reuters that the US is now demanding Sudan normalizes with Israel to be taken off the list.


So a form of bribery to get some to play nice with Israel.

Keep in mind that Israel has done very little to live up to their agreements in the past….like the Oslo Accords…..

Then there is the history of the Arab League comes into the story…..why would they abandon the Palestinian people in favor of Israel?

As one Gulf state after another embraces formal ties with Israel, some have looked to the Arab League to condemn normalisation. Yet to understand why the league will do nothing of the sort, one has to go back to its founding. 

The League of Arab States was founded in 1945 at the instigation and planning of Britain to protect British imperial interests.

The British made sure that the Palestine question was subcontracted to the independent Arab states to absolve itself of responsibility for what it had wrought in the country. Seventy-five years later, the league has been transformed beyond recognition in most aspects, except in its major role of serving imperial interests.

Just another betrayal of democratic principles in favor of a profits for the war machine.

I do not always agree with the Neocons and this is one area that I think they are paid agents of Israel…..they are making the new “peace deal”” sound like it is the end agreement….

Take, for example, the recent peace deals signed between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. These agreements were the result of a United States-led peace initiative widely condemned by professional diplomats and self-styled foreign policy experts. After Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution that condemned the move. The General Assembly later voted 128-9 to denounce America’s decision.

The General Assembly’s position on Jerusalem, of course, paled in comparison to the U.N.’s many decades of financing hatred in the Middle East toward Israel and Jews through its duplicative Palestinian-related committees, the Israel-bashing Human Rights Council, and the U.N. agency for so-called Palestinian refugees. These raise and educate generation after generation to hate Israelis and reject any peace that doesn’t lead to Israel’s destruction.

Trump succeeded where the UN failed

If you read that piece then you will notice that little mention about the rights and lives of the country’s original residents is made…instead it is hawking to benefits of Israel……FDD is a front for Neocon ideology…….there is more they have to say….

Criticism of Israel’s treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been relentless. The New York Times’ Roger Cohen calls it “Trump’s Middle Eastern Mirage” and “something rotten.” A Washington Post oped calls it “a big step – in the wrong direction.” Reporting by Bloomberg describes the deal as “thin.” Middle East analyst Daniel Levy writes that the agreement is merely “the codification of an existing reality” which does “nothing by way of advancing peace in any arena.” They are wrong.

The “Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel” is a robust, legally binding peace treaty that represents a strategic pivot by the UAE. The UAE-Israel Peace Treaty commits the two countries to a relationship far warmer—and with far more intensive cooperation in economic, scientific, and social fields—than the cold peace Israel has with Egypt and Jordan (outside the security field).

UAE-Israel Treaty Is Far Larger Step Towards Peace Than Critics Allege

Once again these people are calling this a “good” deal… does not take into consideration the numerous human rights violations of Israel against the people of the West Bank and Gaza…..this is just another piece of manure disguised as a deal.

These is little democratic principles at work in the “only democracy in the Middle East”….money can buy a lot of beneficial PR.

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Tonight’s The Night

Closing Thought–29Sep20

For those political junkies that have been waiting with bated breath……..Tonight at 9 pm Eastern the first debate between Trump and challenger Biden will be held…

The big day is here for President Trump and Joe Biden—the first of three presidential debates takes place in Cleveland. The debate is scheduled to run from 9 to 10:30pm ET, and it will be carried on all the major networks and streamed online at multiple places, including C-SPAN. If a poll out of Monmouth University is correct, the event could have heavy viewership—74% of registered voters say they plan to tune in. However, only 3% think it’s very likely they’ll hear anything to change their minds about their vote, notes the Washington Post.

Most voters (63%) say they’d like the debate moderator—in this case, Chris Wallace of Fox News—to fact-check the candidates on the fly, but don’t hold your breath. An exec with the Presidential Debate Commission told CNN over the weekend that the commission is not asking its moderators to assume that role, notes Forbes. “The minute the TV is off, there are going to be plenty of fact-checkers at every newspaper and every television station in the world,” said Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. “That’s not the main role of our moderators.”

I will be listening and watching and will give my take Tuesday here on IST…

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Those Government Contracts

I have written about the massive amount of money that we throw at the Defense Department and a blogging friend over at Libertas And Latte ( ) has given me his insights into the process.

Having never had applied for contract I am not really super informed and I appreciate his thoughts and his corrections.

So I decided to check into the contract process and this is what I found…in an article written by Julie Bowden-Davis……

1. Register. In order to sell to any government entity, you must obtain a Dun & Bradstreet number. This is used as your contractor identification code. From there, you register on the System for Award Management (SAM), the primary database of vendors doing business with the government.

2. Think inside the box. When it comes to government contracts, innovative business ideas aren’t generally encouraged. “Small-business people are entrepreneurs by nature,” Karch says, “but the government by nature exists to support the people and isn’t tasked with innovation and isn’t measured by the lack of providing it. 

3. Sell what you know. Given the fact that the government is interested in high-quality work that fulfills a direct need, it makes sense to sell what you do well. “If you’re in the technology space, create a niche,” Karch suggests. “If you’re in construction, create a unique value proposition. Or, if you’re in a health-care field, create a unique benefit to the overall wellness of the end user.”

4. Revise when necessary. In order to land government contracts, small-business owners must be diligent in modifying their company offerings so they fit government needs, Karch says. “With technology products or services, think about security; with construction, think about scale; and with health care, think about the long-term process. Of course, these modifications can take time, but making them also benefits your company.”

5. Get help. Errors and omissions can disqualify you, so it’s important to get assistance. “Government contracting is filled with nuances, acronyms, procedures and regulations that require expertise,” Karch says. “The SBA employs procurement representatives at various area offices to help businesses throughout the process, and there are numerous online resources, too.”

6. Check your commitment level. “Recognizing the tremendous effort required to apply for government contracts is essential,” says Burt Wolder, a consultant with Ragland Burton Communications, who was working for Hooper Holmes, a company that provides health risk assessment services to the life insurance and health insurance industries, when it was awarded a multi-year contract to support the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs last September.

7. Have patience. Applying for government contracts is a long-term process, Karch says. “It’s sometimes difficult for small businesses to be patient when it comes to revenue generation,” he notes, “but in the government contracting arena, patience is more than just a virtue—it’s an absolute must. Your return on investment is measured in quarters and years, not weeks and months.”

Or try these steps to becoming a contractor for the government.

  • Update your business plan for government contracting. Define your business, identify your goals, qualify your resources and determine how you will market your organization to government agencies and contractors. Your business plan can serve as your resume and help your potential customers and supporters understand your business and your goals.
  • Identify your North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS, code.
  • Use the SBA Size Standard Tool and determine if your business qualifies as a small business.
  • Sign up for your business identification or DUNS number online or by or calling Dun & Bradstreet at 866-705-5711. This process normally takes one business day.
  • Register in the Central Contractor Registry in the System for Award Management, or SAM, by providing general, corporate, goods and services, financial and point-of-contact information. It can take up to 10 days after you submit your information before your account is active. If you previously registered for a CCR, your information will transfer automatically into the SAM system. Update your information if necessary.
  • Submit the Online Representations and Certifications Application, or ORCA, through SAM.
  • Get a Commercial and Government Entity code. Your CAGE code is automatically created when you apply for your CCR, so make sure you record the code for future use.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Federal Acquisitions Register, or FAR. Focus on Part 19, the section on small businesses.
  • Identify business opportunities with resources like, where you can search for contract opportunities over $25,000, and SUBNET, where prime contractors and subcontractors connect to form partnership opportunities.
  • Use your resources. Get help from the Small Business Administration and the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.

Sounds like a time consuming process does it not?  But I guess the rewards are well with a little time on the web.

If I missed anything please feel free to correct or add to the information.

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Trump’s “Platinum Plan”

Donald the Orange has issued a new economic plan aimed at improving relations with the Black community… will be called “the Platinum Plan”….

President Trump took aim at Black voters Friday by offering a new multi-billion-dollar plan and taking a jab at his Democratic rival, CNN reports. “No one in politics today has done more to hurt the Black community than Joe Biden,” Trump said at a campaign event in Atlanta. “Joe Biden should not be demanding your support; he should be begging for your forgiveness.” Trump’s campaign said his so-called “platinum plan” would funnel up to $40 billion in government funding—and perhaps hundreds of billions more from the private sector—for Black business loans, per NPR. White House advisor Ja-Ron Smith called it “historic” for a GOP president to focus “on the economic empowerment of the Black community.”

Trump’s plan is packed with other planks, like designating Antifa and the KKK as “terrorist organizations” and making Juneteenth a national holiday, Fox News reports. It would also aim to improve healthcare for Black communities; allow Black churches to vie for federal resources; install “diversity training” in law enforcement; and boost Black educational opportunities by closing “failing schools” in favor of “full school choice and education opportunity.” The rollout comes amid gloomy polling numbers for Trump among Black voters, who prefer Biden by roughly a 75-point margin. Forbes, meanwhile, runs through Trump’s plan and says “it’s not clear” where much of the funding will come from.

Antifa?  Has anyone of these mental midgets ever taken a look that is?  It is NOT…I repeat NOT a single group but a loose organization of people who despise fascists so how will they decide which ones will be the ‘terrorists’?  A lame ass attempt to look strong….instead that appear to be idiots.

He, Trump, looks desperate…..this is an ambitious plan that will probably never see the light of day if he is re-elected……but I am being too pessimistic….here is his “Plan”……

The president on Friday is expected to roll out details of what the campaign is calling the “Platinum Plan,” which details “opportunity,” “security,” “prosperity,” and “fairness” for the Black Community.

The president’s plan, according to the campaign, will increase access to capital in Black communities by almost $500 billion, help to create 500,000 new Black-owned businesses, and help to create 3 million new jobs for the Black community.

(FOX News)

This from the president that has done more for black people than even Lincoln (that is my favorite bullshit line of all time)

But please take some time and look over his new “Plan” and tell me what you think.

Click to access president-trump-platinum-plan-final-version.pdf

Does this truly sound like a Plan that Trump would offer?

To me it does not…..some campaign worker wrote it in a desperate attempt to find some Afro-American voters for November.

Another one if my thoughts is if this is so damn important why was it nor part of the non-existent GOP platform?

This is a con job!

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Banned Books Week 2020

I would like to thank Kim for reminding us that censorship of books is still alive and well……chuq

By Hook Or By Book


It’s that time of year again, where much needed attention is called to the fact that censorship is very much alive and well. I have a crazy week ahead of me, so I won’t be spending as much time up on my soapbox as I have in previous years regarding this, but check out this list of the top ten most frequently banned and challenged books of 2019.

Banned Books Week – The 10 Most Challenged Titles Of 2019

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Conflict In The Caucasus

I have been watching the spiraling conditions around the Caucacus….especially between Armenia and Azerbaijan……I know most Americans have no idea what I am talking about or even where…..

History of the Caucasus - Wikipedia

This conflict has been simmering since the break-up of the USSR….as I have stated I have been watching the region for trouble and I have nbeen writing about it as well…..

As you see they have been sniping at each other for years….and that “minor” conflict is getting a bit more warm….

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out Sunday around the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Defense Ministry said two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down.

Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan also said Armenian forces hit three Azerbaijani tanks. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan that has been out of Azerbaijan’s control since the end of a war in 1994. Both sides have heavy military presence along a demilitarized zone separating the region from the rest of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry denied the claim that its helicopters and tanks had been hit. But President Ilham Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation that “there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment.”

Caucasian Union: Ever Closer Union of Six Caucasian Nations : imaginarymaps

I spend a lot of time looking at “open source” intel trying to tell what will transpire……India-Pakistan have walked back from the brink of war…..Greece and Turkey are trying to solve their problems as well….but will these two ever “bury the hatchet” that is not in one another’s head?

There is the Bishtek Protocol of 1992……28 years have passed since the time when Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan have signed the Bishkek Protocol on Ceasefire and have agreed to solve all existing problems only by the help of diplomacy and according to the generally accepted principles of international law. Since 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has take the initiative for resolution of the existing conflict and is acting through the OSCE Minsk Group. Each year the OSCE Minsk Group, which consists of the Russian Federation, USA and France, is the mediation group and is responsible for peacemaking process, organizes a lot formal and informal meetings of the heads of three conflicting parties, but so far they have not got any positive results. Anyway, conflicting parties highly appreciate all efforts of the international community and have stated for many times that are ready to negotiate and find joint solution to the conflict on the basis of the internationally accepted and recognized norms of the international law.

Apparently diplomacy is not working…..and with the current admin in DC I do not see a diplomatic solution.  So the world holds its breath that calmer heads will prevail.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and are moving dangerously toward war this weekend after heavy fighting in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. At least 16 Nagorno-Karabakh troops were killed in a morning Azeri attack.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been contested for decades. Legally it is viewed as part of Azerbaijan, while Armenia guarantees its independence. The two nations often come into conflict over the region, but haven’t fought a full-scale war for many years.

Nagorno-Karabakh reported they were hit in the morning with airstrikes and artillery attacks. Azerbaijan claimed those attacks were retaliation for Armenian shelling against their forces, which killed five civilians.

Azerbaijan has taken control of seven villages, but lost some of the territory later in the day. Russia is leading a diplomatic push to calm matters, while Turkey is threatening to join the fight.

You know I wish someone would have thought about the dangers in this region before…..WAIT!…..

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Closing Thought–28Sep20

On this day in 1904 a woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in NYC….just think if that was to go before the newest SCOTUS nominee…..

Just a thought!

Now for the heart of this post…..

I have been writing about the suicide rate among our military people since the very beginning of this blog……..a story that does not get much play in this minute by minute reporting of the 24 hour news cycle….

Just last week even more bad news has been released about the steep rise in the suicides within our military…..

Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to the same period in 2019, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked as service members struggle under COVID-19, war-zone deployments, national disasters, and civil unrest. While the data is incomplete and causes of suicide are complex, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already-strained force. And senior Army leaders—who say they’ve seen about a 30% jump in active duty suicides so far this year—said they are looking at shortening combat deployments, the AP reports; soldiers; 10-month deployments have been stretched to 11 months because of the two-week coronavirus quarantines at the beginning and end.

Such a move would be part of a broader effort to make the well-being of soldiers and their families the Army’s top priority. The Pentagon refused to provide 2020 data or discuss the issue, but Army officials said Defense Department briefings indicate there has been up to a 20% jump in overall military suicides this year. The Army Guard is up about 10%, from 78 to 86. The Navy total is believed to be lower this year. Pointing to increases in Army suicides, murders, and other violent behavior, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said: “We cannot say definitively it is because of COVID. But there is a direct correlation from when COVID started, the numbers actually went up.” When calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255, military veterans should press 1. They also can go to, or call the project at 888-997-2586.

I think that zeroing in on the virus as a cause is a bit wrong……the virus is a convenient excuse and gives them an out to explain the rise in the deaths of service people.

I believe that a deep examination needsw to be had and as far as “doing all” to help prevent these deaths is the same thing they say every time and so far these “attempts” have failed.

Maybe it is time for a new approach.

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