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 woundedwarriorproject.org, 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.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

To Make SCOTUS Better?

I have written my thoughts on how I believe SCOTUS could be improved after the death of Ginsburg and the fight that is about to erupt……https://lobotero.com/2020/09/23/dems-need-to-buck-up/ and my plan for the court…..https://lobotero.com/2020/09/25/i-have-lots-to-say-about-scotus/

The Dems are thinking ahead and have apparently been reading IST (JK) for they will offer a new plan for the highest court this week……

Under a bill House Democrats are preparing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have had to retire in 2011—and William O. Douglas, the longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history, would have stepped down in 1957 instead of 1975. The bill, which Democrats plan to introduce next week, limits the terms of Supreme Court justices to 18 years. It excludes those currently on the court, who were appointed to lifetime terms, Reuters reports. Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna says it “would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues.” Recent polls have shown large majorities in favor of introducing term limits, which are already required on the Supreme Courts of every state except Rhode Island.

The bill would allow each president to nominate two justices per four-year term. After their terms expired, justice would became “senior” and would be allowed to return to service on lower courts, as numerous former SCOTUS justices have done, including David Souter. This would allow term limits to be introduced without changing the Constitution, writes Gabe Roth In a USA Today op-ed. Roth is executive director of the nonpartisan Fix the Court group. While Democrats probably won’t be able to stop President Trump nominating a replacement for Ginsburg, “they can join with their conservative colleagues who have long embraced the concept of term limits and ensure that never again will a superannuated bench determine the direction of our country,” he writes.

Rep. Khanna has a bill that could do the trick….

“No justice should feel the weight of an entire country on their shoulders,” Khanna added. “No president should be able to shift the ideology of our highest judicial body by mere chance. Most importantly, our country’s top constitutional questions shouldn’t be decided by a panel of jurists who are biding their time until a president of their choice is elected. It’s time to standardize and democratize the Supreme Court.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/25/time-standardize-and-democratize-supreme-court-ro-khanna-introduces-bill-justice

I like the idea that the Constitution does not needed amending…that process takes so long that my grandchildren will have grandchildren before it is decided…..look at the Equal Rights Amendment written in 1972 and still has not been ratified a half a century later.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Tale Of The Taxes

This is for all those people that have been working tirelessly to get Trump’s tax returns to made public…..well sports fans your wait is over.

Praise be!

After 3+ years of bitching and whining we all get a chance to look into the taxes of our Dear Loving President…..the returns have been made public…..and now we can go to the tale of the taxes…

The most sought-after documents in America have finally surfaced: President Trump’s tax returns. And what they reveal is sobering. Trump, a self-described master of the deal, appears to be taking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year while suffering huge losses that he uses to pay little or nothing in taxes, the New York Times reports. His properties are struggling, he’s deeply in debt, and he’s facing a battle with the IRS could cost him over $100 million. The 20-plus years of documents “reveal the hollowness, but also the wizardry, behind the self-made-billionaire image,” says the Times. “Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.” Among the details:

  • Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years, $750 the year he won the election, and $750 the year after that.
  • He’s facing $421 million in loans and other debts for which he’s personally responsible—most of which will come due over the next four years. If he wins in November, lenders will face the unenviable decision of whether to foreclose on a sitting president. But Trump can use that debt to declare future losses and avoid paying taxes.
  • Beginning in 2010, he successfully claimed an income tax refund of $72.9 million due to his vast losses. That refund is at the heart of an IRS audit fight that could force Trump to repay the refund with interest—possibly more than $100 million.
  • Most of Trump’s key ventures, like his golf courses and Washington hotel, are losing millions of dollars annually. The properties are also magnets for foreign officials and lobbyists, which could represent a conflict of interest for a president who refused to divest himself from his enterprises while in office.
  • Trump’s revenue from licensing deals and The Apprentice—over $420 million in all—is running out, and years ago he sold off stocks that might help him shore up his properties.
  • Alan Garten, a Trump Organization lawyer, tells the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” in its report. He says Trump “has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes” over the past decade, but the Times suggests that Garten is confusing Trump’s income taxes with other federal taxes, like Medicare and Social Security. Garten said Trump paid some taxes with credits, which the Times calls “misleading.”
  • Trump called the Times report “fake news” on Sunday and said he has paid taxes, the AP reports. He didn’t give details but said it “will all be revealed.”

Our fascination even obsession over the Trump taxes has now been satisfied….may we please move on to more pressing issues?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Sino-Iranian Agreement

While the US is playing silly games with Iran like our newest attempt….

the Trump administration announced new sanctions on Iran under the guise of enforcing stipulations of the 2015 nuclear deal, an agreement the US withdrew from in 2018. The US is taking these measures unilaterally, with virtually no international support. The move is not only rejected by the UN Security Council but also by key European allies like the UK, Germany, and France.

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday that is meant to replace a UN arms embargo on Iran that will expire in October. The executive order allows the US to impose sanctions on any individual or entity that sells weapons to Iran.

Announcing the new measures, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted on calling the new sanctions “UN sanctions,” even though a US bid to extend the embargo failed miserably in the UN Security Council. “The President’s executive order announced today gives us a new and powerful tool to enforce the UN arms embargo and hold those who seek to evade UN sanctions accountable,” Pompeo said.

(antiwar.com)

Like I said silly games……

While the idiots in our foreign policy machine are thumping their chests like sex crazed primates the Chinese have entered into an agreement with the government of Iran…..

Rouhani government must show some achievements after more than seven years of office and the Sino-Iranian agreement might be a way for them to say to its people to just wait a little bit more because things will get better. And things in Iran may indeed be better, as the leaked information reveals that one of the terms of the agreement stipulates a Chinese investment of almost $ 400 billion in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries in Iran. Despite this, the deal is so controversial that even some of Iran’s politicians and government media have criticized it. For example, a headline in the newspaper Arman Melli claims that Iran is not Sri Lanka, while an article in the newspaper Hamdeli daily asked whether Iran will become a Chinese colony.

The agreement would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects in Iran. In exchange, China would receive a regular and heavily discounted supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years. Furthermore, it will deepen the military cooperation, and even potentially giving China a foothold in a region that has been a strategic preoccupation of the US for the last decades, which holds a major naval basis there. It is not a new phenomenon and, for example, in December 2019 the two sides together with Russia conducted a four-day joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman. And almost 10 years ago the Major General Zhang Zhaozhong commented that China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war.

Opinion – The Sino-Iran 25 Years Agreement: Why, and Why Now?

So while the US is strutting around like a dickless rooster ….China is expanding its economic base….something Trump has been promising since 2016 and as of yet we have NOT seen any success.

The US needs to learn the fine art of diplomacy again….in the last 3 years it has been replaced with mindless promises and lies.

Maybe the next generation can learn from our mistakes because we are not learning a goddamn thing.

Why do I say the “next generation”? 

This agreement is a 25 year plan…..maybe by then the idotsi will no longer be in control.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”