Closing Thought–28Oct20

Today in history….the natives around New Orleans in 1768 revolt against the Spanish governor of the territory……

The Insurrection of 1768 constituted a rebellion against colonial Louisiana’s first Spanish governor, Antonio de Ulloa, and a temporary victory for New Orleans’s elite French Creoles. The revolt occurred after the 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War (1754–1763) and divided the territories of French colonial Louisiana between Spain and England. Events surrounding the insurrection revealed long-standing problems with the colonial government of French Louisiana and the initial weaknesses of Spain’s occupation policy. Spanish forces would ultimately resolve the conflict in 1769 and control Louisiana west of the Mississippi River for the remainder of the century.

Insurrection of 1768

Now with the history lesson complete…..I shall move on to the meat of this post…..

While the US remains tied down by its many many endless wars….other nations are trying to extricate themselves from the scenario that the US keeps living with…..

I read an article recently that Britain is confirming that it will withdraw from the military missions of the EU…..as reported by Reuters…..

Britain has formally notified the European Union of its intention to withdraw from the bloc’s military missions by the end of this year, EU officials told envoys on Wednesday, diplomats said.

As one of Europe’s biggest military powers, Britain is central to European security efforts but EU and British negotiators agreed in March 2018 that Britain could not continue to lead or take part in EU missions when London leaves the EU.

Spain and Italy have agreed to take a larger role in many of the EU’s 17 peacekeeping and training operations around the world.

Who will step up to fill the void left by Great Britain when they finally depart from the EU?

Any Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

P.S.  We will be boarding up and getting everything ready for the storm name Zeta to arrive.  Hopefully I will be back tomorrow but Zeta may have a different idea.  Scary that Zeta looks like it will become a Cat 2 storm…now that is some dangerous stuff.

I will try to post from my cel phone…..as much as I can.

But we will persevere!

See you soon.

Break Them Up! Break Them Up!

Google has been sued for using their influence on the web…..

The Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google has been abusing its online dominance in online search to stifle competition and harm consumers, per the AP. The Washington Post also has the story, saying it “could have vast implications not only for Google but the entirety of a tech industry that has faced new, unprecedented scrutiny in recent years for the unrivaled power, money and data it has amassed.” The litigation marks the government’s most significant act to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. The suit could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon, and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

Lawmakers and consumer advocates have long accused Google, whose corporate parent Alphabet Inc. has a market value just over $1 trillion, of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits. Critics contend that multibillion-dollar fines and mandated changes in Google’s practices imposed by European regulators in recent years weren’t severe enough and that structural changes are needed for Google to change its conduct. The case is expected to be filed in federal court in DC, and will also allege that Google uses billions collected from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers.

The next question should be…just how does Google’s monopoly hurt you?

I am glad you asked…..

Let’s Google together. Open a Web browser and search for T-shirts. I’ll wait.

Is the first thing you see a search result? I’m not talking about the stuff labeled Ads or Maps. On my screen, the actual result is not in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or even eighth row of stuff. It’s buried on row nine.

Googling didn’t used to require so much . . . scrolling. On some searches, it’s like Where’s Waldo but for information.

Without us even realizing it, the internet’s most-used website has been getting worse. On too many queries, Google is more interested in making search lucrative than a better product for us.

https://www.thehour.com/business/article/How-does-Google-s-monopoly-hurt-you-Try-these-15657855.php

That question has been answered,,,the next is….what to do?  What to do?

I say treat them as we did AT&T in the 1980s…..

How many remember the days when AT&T was broken up?

Are you scratching your head?

If so then you are too young to remember that break-up of AT&T under the Reagan administration…..let Wikipedia fill in the gaps for you….

The breakup of the Bell System was mandated on January 8, 1982, by an agreed consent decree providing that AT&T Corporation would, as had been initially proposed by AT&T, relinquish control of the Bell Operating Companies that had provided local telephone service in the United States and Canada up until that point.[1] This effectively took the monopoly that was the Bell System and split it into entirely separate companies that would continue to provide telephone service. AT&T would continue to be a provider of long-distance service, while the now-independent Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), nicknamed the ‘Baby Bells’, would provide local service, and would no longer be directly supplied with equipment from AT&T subsidiary Western Electric.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakup_of_the_Bell_System

I bring up this bit of history because there is a plan afoot to try and break up the mega-corporations…..

The Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee released its report on big tech last Tuesday concluding a 16-month investigation into the business practices of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google.

The 449-page majority report, entitled, “Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets,” states in the foreword that the four corporations worth a combined $5 trillion—more than a third of the S&P 100—wield their market dominance “in ways that erode entrepreneurship, degrade Americans’ privacy online, and undermine the vibrancy of the free and diverse press.”

The House Judiciary subcommittee chair, Democrat David Cicilline from Rhode Island, wrote in the forward, “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/13/tech-o13.html

Did you see this bit of news on your favorite channel?

I am guessing you did not….another way the MSM is used to keep the public in the dark on what is actually happening.

I agree that they should be broken up but I also fear that this plan could create even bigger and more powerful corporations.

What makes me think that?

AT&T dominated the telephone market for most of the 20th century. The company was so big, it was forced to break up into eight smaller companies in 1984. Today, almost all of those companies are once again part of AT&T, along with cellular carriers and cable providers. Here’s how the company grew so big that the government broke it up — only to see it become even bigger. Following is a transcript of the video.

https://www.businessinsider.com/att-breakup-1982-directv-bell-system-2018-02

This plan may not be in the best interest of the nation….especially when Dems are concerned for they are just as deep into the pockets of corporations as the GOP.

Vox also looks at the way to deal with the mega-corporations….

Much of the debate has focused on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and, most recently, a Trump administration initiative to get the Federal Communications Commission to modify the law. As my colleague Sara Morrison explains, they can’t really do that. The Section 230 debate, however, has been awash in misunderstanding and misinformation, with lots of hectoring about an alleged (but fake) legal distinction between a “platform” and a “publisher.”

What the law actually says is that if I run a computer service and you use it to libel someone, then you are legally responsible for the libel but I am not. At one point in the early internet, there was concern that if a company edited or moderated its comments sections in any way, that would expose the company to legal liability for anything it failed to remove. Section 230 sought to encourage moderation (there’s no porn on Instagram, for example) by clarifying that this is not the case.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the House have been pushing for antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies, something Republicans have at least rhetorically backed from time to time.

https://www.vox.com/21520568/social-media-phone-company-big-three

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden Stuff

Soon the doors to polling stations will be thrown open and some of us will head in to cast our cherished vote…..I think most voters know all they need to know about Donald the Orange….but what do they know about his opponent, Joe Biden other than he was VP under Obama?

Is that enough?

What is his stand on foreign policy or taxes or trade or criminal justice on and on…..?

This is my attempt to help those few people that are struggling with their vote…..hopefully this will help them in some small way….

These are previous posts on IST about the Biden agenda….

https://lobotero.com/2020/10/13/biden-harris-financial-policies/

https://lobotero.com/2020/06/18/biden-and-criminal-justice/

https://lobotero.com/2020/05/27/biden-on-trade/

Since trade was a big issue in 2016 and Trump probably won because of his stands….let’s look at Biden’s…..

Trade policy, however, plays no big role in Biden’s campaign and economic plan. So what can we expect in US trade policy under a President Biden? On the one hand, it can be assumed that he would reverse some of Trump’s shifts in trade policy. First, even if Biden would not just rejoin the TPP as it was signed, he promised to renegotiate the deal to improve labor and environmental standards and counter-balance China. Second, it is likely that a Biden administration would drop imposed tariffs against allies such as the European Union (EU). To what extent a Biden administration would push forward a trade deal with the EU is hard to predict. While Biden highlights in his campaign that he plans to ‘lead the democratic world’, trade policy is no priority for him.

Opinion – Bidenomics: US Trade Policy under a Biden Presidency

Let’s move on…..

https://lobotero.com/2020/05/26/biden-and-taxes/

https://lobotero.com/2020/04/23/bidens-foreign-policy/

The Center For American Progress has offered up a plan for Biden in National Security…..https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/reports/2020/10/19/491715/first-100-days-toward-sustainable-values-based-national-security-approach/

If Biden wins will he step up and do what is needed for the country and our issues?  Or will he just be a repeat of the Obama years and the wars…

Joe Biden might be elected president next week. What would that mean for U.S. foreign policy? President Donald Trump’s failings are many and obvious. Unfortunately, Biden’s assumptions and plans, though different, are equally flawed.

Almost certainly there would be more pervasive intervention, ceaseless meddling, self-serving demands, economic sanctions, deadly drones, intermittent bombing, continuing occupation, and endless war. More lives and wealth wasted. More foreign societies ruined. More world problems created and seeds of future crises planted. Rather like the last two decades.

President Joe Biden Plans a World of Endless Intervention and Probably War

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

SCOTUS: A Future Battle

All the noise around the newest attempt to pack the court with conservs to lead the fight on rights looks certain to move forward……(but the GOP is not packing the courts)…..

Then there has been noise about a Biden attempt to make the Supreme Court more in-line with typical America (whatever that is)……

Biden has said what Dems always say…..he will appoint a commission to study reform…..that means that they will drag their feet and accomplish NOTHING….as usual.

In an interview airing Sunday on “60 Minutes,” Biden told O’Donnell that if elected he would put together a bipartisan group to provide recommendations within 180 days on how his administration should work to reform the U.S. court system.

“If elected, what I will do is I’ll put together a national commission of, a bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberal, conservative. And I will … ask them to over 180 days come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack … the way in which it’s being handled,”

(thehill.com)

The House Dems have offered up a bill that I covered recently…..https://lobotero.com/2020/09/28/to-make-scotus-better/

Looks like law experts have jumped on the Dems bandwagon…..

Over two dozen constitutional law experts on Friday endorsed legislation recently introduced by a trio of House Democrats that would establish 18-year term limits for U.S. Supreme Court justices.

The endorsement letter (pdf) signed by professors and scholars across the country, along with a former U.S. senator and a former chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court, comes as the Senate GOP is trying to confirm right-wing Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s third nominee to the high court, before the November general election.

The ongoing political battle over the Supreme Court vacancy that resulted from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has elevated discussions and proposals to reform the high court. The term limits bill (pdf) was unveiled last month by Reps. Khanna (D-Calif.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), and Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.).

“We can’t face a national crisis every time a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court,” Khanna said while announcing the Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act (H.R. 8424), which would allow presidents to nominate two new appointees per four-year term.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/23/constitutional-law-experts-endorse-democrats-bill-create-18-year-term-limits-supreme

I like this proposal.

I do not think that partisan agents like Federalist Society should be consulted on judge nominations……NO political partisan group should have anything to say on nominations other than op-eds in support or opposition.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read I Write You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Push Back To Leaving Afghanistan

I have seen the reasons that some have for Trump’s decision to move our troops out of Afghanistan……most of those that want to stay are getting paid by the corporations that are milking the taxpayers out of their money…..and that includes the former VP Biden…he has NO plan to bring our troops home..

Beyond that I have made an accusation that it is about the cash and not the foreign policy……here is why I say this….

The 19-year-old war in Afghanistan continues to be a huge sinkhole for US taxpayer dollars. The US government’s oversight authority that monitors waste in Washington’s Afghanistan reconstruction effort released a report this month updating its findings.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that as of December 31st, 2019, Congress appropriated almost $134 billion to Afghanistan reconstruction since the 2002 fiscal year. Of that amount, SIGAR reviewed about $63 billion and found approximately $19 billion or 30 percent was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.

Between January 1st, 2018, and December 31st, 2019, SIGAR found an additional $3.4 billion was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse. Of that total, SIGAR identified $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds that were lost to waste, $300 million lost to fraud, and $34 million lost to abuse. The remaining $1.6 billion was allocated to counter-narcotics, which SIGAR believes was also wasted.

In a 2018 report, SIGAR described US counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan as a “failure.” A UN report from 2019 found Afghanistan is the source of 80 percent of the world’s illicit opium production despite the billions of US taxpayer dollars being spent to stop it.

Since SIGAR was formed in 2008, the oversight authority has investigated approximately 44 percent of the $134 billion spent by the US on Afghanistan reconstruction. According to Brown University’s Costs of War project, as of September 2019, the US has spent $2 trillion on the war in Afghanistan. The number includes interest on borrowed money used to fund the war and money spent on care for veterans

(antiwar.com)

Can you see it now?

Close to $2 trillion and who thinks that the M-IC will give up that easy cash without a fight?

Here’s another thought about the $2 trillion…..

Pursuing trade and industrial policies that boost U.S. exports and eliminate the trade deficit while investing $2 trillion over four years in the nation’s infrastructure, clean energy, and energy efficiency improvements could support 6.9 to 12.9 million “good jobs” annually by 2024, according to an analysis published Tuesday.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/20/investing-2-trillion-us-clean-energy-and-infrastructure-could-create-millions-good

Something to think about…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”