Closing Thought–19Nov20

What does the richest man in the world do with some of his cash?

Why he gives it away….you know kinda like Gates and Buffet…..with no other motive than the kindness in his heart……Hahahahaha!  Sorry I could not continue without laughing.

What am I going on about?

The world’s richest man is a teensy bit less rich. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is donating $791 million, via grants to 16 groups that are working to combat climate change. “I’ve spent the past several months learning from a group of incredibly smart people who’ve made it their life’s work to fight climate change and its impact on communities around the world,” the billionaire wrote on Instagram. “I’m inspired by what they’re doing, and excited to help them scale. Today, I’m pleased to announce the first Bezos Earth Fund recipients—16 organizations working on innovative, ambitious, and needle-moving solutions.” He says he’s committing even more, a total of $10 billion, “to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and others. We can all protect Earth’s future by taking bold action now.”

Bezos is just following in the foot steps of Bill Gates and wife and Warren Buffet….all are giving up their mass fortunes to help society.

Okay I admit it…I am a doubting Thomas….no one that damn rich gives cash way without something in return.

Nope I am not buying the philanthropy for the sake of philanthropy slant to this story.

What will he get for all this “effort”?

My guess is massive tax savings….

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Domestic Challenges For Biden

I had listed the problem areas internationally that president-elect Biden needs to focus on as early as possible. My post…….https://lobotero.com/2020/11/18/international-challenges-for-biden/

Now he has problems in this country that need immediate attention…..as promised thoughts on domestic solutions….

He, Biden, has made a good start on the first issue….the pandemic…..he has already put together a team for the fight…..

Covid-19 Control – As of early November, over 10 million Americans were infected and nearly 240,000 have died of the coronavirus. One of Biden’s first actions after his projected electoral victory was to outline a “science” based plan to “beat Covid-19.” The cornerstone of the plan is to “Provide clear, consistent, evidence-based guidance for how communities should navigate the pandemic – and the resources for schools, small businesses, and families to make it through.” One of the defining aspects of the plan is to establish a “Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt’s War Production Board. It’s how we produced tanks, planes, uniforms, and supplies in record time, and it’s how we will produce and distribute tens of millions of tests.”

Build Prosperity – The U.S. is the throws of recession that could topple into a depression. The recession began in February 2020, just around the time the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Two Harvard economists, David Cutler and Lawrence Summers, paint a grim picture of total costs of the pandemic. “The total cost is estimated at more than $16 trillion, or approximately 90% of the annual gross domestic product of the US,” they wrote. “Approximately half of this amount is the lost income from the COVID-19–induced recession; the remainder is the economic effects of shorter and less healthy life.”

Prosperity for whom? Is my question.

Racial Justice – The Biden campaign is notable for two critical cultural developments. One is selecting Kamala Harris as his running mate and her provisional election as the nation’s first woman and first woman-of-color as Vice President. Second, Biden’s acceptance speech was noteworthy for one critical sentence: “The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.”

Good thought…but just how will Biden accomplish this promise?

Save the Climate – In his acceptance speech and his candidate “plan,” Biden never refers to “climate change.” He does advocate a $2 trillion plan to further a “clean energy revolution and environmental justice.” Among the key features of this plan include: cut carbon emissions from power plants; cut greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector; cut particulate matter air pollution; and increase climate spending to rural and urban low-income areas, especially among “BIPOC” (i.e., Black, Indigenous, and people of color).

Counterpunch.org)

These are starting points…there is so much in this nation that needs repair it would be too massive to try and list them all.

Biden and the Democrats should put principles first and rally the nation around a serious vision: an agenda not simply to “restore the soul of America” but to expand that soul, make this country a true global leader as Planet Earth faces its treacherous future.

Any thoughts here?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will Michele Be The New SecDef?

SecDef?

That is government-speak for Secretary of Defense.

I have been spending some time trying to help my readers get a grip on the people that Biden will choose for his cabinet and in turn will be leading our many policies…….,many of those policies have been failures but few will admit.

The front-runner for SecDef is one Michele Flournoy.

I remember her back during the Obama days when he was searching for a SecDef and Chuck Hagel was the leading contender….the year was 2012…..

With opponents of a potential nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R – NE) as Secretary of Defense now centering on the idea that nominating a “white man” would reflect badly on the administration, former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy has emerged as a seeming consensus candidate for advocates who see her as less likely to make any real policy changes.

A former appointee under President Clinton, Flournoy founded the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) to advocate a more “pragmatic” national security policy. In practice this has meant a policy that never questions the notion that military action abroad is a “force for good,” while arguing distinctions without a difference, as when Flournoy endorsed “withdrawing’ from Iraq by leaving 60,000 troops there more or less indefinitely.

Appointed the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy by President Obama in 2008, Flournoy rarely made waves, backing the administration’s policy without exception. A lone noteworthy spot in this term was in 2010, when the Pentagon publicly repudiated her for saying it was unlikely that the US would attack Iran in “the near term.”

(antiwar.com)

I find Biden uninteresting and she will be the perfect fit in his cabinet…..Flournoy’s general uninterestingness makes her a model choice for lobbyists hoping to keep policy unchanged and the gravy train flowing.

Like I said she is the hands on favorite to lead the Pentagon…..but unlike a loyal readers of IST, https://libertasandlatte.wordpress.com/  I do not think she is what this country needs…..at this time.

She is tied tooth and nail to the defense industry and their desires may well come before the needs of the troops.

Even her thoughts are scary…..

The next Pentagon chief could cement the US’ already hard defence line on China, with one contender suggesting that American forces could bolster deterrence with the ability to “sink all” Chinese vessels “within 72 hours” in the South China Sea.

“For example, if the US military had the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours, Chinese leaders might think twice before, say, launching a blockade or invasion of Taiwan; they would have to wonder whether it was worth putting their entire fleet at risk,” Flournoy said.

Defence and diplomatic observers said that realising that idea would come at huge cost but appointing its advocate would signal that the US would keep piling military pressure on China.

https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/11/15/20/a-harder-us-line-potential-pentagon-chief-floated-idea-to-sink-china-fleet-in-72-hours

These things said need to be scrutinized……and scrutinized hard!

But she is still the duck in the barrel for Defense…..Defense News takes a look at her…..

The next U.S. defense secretary must be prepared to invest heavily in game-changing technology, even if it comes at the cost of existing capabilities, in order to maintain a credible deterrent for China and Russia, according to former Pentagon official Michèle Flournoy.

“Our ability to deter is — it’s not gone, but it’s an eroding asset,” Flournoy, who is seen as a top contender for the job of defense secretary should former Vice President Joe Biden win the November presidential election, said at the Aspen Security Forum on Aug. 6. “And we’ve got to pay attention now to making sure that we attend to that and invest in” needed capabilities.

“I think there’s, sort of, two parallel efforts that have to happen. One is investments that may take a decade to be fully realized and integrated into the force. Another is the question of, what can we do in the next five years with what we have, but use it differently,” she explained.

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/08/10/flournoy-next-defense-secretary-needs-big-bets-to-boost-eroding-deterrence/

These endless wars will remain endless….and corporate profits will increase and the troops will be second thought….not much changes.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

War On Terror

I remember after the 9/11 attacks and the beginning of the War on Terror…..do you?

The question was posed….are we better off today than we were in 2001?

$6 trillion (that is trillion with a “T”) and the answer in most quarters is ….NO!

After all these years…the ordinances used and the people lost and we are not any better off?

But the M-IC is pushing hard to keep troops around the world as a deterrent to terrorism….is it really worth the cost….in lives and equipment?

The national security establishment is pushing against the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan by President Trump following almost two decades of combat. Even Republicans are warning Trump that he is repeating one of the foreign policy mistakes of Barack Obama.

One of the most astonishing recent arguments against a withdrawal from Afghanistan was made by former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who said that terrorist groups that “pose a threat to us are stronger now” than they were before 9/11. He said the United States faces Al Qaeda and Islamic State alumni who are “orders of magnitude greater” than before and who “have access to much more destructive capabilities.”

How are we worse off than 2001? According to the Watson Institute, the war on terror has cost the United States over $6 trillion, 800,000 people have died as a direct result of the violence of these conflicts, and nearly 38 million people have been displaced or made refugees. According to the Washington Post, some 775,000 American forces have been sent to Afghanistan since 2001, and more than 2,000 of them died.

The United States poured billions of dollars into reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan under the notion that economic development would check the growth of terrorism. Yet after all this blood and treasure, one of the most senior American officials and a former combat general in the war on terror says Al Qaeda is stronger than it was before 9/11.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/518204-the-truth-about-the-war-on-terror

Let’s look at another one of those made up wars that has done little…..the War On Drugs.

By contrast that “war” has been raging for damn near 50 years and about $1 trillion wasted with no end in sight….we just keep wasting money chasing some imaginary victory.

In my opinion and others as well…the War on Terror has wasted lives and money and has not accomplished a victory after $6 trillion (that is trillion with a “T”)…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”