Closing Thought–23Dec20

Some troubling news for the holidays……

I know we have not heard much from those barbaric pricks of AQ and ISIS….but a report is starting circulate that these groups could be planning something big for the holiday season….

Aimen Dean, a former Al Qaeda bombmaker turned spy for the U.K.’s MI6 spy agency, is warning that the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group is preparing a wave of attacks in Britain, France, and Germany ahead of Christmas.

Dean said ISIS commander Abu Omar al-Shishani is planning to send attackers to Europe through Turkey and across the Mediterranean from North Africa, The Daily Mail reported. Speaking at the International Security Week conference, which ran from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, Dean said Shishani is primarily motivated to attack the countries over recent incidents in which depictions of the prophet Muhammad have been shared, in violation of some Islamic practices.

“The worry is that, according to people who know him, [Shishani] is planning to avenge the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in places like Germany, UK, France and all around Christmas time,” Dean said. “I’m afraid I’m not bearing good news but we need to be worried about the wave of terror that is coming from northern Syria and Libya for Christmas this year,” Dean said.

Dean derives his expertise from working as a bomb-maker for Al Qaeda and then informing on the group for eight years, the Daily Mail reported.

Dean raised a particular warning that European leaders trying to lift coronavirus related lockdowns around the Christmas holiday are only further enticing the terrorist plotters.

“This promise of no lockdown at Christmas has made it a more attractive time frame for targeting,” Dean said. “Already they have been thinking about it, already they have been looking at it and I feel this will be the next target.”

source:  American Military News

Not a surprise…but this info should be more readily available to the public…..

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Today’s Veterans Need Help!

I have been an antiwar person since 1970 and have been writing about the crappy treatment this country gives to its veterans that they pretend to cherish so much…..I have been writing about the plight of our troops and veterans since 9/11.

I first went to a Veterans Health Administration hospital for treatment in 1981, when I was assigned to civilian graduate school in the Boston area and no active-duty option was available. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, it was a “clean, well-lighted place,” not fancy but very functional. The medical teams were good at their jobs, and after a painful procedure or two, my problems were resolved. It left a lasting, positive impression of the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Decades later, my daughter required a medical determination after her time on active duty as a Navy nurse. While there was a fair amount of red tape as she moved out of active duty and came under VA auspices, it was again a positive experience overall. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-12-16/iraq-and-afghanistan-veterans-need-help-with-jobs-health-care

These god forsaken endless wars are not solving any problems and creating more than the government is willing to solve.

War: Good for few, bad for most by Carlos Latuff | ArtWanted.com

We all pretend that being a vet is something special……but that is a lie.  We pretend that they are the saviors of our system….so we can justify the horrible treatment that they receive from the country they are protecting…..we blame the “other side” for the lack of benefits for our veterans…..that is easier than demanding that the vets get what this country owes them…..

This is not a new problem or a new bitch for me…..it has been occurring since Vietnam and just gets worse the more prosperous this country becomes….

Just a sampling of my thoughts on the lack of concern for our veterans….

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/13/americas-dis-regard-for-its-soldiers-and-veterans/

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/30/how-veterans-are-losing-the-war-at-home/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/22/veterans-screwed-again/

There are many more on IST….just go and look around….

We say “thank you” for your service when we mean thanx for going so my kid can stay home and be a worthless lump of crap.

Kevin Larmee_anti-war art_antiwar__jesus_Protester.jpg Drawing by Kevin  Larmee | Artmajeur

If you truly want to thank the Veterans then demand and demand again that they get the benefits they were promised for service this country in our time of need.

That would be a “thank you” that veterans would appreciate.

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Will There Be a Biden Space Force?

Most of my regulars know that I have been keeping an eye on the doings over at the US newest military branch, the Space Force…..and now we have a new president will he continue the trend to put our military might into orbit?

Well I have been writing that while I believe our future is space I do not think it should be militarized.  And some Progressives have asked Biden to shit can the Space Force.

But true to his Centrists lack of backbone he will ignore the plea…..

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have vowed to take the United States in a sharply different direction on issues like the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

But with regard to space and its importance to national security, analysts and industry insiders believe the Biden administration will largely stay the course.

The arrival of a new administration “does not portend any immediate abrupt changes to U.S. national security or civil space programs. Space continues to be a bipartisan policy area and Joe Biden’s campaign has articulated their belief in the importance of the domain,” the Washington aerospace and defense-focused consulting firm Velos said in an email to clients.

Biden has “expressed no plans for structural changes to U.S. space programs,” Velos noted. “The Democratic Party national platform supports continuity within NASA and the Space Force.”

Biden likely to stay course on Space Force and defense investments

What makes me think that it will be yet another siphon on the treasury?

The U.S. Space Force plans to almost triple in size and add a Reserve element in 2021, the service’s top general said Tuesday as the newest military branch neared its first birthday.

Gen. Jay Raymond, the chief of Space Operations, will officially become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday when the Space Force marks its one year anniversary. The space chief told reporters that he was optimistic about his plans to grow the force from about 2,400 active-duty troops to about 6,400 by the end of 2021.

“We were up and running on day one, and we have not let our foot off the accelerator ever since,” Raymond said in a telephone news briefing. “The progress we have made far surpasses anything that I would have would have expected.”

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/space-force-plans-to-nearly-triple-in-size-in-second-year-could-accept-army-navy-transfers-1.655445

Nothing here will change from the Trump years…..is that what you voted for?

Of course the Space Force will continue…..Biden is owned by M-IC and they always get what they want…..even with Biden.

BTW….our Space Force troopers will be known as “Guardians”…(seriously?)

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Trump’s Final Days

In less than 30 days we will have a new president and the one heading out the door has doing all he can to make his remaining time be productive for his days out of the White House.

First he has made a comment about the new stim package…well part of the stim package that is…..the package calls for %600 per the people and Trump thinks it should be higher…..

President Trump has a complaint—and some of his fiercest critics are on his side this time. In video posted to Twitter Tuesday, the POTUS called the $600 figure arrived at by Congress for round two of coronavirus stimulus money “ridiculously low,” calling on lawmakers to bump it up to $2,000. The Washington Post reports Trump suggested he would not sign the legislation without changes, and Fox News reports that Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie Sanders were on board with that idea. Pelosi said “Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent,” while AOC said the amendment for $2,000 checks is “ready to go” and could be passed this week “if the Senate GOP agrees to stand down.” Sanders called on Trump to “get Mitch McConnell and your Republican friends to stop opposing it.”

Of course, that wasn’t Trump’s only complaint: He also slammed the bill as a “disgrace” full of “wasteful spending,” specifically calling out many line items. “It’s called the COVID relief bill but it has almost nothing to do with COVID,” he said. But, as PolitiFact explains, Congress actually passed a spending package: the $900 billion relief bill, plus a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, which is where the funding for things like the arts and money for other countries comes in. Even so, others on the right were also none too happy: Trump “is right,” tweeted Sen. Josh Hawley. “[W]orkers deserve much more than $600, as I have repeatedly said & fought for. And there’s obviously plenty of $$ to do it – look at what Congress threw away on corporate giveaways & foreign buyouts.” The Post says congressional aides, as well as Trump’s own aides, were “stunned” at Trump’s video, which sent stock market futures down, particularly since they’ve been telling the media he would sign the bill.

I agree with Trump on this…..the cash is a joke….the waste of dollars for crap like Israel etc.

We all have been waiting for Donald the Orange to use his “mighty” pen and pardon all those people that would benefit him…..

President Trump on Tuesday pardoned 15 people, including Republican allies, a 2016 campaign official ensnared in the Russia probe, and former government contractors convicted in a massacre in Iraq. The pardons included former Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, the AP reports. Collins, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump to be president, was sentenced to two years and two months in federal prison after admitting he helped his son and others dodge $800,000 in stock market losses when he learned that a drug trial by a small pharmaceutical company had failed. Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing campaign funds and spending the money on everything from outings with friends to his daughter’s birthday party. He was due to start serving the sentence next month.

Trump also pardoned former Rep. Steve Stockman, who started serving a 10-year sentence for crimes including fraud and money laundering in 2018, reports the New York Times. Trump also announced pardons for George Papadopoulos, his 2016 campaign adviser whose conversation unwittingly helped trigger the Russia investigation, and attorney Alex van der Zwaan, the first person convicted in the Mueller probe. In the group announced Tuesday night were four former government contractors convicted in a 2007 massacre in Baghdad that left more a dozen Iraqi civilians dead and caused an international uproar over the use of private security guards in a war zone. Supporters of the former Blackwater contractors had lobbied for pardons, arguing that the men had been excessively punished.

There is so much that needs doing before he leaves for the wilds of Mar-A-Logo…

For President Trump and his supporters, it’s another example of fake news. But a slew of reports about the White House paints a picture of a president pondering radical action over the next month in an attempt to stay in office. Days ago, reports circulated about Trump floating the idea of declaring martial law and having the military seize voting machines, a story Trump himself disavowed. But the reports keep coming. Coverage:

  • “We cannot stress enough how unnerved Trump officials are by the conversations unfolding inside the White House,” writes Jonathan Swan at Axios. He reports that Trump has lashed out against nearly everyone in his orbit, including Mike Pence, because he perceives them as weak for not fighting hard enough for him. “Top officials are trying to stay away from the West Wing right now,” writes Swan.
  • The Washington Post reports that the president is increasingly surrounding himself with a “ragtag group of conspiracy theorists, media-hungry lawyers and other political misfits” for the homestretch. The story quotes an unnamed senior administration official: “He is grasping at straws. If you come in and tell him he lost, and that it’s over, he doesn’t want to hear from you. He is looking for people to tell him what he wants to hear.”
  • At the conservative National Review, Jim Geraghty says it’s vital to keep Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell away from Trump because they’re feeding him fringe views. Flynn, for example, has publicly encouraged the use of martial law, suggesting it’s not such a big deal. But Geraghty notes that while state and local governments have declared martial law after riots or disasters dozens of times, the last time the federal government did so was after the Pearl Harbor attack.
  • CNN has a scathing analysis by Stephen Collinson, who warns that “dead-end loyalists” are steering Trump wrong. “No one is sure where this is heading,” one unnamed official tells the outlet. “He’s still president for another month.” ABC News has a story by Ben Gittleson, who writes that Trump “is spending his dwindling days in office entertaining increasingly desperate, last-ditch schemes to overturn the results of the presidential election.”
  • Meanwhile, Politico reports that Trump met at the White House Monday to strategize with House conservatives on a long-shot challenge Jan. 6 when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College results. Rep. Mo Brooks says “dozens” of House Republicans and “multiple” senators are on board, though John Thune, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, predicted the effort is going down “like a shot dog,” per the Hill.

Can this really end in 30 days or so?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”