Closing Thought–14Sep21

Now that the US has pulled out of Afghanistan…there should be funds that will not be needed to prolong that war any further ….if you thought that then you would be mistaken…..

House Armed Services Committee voted to increase President Biden’s military budget for 2022 by almost $24 billion.

The effort was led by Republicans who don’t think Biden’s $753 billion request is enough to face China and Russia. The panel passed the $23.9 billion increase in a vote of 42 to 17, with 14 Democrats voting in favor.

In July, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a similar increase of $25 billion that also had bipartisan support. The budget will ultimately be decided by appropriations bills, but the fact that both House and Senate panels passed such measures means the increase has a good chance of passing.

Biden’s $753 billion budget request breaks down into two categories: $715 billion for the Pentagon and $38 billion for military-related spending for other agencies, such as the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons programs. The panel’s increase would apply to the Pentagon’s share, bringing its total budget to about $740 billion and overall military spending to a whopping $778 billion.

(antiwar.com)

Regardless the defense industry will get their pound of taxpayer flesh….

A look at how this worked in Afghanistan….

Weapons firms and defense contractors consume over half of the Pentagon’s $740 billion budget and the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan poses a threat for their share-holders and executives. 

That concern was laid bare in a new investigative report by In These Times’ Sarah Lazare on CACI International, a Pentagon contractor currently two years into a five-year $907 million contract to provide “intelligence operations and analytics support” for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. CACI’s CEO warned investors in an August 12 earnings call, “we have about a 2 percent headwind coming into FY 2022 because of Afghanistan,” referring to a negative impact on profits from the withdrawal.

Lazare points out that CACI is a corporate sponsor of the Institute for Study of War, a hawkish think tank whose experts argued in an August 20 paper that “Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey are weighing how to take advantage of the United States’ hurried withdrawal.” ISW’s board chair, Jack Keane, a former General Dynamics board member and current chairman of Humvee manufacturer AM General, has been making the rounds of Fox News shows, blasting the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.

ISW has not disclosed the financial conflict of interest between its criticisms of Biden’s withdrawal and its corporate sponsor’s financial ties to the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.  Fox News does not disclose Keane’s role as chairman of a Pentagon contractor or ISW’s funding from defense contractors including CACI and General Dynamics.

How the defense industry helped prolong the war in Afghanistan

As Yogi once said…”It ain’t over ’til it’s over”

New enemies will magical appear and the funds will follow the BS.

We cannot depend on Dems for sanity in defense spending for they are owned as much as the GOP by defense industry….

By a 42-17 vote on Wednesday, 14 Democrats joined with Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to add nearly $25 billion to the 2022 defense budget, Politico’s Connor O’Brien reported. That brings the total in Pentagon spending to $740 billion, up from the $715 billion that had been requested by the White House.

For 20 years this country pissed away trillions on war….

Brown University’s Costs of War Project released a new report Monday detailing post-9/11 spending by the Pentagon. The study found that of the over $14 trillion spent by the Pentagon since the start of the war in Afghanistan, one-third to one-half went to private military contractors.

The report, authored by William Hartung of the Center for International Policy, said $4.4 trillion of the total spending went towards weapons procurement and research and development, a category that directly benefits corporate military contractors. Private contractors are also paid through other funds, like operations and maintenance, but those numbers are harder to determine.

Out of the $4.4 trillion, the top five US weapons makers — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman — received $2.2 trillion, almost half. To put these huge numbers into perspective, the report pointed out that in the 2020 fiscal year, Lockheed Martin received $75 billion in Pentagon contracts, compared to the combined $44 billion budget for the State Department and USAID that same year.

Pentagon Paid the Arms Industry at Least $4.4 Trillion Since 9/11

They, Dems, can cooperate with the GOP on war but not on the needs of the people of this country.

Can you now see why I have no use for Dems….they are worthless and gutless.

I still hold that we need new thinking in our foreign policy apparatus.

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“lego ergo scribo”

The Best Health Care In The World

How many times have you heard this bit of BS spread on your favorite boob tub show?

And yes it is BS!

Let’s look at the pricing of health care.

With hospitals across the U.S. refusing to comply with a new federal rule requiring them to disclose the prices they negotiate with health insurers, a sampling of previously secret data published late Sunday reveals how much basic medical procedures cost at dozens of major hospitals in a project that critics of the for-profit healthcare system said reveals the severity of its dysfunction. 
 
The database of hospital rates compiled by the New York Times and researchers at University of Maryland-Baltimore details how patients are charged drastically different prices for the same medical care depending on what insurance company they use—with some procedures costing less if a patient has no insurance at all.
 
As the Times reported, at University of Mississippi Medical Center a patient with a Cigna plan can expect to pay $1,463 for a colonoscopy, while someone with Aetna insurance would be charged more than $2,100. An uninsured patient would be billed for $782.
 
Patients receiving an M.R.I. at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida will be billed between $1,827 and $2,455 if they have a Cigna, Humana, or Blue Cross plan, and only $262 if they have Medicare.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/23/once-secret-prices-expose-irrational-and-cruel-nature-us-healthcare-system

Looking at the pricing and tell me that there is not some room for repair.

Medicare For All (M4A) is the only answer….all the big talk and BS from politicians especially those damn Centrist are doing nothing to curb the blatant theft by the health industry of hard earned dollars from their patients.

M4A looks like the best way forward.

Pricing is just one area of the massive fraud and theft by this industry….there is so much more that needs attention and all we get is politicians bowing to the donations from the health industry to do nothing to change their corruption and theft.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time For The US To Reassess

It is the 21st century and the US needs to reassess so many policies that have been in effect for over a century…..we need to reassess so many issues and so little time.

But for this post I will be talking about one of our allies….an ally that pays dearly for political control of the government and the media, the two sectors that control our thinking…..

This time it is Israel……

Israeli has issued a threat to the world….

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday said Israel “reserves the right” to act against Iran to stop it from obtaining nuclear weapons if the rest of the world doesn’t take action.

“The world needs to stop Iran from getting a nuclear capability, no matter the price. If the world doesn’t do it, Israel reserves the right to act,” Lapid said in Moscow while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Israel is constantly claiming that Iran is racing to develop a nuclear bomb when that is not the case. Iran’s current nuclear activity includes enriching uranium at 60 percent, the highest level Iran has ever attempted. But this is still well below the 90 percent needed for weapons-grade uranium, and it is only being done in response to Israeli covert attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.

Like other Israeli officials, Lapid pretends Israel doesn’t have nuclear weapons and claimed if Iran obtains a nuclear bomb, it would “lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”

(antiwar.com)

Who do these little piss ant holy rollers think they are?

And why would the US who many thinks is the most powerful country on the planet take these threats seriously?

Then they issue a warning to the US….

This time Israel was cautioned the US over criticisms…..

According to a report from The Times of Israel, Israeli officials have cautioned their counterparts in the Biden administration against heavily criticizing Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Israeli concern is that if the US puts too much pressure on the Arab nations, they will become more friendly with Tehran.

An Israeli source told the Times that while Israel is mainly concerned with the Arab nations forming friendly ties with Iran, they also fear US pressure could make them more reliant on Russia and China.

While Israel has had diplomatic ties with Egypt for decades and doesn’t have formal relations with Saudi Arabia, a major aspect of the recent US push for normalization between Israel and Arab states was to isolate Iran. Trump administration officials frequently cited Iran as a reason to broker the Abraham Accords, which normalized ties between Israel and several countries, including the UAE and Bahrain.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

We have been cautioned?

To that I say ‘bite me’….who is Israel to caution anyone?

Time for us to reassess our relationship with Israel….

In April 1996, Israeli artillery shells rained down on a United Nations compound where hundreds of civilians were taking refuge. As the shells exploded and the building collapsed, 106 civilians died and another 116 were injured.

The attack, now known as the Qana Massacre, was part of a larger Israeli offensive known as Operation Grapes of Wrath, a 16-day campaign of aggression in southern Lebanon.

The United Nations investigated the Qana Massacre and determined the Israeli shelling was deliberate. Then-UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghani condemned the attack, writing it was “all the more serious because civilians, including women and children, had sought refuge” in the compound the Israelis destroyed.

The commander of the unit that launched the assault was a man named Naftali Bennett, who’d go on to boast, “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.”

Bennett, of course, is now Israel’s prime minister. And on August 25, he arrived for a visit at the White House.

It’s Time To Reassess Our Relationship With Israel

This bloodthirsty lot does not deserve and quarter until they start acting like a responsible member of the world society….this ‘David vs Goliath’ bullshit is archaic and does NOT deserve any support from any nation.

But sadly the cash that flows into politician’s wallets will determine the outcome of this proposal……allowing Israel to be held to a lower standard than other countries the US criticizes…..

Their cash buys a lot of ‘looking the other way’….and their media friends do all possible to make Israel look like a victim….

I have been calling for this reassessment since the murderous attack by Israel on a US unarmed ship, USS Liberty, an attack that killed 34 American sailors and injured 171….and Israel has NEVER been held accountability for this cowardly attack…..they are murderers.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”