Closing Thought–05Dec16

Palestine………

I have been a supporter of the state of Palestine ever since I worked in the region in the late 70’s-early 80’s…..I have written many posts about the need to the world to finally recognize Palestine as a real country….

Of course this will be difficult when Israel has a death hold on our Congress and Prez…..even the American people see that there is TOO much influence by Israel…..

The survey found a clear majority of Americans (76%) said Israel was “a strategic asset” to the US, its authors said. At the same time, they said, “a majority of Democrats, 55%, say that Israel is also a burden”; among Republicans, 24% consider Israel a burden. Fifty-two percent of Independents do not consider Israel a burden and 41% think it is.

The surveys also showed 55% of Democrats believe Israel has too much influence on American politics and policies, while 54% of Republicans think Israel has the “right level” of influence.

The surveys also found that the percentage of Americans supporting sanctions against Israel over its settlement policy grew by 9 percent over the past year and now stands at 46%.

America’s greatest chance of a peaceful settlement of this situation was when Jimmy Carter brokered a deal with Israel and Egypt…..I realize the Right does not like Carter much but he is the closest thing we have had as a statesman in many many years….

He has written much on the Palestinian question and now he has come out once again in favor of Palestine……

Time is running out before the Oval Office changes hands, and in Jimmy Carter’s mind, that leaves a limited window for one major thing on America’s to-do list: helping Palestine receive UN membership by granting diplomatic recognition before President Obama leaves the White House. In his opinion piece for the New York Times, the 39th president lays out his argument, starting with the Camp David Accords signed during his own administration in the late ’70s, meant to jump-start a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt and, therefore, the entire Middle East. Carter notes how Obama has tried to keep to that code, as well as to the UN Security Council resolution it was based on after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, by standing firm on 1967-dictated borders and against illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory.

Now, however, “the commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation,” Carter laments, pointing out even more settlements are being built and that Israeli settlers are able to enjoy citizenship and legal benefits their Palestinian counterparts don’t—”hastening a one-state reality that could destroy Israeli democracy and will result in intensifying international condemnation of Israel.” And so he’s calling for a Security Council resolution to guarantee peace for both sides, which, combined with UN membership and US recognition, would “bolster moderate Palestinian leadership” while simultaneously assuring Israel the world is looking out for its security, too—a two-state solution he says has been a long time coming. “I fear for the spirit of Camp David. We must not squander this chance,” he notes. Carter’s whole argument is here.

It is time for the Western world to put this issue to bed.

That’s my day…..I’m out…will be back tomorrow….go have a day my friends.

TO BBQ Or Not To BBQ

There is only so much silliness that I can read before I have to break down and call a moron a moron….this time it is the loud mouth Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas…..

He is all butt hurt because the Capital bureaucracy told him he cannot BBQ his “world famous” ribs (his claim not mine)……

Congress last week finally turned to something genuinely important, when Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas blistered the Architect of the Capitol, the caretaker of the government’s buildings on Capitol Hill, for interfering with the preparation of his barbecued ribs.

Getting in the way of authentic barbecue is a crime for which there is no forgiveness. It’s a crime almost as heinous as serving fraudulent barbecue, of which there is, alas, no shortage.

Mr. Gohmert represents a district in East Texas which should give him an understanding of the real thing. When the wind is up and blowing from the east, hickory smoke from Arkansas and Louisiana sometimes reaches Longview, Gladewater and even Gun Barrel City. The deeper a hungry man travels into Texas, however, the greater the risk of ordering barbecue and getting smoked beef, which can be delicious but is not, strictly speaking, barbecue. Only the noble pig, after spending 24 to 36 hours in the smoke house, is the stuff of authentic barbecue.

Source: Capitol bureaucracy interferes with Louie Gohmert’s barbecue ribs – Washington Times

He went running to Paul Ryan with the bottom lip sticking out to make the “bad man” let him burn some meat….

This is why our Congress is about as worthless as tits on a bull……they pick their fights over stupid shit that has NOTHING to do with governing this country.

Here is an idea…..since Congress only works about 150 days a year then let him burn his meat back home on his own time…

This is why this country is so screwed up….we elect screaming morons to run the country…..if he, Gohmert, wants to be a “chef” then go on TV or open a restaurant….if not then let pros do the work of burning meat and he stick to the art of governing….if he knows how (to me…that is debatable)…..

Should We Rid Our Society Of The Electoral College?

The short answer for me is…..YES!

I was recently contacted about writing some articles about the electoral college…I originally declined since I am not an expert on the subject….but the more I thought about it I decided that something needs to be done…..

Apparently Trump won the electoral college and Clinton won the popular vote by some 1+ million votes…..with that has come the call for the elimination of the electoral college…..

Every four years, the Electoral College creeps back into the lives of American voters. In some presidential elections, the strange, indirect system used to select the next U.S. president can feel like a formality that doesn’t seem to matter much.

In other elections, it matters very much indeed. This is one of those years.

On Nov. 8, Donald Trump surpassed the necessary electoral votes to become the nation’s president-elect. But if you look at the popular vote, which is the direct number of votes cast, Hillary Clinton beat Trump by about 1 million votes.

Source: Critics Work To Get Rid Of The Electoral College : NPR

I am sure that the Trump supporters will be fine with the results…but would they if the shoe was on the other foot…..more stuff about a “rigged election” would be flying all over the internet, especially those blogs.

Personally, I have written several times during several elections that the college needs to go away and that the popular vote should be the only decider of an election…..

I have a couple of reasons….why I do not like the electoral college…..

1. The person a majority of Americans favor may not win.
Certain smaller states have a larger percentage of Electoral College votes than their percentage of population of the United States. This is because the minimum number of Electoral College votes for a state is three. Some consider this to not be democratic.

2. It’s complicated and dissuades people from voting.
A popular vote is a simple majority, but the Electoral College consists of redistributing votes every 10 years because of population changes and electing delegates. There are many more steps involved, which may give citizens the feeling that their vote does not matter, encouraging them to stay home instead of visiting the ballot box on election days, according to the U.S. Election Atlas.

3. Small states and swing states get more power.
One man does not equal one vote. California’s 55 Electoral College votes mean there are 705,454 people per vote while there are only 194,717 people for each of Wyoming’s three electoral votes.

I believe that the electoral college cheats democracy completely……

The election commentary now filling the Internet seems distinctly out of touch. Many analysts are castigating Hillary Clinton for all the things she did wrong, her failure to connect with white workers in the Rust Belt, her inability to sufficiently rally blacks, and so on. Or they’re criticizing the American people for falling for a racist, sexist know-nothing like Donald Trump.

But these critics are ignoring the elephant in the parlor. The simple fact is that Americans didn’t elect Trump. An ancient relic known as the Electoral College did. For better or worse, a plurality of the people voted for Hillary Clinton.

Source: How Electoral College Cheats Democracy – Consortiumnews

My dislike has nothing to do with this election…..(contrary to popular belief….I did not care who won the damn thing….NOTHING was gonna change) I have been a verbal critic for decades….only difference now is that people are starting to see what I have been preaching about and have seen the need to eliminate this dinosaur from the 18th century.

Please bear with me….there is one more piece I need to write in this mini-series and it will be done and you can think about who is going to win “Dancing With The Stars”…..

“China-Gate”

You can tell that the news is pretty thin right now…..so the media does what it always does…..makes a story out of little…..

I have waited over the weekend to see how this story is being framed….and how it will play out….. the MSM has gone batshit crazy over a phone call…..

– President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with the president of Taiwan, a move that will be sure to anger China, the AP reports. It is highly unusual, perhaps unprecedented, for a US president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the US broke diplomatic ties with in 1979. Washington has pursued a so-called “one China” policy since 1979, when it shifted diplomatic recognition of China from the government in Taiwan to the communist government on the mainland. Under that policy, the US recognizes Beijing as representing China but retains unofficial ties with Taiwan. A statement from Trump’s transition team said he spoke with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who offered her congratulations. It was not clear who initiated the call.

Taiwan split from the Chinese mainland amid civil war in 1949. The US policy acknowledges the Chinese view over sovereignty, but considers Taiwan’s status as unsettled. Although the US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it has close unofficial ties. Taiwan’s government has a representative office in Washington and other US cities. The US also has legal commitments to help Taiwan maintain the ability to defend itself. Friday’s call is the most stark example yet of how Trump has flouted diplomatic conventions since he won the Nov. 8 election. He has apparently undertaken calls with foreign leaders without guidance customarily lent by the State Department, which oversees US diplomacy.

Come people!  We are talking about Donald Trump….he took a call for the ego boost….yep it is a mistake…..

The MSM has turned this into some sort of policy change when Trump takes office….personally I do not think he has any idea what he has done….other than take a call from a world leader to help his ego trip he is on right now.

I do fault him for NOT having someone advising him that actually knows foreign policy…time to find a SecState and soon.

Just Tweet out…Oops!  My bad!

Not happening because Trump does not think he can make a mistake…..so the story will go on……

This is a story made up for there was little else for the weekend….period!

How soon will it die?

Is The Constitution Our National Strategy?

This is a great question.

Ever election has in it several parts but the one part that seem to get the most lip service is the US Constitution.

There are attacks almost daily in our daily lives and yet it has survived…even with all the debate on its content…..

Our new president might do well to get a cram course in the Constitution before he takes office…..that would be best for him…that is if he truly wants what is best for all Americans.  (I will gladly send him my leather bound copy of the document if he would like)

There is an interesting op-ed in the Washington Times…….

Contrary to conventional wisdom (which is invariably wrong), the United States Constitution is the nation’s strategy for greatness. The strategy entails invincible self-defense; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; and, entangling alliances with none.

At present, that strategy means returning our troops stationed abroad back to the United States to defend we the people, not foreigners whose loyalties lie elsewhere. It means repositioning all of our air and naval forces to defend we the people, not foreigners whose loyalties lie elsewhere. It means devoting our cyber warfare capabilities to defending we the people, not foreigners whose loyalties lie elsewhere. And it means renouncing all of our treaty commitments to defend other nations militarily without congressional declarations of war.

Source: The Constitution is our national strategy – Washington Times

My thought is if one does not want to live by the Constitution then call for a convention and change it….if not then shut up and live within its parameters.  It is that simple…even a Trump supporter could understand it.

The Uselessness of NATO

During the campaigns their was much mentioned about NATO by candidate Trump….mush of it I could agree with in principle….but now that he was won the coveted “Big Enchilada” by becoming the 45th president of the United States…we will see just how he manages the organization.

For me, it has outlasted its usefulness….it was a creation of the Cold War and has become an excuse for waging war….if there is any confusion I am antiwar all the way….especially when it does not mean a defense of the homeland but is a tool employed by the M-IC to maximize profits….

The latest entrant into the NATO alliance, Montenegro, underscores both the absurdity of this archaic cold war relic and the dangers it poses to the United States.

Yes, Montenegro is a real country, kind of: with a little over 600,000 citizens, and around 5,000 square miles, it has an army of under 2,000 soldiers and sailors. During the medieval era it was divided into warring clans who were unified only by their fierce opposition to Ottoman rule: the boundaries, and the rulers who presided over what became a duchy, were fluid, like the boundaries of neighboring Balkan states whose instability and propensity for conflict gave rise to the phrase “balkanization” as a synonym for volatility. Once the ancient bastion of Serbian nationalism – the country was bombed by the US during the Kosovo war – Montenegro’s demographics underwent a transformation and now the country is pretty evenly split between Serbs and other nationalities: the country’s politics, too, are polarized, with the pro-Serb pro-Russian opposition parties and the pro-EU pro-NATO parties almost evenly matched, although the latter have tenuous control of the government at present.

Source: The Uselessness of NATO – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

It will be interesting, at least for me, to see just how Trump handles this campaign promise….so far he has been a disappointment, at least for me, his promises in foreign policy are being flush down the crapper almost daily.

This would be a bigger deal if Americans had a shared experience with the troops and the military….as it is now they could care less about foreign policy or for that matter the fate of our troops that must defend those policies.

How To Break The Boredom

My Sunday dawned with some much needed cooler weather….

I would like to give my observations on a subject that is my guilty pleasure….auto racing.

No not NASCAR….while it is unpredictable and exciting at times….I just cannot get into fast driving and turn left the whole race.

Instead I enjoy sports car racing like Le Mans and Sebring and Formula One racing…..I have been an F1 fan since my childhood when I got to visit France for their 1959 Gran Prix…my long love affair began there…the sounds, the cars, the smells and the drivers…it is all too amazing….and in all that time I never never wavered from my support of the Ferrari racing teams….

Last Sunday the 2016 F1 season came to a close with the Abu Dhabi Gran Prix won by Mercedes….back in the day it was heart pounding fun…today it is just too damn boring for words.

The leader in lap one is usually the winner.  The past decade has seen too much technology and little human involvement….it is no longer car and driver but rather computer to computer as these machines squirt out graphs and stats….no longer is the driver in charge…..instead sensors are used to determine tire changes, speed, gas consumption……etc.

Like I said…all too boring.

I have found the “minor league” races far more fun to watch…GP2, GP3, Formula E, electric racing, and Indy Car Series…..at least they are interesting and fun to watch……

Formula One has been bought by an American company Liberty…but NO amount of marketing will get rid of the boredom….Americans want racing that is why NASCAR is so popular…F1 as it is today will NOT attract many Americans to the races….plus there are NO American F1 drivers…that will be a draw back also.

F1 needs to return to the days of cars and drivers….not techno geeks and computers….if they want to make F1 more appealing then give them something to watch and cheer.