Closing Thought–23Mar18

More propaganda From Hollywood!

I see Hollywood is doing what it always does…..acting as the major purveyor of propaganda….in this case it is working as an Israeli agent.

Now why would I make such an observation?

Every time there is a bit of a decline in their popularity rating then another piece of propaganda is rolled out…..Schindler’s List, the Holocaust (the movie/documentary) so many to list…..but the newest incarnation of Israel sympathy manufacturing “7 Days in Entebbe”…..a remake of the 1977 movie “Raid On Entebbe” starring Peter Finch and Charles Bronson….

The new movie was a typical Hollywood crap….good guys vs bad guys and the heroic rescue……

In 1976, an Air France airplane carrying 250 passengers to Paris from Tel Aviv was hijacked by terrorists. The Israeli mission to rescue them, known as Operation Entebbe or Operation Thunderbolt, is the latest historical event to be given the Hollywood treatment, in director José Padilha’s 7 Days in Entebbe, out March 16.

First of all, Entebbe in 1976 was a shit hole (to use a presidential phrase)….but hear it be told some make it sound like it was akin to downtown Chicago…just not the case.

Thanx to the magic of Hollywood this event was a game changer for Israel and like most movies/documentaries/TV shows the situation was not like it is portrayed….

In reality this action was riddle with fuck ups and oh shit moments…..

The commandos had just three minutes to evade a cordon of paratroopers, storm the old terminal and kill the terrorists. Much could go wrong – and it almost did.

According to Amnon Biran, the mission’s intelligence officer, there was a gap in the planners’ knowledge of at least 30 per cent. “We didn’t know,” he admitted, “the exact location of the hostages, whether the building had been wired with explosives or even the proper layout of the airport.”

Did this event need to be relived?

Yes it did!

Trump’s bonehead decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem has caused a good portion of the world to condemn the decision and when the move actually takes place, some say in May of 2018, there will be trouble and Israel will need all the good PR it can muster to head off criticism and what better way to do this than give the world a poor pitiful Israel against those mean bad guys.

This is a fluff movie that serves only one purpose… make Israel out as a victim.

Sorry but the world’s debt that was owed Israel because of the Holocaust has been paid in full many years ago……we need to hold them to the same standards as we hold other countries.


The Ins And Outs Of DC: The Saga Continues

For the last year the advisers to Pres. Trump have been caught in the continuous revolving door that is the White House…….and guess what?  Another one bites the dust…..McMasters is out and the war monger Bolton is in…….

President Trump is getting his third national security adviser in the first 14 months of his presidency, Reuters reports. Current national security adviser Lt. Gen. HR McMaster is resigning, to be replaced by John Bolton on April 9. “I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend,” Trump tweeted Thursday. McMaster, who replaced Michael Flynn as national security adviser, is also resigning from the military, the New York Times reports. While McMaster and Trump butted heads both publicly and privately during his tenure at the White House, officials say McMaster’s resignation is amicable and has been in the works for weeks. Officials say Trump wanted to finish a shakeup of his national security team before a planned meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

McMaster’s replacement was US ambassador to the UN under the second Bush administration and is “one of the most radically hawkish voices in American foreign policy,” according to a Vox explainer on Bolton. The incoming national security adviser has said the US should declare war on both North Korea and Iran. Bolton, notably, has also been a longtime contributor on Fox News. In the past, he’s been accused of abusing his subordinates and manipulating US intelligence ahead of the Iraq War and has connections to anti-Muslim groups. His appointment to national security adviser was met with concern from some areas. “I operate on the assumption that John Bolton should be kept as far away from the levers of foreign policy as possible,” says the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

He has been a cheerleader for attacking Iran and North Korea… will he fit into the Trump White House?

Our troops will pay the price for this decision.

And in the mean time we Americans will hear lots of accusations, innuendoes, lies and just plain bullshit from this person….typical for today’s White House……

Scapegoat For All Seasons

Let’s talk about Russia….and NO this is not about their alleged tampering into the US elections….recently a ex-spy in the UK and his daughter are poisoned and Haley ran to the UN to let it be known…..

Nikki Haley came out strong against Russia and in support of the United Kingdom on Wednesday following the nerve agent attack that left a former Russian spy and his adult daughter in critical condition in England, CNN reports. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack,” the US ambassador to the UN told the Security Council, adding the White House “stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain.” “Time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance,” Haley said. “Now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”

It was by far the most forceful statement out of the Trump administration. Rex Tillerson had said Russia was “clearly” responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia but was shortly fired by Trump, NBC News reports. When asked about Tillerson’s firing Tuesday, Trump said “as soon as we get the facts straight” the US would “condemn Russia or whoever it may be.” According to Business Insider, former US diplomats have expressed confusion about why the White House hasn’t done more to back its ally Great Britain, which has expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Nicholas Burns calls it “judgment day” for Trump. “Will he support Britain unequivocally on the nerve agent attack?” the former US ambassador to NATO says. “Back NATO sanctions? Finally criticize Putin? Act like a leader of the West?”

Okay let me say right here that this is getting a bit hectic….we are blaming Russia for everything that goes wrong in the world…..Wait…I am not saying they are innocent of the accusations only that they have become a convenient whipping post for the world.

“What reason would Russia have to do this?” said Sergey Markosyan, 36, as he popped into a Magnit supermarket in Moscow for beer, salty snacks and a carton of eggs. “He was in Britain, right? So shouldn’t they look in Britain?”

On Wednesday, Theresa May told British MPs there was “no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state was responsible for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter”

A year ago Russia was in the news as a source for problems in Germany…..

The accusation seems to be that Russia is capitalizing on domestic opposition to Merkel’s open-door immigration policies by directing funds to the contrarian Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) party, whose support has surged as disenchantment with Merkel has grown (as seen in its success in recent state elections).

Then after all this scapegoating there came a “new” accusation…..

A US security alert on Thursday contained a jarring warning: Russia has infiltrated the US energy grid and could wreak havoc if it chose to do so. “They have the ability to shut the power off,” an exec with the digital security firm Symantec tells the New York Times. “All that’s missing is some political motivation.” The alert from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI says hackers working on behalf of the Russian government got into the systems of nuclear, water, and electrical plants, as well as “critical manufacturing sectors,” and essentially poked around to figure out how things operated.

I know most Americans have the attention span of a goldfish but just a few years ago our “electric grid” was open for a terrorist attack….and years before that it was the Soviets that were about to attack our electric grid….

Since Americans have NO recoverable memory of the past it makes it easier for the same bullshit to be given to the public with a fresh coat of crap  and a bit of repackaging.

I am not saying there is NO threat to worry about just that it is a convenient scapegoat…..

If these “threats” were truly that serious then why has NOTHING been done to see that they cannot happen?

Back in the Cold War Russia was the enemy the scapegoat for all problems internationally……is it possible that we have returned to those days?

Iraqi Elections

May of 2018 will see the electoral process put to work in Iraq…..

Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi is presenting himself as a viable Shi’a reformist alternative to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the upcoming Iraqi legislative elections slated for May 12, 2018. Allawi is setting internal conditions to recreate his strong 2011 bid to secure the premiership. Allawi, a secular Shi’a politician, seeks to reunite the Sunni political leadership under a secular platform akin to the Iraqiyya coalition that won 92 seats in the Iraqi Council of Representatives under his leadership in 2010. Allawi will likely leverage his opposition to the expansion of Iranian influence in Iraq, reformist stance, and support for the Kurdistan Regional Government to draw Shi’a Sadrist and some Kurdish support in the post-election premier selection phase. Allawi can then maximize on his strong ties with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, to augment his premiership bid.

Allawi maintains friendly ties to the U.S and rejected Iranian influence in Iraqi affairs. Allawi also maintains strong ties to the KRG; he stressed the resolution of the Arbil-Baghdad disagreements must be constitutional and within the framework of a united Iraq. Allawi also maintains strong ties with U.S regional partners in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

Elections are not necessarily going to be a good thing for Iraqis……so much has happened to Iraq I am not convinced that elections are the answer to the ever mounting problems.

Closing Thought–22Mar18

If you own a PC then you probably have some sort of  malware detector and eliminator on your system….right?

What about your brain when it is infected with political malware?

Your mind is similar to a computer.

Your brain is the hardware, your worldview the software.

The operating system you’re running is heavily influenced by your culture, upbringing, education, and many other factors.

Arguably, a well-functioning mind is a mind that can update its operating system.

As new information comes in, a healthy mind will revise its previous conclusions about the world to account for the new data.

As long as we are talking about the mind and its hard drive…….

I read constantly either on-line or books….I still have not gone to listening to my books I prefer the printed word.

Plus the exercise of reading is good for the mind……

More than a quarter–26 percent–of American adults admit to not having read even part of a book within the last year. That’s according to statistics coming out of the Pew Research Center. If you’re part of this group, know that science supports the idea that reading is good for you on several levels.

Do yourself a favor….READ A DAMN BOOK!

How About Facebook?

Ever sine I have been writing a blog (a total of 12 years) visitors would comment and send me a link to a Facebook post….I would thank them for the link but tell them that I was not on Facebook for I did not trust them to keep my info secure…

Looks like my fears were well founded…..

Facebook is reeling from a series of revelations about private user data being leaked to Cambridge Analytica, a shadowy political consulting firm that did work for the Donald Trump campaign.

Last Friday, reporters from The New York Times and The Observer of London told Facebook that Cambridge had retained copies of private data for about 50 million Facebook users. Facebook says Cambridge promised in 2015 that the data would be deleted. Facebook responded to the new revelations by banning Cambridge and several of its associates from Facebook.

Recently I was told that this breech was no big deal….apparently the markets do not agree…..

Facebook shares fell nearly 7 percent Monday amid controversy over how Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Trump’s 2016 campaign, was able to harvest personal data from more than 50 million Facebook users.

The 6.8 percent drop lopped nearly $40 billion off Facebook’s market value.

Equity analysts with Raymond James said in a report to clients that “continued concerns over Russian targeting and data misuse are clearly weighing on the shares.”

Facebook says it initially gave out the data to a researcher who claimed it would be used only for academic purposes. Facebook claims the researcher then “lied to us” and passed the content onto Cambridge Analytica. That firm then used the data to build “psychographic profiles” about voters.

Investors are worried about the fallout for Facebook from prosecutors, regulators, and advertisers.

I realize that followers on Facebook add to the number of total followers for the blog….but my security is more important than the number of followers to feed my ego.

Security measures are important to all us bloggers only some of us are a bit sharper than others.  I can state that none of my info was compromised by Facebook….can you?

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Back in the 1980’s I recall a commercial about Reagan’s War on Drugs….it was a frying pan with an over easy egg cooking with sound…..”This is you brain on drugs”……all this ad did was increase the profits of the Waffle House….it was a worthless waste of air time for it did NOTHING to curb the abuse of drugs…..

Well I bring up this bit of nostalgia because our well informed president has weighed in on the newest war on drugs…..this time it will be zeroing in on the opioid crisis this country is facing……..

The White House has rolled out the “more nuanced” response to the opioid crisis it promised after President Trump talked about executing drug dealers earlier this month. The revised plan White House officials discussed Sunday still involves the death penalty, but officials say they don’t plan to make trafficking in fentanyl a capital crime, let alone launch a Rodrigo Duterte-style bloodbath. Instead, the administration says it will seek capital punishment for drug traffickers where appropriate under existing federal law, the Washington Post reports. Federal law allows the death penalty in four kinds of drug-related crime, all of which also involve murder, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Andrew Bremberg, Trump’s domestic policy director, says the president also wants Congress to pass legislation lowering the minimum amount of fentanyl and other strong opioids needed to trigger mandatory sentences for dealers, the AP reports. The administration says it also has a plan to reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third by 2021. “The opioid crisis is viewed by us at the White House as a nonpartisan problem searching for bipartisan solutions,” adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters, per Politico. Trump is expected to discuss the plan on a Monday visit to New Hampshire, one of the states hardest-hit by the crisis that he has declared a national public health emergency.

Trump’s speech on the crisis was something to behold……he even mentioned the making of bad ads like the frying pan of days gone by………

In a speech officially unveiling his administration’s plan to combat the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump on Monday saod he would fight the crisis with “toughness”, the creation of “very…very…bad commercials” aimed at children; and—as expected—proposed that the death penalty be applied to drug dealers.

However, as drug policy reform advocates feared, he showed little understanding of the origins of the crisis and neglected to mention numerous measures public health experts have advocated for to stop the deadly epidemic.

A key tenet of Trump’s plan to combat the crisis, which killed nearly 64,000 Americans in 2016, is to launch an advertising campaign showing the effects of opioid use.

Trump’s plan is more about some sort of vengeance than solutions to the crisis…..

Vengeance is not a public health policy. But it’s implicit in a policy measure coming out of the White House, which would attempt to solve the opioid crisis with a plan that includes sentencing some high-intensity traffickers to death. It may feel good, and for some segment of the population, vengeance may even look good.

The death of those deemed to be problematic is how some strongmen leaders that President Donald Trump has embraced keep their hold on power — such as Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte, who is following through on his pledge to kill every drug dealer he can find. But adding to the number of lives lost at the hands of the opioid crisis is not what the United States needs.
This whole policy thing smells like an utter failure…..kinda like the failure from the 1980’s.