Remembering Sandy Hook

My Closing Thought–14Dec17!

This week we remember the heinous attack on the school at Sandy Hook…..that unless you are a mental midget and fall for the crap that the killings never happened that the deaths were nothing more than actors……it is silly!

A video depicting a local news broadcast about a school shooting that has yet to occur is the latest public service announcement created by Sandy Hook Promise to help bring awareness to the warning signs often displayed by people who are at risk of hurting themselves or others.

In the minute-long video, which was released just days before the fifth anniversary of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a reporter interviews people about “tomorrow’s shooting” involving a 15-year-old boy who kills four students and two adults before committing suicide.

Classmates, teachers and parents all reveal warning signs, including bullying, social media threats and suspicious comments made by the shooter that should have alerted them that something was wrong.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sandy-hook-parents-release-chilling-psa-ahead-of-anniversary-of-deadly-newtown-shooting/

Please take a moment for reflection on this act of terror and the deaths of children………And take a moment of silence for their memories…..

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Dumbing Down America

For years during my writing career I had been saying that America was getting dumber….then the movie “Idocracy” came out and I thought then that it was very prophetic….and then in 2016 and the election and all doubt was removed……

The MSM has done an excellent job of making the American public dumber just the way the |leaders” want them to be……

This presentation focuses on the myriad ways in which the powers-that-be in the United States have been systematically dumbing down Americans as a society for a very long time – all by meticulously calculated design. Originally the term dumbing down was used as a slang expression in 1933 by film screenwriters to mean “revising [the script] so as to appeal to those of lower education or intelligence.”

The most obvious example of how Americans have been dumbed down is through this nation’s failed public education system. At one time not that long ago America reigned supreme as a leading model for the rest of the world providing the best quality free public K-12 education system on the planet. But over the last many decades while much of the rest of the world has been passing us by, it seems an insidious federal agenda has been implemented to condition and brainwash a population of mindless, robotic citizenry that simply does what it’s told, and of course the brainwashing commences early in America’s schools.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-dumbing-down-of-america-by-design/5395928

I know that  there will be those that disagree…..and that is fine…..even the NY Times has a similar outlook……

Of course there are some of my right wing brethren that will see this all too different…..so much “Fake News” but that all depends on where you stand as to whether this is fake news or not….personally I see it as a “good call”.

Foreign Policy Round-Up–Dec2017

I realize that it is that time of year where people like to think of peace and good will toward men….well that is not happening…..while we are wishing people the best of the season the rest of the world is going to crap…..so you feelings of goodwill mean nothing in the larger scheme of things.

Let me give you the rundown of what is happening during your lapse into a joyous season……..

1–ISIS-AQ Conflict……

After a more than four-year absence, Jund al-Islam (JAI) has returned to the forefront in Sinai, marking a new chapter in the fierce conflict between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (Daesh, ISIL, ISIS). The group published an audio recording in which it took credit for an attack targeting ISIS affiliates in Sinai known as Wilayat Sinai (WS). Jund al-Islam deemed them Kharitjites or those that defected from the group, and demanded that WS leaders turn themselves in. This attack raises many questions related to the sudden timing of Jund al-Islam’s emergence, its relationship with al-Qaeda, and the likely impact of the renewal of old hostilities between Wilayat Sinai and Jund al-Islam.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/30/a_new_chapter_in_the_conflict_between_al-qaeda_and_isis_112700.html

Libya has not made the news lately….let me catch you up……….

When the Obama administration led a 2011 NATO military intervention on behalf of rebels seeking to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, there was considerable optimism that the move would produce a much better country. Although U.S. officials and their media cheerleaders acknowledged that significant challenges remained for a post-Qaddafi Libya, they argued that the outcome could scarcely be worse than the oppressive status quo. Events over the past six years have proven their assumptions spectacularly wrong. Libya is now a cauldron of turmoil and Islamic radicalism.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/libya-failed-state-its-americas-fault-23325

Syria has some dealings with the peace process and as usual the US is not there…..

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Sochi on Tuesday to discuss efforts to end the Syrian civil war. The presidents of Iran and Turkey are scheduled to meet Putin on Wednesday as Russia promises to scale back its military presence in Syria and push for a diplomatic solution.
https://www.usip.org/publications/2017/11/will-russian-peace-efforts-pay-syria

But wait there is more……

As 2017 comes to a close, the warring parties in Syria are moving towards reconciliation—but the U.S. is not among them.

The Islamic State is all but defeated, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies are now closing in on the few remaining pockets occupied by other extremists, and Iranians, Russians, and Turks are mapping out the peace to come.

Then there’s America. Donald Trump may have hinted at changes up his sleeve, but he’s treading the same tired path as his predecessor on Syria.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/in-syria-mideast-peacemaking-is-no-longer-made-in-america/

The aftershocks of the combat deaths of four U.S. special operations soldiers in Niger on Oct. 4 are still shaking the Pentagon two months later.

The deaths prompted a familiar refrain from the American public: “Why are we there?” This expected, if fair, question reminds us of the precisely opposite question asked about Afghanistan after the shock of 9/11: “Why aren’t we there?”

To be there or not to be there? Either way you answer, you’ll find risk.

The devastating ambush in west Niger occurred on the 24th anniversary of another bloody day in modern military history. The Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia occurred on the third and fourth day of October 1993, leaving 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded. This ambush also triggered surprise, then outrage, then investigation — the “why are we there?” inquiry. As the grim tactical details of this mission-gone-bad come to light, a broader strategic question looms: Where exactly does the United States need to project power abroad to prevent strategic surprise?

https://warontherocks.com/2017/12/playing-zone-defense-niger-risk-vs-reward-remote-operations/

Now to Afghanistan……

President Ashraf Ghani looks set to mobilize a new 20,000-strong militia to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. The story of militias loyal to his former running mate and current vice-president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, should give him pause. Many of Dostum’s former commanders, who were armed to fight the Taliban, are now joining both the Islamic State and the Taliban.

Such defections are hardly the exception. Militias, once mobilized, are hard to disarm. When resources dwindle, they often seek new patrons and switch sides. By mobilizing a new force Ghani risks reinforcing, over time, the ranks of the very enemy he hopes to defeat. Today’s allies risk becoming tomorrow’s insurgents.

https://warontherocks.com/2017/12/afghanistan-todays-pro-government-militias-tomorrows-insurgents/

There is so much more….there is always more……to be continued in another post…..chuq

Will There Be War With North Korea?

Lots of rhetoric between Fearless Fosdick and Li’l Kim…..I am sure that everyone reading IST is well aware of the situation between the US and North Korea…..but with all the rhetoric is there anyone that thinks this will spiral beyond the rhetoric?

Looks like the Chinese are taking all the threats as the possibility of a war……why?

With a conflict on the Korean Peninsula looking increasingly possible, China is reportedly preparing. The country is said to be laying the groundwork for refugee camps for thousands of prospective migrants along Jilin province’s border with North Korea, reports the New York Times, citing a document produced by a state-owned telecom company. The China Mobile document describes recent inspections of five planned refugee camps—in the cities of Tumen and Hunchun and three villages in Changbai County—for the purposes of verifying Internet access there. Though China’s government hasn’t confirmed the plan, a local businessman tells the Times that temporary housing is already under construction on state-owned land.

The camps were ordered “because the situation on the China-North Korea border has intensified lately,” according to the China Mobile document, which was shared last week on microblogging site Weibo before it was deleted, per the Telegraph. In an exchange erased from the official transcript of a press briefing on Monday, a rep for China’s Foreign Ministry said he was unaware of any such plan, per the Guardian. But analysts say China would be foolish not to anticipate such future needs, particularly in an area that lies just 60 miles from North Korea’s main nuclear test site. The Korean Peninsula is “on the brink of war,” a Beijing specialist on North Korea tells the Guardian. “As a major power and a neighboring country, China should make plans for all eventualities.”

But maybe there is a bright light in all this craziness…..what would that be?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US is ready to talk to North Korea at any time about any subject Pyongyang wants to talk about—without preconditions. “Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want and talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table, if that’s what you’re excited about,” Tillerson said in a speech at the Atlantic Council policy forum on Tuesday, per the BBC. “Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards.” But the US has previously demanded that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons before talks begin, and it’s not clear whether that policy has officially changed, NPR reports.

President Trump’s “views on North Korea have not changed,” the White House said in a statement after Tillerson’s speech. “North Korea’s actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea.” Tillerson said that before talks could begin, there would need to be a “period of quiet” without nuclear or ICBM tests. Reuters reports that United Nations political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman, whose trip to North Korea last week was the first of its kind since 2011, said Tuesday that Pyongyang did not commit to talks, but they “left the door ajar” for future negotiations.

Talking is good……but will this ever make it to reality?

With North Korea sending out feelers in recent days about the possibility of direct talks with the US, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson struck a conciliatory tone Tuesday, saying the US is now also ready for talks with North Korea with no preconditions.

The White House apparently wasn’t too happy with that, and today went to a very public point of issuing a correction to Tillerson’s statement, insisting that the US very much is not ready for talks with North Korea.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huakabee-Sanders insisted President Trump’s position on North Korea hasn’t changed,

Fearless Fosdick is a moron that will lead this country into the deep end of the pool.

To answer the question……who the Hell knows?  Since there is no direction from the State Department and a loud mouth president…….anything is possible.

What The Hell Is Bitcoin?

How many old farts are sitting there listening to the news and hear that Bitcoin has settled at $1400 at the close?

How many know what Bitcoin is?

The truth until recently I had no idea what it was……so to help out all those people scratching their heads when the term “Bitcoin” is mentioned…..

Bitcoin has transformed from an idea that some treated with great enthusiasm to an asset of strikingly growing value. It is digital currency, of which there are many others, and its price has soared in recent weeks. I will admit to not understanding what bitcoins are in principle, to the extent that I have not even been able to define my own questions. But now that I have developed some basic level of understanding, my core question is this: Is bitcoin a currency designed to facilitate commerce, or is it a commodity that has intrinsic value, which rises and falls according to supply and demand?

A currency can be treated as a commodity, being bought and sold to take advantage of fluctuations in its value relative to other currencies and assets. But its primary purpose is to facilitate exchange within and between societies. The alternative exchange mechanism is bartering, in which the price of a pair of shoes is defined relative to myriad other unique items, from corn to books and beyond. The problem with this is that without a common currency that provides a common and understandable valuation of each item, the process of trade, from investment to purchasing food, slows with major consequences for the economy. Alternatively, a currency arises with an exchange value separate from its use value. One example is gold, whose use value is somewhat limited, while its exchange value has been much higher, providing a stable basis for commerce.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/what-is-bitcoin/

Bitcoin may be the way of the future……so now you know what it is dealing with…….and you will not be caught off guard when the change comes……

I still like the feel of cash…….

Closing Thought–13Dec17

Mississippi Is Number One!

I wish I was talking about education or economics or jobs outlook….even football…..but unfortunately I am not talking about anything like that………this time we made the most unhealthy state……

Below is the article in the Clarion-Ledger, one of Mississippi’s more read newspapers…….

It’s time again for the United Health Foundation’s annual state health rankings report, and like last year, Mississippi comes in 50th.

Despite being a leader in telehealth and, historically, childhood vaccinations, Mississippi’s high rate of childhood poverty, obesity and cigarette smoking contributes to it being the unhealthiest state in the country, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings report.

Of the five categories examined in the report, Mississippi ranked overall 50th for one: clinical care. This has to do with Mississippi’s doctor shortage, lack of mental health providers and preventable hospitalizations.

(please the entire article it will give you an idea about the state)

http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/12/mississippi-again-unhealthiest-state-country/943720001/

I wish just once Mississippi could make it to a “Best” list……but that will not happen until we change the “good old boys” politics…..there is hope for my granddaughter’s generation to make that happen.

My day is over….I am worn out by health stuff and our politics…..time for me to call it a day and shut the ‘puter down…..see you guys tomorrow…..chuq

Traitors Of The Middle East

Breaking News (a little late)……..the pedophile in Alabama has lost the senate race……Jones has won….long live the republic.

By now the media has worked the Trump announcement of the move of the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem for all it is worth.  Finally the MSM has taken notice of what is happening in the “Holy Land” that is other than some Israeli being attacked or some errant missile flies into Southern Israel.  But the Western media only shows the protests by the Palestinians seldom the brutality of the Israeli forces….

Trump’s knee jerk decision was given birth to more protests all over the Middle East.  It all looks like the Arab people are behind the Palestinians….but what about the Arab leaders?

Jordan’s king has given support, so has Turkey the same with Lebanon…the Arab League has issued statement but it is a toothless warning……

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said during the emergency meeting that Arab nations should consider imposing economic sanctions against the United States to prevent it moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

“Pre-emptive measures (must be) taken … beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions,” he said, without giving specific details.

The Arab League is a toothless tiger thanx to the Saudis who are working much like the US at the UN Security Council…..but what good is it when the leader is an Israeli stooge?

The Palestinians stand little chance because the “leader” of the Arab World has been playing nice with Israel for several years trying to head off Iran’s growing presence in the Middle East.  I even read on Twitter that some twat from Saudi suggested that the Palestinians pick a village outside Jerusalem as their capital.

Then the country of Bahrain has sent a delegation of friendship to Israel…..

Amid ongoing controversy over the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, a Bahraini delegation has arrived in Israel to “send a message of peace”, according to media reports.

A report in the Times of Israel on Sunday said the visit indicated a warming of ties between the two countries, which do not maintain diplomatic relations.

Looks like Bahrain is following the Saudi example and betraying the Arab world…..especially the Palestinians.

The question has been asked….what is up with the Saudis and Israel?

Israel and Saudi Arabia may seem unlikely allies in regional politics but recent developments have pushed Riyadh and Tel Aviv closer together, setting the stage for the Middle East’s strangest bedfellows.

The covert ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, based on an alliance against the “common threat” of Iran, are part of a new regional paradigm, analysts say.

The inclusion of Israel as a potential partner reflects a break from the fragmented order in the Middle East, where since the early 2000s the United States has sought to create a hegemonic system to dominate West-friendly states, brought about by either elections or deposition.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/covert-israeli-saudi-arabia-relations-171120142229835.html

This is a great moment for Qatar…..they can become the pillar for Palestinian statehood…..

Why would Trump do this ill advised thing  (the recognition)?

Trump’s decision was all about placating his base. There is no other strategic rationale for taking this step now, which is why the president’s advisers have struggled in background briefings to explain how it is in the United States’ security interest. And even the domestic politics for Trump are not very compelling: Sure, he promised to move the embassy during the campaign, but this was not a central tenet of his platform.