Afghanistan–Ever Asked Why?

For almost 17 tears the US and its allies have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan.  In all that time has anyone actually asked the question……why?

In the beginning it was nothing but retaliation for the 9/11 attacks…..and then we slowly wound down into a “trench warfare” mindset….that is just do not lose this fight…..no matter how long it takes.

In 2010 a report about the mineral wealth of Afghanistan came out….

Untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan may be worth more than $1 trillion, a finding that could reshape the country’s economy and help U.S. efforts to bolster the war-battered government, Pentagon officials said on Monday.

Afghanistan has significant deposits of copper, iron ore, niobium, cobalt, gold, molybdenum, silver and aluminum as well as sources of fluorspar, beryllium and lithium, among others, a task force studying the country’s resources found

Source: Afghan mineral wealth could top $1 trillion: Pentagon

Some estimates have the figure at $3 trillion……

Once I read that report I then predicted here on IST that this war would never end until the last drop of wealth was pulled out of Afghanistan….

Source: Good News For Afghanistan? – In Saner Thought

A couple of days ago the prez made his now not so famous speech on what to do in Afghanistan and guess what came up in his deliberation?

Trump has his eye on valuable minerals under the Afghan soil, perhaps as much as $1 trillion worth of copper, iron, and other metals, reports Foreign Policy. He recently met personally with Michael Silver, CEO of American Elements, and heard the mining pitch. “Trump wants to be repaid,” says one source, referring to the billions that the US has spent in the nation. “He’s trying to see where the business deal is.”

And there is the real reason we remain….$$$$$$$$$

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Closing Thought–22Aug17

Good CEO, Good President!

For decades the GOP has been pushing candidates that have been successful businessmen/women…there premise is that if one can run a business with all its intricacies then they should be a success as a president….I have NEVER thought that was an accurate statement….but low info voters buy into the BS every time.

The election of 2016 has pretty much put that BS line to bed…..

If you were wondering exactly how Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci was able to weasel his way into the White House, you have to recall that he wasn’t only a Donald Trump sycophant; he was also touted as a businessman who could “fix” problems career politicians couldn’t.

Source: How the Demise of the Trump Administration Could Finally Kill the White House CEO Fantasy | Alternet

Every day Trump proves just how inept he is at governing….he likes to think that he is a successful CEO and that government can be run like his businesses in NYC…..without some governmental experience then the job becomes overwhelming…..yews there have been successful business men that have made it as far as president….but each one has had some rudimentary experience in running a government.

Naivete…..amateurs cannot successfully run a government as complex as that of the United States.

Time to back off and start considering the direction for tomorrow’s posts….see you guys tomorrow with more stuff…….chuq

Natalia Veselnitskaya Strikes Again

Does that name sound familiar?

It should…she is the Russian lawyer at the center of the Don, Jr. email mash up…..but that is not the only place she has been busy….

Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday asking why the Department of Justice settled a major money-laundering case involving a real-estate company owned by the son of a powerful Russian government official whose lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. last year.

That attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, represents the family of Pyotr Katsyv, the former vice governor of the Moscow region, whose son, Denis, owns the real-estate company Prevezon. The DOJ had been investigating whether Prevezon laundered millions of dollars through New York City real estate when the case was unexpectedly settled two days before going to trial in May.

Source: Why was Russian money-laundering case settled? House Dems want answers – Business Insider

Wait!  Who leads the DoJ?

That would be Jeff Sessions.

Is he part of this whole Russian thingy going on in DC right now?

Yes, he is.

And now a Russian gets off from a money laundering charge by the DoJ?

Yes he does.

Really?

Go figure.

I guess there really is nothing going on with the Russian influence thing after all….(that is sarcasm in case you missed it)…….but if you listen close enough you will be able to hear the eye rolls from those dim lights on the Right.

Their defense is natural….for they know that if the shoe were on the other foot they would be ass deep in all this legal crap….but of course they will never admit it for they cannot see past their nose hairs.

This is all too much fun to pass up.

Return Of The Hessians

I have written many times about the US use of mercenaries….oh my bad….they like security contractors…..a rose by another name is still a rose…..

It appears that the paid soldiers, the “Hessians”, are making a comeback….if you are not sure about a “Hessian”…..

Hessians were the 18th century German auxiliaries contracted for military service by the British government, which found it easier to borrow money to pay for their service than to recruit its own soldiers.  They took their name from the German state of Hesse-Kassel. The British hired Hessian troops for combat duty in several eighteenth century conflicts, but they are most widely associated with combat operations in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

Remember those guys?  They are the ones that Washington caught with their pants down, both literally and metaphorically, at Trenton, NJ during the Revolutionary War……

I bring this up because of something that I read the other day about our policy toward Afghanistan…..

President Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, reflecting the Trump administration’s struggle to define its strategy for dealing with a war now 16 years old.

Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.

Here we go again…using mercenaries to do our fighting for us……leaving the foreign policy toward a country in the hands of a businessman is disastrous for the Afghan people.

If anyone thinks this will win the hearts and minds of the people then you have not been watching the news in the last 15 years…this is just more problems waiting to happen….this group does not have a good rep with the local people….this is a STUPID idea!

And who do you think will have to clean up the mess that these guys create?

If you believe that the war in Afghanistan is too expensive….just wait until you see the bill these guys present for payment.

Free Markets! Just Stop It!

Thoughts From the VOMITORIUM

Free markets!  Free markets!  We hear this time and time again from our politicians especially those on the Right….we must have free markets for this country to move forward.

What poppycock! (I wanted to use a stronger word but some of my readers may have sensitivities that I may not know about)……

This term has been used so much that few know what the Hell it means….but they will vote for the loudest toad that uses it ad nauseum….

I recently had a sit down with a friend—-coffee and pastry was delightful—a conserv friend…..we started talking about trade. world trade and my friend being a good conserv started going on about the “free markets”….free markets this and free markets that……as usual I had to point out that the free markets that he so loves do not exist…..in the pure economic sense.

As usual these conservs know not of what the speak….once I started my friend immediately started in on the “socialism” thing….anything that does not meet with their approval is deemed “socialism”…that is a retreat of the ignorant.

First of all….what are the “Free markets”…..Where buyers and sellers can make the deals they wish to make without any interference, except by the forces of demand and supply.

The term “free market” is sometimes used as a synonym for laissez-faire capitalism. When most people discuss the “free market,” they mean an economy with unobstructed competition and only private transactions between buyers and sellers. However, a more inclusive definition should include any voluntary economic activity so long as it is not controlled by coercive central authorities.

In short there are few “free markets’ although the illegal drug trade comes closest to any….

Economic sanctions, quotas, tariffs all are regulations of sorts and go against the perceived benefits of a “Free Market”……

Our new president wants to punish countries like China for dumping steel none of that is part of a free market…..

Time to find a new term to name the economy/markets in the US…..time to stop using a term that does not define the market economy of the US…..

Why Americans Feel So Good

Trump came to office on the promise of the American economy will boom…he will ax crappy trade agreements….he will make the free market blossom for ALL Americans.

The stock markets are going well and Trump points to that as proof positive that he is doing what he promised.

It is true that markets are doing well……sadly the same cannot be said for the economy of this country….at best it is mediocre.

Then why are Americans pleased and satisfied with this situation?

A strange thing seems to be happening to the US economy. On surveys, businesspeople and consumers say the future looks bright. But recent economic activity hasn’t appeared very robust.

Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times noted this in a recent article about mergers and acquisitions. A number of surveys have been reporting that chief executive officers are highly optimistic. For example, the website Chief Executive and the Wall Street Journal/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey both report a surge in CEO confidence since the 2016 election, while Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey finds an average level of confidence.

But as Sorkin reports, M&A activity is at its lowest level since 2013, and has fallen 40 percent in the past two years. Share buybacks have also slowed. Those “hard” numbers indicate that whatever CEOs are saying on paper, they aren’t taking actions that signal confidence in the future of their businesses. Capacity usage, which fell slightly in May, is another indicator of that true business sentiment is far from giddy.

Source: Why Americans Feel So Good about a Mediocre Economy – ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English

It is typical….Americans have always been satisfied with mediocrity.

Closing Thought–29Jun17

Protect my ‘Net!

For a couple of years now there has been a debate about net neutrality and why it is important.

We also have had those that say who cares.

We all should care about our internet access……and here is why….

Next month, Amazon, Netflix, and dozens of other companies and organizations will host a “day of action” aimed at saving net neutrality as we know it. The Federal Communications Commission, meanwhile, is on the verge of revoking its own authority to enforce net neutrality rules, and the country’s biggest telecommunications companies are cheering along. The future of the internet is on the line here, but it’s easy to be cynical about the conflict: What does it matter which set of giant corporations controls the internet?

Under the current net neutrality rules, broadband providers like Comcast and Charter, and wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon, can’t block or slow down your access to lawful content, nor can they create so-called “fast lanes” for content providers who are willing to pay extra. In other words, your internet provider can’t slow your Amazon Prime Video stream to a crawl so you’ll keep your Comcast cable plan, and your mobile carrier can’t stop you from using Microsoft’s Skype instead of your own Verizon cell phone minutes.

Source: Why Net Neutrality Matters | WIRED

Me?  I am old and probably does not matter much…but my granddaughter will be effected if these toads have their way.

TTFN–time for me to have a nap after all I’m old and we need our rest, right?

See ya tomorrow…chuq