Lewis And Clark

I apologize for being tardy in my replies but with heat raging here in the South and my A/C craps out I have been in no mood to sit and type.

News these days is boring at best….so why not learn something?

Part 3–the Lewis and Clark Expedition

We have been taught from our early years about the history of this country….problem is most of the stuff taught has been sanitized…..I try to teach some of the stuff that has been left out of our history instruction.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition began in 1804, when President Thomas Jefferson tasked Meriwether Lewis with exploring the lands west of the Mississippi River that comprised the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis chose William Clark as his co-leader for the mission. The excursion lasted over two years: Along the way they confronted harsh weather, unforgiving terrain, treacherous waters, injuries, starvation, disease and both friendly and hostile Native Americans. Nevertheless, the approximately 8,000-mile journey was deemed a huge success and provided new geographic, ecological and cultural information about previously uncharted areas of North America. 

The rest of the story…..

As Lewis and Clark prepared for their expedition into the western territories, the United States government gave them numerous goals to accomplish. Foremost, they were to find a “Northwest Passage” of water that connected the rivers of the Atlantic to the rivers of the Pacific, allowing for continuous water travel across North America. (The men would fail this mission, as the Northwest Passage turned out to be a myth.) Furthermore, they were to keep detailed records of the plants and animals of the West and to map out as much of the territory as possible.

But an often-ignored goal of the Lewis and Clark expedition was to gain the loyalty of the Native American tribes of the West. As the Corps of Discovery encountered new tribes on its push to the Pacific, they informed the Native people that they were living on land that was now part of the United States. According to the University of Virginia, Lewis and Clark would offer gifts to the tribes — from knives to peace medals — and encourage the Native people to obey their new “Great Father” in the East (a patronizing reference to President Jefferson). But the Corps of Discovery also demonstrated the steep price of disobeying the United States: In front of each tribe, they would fire off their guns in a display of military power.

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/235028/the-messed-up-truth-about-the-lewis-and-clark-expedition/

There was so much more to this expedition than taught…..the trip was not as successful as Jefferson had wanted….but it was a great PR opportunity but sadly it did not last very long.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Original AUMF

Part 2 —the untaught history of America.

Some think that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) was when the US retaliated for the 9/11 attacks on the US….if you think that then you are wrong….off by 200 years…..

First of all, what is the AUMF?

Basically it is a law from Congress that allows the use of military might against an ‘enemy’……

Now to the very first AUMF.

The year was 1801……

According to the United States Constitution, if a sitting president wants to use the U.S. military against another nation, the office holder must first ask Congress for a specific declaration of war.

The United States has only actually declared war a handful of times. Since its ratification, the Constitutional function of war has only been used against Great Britain in 1812, Mexico in 1846, Spain in 1898, the Triple Alliance powers in World War I and the Axis Powers in World War II. But the U.S. has engaged in more than 102 conflicts since its inception.

The problem with a declaration of war (for Congress) is that a state of war gives the Office of the President incredible power under the Constitution. Instead of doing that, legislators would prefer to give the president limited power using an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

It’s the kind of legislation that has allowed presidents since George W. Bush to wage war for the past 20 years. But Authorizations for the use of military force are nothing new, though the names the U.S. government uses for it might be. The first AUMF-style authorization came before the first declared war, skirting the Constitution and allowing President Thomas Jefferson to bring the U.S. Navy to bear against American enemies.

Pirates from the coastal states of North Africa terrorized the Mediterranean Sea for centuries, even while the United States was still a colony of Great Britain. Ships from nations who refused to pay tribute to the Barbary Coast rulers were targeted for attack, their cargoes seized, and the crews sold into slavery.

America’s first authorization for use of military force came in 1801

So you see the AUMF is not something new….presidents have been using it for a couple of centuries….especially for wars that are not needed.

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Russian Sanctions

At the start of the Ukraine/Russia mash-up the US did what we always do….imposed sanctions.

I have not been a fan of sanctions because I do not believe they are all that effect…… as I wrote in the past…..

Sanctions, What Are They Good For?

I post this because of the news from this weekend….

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom is set to rake in 85% higher revenues this year, to around $100 billion, as natural gas prices surged following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the significant cut to Russian pipeline gas exports to Europe, an analyst told the Financial Times on Friday.

By choking supply to Europe, Gazprom has driven natural gas prices three times higher than last year’s price, which more than offsets the lower volumes Russia is sending to Europe, Ron Smith, an oil and gas analyst at BCS Global Markets, told FT.

“You can make a solid case that Gazprom will earn more from supplying less gas,” according to the analyst.

The EU is looking to limit Putin’s revenues from gas, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday the Commission would propose a price cap on Russian gas as “We must cut Russia’s revenues which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war against Ukraine.”

Also on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin threatened the West that Russia would stop supplying all energy products to Europe if the EU and its Western allies impose price caps on Russian oil and natural gas.

Several EU member states are opposed to the Commission’s plan on a price cap on Russian gas amid concerns that Putin would retaliate with a complete halt of all pipeline gas deliveries to Europe. 

(oilprice.com)

Sanctions do not always achieve the desired goal…..

If you are interested in more information then I suggest this post on IST…..

Sanctions And Tariffs

Now you know….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–07Sep22

One of the dumbest ideas that comes from the mental midgets on the Right….the banning of books…..and it is reported that it has hit an all-time high…..

As kids, teachers and librarians head back to school this fall, bookshelves around the country are a bit emptier than usual.

According to data collected by PEN America, 1,145 books have been banned by school districts across the United States between July 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.

These numbers are at a historic high, said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, who has tracked and analyzed book bans across the country during her more than two decades with the American Library Association (ALA).

Caldwell-Stone, currently the director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the ALA, said in the past, the norm was for one or two titles to be challenged per year in schools. Today, it’s common for four to six unique books to be challenged each day, she said.

The uptick is part of a culture war taking center stage in political races, on social media and at school board meetings — between those who believe that parents should have a greater say in school curricula; those who think that certain histories and narratives should not be taught in classrooms; and others who resist censorship of any form, encouraging all titles onto shelves.

Caught in the middle of the debate are questions along legal, geographic and economic lines — mainly, how book bans really relate to the First Amendment, their impact in the internet age (more significant than you would guess) and consequences of bans — both intended and unintended.

https://www.grid.news/story/politics/2022/08/27/book-banning-in-us-schools-has-reached-an-all-time-high-what-this-means-and-how-we-got-here/

I do not see where banning books does anything to move a society forward….

Does the banning of books really protect anyone?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–06Sep22

Looks like my state of Mississippi has become a trend setter….and not in a good way…..keep in ind Mississippi gave us the overturning of Roe…..and now reinforced the Jim Crow law….in case you missed it….

Mississippi Does It Again!

Appears another Southern state has jumped on the bandwagon….Florida (go figure)…..

Some 130 years ago, white lawmakers gathered in Jackson, Tallahassee, Richmond and other state capitals across the former Confederacy and rewrote their state constitutions to enshrine white supremacy.

Over the last week, Mississippi and Florida have offered modern-day examples of Jim Crow-era voter suppression that endures to this day — enacted by state legislatures, enabled by governors with White House ambitions and enforced by federal judges — and that continues to keep hundreds of thousands of citizens, disproportionately Black, from the polls.

Felony disenfranchisement, along with poll taxes, literacy tests and byzantine voter registration procedures, was among the most effective tools used by racist Southern legislators to effectively nullify the Reconstruction amendments to the U.S. Constitution across the old Confederacy and prevent Black citizens from actually exercising their supposed new rights. Lawmakers turned crimes they believed most likely to be committed by poor Black people — such as petty theft, burglary and forgery — into felonies, and then then stripped anyone convicted of those crimes from casting a ballot.

https://www.salon.com/2022/09/03/jim-crow-lives-again-florida-and-mississippi-turn-back-the-clock-on-voting-rights/

And the trend begins.

Which state will be the next to join the rush to eliminate voters?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Pesky Affidavit

Know it is Sunday and I try to avoid the ‘news’ for happier or informative things….in that light this post is an FYI post…..

Well the social media sights are burning up with opinions on whether this raid on Mar-a-Lago was valid or not.

This post is about the affidavit…..

The Justice Department released its blacked-out version of the Mar-a-Lago affidavit Friday afternoon, and news outlets were scrambling to make sense of what could be read. In the affidavit, the department argued that the FBI search had to be conducted because a batch of documents retrieved from the Florida residence in January contained an alarming amount of classified information—14 of 15 boxes had documents with classified markings, reports the AP—and they were sure more were still at the residence. Coverage:

  • Read the redacted affidavit yourself here.
  • The department said the material retrieved in January included top-secret information obtained by “clandestine human resources” who were monitoring “foreign communications signals,” per theHill. If such information got into the wrong hands, it could compromise spies and their intel-gathering operations, said the affidavit.
  • How did the department know that Trump had classified documents at Mar-a-Lago? Through “a significant number of civilian witnesses.”
  • The affidavit asserted that “there is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found” at the residence, per the Washington Post.
  • Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich declared in a statement that “this is a grave travesty, and what is unredacted only further supports President Trump’s position, there was NO reason for a raid—it is all politics!” Trump himself is using the familiar phrase “witch hunt,” per the New York Post.
  • In terms of specifics, the affidavit said the boxes retrieved from Mar-a-Lago in January by the National Archives contained 184 classified documents—”25 of which were marked ‘top secret,’ 92 of which were marked ‘secret,’ and 67 of which were marked ‘confidential’—the lowest level of national security classification,” per Politico. Some of the “highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified,” the affidavit said.
  • In assessing the January batch, FBI agents “were most alarmed to discover that many of the materials included the highest national security restrictions, requiring they be held in controlled government storage facilities, and barring them from ever being shared with foreign governments,” per the New York Times.
  • On the first page of the affidavit, an FBI agent summed things up: “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.”

Below is the affidavit for those that did not read the above part of this post…..

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/26/politics/mar-a-lago-search-warrant-affidavit-memo/index.html

Documents already made public show the FBI retrieved from the property 11 sets of classified documents, including information marked at the top secret level. They also show that federal agents are investigating potential violations of three federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information under the Espionage Act. The other statutes address the concealment, mutilation, or removal of records and the destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations. Trump and his backers have maintained that he had the authority as president to declassify any documents he removed from the White House.

Hopefully this will help clear any misunderstandings there has been around this document.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

California Makes History

This time it is not news of wildfires or mudslides or earthquakes…..nothing as a natural disaster but rather the possibility of an economic disaster (if you believe what the naysayers are on about)……

The state of California has moved to ban gas powered cars….this ought to set the GOP’s hair on fire…..here is what is reported…

California has followed up its move to phase out gas-powered mowers with an even more ambitious goal—phasing out gas-powered cars. The California Air Resources Board voted Thursday in favor of banning the sale of new gas-powered cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs by 2035, the AP reports. After that date, people will still be able to drive older gas-powered vehicles, but the state will only allow the sale of new electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, plus a limited number of plug-in hybrids. More:

  • Newsom wants to make the tailpipe obsolete. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who first announced the plan in 2020, tells the New York Times that the move is “one of the most significant steps to the elimination of the tailpipe as we know it.” “Our kids are going to act like it’s a rotary phone, or changing the channel on a television,” he says.
  • Other states are likely to follow suit. California is the nation’s biggest buyer of vehicles, and the move will have a big effect on other states. Washington and Massachusetts have already announced plans to follow suit, and another 15 states follow California’s emissions rules, which are tougher than federal rules. “Automakers don’t like making different cars for different states, so California sets the de facto standard for the country and other parts of the world,” Vox notes.
  • Auto industry is on the same page. While there are massive production challenges ahead, including sourcing enough raw materials for batteries and expanding charging networks, major US auto makers and their overseas counterparts are moving in the same direction as California and are spending tens of billions of dollars to expand their electric vehicle offerings, reports the New York Times. Ford wants 40% of its vehicles to be electric by 2030 and Volkswagen plans to phase out gas-powered vehicles in Europe by 2035 at the latest.

Pushback. The California rule, called the CARB Advanced Clean Cars II rule, still requires a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency. While the Biden administration has signaled it will be granted, opponents are urging the EPA to reconsider. Reuters reports the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers trade association urged the administration Thursday to reject the “unlawful ban,” saying granting the waiver “would hand over sweeping federal government authority to California regulators, effectively appointing Governor Newsom and CARB as car and truck czars for the entire United States.”

This ought to fire up the fear mongers….more ammo for the naysayers…..

But has anyone stop to think about the draw on electric grid if we all go electric?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Did Students Win?

For several years there has been a push to do something about all the massive student debt…..like forgive some or all of the debt that going to college has heaped upon the student.

Progressive been at the forefront of the proposals…..and Biden needs a win to boost his numbers and help Dems with the mid-terms.

And presto change-o the Dems come through…..

On Wednesday President Biden made good on his campaign promise to ease the burden of federal student loan debt. Under Biden’s plan, many Americans will be granted $10,000 in debt cancellation; those with the greatest financial need could see an additional $10,000 wiped away. The specifics, per a tweet from the president and the AP:

  • Borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or families earning less than $250,000, will be eligible for the $10,000 loan forgiveness. For recipients of Pell Grants, which are reserved for undergraduates with the most significant financial need, the federal government will cancel up to an additional $10,000 in federal loan debt.
  • Biden also extended a pause on federal student loan payments for what the White House calls the “final time” through the end of 2022.
  • If his plan survives legal challenges that are almost certain to come, it could offer a windfall to a swath of the nation in the run-up to this fall’s midterm elections. More than 43 million people have federal student debt, with an average balance of $37,667, according to federal data.
  • Nearly a third of borrowers owe less than $10,000, and about half owe less than $20,000. The White House estimates that Biden’s announcement would erase the federal student debt of about 20 million people.
  • Proponents say cancellation will narrow the racial wealth gap—Black students are more likely to borrow federal student loans and at higher amounts than others. Four years after earning bachelor’s degrees, Black borrowers owe an average of nearly $25,000 more than their white peers, according to a Brookings Institution study.
  • The Washington Post cites previous estimates that put the cost of canceling $10,000 per borrower at about $230 billion; that doesn’t include the Pell Grant relief.
  • CNN points out the problem of college affordability is a big one that’s unchanged by today’s announcement. To wit, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found total federal student loan debt, currently at $1.6 trillion, will be back at that level within four years of wiping out $10,000 per borrowers

This will be good news for most of those that accrued the massive debt to get their education.

It is a good start but I do think it is not enough.

If they want to protect students then try doing something about the predatory lending practices ….but that is not happening because of the cash that pays for a do-nothing Congress.

At least $10,000 of debt will be canceled…..

Whatcha think?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–24Aug22

We all, no matter where you live, tend to bitch and moan about the weather and the weather people…..it seems it gets louder the older we get…..and then there is the Weather Channel that most retired Americans live and breath by……

Then I read a story about Hungary….and thought it is a good answer to those that are habitually wrong day after day…..

The two top officials of Hungary’s meteorological service were fired Monday after an inaccurate rain forecast prompted the postponement of a fireworks display on the country’s most important national holiday, per the AP. The annual St. Stephen’s Day fireworks show along the Danube River in Budapest—billed as the largest display in Europe—was called off Saturday afternoon based on forecasts that said extreme weather was likely around the 9pm start time. By evening, the storms had not materialized in the capital, but the show, which typically draws more than a million spectators, already had been rescheduled for the next week due to safety concerns.

The firings were announced in a brief statement by Minister of Technology and Industry Laszlo Palkovics, a top cabinet member in the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The fired weather service chief, Kornelia Radics, had served in her post since 2013 and her deputy, Gyula Horvath, since 2016. While the minister did not provide a reason for the dismissals, the meteorological service had received harsh criticism in Hungary’s government-aligned media, which charged that the service’s “gravely wrong” forecast had caused a needless postponement of the fireworks display.

Critics of Orban’s government, which has been accused of corruption, nepotism, and anti-democratic tendencies, charged that the firings were politically motivated and reminiscent of Hungary’s communist past. In a Tuesday statement, the meteorological service demanded the reinstatement of its fired leaders. The agency described coming under “political pressure” concerning its assessments of weather models on the holiday and that those applying the pressure “ignored the scientifically accepted uncertainty inherent in meteorological forecasts.”

Think about it.

If that happened here there would be no one on TV to ‘predict’ our weather….and then what we have to bitch about?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Controls American Foreign Policy?

A question that few Americans want to ask because for the most part they do not care…..but they should for foreign policy will effect us all in some way.

Think tanks and lobbyists control everything in DC….especially foreign policy.

In a piece of news that shocked the mainstream media, but which shocked no one familiar with the academic industry writ large, retired US Army general John Allen was forced to resign as president of the Brookings Institution after it was revealed the FBI was investigating him for lobbying on behalf of the Qatari monarchy.

Of course, the real news, scarcely noted by the Washington PostNew York Times, or any other purported paper of record, is that Allen was only really in trouble because he hadn’t fulfilled the pro forma legal requirements for those lobbying the US government on behalf of a foreign agent or government.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), under which such activities are regulated, includes several exceptions that allow for such activities without declaring a conflict of interest. Think tanks, a misnomer if ever there was one, operate under an “academic exception” that allows for engagement in “bona fide religious, scholastic, academic, or scientific pursuits or the fine arts.”

Anyone who has ever picked up one of the many deadly dull social science journals where actual, bona fide empirical academic work is done knows this constitutes perhaps a fraction of what think tanks almost daily churn out.

Rather think tank commentary, touted as objective analysis, is regularly featured or cited by publications and outlets as apparently diverse as the Wall Street Journal and NPR.

Of course, think tanks are hardly alone. As Ben Freeman, a specialist on foreign influence on US policy, has documented, such democratic bastions of liberal values as the UAE and Saudi Arabia donate hundreds of millions, even billions, to universities around the country.

https://mises.org/wire/who-really-makes-us-foreign-policy-who-benefits-and-who-loses

If they churn out crap on the behest of any foreign government then they should be held accountable and register as a foreign agent.

Department of Justice’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit issued guidance indicating that think tanks and non-profits doing work at the behest of a foreign government likely have an obligation to register under FARA.

In a new Advisory Opinion — the FARA Unit’s public, though heavily redacted, responses when organizations ask if they should register or not — the Chief of the FARA Unit argues that the unnamed organization in question should register under FARA as its work for foreign principals included outreach to policymakers in the defense community, facilitating “meetings and new partnerships in the United States, particularly with U.S. government officials,” and has agreed to prepare a study that would “foster bilateral exchange and cooperation between” a foreign government and the United States.

As the Chief argues, each of these actions constitutes “political activity” under the FARA statute, defined as attempts to “influence any agency or official of the United States or any section of the public within the United States with reference to . . . the domestic or foreign policy of the United States.”

Can think tanks be foreign agents?

There is your answer….Think tanks is one of the controlling agents of American foreign policy.

When I left college I was offered a position with a think tank….I refused because they give a conclusion they want and I was to fit the research to fit that conclusion.  (BTW that refusal on my part made it possible for me to never get a gig with a think tank….I would not play ball).

Time for these people to be held up to the light.

Wake Up!  Pay attention!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”