Closing Thought–23Mar17

This day in History!

On this day in 1919 the movement known as Fascism was born……

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was the first twentieth-century fascist dictator in Europe.

Source: On this day in 1919: Mussolini founds his radical Party and modern Facism is born

Moving on to the meat of the thought……

I recall in history class we use to talk about the suspicion that some governments had that they had “spies” in all positions keeping an eye on their bosses….making sure that they stayed on track with the approved dialog.

Off the top of my head there was that political experiment in Germany and the one within the Soviet Union….controlled for political purity…..ring any bells?

What made me think of those weasels of history was something I read about the Trump admin…….

The White House has installed political appointees at Cabinet agencies to track secretaries’ loyalty to the president and his agenda, the Washington Post reports, citing unnamed officials. Under the unusual arrangement, which has created tensions within the Cabinet, White House aides sit in on Cabinet meetings and report to White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn (above left, with Trump adviser Stephen Miller).

From the Washington Post:

The political appointee charged with keeping watch over Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and his aides has offered unsolicited advice so often that after just four weeks on the job, Pruitt has shut him out of many staff meetings, according to two senior administration officials.

At the Pentagon, they’re privately calling the former Marine officer and fighter pilot who’s supposed to keep his eye on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “the commissar,” according to a high-ranking defense official with knowledge of the situation. It’s a reference to Soviet-era Communist Party officials who were assigned to military units to ensure their commanders remained loyal.

Read Full Article »

That is what makes for a strong government….trust those around you…..secure political purity.
Speaking of spying on people…..
Is it possible that the president could spy on his political opponents?

The controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

Source: Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents? | The American Conservative

Yes, the games politicians can play…games we all pay for in the end.

Well sports fans that is my last words of the day…..tomorrow will be tomorrow…..be well, be safe…..chuq

2017 Women’s History Month–Badass Ladies

Women have always been at the center of any movement including revolutions……and very few get any recognition for their contributions….

I try to repair that historical oversight whenever possible…..

For every Joan of Arc, there’s a Mongolian wrestler princess; for every Mata Hari, there’s a Colombian revolutionary spy; for every Ada Lovelace, there’s a pin-up Austrian telecoms……

The women who shaped our planet are too many to mention, so here are just a few of the most frankly badass females of all time.

Source: 7 of the most badass women who ever lived (who you’ve probably never heard of) | Public Radio International

Why is there a special course for women’s place in history…why can they not be taught along with those of men?

Any good reasons?

But It Is Human Nature

On several occasions the topic of human nature has come up mostly in the comment section and by several of IST’s regular readers.

Human nature is one of those subjective topics that leads to many different interpretations….depending on one’s personal outlook or philosophy…..I recently read a pretty good look at this topic and would like to share it here and get others thoughts on the article…..

Across the globe, a collective freak-out spanning the whole political system is picking up steam with every new “surprise” election, rush of tormented souls across borders, and tweet from the star of America’s great unreality show, Donald Trump.

But what exactly is the force that seems to be pushing us towards Armageddon? Is it capitalism gone wild? Globalization? Political corruption? Techno-nightmares?

Rajani Kanth, a political economist, social thinker, and poet, goes beyond any of these for the answer. In his view, what’s throwing most of us off kilter— whether we think of ourselves as left or right, capitalist or socialist—was birthed 400 years ago during the period of the Enlightenment. It’s a set of assumptions, a particular way of looking at the world that pushed out previous modes of existence, many quite ancient and time-tested, and eventually rose to dominate the world in its Anglo-American form.

Source: Have we been denying our human nature for four hundred years?

So my friends….any thoughts on this piece?

2017 Women’s History Month–Mary Edwards Walker

Have you ever heard the name Mary Edwards Walker before?

Of course you have not and why should you……after all she is only a medal of honor winner….not all that important in the grand scheme (sarcasm).  Not only the first woman to win this award but the ONLY woman to do so…..

Mary Edwards Walker, one of the nation’s 1.8 million women veterans, was the only woman to earn the Medal of Honor, for her service during the Civil War.

She was honored in several ways…. a World War II, Liberty ship, the SS Mary Walker, was named for her and in 1982, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 20 cent stamp in her honor, in April 2011 the residents of her hometown of Oswego, New York will honor her with a statue.

She was there in the early days of women fighting for their rights…..

But you can read more about this extraordinary woman…..

Source: The 1st and only woman Medal of Honor recipient: A statue in her honor – Medal of Honor News

Another woman forgotten by history…..but there will always be people like me that will not let their memory slide from the consciousness of the nation.

Terrorism: A History Of Violence

There has not been a major terrorist attack in awhile….so the issue has slipped from the headlines….so to keep the subject alive and the chattering Ignorati on their toes I will attack the subject whenever I get bored.

I recently had the opportunity to teach a course on Terrorism…..basically it was an introduction to the subject…..I wish I had had this article to use for my students would have made my life much easier and after all is that not what we all are looking for….an easier life?

This is an excellent look at the history of terrorism…..

As Max Hill is announced as the UK’s new terrorism legislation watchdog, Peter Oborne explains how David Anderson, the previous appointee, brought insight to one of the defining issues of our age.

Politicians of all parties and many countries have sought to persuade their societies that terrorism is a unique and special form of crime.

They place terrorists in a category of psychopathic evil, marked out by their capacity for inhuman violence. They place terrorists beyond the pale of civilised society and, therefore, beyond the reach of negotiation and settlement. They say that terrorism is the most dangerous and gravest problem of our time.

Most of this political narrative is self-seeking nonsense. It allows politicians to strike resolute poses. It allows them to seek and obtain special powers and to expend huge sums on combatting terrorist threats, to the great benefit of defence and security interests, both public and private.

Source: Terrorism: A history of violence | Middle East Eye

There is an ever expanding role for women in the field of terrorism….even reports are issued about the role of women…..

Source: NCF_RB_LS_policybrief_1320.pdf

Women are becoming more lethal. In jihadist organizations — including even Al Qaeda, which had long banned females from violent roles — women are increasingly taking part in terrorist actions.

Since 1985, terrorism’s so-called invisible women have accounted for a quarter of fatal attacks in Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Palestine. My research found that by mid-2008, women had acted as suicide bombers 21 times in Iraq’s markets and other civilian venues patronized by Shiites.

Source: Women terrorists increasingly take violent roles – latimes

And that was my historic perspective for the day….terrorism is a subject that needs understanding for it will be with us for many more years to come….

Russia….Russia…..Russia!

There has been a wealth of ink wasted on this Russia thing….did Russia meet with any candidates to decide the future?  Or did it not?

If you really do not know about all this wasted time and energy then get up and use the Google machine….you can learn it all….and from whatever side you want……

I am not here to join in that debate….I will do what I always do….give my readers a history lesson….or if you like a historical perspective….

You see if Trump and/or his minions met with someone from the Russia oligarchy then it is NOTHING new.  That is right…it is nothing new!

Whatever are you talking about professor?

First let’s talk about the Nixon years….and the Vietnam Peace talks….

Journalist Robert Parry, editor of Consortiumnews.com, may be the most knowledgeable journalist about the GOP use of foreign policy subterfuge (some might call it treason) to successfully win the 1968 and 1980 elections. He has compiled the evidence in his latest book, “America’s Stolen Narrative.”

It is a persuasive account of the beginning of de facto stolen presidential elections by the GOP, which in turn has led to a lack of accountability for executive branch actions by the DC code of silence among the powerful. These elections (with the exception of Watergate) taught the Republicans, Parry contends, that there would be no consequences for law-breaking behavior in elections and foreign policy.

Source: How Richard Nixon Sabotaged 1968 Vietnam Peace Talks to Get Elected President

Next up is the Reagan campaign of 1980….and the Iranian hostage thing……

“A conspiracy between a presidential candidate and a hostile foreign power against an incumbent president would seem to be without precedent in American history. But if Reagan struck a successful deal with Iran and captured the presidency in 1980, it would explain why he agreed to the bizarre alliance with Iran in 1985 and 1986: He had gotten away with it before.”—B. Honegger and J. Naureckas, In These Times, July 7, 1987.

The charge has been raised, first in the Middle Eastern and European press and now in the US, that in 1980 while Jimmy Carter was frantically negotiating for an early release of American hostages in Iran, members of the Ronald Reagan campaign staff made the Ayatollah Khomeini an offer he couldn’t refuse—badly needed US arms and spare parts for his war with Iraq if he kept the US Embassy hostages in Tehran until after election day.

Source: Did Iran Delay Hostages Release To Ensure Reagan’s Election? | WRMEA

Now we come to all the hoopla about the Trump people and their alleged meetings/deals with the Russians.

Is it just me or all these incidents involving GOP candidates?  I am sure there are others and maybe even a Dem in there somewhere but these examples are the ones that readily came to mind.

Did I mention that all these examples are those of GOP candidates?  Is that a pattern or what?

Women’s History Month–Rosa Luxemburg

We enter into a new month and new period of celebrating our history….history should be celebrated everyday not just once a year….

When I was younger my grandfather gave me a few books and among them was one by Rosa Luxemburg, Reform Or Revolution….she was a fascinating woman of her time……regardless her politics she did much to further the cause of women……

Born on March 5th, 1871, Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish Jew and participant in the Russian Revolution of 1905, was a co-founder of the Social Democratic Party in the joint Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania.

Next to Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg was the most important representative of the left-wing socialist, anti-militarist, and internationalist positions in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany before 1918. She was a passionate and convincing critic of capitalism as well as anti-democratic and dictatorial tendencies within the Bolsheviki. She confronted the compelling logic of economic laws and political strategies with the utopia of a new world. According to Luxemburg, this new world needed to be created in spite of widespread despair, deprivation of rights, cowardliness and the corruption of power.

Rosa Luxemburg was a leading theorist of the SPD’s left wing. She played a crucial role in the formation of the Spartacus League, the Independent Social-Democratic Party (USPD) and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). Her fate cannot be separated from the German labor movement. Irreconcilable differences between the evolving different streams of the labor movement lead to reconcurrent confrontations between their respective supporters and in the end to a collapsed labor unity.

On January 15th, 1919, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, and Wilhelm Pieck; the leaders of the German Communist Party, were arrested and taken in for questioning at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin. German soldiers escorted Luxemburg and Liebknecht out of the building, knocking them unconscious with rifle butts. Pieck managed to escape, while the unconscious bodies of Luxemburg and Liebknecht were quietly driven away in a German military jeep. They were shot and thrown into a river by the same circles of militarist Freikorps (Volunteer Corps) that later openly supported the National Socialists’ seizure of power.

Impressively, Rosa Luxemburg combined political commitment, scientific analysis, and the quest for empowerment as a woman. She saw herself as being in conflict, fighting both on a scientific and political level while her daily life presented the essential foundation. Throughout all her actions, she never shunned tenderness and sensibility.

If you would like more info on Luxemburg then this link can help……

Source: First World War.com – Who’s Who – Rosa Luxemburg

Another woman that has been past over by our history courses…her writings were instrumental to politics of the day…

She deserves more recognition than she has gotten over the last 100 years….

Do yourself a favor and learn about this extraordinary woman.