Ban The Books!

Closing Thought–24Jan20

First I wish my mother a Happy Birthday…she would have been 99 today….I miss you Mom!

I was never told what I could read by my parents so I have a real problem with the government in any shade that wants to do what my parents never did.

I bring this up because of some ruling in Missouri…..

The bill was introduced earlier this month by Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker (R), who has argued that the measure is meant to protect children when they visit their public libraries.

“The main thing is I want to be able to take my kids to a library and make sure they’re in a safe environment, and that they’re not gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable material,” Baker told local news station KOAM. “Unfortunately, there are some libraries in the state of Missouri that have done this. And that’s a problem.”

The bill would ban libraries that receive state funding from allowing minors access to “age-inappropriate sexual material.” To identify what that content is, the bill would include the creation of “parental library review boards” made up of five locally elected community members. The boards would then review what content it considers appropriate.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/478518-missouri-bill-proposes-parental-library-review-boards-that-could-land

Seriously?

Keep this stuff out of the hands of children?

Has this yahoo ever heard of social media?

This is just ignorance in government.

Read it again……

Under the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act (H.B. 2044), locally elected “parental library review boards” would be permitted to unilaterally remove books they decide are sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate for young readers from library shelves. 

Libraries that allow children to borrow books that have been banned or whose access has been restricted would risk losing state funding, and librarians could be ordered to pay fines of up to $500 or sentenced to jail time for up to a year. 

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/16/right-wing-review-boards-missouri-would-pave-way-arresting-librarians-over-books

I just find this amazing……this from a party that hates the “Nanny State” and yet wants to be the same beast it rails against.

Hypocrites each and every one.

Ignorance in government should be a crime!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

US Troops In West Africa

The Pentagon has shown a lean toward removing troops from West Africa and redeploy…https://lobotero.com/2020/01/16/closing-thought-16jan20/

After that news a lawmakers disagree with the SecDef……

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been publicizing his intention to cut troops from Africa and send them to the areas around Russia and China for great power competition for some time. He is facing some pushback from Congress.

Efforts in recent years to brand the substantial US military position in Africa as being core to the global war on terrorism apparently stuck in the minds of a lot of lawmakers of both parties, who now say that the US can’t afford to withdraw those troops.

This increases the likelihood that Esper’s Pacific pivot will never happen. Already, his plans to cut troops from Iraq and send them seems dead, with President Trump bound and determined not to cut Iraq troop levels because Iraq wants them to.

The arguments on both sides are paper thin, either that the US needs to keep troops in Africa to be in Africa, or that they need to move them to China to do more to China. As Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) warned, if the US pulls troops out of Africa “then they will not be there.”

(antiwar.com)

I bet that the M-IC had a cow and paid dearly for the lawmakers to oppose….and then news that will help our troops stay in West Africa……

The Defense Department has remained relatively tight-lipped regarding the brazen Jan. 5 raid on a military base at Manda Bay, Kenya, but a new report from the New York Times provides a riveting account filled with new details about how the hours-long gunfight played out.

The attack, carried out by the Somalia-based al Shabaab terror group, killed a U.S. service member and two defense contractors and prompted the Pentagon to deploy its East Africa Response Force (EARF) to secure the base’s crucial airfield.

Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, pledged that the U.S. military would “harden our resolve” in the aftermath of the attack, stating that the U.S. “remain[s] committed to preventing al Shabaab from maintaining a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the U.S. homeland, East African and international partners.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/kenya-manda-bay-attack-report

Yes I know Kenya is in East Africa so do not try to use that……troops will remain now that the threat is more pronounced.

Makes One Think.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–23Jan20

I have been an opponent of the massive amount of spending that tghe country does on its so-called defense.

We have American citizens starving and dying of inadequate health care but yet we can spend trillions on worthless endless wars.

Those damn defense contractors! (Let me state here that not all contractors for the defense department are crooks….but there are too many as it is now)…….

Shell companies….tjose techniques used by drug dealers and terrorists to hide their money are also employed by some defense contractors…..

Shell companies have come under attack for obscuring illicit money flowing into real estate. But it turns out they’re also a problem for the Pentagon.

Some Defense Department suppliers have used such front companies to fraudulently win manufacturing bids, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office study of Defense Department contractors.

In some cases, the shell companies helped contractors obscure that they were making U.S. military equipment abroad, the GAO said, posing a risk to national security and quality control. More often, they were used to win contracts meant for companies owned by disabled veterans or minorities, it said.

The government watchdog reviewed 32 cases that made their way to criminal prosecutions or lawsuits between 2012 and 2018. Taken together, they illustrate how the Pentagon’s $350 billion in annual contracting can be gamed using companies that exist largely on paper.

The problem could be far bigger, since the GAO’s study wasn’t intended to gauge its scope. The watchdog said the Pentagon had made only spotty efforts to pierce the secrecy of shell companies.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-04/how-the-pentagon-was-duped-by-contractors-using-shell-companies

32 cases and $350 billion…….

Whatever happened to “oversight”?

Apparently that is a thing of the past as long as the Congress gets most of the cash from lobbyists and corporations.

This is a pathetic sytory that plays out every budget and the American people just shrug and allow their money to be pissed away on crap and politicians.

Plus the M-IC can get away with murder…..

According to the Washington Post, General Dynamics is “the fourth-largest corporate recipient of US government contract dollars” and Mattis himself one of at least 50 “high-level government officials” hired by defense contractors since the Trump era began. In fact, on the very board that Mattis rejoined sit six other former military officers and officials, including a former Navy admiral, a former Air Force general, a former deputy secretary of defense, and Novakovic herself who once worked for the CIA and the Pentagon. And while we’re on the subject, don’t forget about all those figures from the world of the weapons makers who have headed the other way like Mark Esper, the current secretary of defense, who was previously a lobbyist for Raytheon.

How The Military-Industrial Complex Gets Away With Murder

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 2

The REAL news was the revelation the US invented the wheel….how could history be so wrong?

But now back to the mundane……the sage continues….Roberts scolds Senators for childish behavior…..Dems continue to make their case…..

Chief Justice John Roberts told House impeachment managers and administration lawyers to remember where they were, Washington Post reports. “I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body.” He was speaking after an angry exchange between House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Trump lawyers Pat Cippolone and Jay Sekulow.

Day Two was just about as boring as Day One…..

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester described the first day of President Trump’s impeachment trial, which clocked in at nearly 13 hours, as “like sitting on a tractor,” reports NBC News. And it’s back on the tractor today: With the rules for the trial now set, House managers led by Rep. Adam Schiff on Wednesday started their opening arguments. They have up to 24 hours, spread over three days, to make their case. Schiff spoke first and began by quoting Alexander Hamilton, who warned of a future leader whom Hamilton described as “a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits, despotic in his ordinary demeanor, known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty.”

  • Hamilton and the other founding fathers created impeachment as a protection against such a president, said Schiff, who spoke of taking “this solemn action, for only the third time in history, because Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has acted precisely as Hamilton and his contemporaries feared.”
  • AP White House reporter Zeke Miller tweeted that the White House busily emailed responses to Schiff, citing “7 in last 45 min,” among them, “President Trump Has Been Completely Transparent with the American People.”
  • CNN notes some of the talking points to come out of the White House invoked Hamilton too: “Our founding fathers feared that impeachment would be abused as a partisan tool—rather than the grave remedy it was intended to be. Hamilton and Jefferson warned about a majority using impeachment for political purposes.”
  • Prior to entering the Senate chamber, Schiff spoke with reporters and gave a broad outline of today’s plan, per the Washington Post: “We will begin our trial with the factual chronology. The facts are damning. We’re going to lay them out in great detail in our chronology today.” He spoke for 2.5 hours and said the six other House impeachment managers (Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow and Sylvia Garcia) would each present a portion of the opening arguments.
  • As Schiff spoke, Trump tweeted from Air Force One, writing in quotation marks, “NO PRESSURE,” an apparent reference to his dealings with the Ukraine.
  • In regards to the president’s Ukraine call, Schiff had this to say: “The counsel for the president would like you to think this is just about that call … They don’t want you to look at the months that went into preparing for that call, or the months of pressure that followed.”
  • CNN notes Schiff also dismissed the idea of allowing witnesses Democrats want to hear from in exchange for also allowing witnesses the GOP wants (ie, John Bolton and Hunter Biden, respectively). “This isn’t a fantasy football trade,” he said, panning the idea of “offer[ing] a witness irrelevant and immaterial with no relevant testimony but a witness that allows us to smear a presidential candidate if you give us a witness. That’s not a trade. Trials aren’t trades for witnesses.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also later dismissed that idea.
  • As of this posting, Nadler, Garcia, and Crow had taken their turns presenting their portion of the opening statement and Jeffries was up (a protester briefly interrupted the proceedings during Jeffries’ remarks). As the afternoon wore on, CNN noted a few senators had abandoned their seats, though some could still be seen in the chamber. Republican Sen. John Cornyn summed things up thusly: “I think we’re already beginning to lose certainly the television audience and maybe the press to some extent, but certainly senators are struggling to try to see why we have to sit there, sit hearing the same arguments over and over and over and over again.”
  • CNN and the Guardian also reported senators were seen filling out crossword puzzles, pacing, eating candy, and, in Ben Sasse’s case, “shoving unidentified pieces of food into his mouth.” Some were also drinking milk: As the site explains, milk and water are the only beverages allowed on the Senate floor during the trial.

Another long day……more to come…..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Clinton Needs To STFU!

In 2016 Clinton lost the presidency to Trump and she has been butt hurt ever since…..she keeps inserting herself into just about every political situation, in person or through words….

Clinton has decided that she can influence the population to vote for more of her cronies on Wall Street…..

She just cannot STFU…..

If you were wondering why the hashtag #NobodyLikesHim was trending on Twitter on Tuesday, it’s because the Hollywood Reporter dropped a big election-tied bomb. In a chat to promote the upcoming Hulu documentary Hillary, Hillary Clinton was asked to confirm that she said the following in the film about Bernie Sanders: “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” Asked if she still felt that way, Clinton replied, “Yes,” noting what she says is a toxic, misogynistic culture among his supporters that Sanders won’t address. She also wouldn’t pledge to endorse or campaign for him if he’s the Democratic nominee: “I’m not going to go there yet.” As for whether she’d ever jump back into the ring herself, Clinton said, “I have had so many people [urge me to]. Every day.”

But while “I’m grateful for people’s confidence … I did think it was right for me to step back. I’ll do anything I can to defeat the current incumbent.” Meanwhile, Sanders had an apology for Joe Biden on Monday after one of Sanders’ surrogates, law professor Zephyr Teachout, published a Guardian op-ed accusing Biden of having a “corruption problem” and being a “weak candidate.” Teachout claimed Biden “has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans.” “It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way,” Sanders tells CBS News. “I’m sorry that that op-ed appeared.” Biden’s response: “Thanks for acknowledging this, Bernie. These kinds of attacks have no place in this primary. Let’s all keep our focus on making Donald Trump a one-term president.” More of the Clinton interview here.

She is a back stabbing political hack that could win an election that was hers and hers alone because she was a terrible candidate that thought the American voter owed her and would kiss her butt because of the popularity of her husband.

Clinton needs to STFU and spend her declining years playing with the grand kids…..and leave politics to the young.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is Up With Middle East Policy?

I was trained in the diplomacy and conflict management in college and I then went to work in the Middle East as an analyst….after living in the region for 6 years I have learned that there is always more to the policies than what we see, read or hear…..

First where are the troops stationed in the Middle East?

The US has between 60,000 and 70,000 troops in the Middle East, according to the US Central Command, and has announced plans to deploy thousands of additional troops to the region amid the heightened tensions.

This map shows where US soldiers are deployed in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as some of the major bases they are stationed at in the region.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2020/01/military-presence-middle-east-afghanistan-200113120612249.html

I understood Bush’s policies and that of Obama as well….neither was a policy that I thought would succeed….then Trump was elected and the policy became obfuscated and in coherent…..

Donald Trump’s decision to kill Qassim Suleimani, the most influential figure in Iran other than the Ayatollah Khamenei, will increase the terrorist threat to the United States and the global community. Suleimani’s death has already provoked widespread outrage in Iraq and Iran among the Shiia populations. Prior to the killing, Iraqi leaders were campaigning against Iran’s military presence in their country. Now, the Iraqi Parliament has called for the removal of the U.S. military presence. The decision has created more tactical and terrorist opportunities for the Islamic State as the United States has decided to cease operations against the Islamic State.

Trump’s decision has undermined fundamental U.S. decisions in every way, particularly the need to forestall terrorist threats; protect friends and allies; and prevent Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Trump administration has enhanced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to improve relations with Iraq and Iran; caused controversy and even dissent within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and further exposed the instability and ignorance of Trump’s national security team. Since the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, the European co-signers of that agreement along with Russia and China, have questioned the wisdom of Washington’s international actions.

The Incoherence of U.S. Policy in the Middle East

I see no continuity in our Middle East policy…..chaos and knee jerk decisions seem to be the rule of the day.

I fear that this approach will just make the region more dangerous and solve no problems.

Where did it all begin?

Well with World War One and the Sykes-Picot…..but beyond that where did the whirlwind we have today get its fuel?

In the long history of imperial folly and recklessness, nothing compares to U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf. Yes, the British shouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan in 1838, and, yes, JFK shouldn’t have backed the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in November 1963. If they had thought things through more carefully, one wouldn’t have lost an entire army in the retreat from Kabul while the other wouldn’t have stumbled into a dozen-year-long quagmire that would leave the US military depleted and demoralized – not to mention killing more than a million or more Vietnamese.

But those were momentary miscalculations compared to the slow-motion disaster in the gulf. For nearly half a century, every US president – liberal, conservative, or whatever – has pumped up a regional arms race that has set the stage for ever more destructive wars. The death and destruction have been incalculable. Yet not once throughout the long sorry saga have Americans paused for even a moment to consider where it was all going.

Who Created the Persian Gulf Tinderbox?

Where will it all end?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Important Than The Trial

Closing Thought–21Jan20

The country is laser focused on the Senate impeachment trial but there are events that should be more important…why?

The trial will be a silly exercise in the absurd.

One of the “Rights” we have is the right to vote for who we like or better yet as a citizen I have the right to vote without worry…..

Back in the old Jim Crow days in the South Blacks had to pay a “poll tax” to vote….or they we not allowed to exercise a right……but thankfully those days are gone…..not so FAST!

Florida’s state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of denying convicted felons the right to vote if they do not pay fines and fees associated with their incarceration, a decision that was immediately assailed by rights activists as an unconstitutional and immoral poll tax.

In a statement condemning the ruling (pdf), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Florida, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said the ruling “does not—indeed, cannot—alter what the U.S. Constitution requires.”

“A federal court has already held that the state cannot deny people the right to vote because of their inability to pay financial obligations,” the groups said in their statement. 

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/16/its-2020-and-floridas-supreme-court-just-ruled-favor-poll-tax

This is sick!

Trying to eliminate people from voting……

This will probably go to the US Supreme Court…as it should,,,,but I have NO confidence that this will be struck down by a mostly conservative court.

If not then this idea will spread throughout the South especially…..and the areas the the GOP has successfully purged voters from the rolls.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”