Enter “Starship Troopers”

We all remember the scifi classic and the subsequent movie….but our dear fearless leader has proposed just such a part of our armed forces…..a Space Corps.

There has been many to crap on the idea to include me and there are some that see the need for such a force…..so to be fair I want to give that point of view……

President Trump’s recent declaration of a new Space Force was met with ridicule in many quarters. Yet, the reality is that the United States does urgently need a dedicated military space branch that is separate from its Air Force.

While the United States has somewhat neglected its space program over the past twenty-five years, China has escalated its efforts in this area, including launching numerous manned space flights, landed a rover on the moon, and deployed multiple unmanned space stations. This has spurred a regional space race with India, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan, and Iran and more besides. The goal for the most ambitious of these states is not merely to equal American accomplishments, but to push past them, including establishing permanently manned space stations, landing astronauts on the Moon and Mars, and building lunar habitations. If achieved, these feats could knock the United States out of the lead in space for the first time since Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth in 1961.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/11/why_america_needs_an_independent_space_force_113595.html

Okay then if we need this new “Force” where will the funds come from?  Will it expand the budget of the Pentagon or will they work within their large amount of funds already?  Which programs will suffer to pay for this new “Force”?

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Enter The Congressional Circus

Finally!  Proof we have all searched for…….we have watched these pathetic losers for a long painful time……and not being amused at their lies and antics and now they have done what I thought they could not possibly do……

On many occasions I have called the Congress a circus…..and yesterday in a 9 and half hour tear proved my point beyond a shadow of  doubt…..I watched most of it (as much as I could stomach) and have never been more proud of the GOP for showing their true face…..

The FBI agent who got caught up in a texting scandal over his views about President Trump testified on Capitol Hill Thursday, and it was volatile from the very start. “Heated and sometimes chaotic” is how the Washington Post describes it, and the AP had the same vibe with “bitterly contentious and occasionally chaotic.” Peter Strzok testified that he regretted sending those anti-Trump texts, including one infamous one in which he says “we’ll stop” Trump’s election, but emphatically insisted that his personal views in no way affected his work on two investigations in 2016 of Hillary Clinton and Trump. Republicans, however, weren’t buying it. Details:

  • Opening statement: “Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” Strzok said in his opening statement. “There is simply no evidence of bias in my professional actions.” He also said the hearing by the House judiciary and oversight committees “is just another victory notch in (Vladimir) Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.” Read the full text via Politico.
  • Versus Gowdy: GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy went after Strzok quickly. “Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him,” he said. “That is bias. Agent Strzok may not see it but the rest of the country does, and it is not what we want, expect or deserve from any law enforcement officer much less the FBI.” At one point, Strzok accused Gowdy of twisting his words and said he didn’t appreciate it. “I don’t give a damn what you appreciate,” responded Gowdy. “I don’t appreciate an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations in 2016.”
  • Contempt threat: When Strzok said he wouldn’t answer questions about the FBI investigations, GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte threatened to hold him in contempt. Democrat Eric Swalwell then countered about holding Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to answer questions at an earlier hearing, reports Fox News. In the end, nobody was held in contempt. Throughout the hearing, however, “Democrats tried to run interference for Mr. Strzok, using parliamentary points of order and other tactics to protect him from Republican prying,” per the New York Times.
  • Video: Mediaite has a clip of the “absolute chaos.”
  • Notorious text: “I don’t recall writing that text,” Strzok said of the one in which he wrote “we’ll stop” Trump’s election, reports Axios. “What I can tell you is that text in no way suggested that I or the FBI would take any action to influence the candidacy of candidate Trump.” Strzok also said the text came after Trump’s criticism of the family of a US soldier in Iraq. “You need to understand that was written late at night, off-the-cuff,” he said, per the Wall Street Journal. “My presumption, based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, [was] that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States.”
  • Lisa Page: Strzok is under internal investigation by the FBI and is on what amounts to administrative leave. The FBI lawyer with whom he shared anti-Trump texts, Lisa Page, left the agency. She will meet behind closed doors Friday and Monday with members of Congress, reports CNN. Trump tweeted about her on Wednesday. “What can she possibly say about her statements and lies,” he wrote.

I would like to thank the GOP especially the slugs in the Tea Party’s Freedom Caucus for proving that I was correct when I called US Congress a silly unprofessional circus.  Thank you for proving my point!  It’s Miller Time!

Tribes

An IST op-ed

My better half was watching a retro movie the other day entitled “Tribes” starring Darren McGavin about the USMC and a mystical wonder child that the Drill Sargent tried to break and could not….all so early 70’s…..and typical TV drama of the day.

The title got me to thinking about our country these days and the damage that all this silliness and yes it is flipping silly, is doing to the fabric of American society.

To begin with….what is political tribalism?  n….loyalty to a tribe or other social group especially when combined with strong negative feelings for people outside the group…..in other words….political division.

I read Political Tribes: Group Instinct And The Fate Of Nations, a new book by Yale law professor Amy Chua. Chua does not write as a political partisan. Rather, she writes as an analyst of our political culture, which is rapidly tribalizing. I strongly encourage everyone to read the book to understand the nature of our dire political moment, and how much worse it could get if we don’t find some way to stop the cycle.

I want to be very clear: Amy Chua does not side with either the left or the right in her book. She says that all of us are tribalizing. She doesn’t say this in an artificial “pox on both your houses” way. She really means it, and she shows how it’s happening.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/a-time-of-tribalism-amy-chua/

Here on IST many visitors from the Right, because I criticize Trump, as being a Dem they are wrong and if they would just visit more often then they would have seen that I was a critic of Obama and his people as well…..but they read one post and label me.  I do not really mind just shows their ignorance.

This whole “us against them” mentality is not American in my book…..it accomplishes nothing politically and finger pointing is just as silly (even though I have done it in the past out of frustration).

This “tribalism” has been more successful for the Right than the Left……

In “How America’s identity politics went from inclusion to division” (Guardian, March 1, 2018), Amy Chua argues that the U.S. left has given us the U.S. right, or at least has provided opportunities for the political right to rise to power. Chua makes the case that identity politics on the left and right makes the U.S. a less inclusive society.

She is right to some extent about some kinds of identity politics, but it’s there where the equivalency ends because identity politics on the right has led to murder, mayhem at the highest levels of government, and a return to racism that is supported by the right’s enormous wealth. Identifying with their own best interests gave the gay community medicines that made AIDS less than a certain death sentence.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/05/political-tribalism-why-the-right-is-so-successful/

In my opinion the Right has succeeded in the division admirably and as they divide us the Dems try to counter and thus the division gets deeper and deeper…..as the country divides the Congress jumps on the bandwagon…..

A few days ago I argued that sins-of-omission by Paul Ryan and his fellow Republicans in the House, and Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans in the Senate, amounted to de facto shirking of their “check and balance” duty relative to Donald Trump. Because members of the majority party in the legislative branch  wouldn’t call out or even notice Trump’s excesses—except, as with Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, when they had decided not to run again—they were putting unsustainable pressure on other parts of the formal and informal governing system. The courts, the press, Robert Mueller, and so on.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2017/11/a-nation-of-tribes-and-members-of-the-tribe/544907/

In the past I enjoyed political debate and discourse but these days it is not anything like the days I enjoyed……many especially on the Right will not except the title of “Tribes”……call it whatever you like but it boils down to political tribes…..

When it comes to politics, in 2015 we witnessed nothing less than a paradigm shift. The old rules are out the window. Technology and changing mores have conspired to lower barriers of entry—and acceptability. Gatekeepers no longer exist. What we have right now is closer to direct democracy than we’ve ever seen, and our civilization is regressing as a result.

One party (the Democrats) already represents the liberal half of the nation. The other half seems to consist of modern, Buckleyite conservatives, but also an increasingly large horde of populist, nationalist, individualistic Americans—who now have a megaphone and a vessel in the form of Donald Trump.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/americas-political-parties-are-just-tribes-now

If you do not like the term “Tribes” then maybe “politics of identity” or “identity politics” may  tickle your fancy……no matter the title it is NOT Making America Great…..in any way.

Closing Thought–21Mar18

Okay the newest situation in the White House is the story that Trump has forced everyone working there into signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)…..

Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post wrote:

I haven’t been able to lay hands on the final agreement, but I do have a copy of a draft, and it is a doozy. It would expose violators to penalties of $10 million, payable to the federal government, for each and any unauthorized revelation of “confidential” information, defined as “all nonpublic information I learn of or gain access to in the course of my official duties in the service of the United States Government on White House staff,” including “communications . . . with members of the press” and “with employees of federal, state, and local governments.” The $10 million figure, I suspect, was watered down in the final version, because the people to whom I have spoken do not remember that jaw-dropping sum.

It would prohibit revelation of this confidential information in any form — including, get this, “the publication of works of fiction that contain any mention of the operations of the White House, federal agencies, foreign governments, or other entities interacting with the United States Government that is based on confidential information.”

There is a sort of problem with this NDA thing……

The Trump NDA for White House staff is not enforceable because White House staff do not work for the president. White House staff work for the federal government. Trump does not have the power to implement a non-disclosure agreement on employees of the federal government because it is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Any former senior Trump White House staffer is free to say whatever they want.

(politicususa.com)

They would not feel the need to try and force people to sign a NDA if they had any idea how to vet the people that work for him.

This is what you get when amateurs are trying to pretend that they know how to govern….so far they have fucked up just about everything they have tried.

Sorry but those in the White House owe their loyalty to the country and Constitution and not to some wannabe demi-god.

That is my Hump Day posts……thanx for stopping by your visits are much appreciated….TTFN…..chuq

Who Are We?

This is my Closing Thought for the day…….

“These are times that try men’s souls”…..the opening statement from Thomas Paine’s “The American Crisis” (a title that rings true today as it did in Paine’s day)…….

I read a brilliant op-ed by fired asst AG Sally Yates……it asks an important question….one that needs thought and an answer…..who are we as a country?

Over the course of our nation’s history, we have faced inflection points — times when we had to decide who we are as a country and what we stand for. Now is such a time. Beyond policy disagreements and partisan gamesmanship, there is something much more fundamental hanging in the balance. Will we remain faithful to our country’s core values?

Our founding documents set forth the values that make us who we are, or at least who we aspire to be. I say aspire to be because we haven’t always lived up to our founding ideals — even at the time of our founding. When the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men are created equal, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were being enslaved by their fellow Americans.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/19/what-kind-country-we-speak-out-core-american-values-sally-q-yates-column/951828001/

The American people need to think abou6t this question and search their ‘soul’ for an answer.

May her op-ed save the republic as Paine’s pamphlet saved the revolution.

Vietnam: The Series

I have been reading the reviews of Ken Burns new documentary of the Vietnam War….I will admit as a participant in that action I cannot watch it much without having to turn away.

I think that it is good that the war is being documented and discussed….there is much about that war that need to see the light of day.

All aspects of that war needs to be part of the discussion….not just the perceived “victories”…there are lessons to be learned from the many small defeats that we suffered.

The veterans of that war are starting to disappear and will go the way of the Korean War…..mostly forgotten or ignored for the various reasons….but their stories need to be told and need to be heard.

So far there has been many articles and opinions written about the documentary both pro and con…as there should be….the problem is that too many are watching this series through a prism of “God Bless America”….some sort of misplaced patriotism, if you will.

Not everything that the US attempted in Vietnam was legal and definitely not moral.

Hospital Confidential

After good news from surgeon that I could go home….another doctor wants more days to check  my kidneys.

Good news dash on the rocks again.  Trying to keep positive mood  but it is hard to maintain.

I thank all for them for their continue moral support……I appreciate it fr0m the bottom om my hard.oldier on

I shall keep you guys up on the continuing saga of chuq” missing toes.