What Does Kyiv Think?

We all know what the MSM thinks of the armed conflict in Ukraine by “Vlad the Invader’……and your major news source influences your opinions on this orgy of death and destruction…..but what does the Ukrainian op-eds think of the West’s response to the conflict?

This is an article written in the Kyiv Post……

The world is now reeling in shock, witnessing widespread evidence of massive atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. In the recently liberated town of Bucha near Kyiv, the advancing Ukrainian army discovered mass graves, the bodies of female rape victims run over by tanks, cellars containing caches of cut-off children’s ears, and streets filled with dead civilians, arms bound and shot in the back of the head.

Do Sanctions Violate The Constitution?

I have made my thoughts on sanctions in the past….and now I would like to offer up another thought….this one from a FOX News pundit…..Napolitano…..keep in mind these are HIS thoughts not mine…..personally anyone that listens or believes anything from FOX News is basically adding to the confusion and misinformation (but that is me)……

For those that would like to check my thoughts on sanctions then by all means jump to my previous post….

Is Sanctions The Answer?

The US and most of the rest of the world has put into place crippling sanctions against Russia and its oligarchs….Napolitano says that these sanctions violate the US Constitution….

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has undertaken a vast scheme against Russian economic actors, which it characterizes as “sanctions.” The scheme consists in seizing assets, freezing assets, and prohibiting lawful and constitutionally protected commercial transactions.

All of this is aimed at dissuading Russian President Vladimir Putin from his determination to use extreme state violence to neutralize the government of Ukraine and install a government more favorable to the Kremlin. Yet, the targets of these sanctions are neither Putin nor the Russian state. Rather, his friends and political supporters, as well as Russian banks and commercial entities, and even American banks and commercial entities, have been targeted – and hundreds of millions of consumers and investors have been harmed.

By prohibiting the use of assets and international money transfers, the sanctions have severely harmed folks in Russia who have nothing to do with Putin’s war by radically reducing their purchasing power and eliminating many everyday choices from their spending options. All of this was done by presidential edict.

Can the president constitutionally prevent Americans and foreign persons from the lawful use of their own assets and from engaging freely in lawful commercial transactions? In a word: No.

Sanctions on Russia Violate the Constitution

Now you have what a FOX pundit thinks…..do you agree?

Make your thoughts known!

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“lego ergo scribo”

What Is Wrong With Our Government?

Now there is a question that should one’s mind into overdrive.

But the big problem is…..MONEY!

There are so many things we could point to like the lame ass filibuster rule, part-time employment of the members of Congress…but for me the biggest problem is what we call “Lobbyists”.

I have written several times about the problem these opponents of our ‘democracy’…..

 
 
These ‘snake oil salesmen’ control Congress….I bet you thought you did…..dream on McDuff….
Did you know that there are 535 voting members of Congress and there are about 22.5 lobbyists per member and all of them with  a suitcase full of cash to get the ‘elected’ officials to fall into line and do their bidding.
 
A problem that cannot be solved…especially by those that receive the cash….growing their bank accounts more than helping the people that elected them.
 
We could always look to the president as a solution.  Sadly these people are just as deep into the pockets of lobbyists as the members of Congress.
 
But if we need to boil the problem down to one ….then it is the US Senate.
 
As the saga goes the Senate is where good bills go to die…..it is a worthless appendage of our government.
 
Maybe it is time for us to reconsider this bicameral thing.
 
Why would I say this?
 
  • A bicameral legislature encourages duplication of functions, since they perform the same function.
  • Bicameral legislatures waste a lot of public fund because the government will try to maintain the two legislative chambers and the paraphernalia that go with it.
  • A bicameral legislature is not good for passing bills in times of emergency because of delays that result from having two chambers. Many legislators have to go through the bills before they are passed or carried out.
  • Bicameral legislatures lead to unnecessary rivalry as to which of the two houses is superior to the other.
  • In a bicameral legislature, most of the members assigned in the second chamber have advanced in age and are mostly inactive.
  • Appointment rather than election of members of the upper house as it is done in Britain is undemocratic. This is another disadvantage of a bicameral legislature.
  • Bicameral legislatures cause a serious delay in the act of law making.

The Senate is a waste of time and energy.

Why?

  • Unnecessarily costly
  • No extra role that cannot be done by one chamber
  • Slows down legislation
  • Does not represent the electorate
  • Can cause conflict between the two houses.

The voters need to stop all the tribal BS and look at the lack of progress in this country…..a change is due….why not address this today and stop kicking the 100 lb gorilla down the road?

I have made my thoughts on this issue several times….(for those that are interested in learning money)……

When Is One Better Than Two?

Could One Be Better Than Two?

Against Bicameralism

A lot to consider and please give it some thought……

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“lego ergo scibo”

Democracy Under Threat

I realize that there is lots of redundancy on this topic….but sadly it needs repeating over and over…..

I know….I know….everybody has an opinion these days about what is happening in this country…..some see it as a good thing to shake things up and others think we are witnessing the demise of our beloved country. I have made my thoughts on this issue quite clear.

I research and read a lot of opinions on this issue and I would like to share them with the reader and hopefully they will offer their thoughts on the direction of this country.

The first opinion is about the attacks on the democracy by political moves and games….

With all that is happening in the country and the world, it was perhaps all too easy to miss the ongoing battle for the future of US democracy. Republicans have opened up new racist offenses against voter rights and are once more pushing through corrupt gerrymandering to rig elections in their favor. They are also blocking the “Freedom to Vote Act” that would to curb systemic racist voter suppression through policies such as automatic registration at MVA, longer early voting, greater access to mail in ballots and fresh regulations for guaranteeing that people are not wrongly barred from voting and reducing partisan interference at the polls.

It is no exaggeration to say that the very survival of liberal democracy is under threat. This Republic strategy is just the latest example of a long history of repressing democracy. From its beginning, the promise of popular rule in the US has been undermined by the power of racism, capitalism, and patriarchy. Further, so much of the nation’s imperialism abroad and repression at home have been sanctioned by elected majorities.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/12/01/survival-democracy-under-threat

I see that party politics is more important than the country and its future.

Second is an opinion on the country by General Michael V. Hayden is a retired four-star General in the United States Air Force; he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006-2009 and as Director of the National Security Agency from 1999-2005.

I was a Brigadier General 30 years ago, assigned in Europe as the head of intelligence. Most of the time I was looking at the Balkans because there was a war going on. Yugoslavia lasted for 72 years and then it was gone; it fell apart.

These were bitter rivalries. Many people were killed. There were multiple civil wars. It lasted 10 years; it’s hard to say, but we think 130,000 to 140,000 actually died. The hardest hit was Bosnia where maybe 100,000 people died, mostly Bosniaks (Muslims). Sarajevo in Bosnia had hosted the Olympics just a few years before.

I went to Sarajevo many times. It was a modern city. It was small and picturesque, on the banks of the Miljacka river.

The First World War began in Sarajevo. And in the 1990s, war returned. Sarajevo was a war zone. And I was in Bosnia, watching it happen. What was going on? Why were they doing this?

I could see artillery pointing down from the wooded hills and I witnessed the destructive product of their work in the streets below. I wondered what manner of man could pull the lanyard to fire on his former neighbors or shoot at unarmed civilians lined up for scarce water at a shuttered brewery.

What struck me most though, when I walked through the city, was not how much Sarajevans were different from the rest of us, but how much they weren’t. This had obviously been a cultured, tolerant, even vibrant city. The veneer of civilization, I sadly concluded then, was quite thin.

Now, 30 years later, I worry about the United States, not Sarajevo. The Cato Institute and Freedom House rank every country for personal, economic and human freedom. The worst is Syria; it’s in last place. There are others: North Korea, Eritrea, China, Turkmenistan, Iran, Cuba.

How about the United States? It’s not good.

My Worry for America

I am truly worried about the future…a future that my granddaughter will have to travel….from where I sit it does not bode well for the country without some corrections.

Democracy is slowly slipping away….but does anyone truly care?

There is no doubt that democracy in the United States is at serious risk. The year began with an attack on the Capitol designed to thwart the transition of power; instead of repudiating this violence, Republicans doubled down on the lie that Trump won the election and are working, right now, to rig the system in their favor. Neither Democrats nor the general public are doing much of anything to stop them.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2021/12/9/22824509/summit-for-democracy-biden-america

From where I sit few could care less as long as their social media is intact and a feeder for their delusions.

Few realize how close we came to losing it all….

The first time many Americans learned that a large pro-Donald Trump protest in Washington was planned for January 6 was 18 days earlier when the 45th president tweeted about it—”Will be wild!”

But the wild things Trump and his shrinking, conspiracy-minded inner circle expected weren’t only his rabid supporters like the Proud Boys. The then-president knew his tweet would also be read by leftist counter-protesters, his increasing focus.

Team Trump—after months of violent street clashes between Trumpists and counter-protesters—obsessed on so-called “antifa” just before January 6. On January 5 alone, Trump tweeted for antifa to “stay out of Washington” and signed a memo for stepped-up monitoring of antifa, with a press release: “President Trump will not allow Antifa, or any terrorist organization, to destroy our great country.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/12/17/trumps-jan-6-coup-how-it-worked-how-close-it-came-and-why-it-failed

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–24Dec21

Since it is the day before Christmas and my posting schedule has been slight….I close out the week with a few thoughts on local journalism.

Most of the reading public knows that the state of local journalism is dying…..thanx in part to the internet and social media.

Personally I weep for journalism for quality work has been replaced with sensationalism….

My local paper has shuddered their offices and it is up for sale…..the operation was moved to a site some 60 miles away and the paper is a shadow of its former self.

If only there was a way to save local journalism…….there is an opinion on just how we could do this…..

Under our plan—the foundation of the new Local Journalism Initiative—policymakers in Washington would provide a lump sum to every county in the nation annually based on the county’s population to pay for nonprofit journalism within that county.

Readers of the Columbia Journalism Review are well aware of the importance of local news media; they have been the foundation of the American free press, and political democracy, since 1776. Daily newspapers have traditionally constituted the heart and soul of local news media, and they have provided the lion’s share of original reporting upon which all other news media depend. That remains the case in the digital era as much of newspapering has transitioned online.

CJR readers are also aware that local journalism as it has been known for 200 years has all but disappeared in most places in the United States over the past two decades. The business model for commercial journalism, based on advertising providing most of the income, is dead. Thanks to the internet, it will never return. All efforts to find a viable new business model for local journalism have failed, and investors have abandoned the field, except for private-equity funds on the lookout for distressed properties they can strip for parts.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/12/01/only-public-funding-can-save-local-journalism-and-thus-democracy

I like the idea…..non-profit journalism could be the answer to the problem of ‘fair and balanced’ news.

Thanx to the Clinton admin of the 90s news became a profit making enterprise at the expense of accuracy and neutrality….

This country needs local journalism to survive…..sadly without some sort of plan it will slowly die and be replaced with lies and disinformation…today is the perfect example of the trouble journalism is in…..it needs our help.

Thoughts?

Have a great evening and be safe and smart…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Guns….Guns….Guns

The title ought to get the thoughts flowing.

Just a short note–Let me say there…..I own guns I have no problem with others doing the same….my problem is assault weapons for the unwashed masses…..it is a lie that these are for ‘protection’….these weapons have one purpose.

These two articles are written by others and I just want to share…..

This is a thought on the gun control debate……

Expect the gun control debate in America to really get hot over the next 12 months as Beto O’Rourke runs for governor of Texas. O’Rourke said, when running for president in 2019, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!”

And it’s entirely time for this debate. America has just a bit more than 4 percent of the world’s population, but, with more guns than people in our country, we have more than 40 percent of all the guns in civilian hands in the world.

Specifically, as a Swiss-based research group found, there are “approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world’s 230 countries and territories” and, as ABC News points out, in America there are “over 393 million firearms in civilian possession” as of 2017. About ten million more have been sold in the US since then: we are the only nation in the world with more guns than people.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/11/23/go-ahead-take-their-guns-us-would-be-less-dangerous-place

Of course the 2nd will be the first thing the debate will bring forward…..

I have made my thoughts known on this amendment to the Constitution…..https://lobotero.com/2013/02/20/a-well-regulated-militia/

I read this piece on the 2nd……

As America grapples with a relentless tide of gun violence, pro-gun activists have come to rely on the Second Amendment as their trusty shield when faced with mass-shooting-induced criticism. In their interpretation, the amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms—a reading that was upheld by the Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling in District of Columbia. v. Heller. Yet most judges and scholars who debated the clause’s awkwardly worded and oddly punctuated 27 words in the decades before Heller almost always arrived at the opposite conclusion, finding that the amendment protects gun ownership for purposes of military duty and collective security. It was drafted, after all, in the first years of post-colonial America, an era of scrappy citizen militias where the idea of a standing army—like that of the just-expelled British—evoked deep mistrust.

The Second Amendment Doesn’t Say What You Think It Does

I also visit a couple of debate sites…this is one of the debates on one of the sites….

https://gun-control.procon.org/

Please do not shoot the messenger….I just want help the debate, real debate, move forward….

Watch This Blog!

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“lego ergo scribo”

What Is America’s Problem

About 50% of the nation embraces chaos, stupidity, ignorance and hatred….the other half is in search of knowledge and clarity…..some think that abortion, guns and religious iconography will free the country….no concern for hunger, homelessness and national unity.

There is some sort of unity that would be the myth of the ‘free market’…..that would be that a market that is free from nay  with the regulations would cure the ills of society like hunger, jobs, homelessness, etc….this myth as solved none of the societal problems with the exception of the captains of the free market….they have sucked all the profits possible out of the myth and left the rest of the country struggling.

Since about 1980 we have been watching our beloved country circle the drain.

There has been a wealth of finger pointing as to why this is happening……it is a feckless ineffective president or a do-nothing Congress or those damn lobbyists or…..like I stated a wealth of assigning blame.

All these assumptions are wrong!

The real problem is the American people.

The American people through their voting habits have created the division and the hatred that is the cancer on the American political landscape.

The election of 2022 the damage could possibly unprecedented….

“Our democracy faces an existential threat—the very real possibility that the outcome of an election could be ignored and the will of the people overturned by hyperpartisan actors,” 58 groups including MoveOn.org, Protect Democracy, Public Citizen, SEIU, and the Sierra Club assert in an open letter.

“Since the 2020 election, we have seen unprecedented and coordinated efforts to cast doubt on the U.S. election system,” the letter states.

“These efforts have taken many forms,” the authors explain, including “widespread disinformation campaigns and baseless claims of election fraud,… intimidation of election officials and administrators just for doing their jobs, new state laws to make election administration more partisan and more susceptible to manipulation or sabotage, and outright violence.”

Noting that “exaggerated and unsubstantiated fears about voter fraud have been a vote suppression tool for some time,” the letter argues that “these efforts took on entirely new ferocity with the advent of former President [Donald] Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ regarding the 2020 presidential election.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/08/our-democracy-faces-existential-threat-progressives-warn-gop-attack-2022-elections

 

Closing Thought–04Aug21

Trump’s re-election was ‘preordained by God”…..

Seriously.

Like the author of this op-ed I seldom comment on religious beliefs for those are personal decision and those of the people that believe them….but from time to time there are stories that makes it impossible for me to ignore them.

“Preordained by God”?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board penned a scathing indictment of evangelical preachers who told their followers to view former President Donald Trump’s potential victory in the 2020 election through the lens of Biblical prophecy — and thus making them blind to the reality of Trump’s loss.

“Editorially, we try to avoid opining about religious faith,” wrote the board. “But invoking divine guidance to advance partisan causes smacks of the worst kind of manipulation, opening the door to abuse and financial exploitation. Pentecostal and charismatic Christian leaders have laudably begun insisting that the false prophets among them cease and desist.”

Previous reporting has detailed how Trumpism became a fertile ground to radicalize white evangelicals around the country, and how religious extremists encouraged the “Stop the Steal” lie and the subsequent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. There have also been links between the evangelical movement and the QAnon conspiracy theory, which recycles centuries-old anti-Semitic paranoia about shadow elites cannibalizing and brutalizing young children.

And faith leaders in positions of trust have furthered along this conspiratorial thinking, wrote the board.

“‘Why were most of the prophets wrong when it came to predicting the outcome of the 2020 election?’ host Jan Markell, founder of Olive Tree Ministries, asked on her ‘Understanding the Times‘ Christian radio show on June 25. She followed that question with a lengthy series of pre-election recordings in which a variety of prominent evangelical preachers claimed that God had told them Trump would be reelected,” wrote the board. “‘Trump will win. … He will sit in that office for four more years, and God will have his way in this country,’ author and self-proclaimed prophet Kat Kerr stated in one of the clips Markell played. Several others followed, including one by evangelist Pat Robertson and another by Jeremiah Johnson (who has since publicly repented).”

“Such quackery also can be deadly dangerous, such as when many protesters, claiming divine inspiration, joined in storming the Capitol on Jan. 6. ‘Jericho March’ cofounder Rob Weaver was among the preachers who claimed divine guidance in directing followers toward Capitol Hill,” wrote the board, which concluded by promoting the propheticstandards.com petition website calling on preachers to reject “the spiritual manipulation of the prophetic gift for the personal benefit of the prophet or of his or her ministry.”

(rawstory.com)

What more to say?

Not a damn thing…religious quackery!

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Do You Want To Stop The BS In Government?

WE all know of the antics going on in DC….all the back and forth about bi-partisanship…..the silly games played by some in the Congress….all in all our government is truly a political circus….it has been called that for decades and now they have sent in the clowns.

There is a simple way for all this partisanship and obstruction to end.

It would fall in the laps of corporate America.

If corporations were truly part of this country and the processes then they could step forward and turn off the money spigot to ALL politicians until they learn to play nice and get stuff done that is needed in this country.

That means all funds to politicians, lobbyists and think tanks until they show the progress of bi-partisanship….that means ALL groups that try and influence the political discourse.

After all the Supreme Court has rules that corporations are ‘people’ as well (think Citizens United).

Corporations have been doing well thanx to this corrupt system and now it is time for them to step forward and prove they are an American entity.

In the days of the Civil Rights Movement corporations flexed their muscle and pushed the LBJ admin tom pass and then sign the Act….why?  The protests were costing them lots of money and their profits needed protecting.

These entities could do it again….especially now when they possess all the political power.

If they do not assist in the establishing rationality in the process then they should be pressured by all means necessary….taxation, sanctions anything that will get their laser focused attention…..

If they want to preserve those obscene profits then they need to become a participant other than throwing money at politicians.

There has been an attempt to get corporate American to wake up and do the right thing for the country…..an open letter…..

This ‘memo’ is about the voter suppression laws being passed in states on a lie….but it could be extended to encompass all the partisan BS……

We call upon our colleagues in Corporate America to join us in taking a non- partisan stand for equality and democracy. Each of us stands ready to work with you on what can and must be done.

https://www.bowdoin.edu/president/writings-and-addresses/messages-to-the-community/2021/chenault-letter-mar-31.html

Just A Thought!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Stop Showing Those Videos

I am writing this in opposition to an op-ed…..

Allissa Richardson writing for Vox stating that we need to stop showing the videos of killings of black/brown people by the police……

Allissa Richardson once thought videos showing police brutality would bring justice. Proving to everyone what people of color encounter with police would bring change. Richardson has changed her mind, she writes in an essay on Vox, after repeatedly seeing George Floyd die on television. The practice invites a victim’s last moments to be broken down by the public and a jury, then preserved online for viewing anytime, often without the family’s consent. Now she wonders why it ever seemed necessary to document the killings. “Why were Black and brown people forced to pre-litigate their own murder trials in this way?” she writes. “Why was it necessary to form a counternarrative to the old stereotype of Black and brown folks’ criminality? Why did we ever need to produce a parallel storyline to an official police report?”

The practice only reinforces white supremacy, Richardson writes, reminding everyone of the protections police officers are afforded and the fate of people of color who object to this social order. She calls for suspending the airing of the videos online and on TV unless the family agrees they can be shown. That could prompt journalists to look into the systemic issues leading to the deaths instead of the exact second when a 13-year-old about to be killed dropped a gun. If we believe people of color, we can eliminate the “need to play this game of video empathy before justice,” says Richardson, who teaches journalism at USC. “We have enough proof,” she writes. “We have enough pain. What we don’t have is reform.” You can read the full piece here.

As I stated in the beginning…..I disagree with the premise…..

I do not think that the outcome would have been the same without the video.

I will agree that the MSM does have a tendency to beat the viewer about the head with them…..and until there is more accountability for the violence and death committed by the police the videos are needed.

I would love your thoughts.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”