Those Terrorists Remain

Protests….Racism…..Pandemic…..all of the top stories from the MSM in the last couple of months…..even though they are out of mind of the media by no means they are gone….defeated….or any other term one would care to employ.

To illustrate this is the testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security…..

Thomas JoscelynJune 24, 2020Foundation for Defense of Democracies3www.fdd.org•Al-Qaeda has survived the post-9/11 wars and America’s counterterrorism campaign. The group’s base has spread from South Asia into multiple other countries. Several organizations, often described as al-Qaeda “affiliates,” serve as regional branches. These branches are each led by an emir who swears his allegiance to the head of al-Qaeda. Since Osama bin Laden’s death in May 2011, that leader has been Ayman al-Zawahiri. The official al-Qaeda branches are: al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent,and al-Shabaab in Somalia. To thislist we can add the “Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims” (Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, or JNIM), a wing of AQIM.Hurras al-Din in Syria is also part of al-Qaeda’s network, as are other groups based in Idlib. But al-Qaeda’s chain-of-command in Syria has been upset by a number of internal rivalries, power struggles,and arguments over jihadist strategy.2In addition, al-Qaeda works through other groups that are not official al-Qaeda branches but are nonetheless part of its web. Such groups includethe Pakistani Taliban.Still other jihadist organizations are closely allied with al-Qaeda.•ISIS and al-Qaeda remain locked in a competition for the fealty of jihadists around the globe. Much of this competition will take place at the local level, but international terrorism could play a role in the rivalry, as these groupslook to outbid one another for the affection of would-be jihadists. While there may be some cooperation between individual commanders, the two mother organizations are at odds. ISIS has developed an institutional hatred for al-Qaeda. In some areas, such as Iraq, ISIS is definitively stronger. In other areas, such as Somalia and Yemen, al-Qaeda has the upper hand. In West Africa, the two are currently close in strength, though that can change. Any assessment of relative strength in Syria is difficult due to al-Qaeda’s management problems and other factors. And an assessment of their relative positions in Afghanistan is complicated by the fact that al-Qaeda and affiliated groups areembedded within the Taliban-led insurgency. Al-Qaeda has deliberately sought to mask the extent of its operations in Afghanistan.

Click to access Thomas-Joscelyn-ISIS-AQ-testimony.pdf

Now this is a report issued by the Dept. of State……

Click to access Country-Reports-on-Terrorism-2019-2.pdf

My point is that these groups are not so much in the news these days….but they by NO means have disappeared……

Both reports are worth the read if you think that terrorism is not so much a problem these days…..

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Closing Thought–08Jul20

The Fourth has just been experienced and all the flags, speeches and patriotism was as usual…..a bit telling…..

For one, most displays of the flag is done wrong.

I have written about patriotism on several occasions and this post has some of my thoughts within it…..https://lobotero.com/2019/10/10/what-is-patriotism-2/

It appears that patriotism has fallen to its lowest level in a couple of decades…..

American patriotism is at its lowest ebb for almost two decades, a new poll has found.

A survey by Gallup found that while 70 per cent of US adults said they are “proud” to be American, less than half said that they are “extremely proud”.

The findings were released ahead of the Fourth of July national holiday amid the country’s struggle to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, and calls for racial justice and an end to policy brutality in Black Lives Matter protests in every state.

Gallup said that US pride is at its lowest point since the company began taking polls on it in 2001. It is the second year that the number of “extremely proud” people dropped below the majority (45 per cent).

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/america-patriotism-pride-fourth-of-july-trump-2020-us-election-a9601661.html

Any thoughts?

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Is The GOP Collapsing?

Good question.

After 3 and half years of the Trump presidency the collapse which was a long time in the making has sped up to a feverish pace.

I have tried to keep track of the demise……

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/06/where-has-the-gop-gone/

https://lobotero.com/2020/06/29/what-is-happening-to-the-gop/

I have written many times that the GOP of my grandfather’s day (that would be the 1956 party) was a good and responsible party and then Reagan appeared and it has been in decline ever since…..

A political scientist at the beginning of the Trump residency stated that his, Trump’s, racism will help bring a demise of a once proud party.

Citing the work of a University of a Washington political scientist, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank said Donald Trump and his racist rhetoric has accelerated the decline of the Republican party in a country that is seeing major demographic changes and because white voters are increasingly turned off by it.

As Milbank wrote, four years ago Christopher Parker, who is Black, predicted a Trump candidacy would “do more to advance racial understanding than the election of Barack Obama.”

Writing in the American Prospect, Parker explained, “Trump’s clear bigotry makes it impossible for whites to deny the existence of racism in America. . . . His success clashes with many white Americans’ vision of the United States as a fair and just place.”

With the rise of the Balck Lives Matter movement at a time when Trump’s political fortunes are collapsing Milbank suggested that a perfect storm in voting patterns is occurring faster than expected.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/07/trumps-presidency-has-accelerated-the-predicted-collapse-of-the-republican-party-columnist/

Has anyone noticed the the issue of racism is being slowly replaced by the call to protect history, even the history of slavery and racism…..

To answer my own question….I say yes it is….and the Old Guard is losing its hold on the party….eventually it will collapse without some major tweaking to keep it relevant in today’s political climate.

The Big Tent mentality has collapsed……it all began with Reagan then fueled by Newt and his soapbox then the Tea Party and finally the presidency of Trump….the party is NO longer the party of Lincoln.

Anyone have a comment or anything to add to this conversation…..please do so….I would like to hear from my readers.

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Africa, The Land That Time Forgot

There is a line in the movie “Sahara” that perfectly describes the West’s view of Africa…..”It’s Africa….No one cares about Africa”…..

There is so much more going on in Africa that the news just glazes over if they mention it at all……Westerners do not realize how much we depend on Africa on so many levels…..oil…..minerals…..produce…..and yet we know very little about the countries or the people…..

I tried to help my readers out……https://lobotero.com/2019/01/11/africa-loves-china/

Few in the West knows just how much China is spending in Africa to control resources…….

A central element of palace diplomacy is lavishing African rulers with personal benefits, such as grand new workplaces that serve little purpose other than to curry favor with recipient governments. In a recently published report — which so irked the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that its spokesman attacked it during a press conference — I explain how I found that since 1966, Chinese companies have built or renovated at least 186 African government buildings, including 24 offices or residences of heads of state. Of the 70 buildings for which I found financing information, the Chinese government or a Chinese company financed all but three, and Beijing partially or fully subsidized the construction costs for at least 45 of the 70 buildings.

African rulers do business with Beijing not only out of self-interest, of course. The continent needs wise infrastructure development, and China is sometimes the only willing lender. Certain cheap Chinese products, particularly technology such as smart phones, are hugely popular with African consumers, and Chinese firms have built most of the continent’s 3G and 4G telecoms networks. There is also a sense of developing world solidarity and the attendant mistrust of the developed world that accounts for some of the warmth in the official China-Africa relationship.

China’s Palace Diplomacy in Africa

China is using their money and expertise as their foreign policies for Africa….as opposed to the US that thinks the military path will win them more friends…..https://lobotero.com/2020/01/24/us-troops-in-west-africa/

While China is building infrastructure the US is building a strong counter-terrorism programs….this in my opinion does little to make more friends….drones killing civilians has a way to turning the population off…..

But we keep doing the same things over and over….

This successful counterterrorism operation highlights the invaluable role that the United States currently plays in helping its allies in West Africa battle al-Qaeda and the Islamic State’s fierce terrorist campaign that last year alone killed over 4,000 civilians and soldiers.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/06/24/west_africa_and_us_strategy_115408.html

(This article is by a pro military and pro M-IC site)

I believe that our ingenuity would go further to win over hearts and minds than drone attacks.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Civil War Missed Opportunities

There is a lot of talk these days about the Confederacy…..especially the monuments to the “heroes” of the American Civil War….but this post in NOT about those stone monuments…..but rather the missed opportunities that could have lead to a quicker conclusion of the war.

WHAT IF THE South had marched on Washington D.C. in 1861 after the First Battle of Bull Run? Suppose General George McClellan had been bolder during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Picture General George Meade pursuing and destroying Robert E. Lee’s army once and for all after Gettysburg. Could any of these scenarios have led to an early conclusion to the U.S. Civil War?

Debates about how the bloody four-year conflict might have ended had one commander or another moved with greater haste, boldness, or discernment have raged for year

In fact, some of the war’s finest scholars, and more than a few ‘armchair historians’ as well, have explored all manner of ‘what if’ scenarios. And playing these sorts of guessing games carries risks – anyone bold enough to hypothesize is often greeted with scorn, derision and ridicule. After all, Civil War buffs are a passionate breed!

Nevertheless – and grasping full well the firestorm such speculation often ignites among aficionados of the period – I will offer up a few speculations of my own, stipulating as I do, that they are my own humble opinions, and nothing more.

Missed Opportunities – Four Battles That Might Have Ended the U.S. Civil War Long Before 1865

I still think that the South would have lost the war no matter what….they just did not have the industrial base for a prolonged conflict.

In full disclosure….my maternal grandmother’s name was Elizabeth Mae Davis…and according to the family tales and sagas she was related to Jefferson Davis.

I know there are many that like the study of the American Civil war….of which I am not one…..and if they have any thoughts on missed opportunities….please feel free to share….

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Class Dismissed!

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Clinton’s Serbia/Kosovo

In the 1990s I was never a supporter of Clinton’s war in the Balkans….

The communist years

The former Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war. A federation of six republics, it brought together Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Slovenes and others under a comparatively relaxed communist regime. Tensions between these groups were successfully suppressed under the leadership of President Tito.

After Tito’s death in 1980, tensions re-emerged. Calls for more autonomy within Yugoslavia by nationalist groups led in 1991 to declarations of independence in Croatia and Slovenia. The Serb-dominated Yugoslav army lashed out, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia. Thousands were killed in the latter conflict which was paused in 1992 under a UN-monitored ceasefire.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17632399

It all began……

Milosevic in 1998 launched his fourth war in the former Yugoslavia, this time intending to address his “Albanian problem” by using his army to force out over 60 percent of the population of Kosovo. Given European and American inaction for years as people were killed in Bosnia earlier in the decade, Albanian Americans were fearful that history could be repeated in Kosovo. So, they organized themselves. They united different community factions, opened an office in Washington, D.C., and began engaging in one of the oldest of American traditions – petitioning their government to do something to stop the killing and rape in Kosovo.

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/435462-lessons-from-the-1999-us-military-intervention-in-kosovo

Clinton put all the hopes of Kosovo in the hands of Hashim Thaci and now this person has been indicted for war crimes….

President Bill Clinton’s favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. It charged Thaci and nine other men with “war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.” Thaci and the other charged suspects were accused of being “criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” and the indictment involved “hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents.”

Kosovo Indictment Proves Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities

Another version to above article here…..https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/30/bill-clintons-serbian-war-atrocities-exposed-in-new-indictment/

This makes Clinton just as guilty in my book as Thaci…..I love the closing statement of the article…..

“Bill Clinton’s 1999 bombing of Serbia was as big a fraud as George W. Bush’s conning this nation into attacking Iraq. The fact that Clinton and other top U.S. government officials continued to glorify Hashim Thaci despite accusations of mass murder, torture, and body trafficking is another reminder of the venality of much of America’s political elite. Will Americans again be gullible the next time that Washington policymakers and their media allies concoct bullshit pretexts to blow the hell out of some hapless foreign land?”

That is a rhetorical question….for I already know the answer….and the media will make sure that it does occur again…..and again……

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“lego ergo scribo”

04 July 2020

I want to take a moment and wish that all my readers have a fun and safe Fourth….

Fourth Of July Community Hours - Cameron Station

Most Americans know what happened on this day in history…..the DoI was signed as the story goes…..but more has happened on this day…..

1712–12 slaves are executed in New York for killing 9 whites in an uprising.

1817–construction stared on the Erie Canal to link Lake Erie and the Hudson River.

1826–two Founding Fathers Die—-Jefferson and Adams.

1831–5th president James Monroe dies.

1863–Vicksburg surrenders to the forces of the Union.

1881–Billy the Kid is killed in New Mexico territory.

1894–After ceasing power Judge Standford Dole declares Hawaii a republic.

1910–Race riots break out all over the United States after African American Jack Johnson knocks out Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match.

There is a small history lesson for the day.

Then the news of the day……

Donald Trump’s early July 4th celebration had little to do with uniting America in a time of trouble and pain. Instead the gathering at Mount Rushmore was just a Trump campaign rally in disguise where the Great Leader spat out his usual themes of racism, neofascism, authoritarianism, ignorance, violence, Orwellian doublespeak and lies, Christian fascism, white identity politics, and other right-wing dreck to his red hat MAGA political cult members.

On this Fourth of July weekend Donald Trump is grandly reminding the world that patriotism is the last refuge of traitors and scoundrels. Trump may wrap himself in the American flag and other vestments of “patriotism,” but his heart and mind are truly of the antebellum South and Jim and Jane Crow America. Trump claims to be a greater president than Abraham Lincoln. Trump in his delusions believes he is as great as George Washington. But Donald Trump is really a 21st-century Jefferson Davis, president of the treasonous Confederacy. May he be remembered in the same ignominious fashion.

https://www.salon.com/2020/07/04/donald-trump-is-the-21st-century-jefferson-davis-history-will-judge-him–and-us/

Before you go please read this post on mine from a decade ago…..it explains why I think we congratulate the wrong person on this day…

https://lobotero.com/2010/07/04/thomas-paine-the-father-of-the-u-s-of-a/

The best thing was an illustration of just how STUPID MAGA people truly are……A MAGA hat wearing dolt in South Dakota yelled at an NA protesting Trump’s visit “Go Home”…..

Oglala Sioux protesters were arrested protesting against President Donald Trump’s Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore on Friday.

The protesters argued that it is their land after the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/07/trump-supporters-shouted-go-home-at-native-americans-protesting-mount-rushmore-rally-on-their-land-report/

Two points for the more stupid out there…..first the Black Hills is his home and second NAs are the only Americans that do not have a hyphen…..

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Be Well….Be Safe….Thanx so much for spending the time with me and IST….

Happy 4th Of July 2020 - Wishes Images Quotes Messages For Friends

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Everybody is hot for Hamilton……there are others….like 1776……

Enjoy!

Remember All Those Tariffs?

Well I do and I have written about Trump’s tariffs extensively……https://lobotero.com/2018/03/05/word-of-the-week-tariffs/ and https://lobotero.com/2019/12/18/tariffs-trump-weapon-of-choice/

Before I continue…do I need to refresh everyone’s mind on the tariff thing?

I thought so……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/03/sanctions-and-tariffs/

Now that I cover all my bases…..let’s move on to the news on tariffs.

A study by the Federal Reserve has found that the tariffs that Trump so loves has done MORE HARM than good….

President Trump‘s tariffs on imports — meant to boost the economy — ultimately led to job losses and higher prices, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found.

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” the report by Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce reads.

MarketWatch first reported the study, noting that 10 primary industries were hit by retaliatory tariffs and higher prices, including producers of magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, pesticide, and computer equipment.

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/476100-fed-study-trump-tariffs-backfired-caused-job-losses-and-higher-prices

And how much of that profit hiding offshore accounts have returned to the shores of the US?

Not enough to make a difference….but wait I thought that was going to be a gimme when Trump won….what happened?

The world economy does not look good for the next several years…..between an idiot in the White House and a pandemic….all is NOT well.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has significantly increased its forecast for the contraction in global economy, warning that it will take a cumulative $12 trillion hit over 2020–2021. Updating its forecast yesterday, the IMF said the global contraction for 2020 would be -4.9 percent, some 1.9 percentage points below the forecast it issued in April.

The IMF said that for the first time ever all regions of the world are expected to experience negative growth in the 2020.

Growth in the advanced economy group is projected at -8 percent this year. The US economy is predicted to contract by 8 percent, Japan 5.8 percent, the UK 10.2 percent, Germany 7.8 percent, France 12.5 percent and Italy and Spain 12.8 percent.

If Trump wins in November I cannot to see what monumental economic stupidity he will cough up or pull out of his ass next.

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Closing Thought–30Jun20

This pandemic has proved to be a bitch for us mere mortals……the loss of employment and such has done nothing to improve the inequalities of our system…..

The idea of a minimum income goes back as far as the 1500s…..

The idea of an unconditional basic income has three historical roots. The idea of a minimum income first appeared at the beginning of the 16th century. The idea of an unconditional one-off grant first appeared at the end of the 18th century. And the two were combined for the first time to form the idea of an unconditional basic income near the middle of the 19th century.

History of basic income

Even the US is thinking along the UBI line…..

Public support for a national universal basic income has grown significantly in the last decade, and recent studies indicate that Americans are now split with roughly equivalent support for and against UBI. Indeed, some scholars argue that the damage caused by COVID-19 has revealed a fragile and inequitable economy and that the recent one-time payment should become a regular feature to give everyone basic financial security going forward. 

Other scholars are less convinced, maintaining that partial or conditional UBI would not reduce poverty and inequality and that a system sufficiently generous to ensure a basic standard of living for all would be prohibitively expensive. These critics assert that it is more efficient for the government to invest in better quality public services and improve existing social welfare systems.  

Universal Basic Income After COVID-19

Now one country has grab the bull by the horns and worked for the people……Spain.

Spain has done something that goes a way to helping the mere mortals of the nation…….they have now a minimum income…..

Spain’s cabinet has approved the creation of a national minimum income, according to a government spokesperson.

Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias told a news conference on Friday the creation of a minimum income worth €462 (£416.92) a month will target some 850,000 households or 2.5 million people.

The government would pay the monthly stipend and top up existing revenue for people earning less so that they receive at least that minimum amount every month, he said.

The minimum income would increase with the number of family members, up to a maximum of €1,015 (£916.30) each month. The programme would cost the government about €3 billion a year.

Mr Iglesias said: “Today is a historic day for our democracy. Today this government is showing that its political choice is social justice and that it takes the [Spanish] Constitution seriously.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/spain-national-minimum-income-universal-basic-coronavirus-ubi-economy-a9538606.html

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The Reign Of Terror

What do we mean by the term “Reign of Terror”?

A period of remorseless repression or bloodshed……the most famous Reign of Terror was that during the French Revolution…..a period of the French Revolution, from about March, 1793, to July, 1794, during which many persons were ruthlessly executed by the ruling faction.

… the Terror was a brief but deadly period where Maximilien Robespierre, the Committee of Public Safety and the Revolutionary Tribunals condemned thousands of people to die under the falling blade of the guillotine.

The realities of the Terror were more complex. The Reign of Terror was not driven by one man, one body or one policy. It was a child with many parents, triggered and driven by different forces and factors.

The Reign of Terror

Anyone that knows a little history will know of the barbarity committed during the French Revolution….what about the Reign of Terror here in the good old US of A?

Yes Irene there was a Reign of Terror here…..and NO it is not some condemnation of the Trump admin….ever hear of the Palmer Raids?

on January 3, 1920—Americans woke up to discover just how little their own government regarded the cherished Bill of Rights. During the night, some 4,000 of their fellow citizens were rounded up and jailed for what amounted, in most cases, to no good reason at all and no due process, either.

Welcome to the story of the Palmer Raids, named for their instigator, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Though largely forgotten today, they shouldn’t be. They constituted a horrific, shameful episode in American history, one of the lowest moments for liberty since King George III quartered troops in private homes.

The terror during the night of January 2-3, 1920, shocked and frightened many citizens. In her 1971 book, America’s Reign of Terror: World War I, the Red Scare, and the Palmer Raids, Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht wrote:

https://fee.org/articles/the-palmer-raids-america-s-forgotten-reign-of-terror/

But for those that would like more information on these violation by the US government….https://www.history.com/topics/red-scare/palmer-raids

And this not the first time of which actions by the government…..This wasn’t the first time the government in Washington had trampled the Bill of Rights. No less than the administration of John Adams, an American founding patriot, briefly shut down newspapers and dissenting opinion with its Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798. Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and arrested thousands of political opponents in Northern states.

The sad thing is that it is all but forgotten with all the “patriotic” BS….it is history and to ignore it means that it could happen again….and again…..

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