Making America (History) Great Again–Part 33

The continuing series of American history…..a look at history of this country that few will read or believe….but like all things historical it is all about the illusion.

Maj. Sjursen is a historian with a good eye for American history in the vain of Howard Zinn…..

This part is about the so-called Reagan Revolution….not a time that I believe did anything for the nation but rather for the deep pockets of Wall Street.

This nation has not recovered from the screwing it took for the 8 years of Reagan…….

But before we get into the meat of this time and if my readers would like to get caught up…..

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10; Part 11; Part 12; Part 13; Part 14; Part 15; Part 16; Part 17; Part 18; Part 19; Part 20; Part 21; Part 22; Part 23; Part 24; Part 25; Part 26; Part 27; Part 28; Part 29; Part 30; Part 31; Part 32.

It was no accident. Indeed, candidate Ronald Reagan knew exactly what he was doing. It was August 1980, at the height of presidential election fever. Visiting Mississippi, once a symbol of the solid Democratic South, Reagan chose the Neshoba County Fair for a key campaign speech. To beat incumbent President Jimmy Carter, he would have to turn the Deep South Republican. The fair was in the same county as Philadelphia, Miss., and only seven miles from that town, forever associated with the murder of three civil rights activists (one black and two white) just 16 years earlier. It was a bold move by Reagan. Stepping up for the occasion, he railed about big government and thundered in ever-so-coded language, “I believe in states’ rights.” In a state that still proudly flew the Confederate Battle Flag, no doubt the mostly white crowd of some 15,000 knew, and loved, the racial undertones of such a statement. The states’ rights mantra had long amounted to little more than a justification of racism by another name. The only right many states tended to focus on was their right to suppress black voting and maintain the segregation of public life.

American History for Truthdiggers: The Reagan Revolution

Trickle Down economics is still the preferred GOP method of solutions and in all these years it has solved not one problem….and the country still suffers from the lies of the GOP and Reagan.

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The Call For “National Service” (Again)

Looks like the political “idea” of the week will national service…..Mayor Pete made news with his reiteration of his plan from a couple months ago…….https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

More news on Mayor Pete’s plan……

Pete Buttigieg hopes to see 1 million more young people volunteer to serve their country, and not just in the military. The Democratic presidential candidate, who signed up for the Navy Reserve after college and was deployed to Afghanistan, announced a plan Wednesday to create new service corps opportunities centered on senior care, climate issues, and community health, the Washington Post reports. One year of service would entitle participants to student loan relief. Buttigieg has spoken of his military experience as transformative, especially the connections he formed with people of different backgrounds and beliefs. “You shouldn’t have to go to war in order to have that kind of experience,” he said in a statement, “which is why I am proposing a plan to create more opportunities for national service.”

There’s a demand for such opportunities, Buttigieg says. The acceptance rate is 13% for AmeriCorps, 25% for the Peace Corps, and 20% for the military, per Vox. The Democrat’s plan would immediately raise the number of available national service positions from the current 75,000 to 250,000, per Politico. The recruiting emphasis would be on students at high schools, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and vocational schools, and anyone between 16 and 24 who isn’t in school or working. The program would be run by a chief service officer and would aim to eventually establish a pipeline for as many as 4 million high school graduates every year to enter national service. The potential cost wasn’t specified. Buttigieg said he hopes that “Where did you serve?” someday becomes as basic a question in a job interview as “Where did you go to college?” is now

Mayor Pete is not alone in his call for a national service…..Gen. McChrystal also thinks a “national service” is a stellar idea….

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal led U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan during his long military career. He was in charge of Joint Special Operations Command, the nation’s premiere military counter-terrorism force. But, quoting Abraham Lincoln, McChrystal told “CBS This Morning” Monday the greatest threat to the U.S. isn’t abroad.

“Describing what would destroy the United States, the greatest threat, he said there’d never be a foreign power who could do that. If we would die, it would be by national suicide,” McChrystal said. “I think that’s true.”

The general said people learn responsibility through experience and the ability to serve.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/retired-general-stanley-mcchrystal-advocates-for-one-year-national-service-campaign/

Back in 2008 when the idea was floated by the two presidential candidates….I was not impressed but a lot of water has rushed under that bridge…….today I see it as a way to pull this country back together from the massive divisions that are tearing it apart.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2008/09/12/national-service-not-lip-service/

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

 

North Korea And Nukes

While the mindless are focused on the so-called “Squad of Four” the world continues to suck….but that is alright we can start a new mindless chant.

We have all sorts of “good” news on North Korea at least according to Our Own Beloved Supreme Leader…..the most important thing that the Trump admin is thumping its chest over is the possibility that DPRK is that the nukes may soon be a thing of the past…….

The assumption that North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons, no matter the security guarantees or economic incentives, may finally be put to the test according to a report that the Trump administration is considering a groundbreaking diplomatic proposal to end its decades-long commitment to maximum pressure.

Based on comments from an unidentified source in the White House close to the diplomatic effort, Yeonhap News reported on July 11 that the Trump administration is considering an offer of 12-18 months of sanctions relief on critical coal and textile industries in return for North Korea dismantling its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon and a continued freeze on nuclear weapons development. The administration is also said to be considering a declaration ending the Korean War if Kim Jong-un’s government agrees to this proposal.

Why North Korea May Relinquish Its Nukes

But Not So Fast!

Seems the rhetoric is the same.

North Korea on Tuesday suggested it might call off its 20-month suspension of nuclear and missile tests because of summertime US-South Korean military drills that the North calls preparation for an eventual invasion, the AP reports. The statement by the North’s Foreign Ministry comes during a general deadlock in nuclear talks, but after an extraordinary meeting of the US and North Korean leaders at the Korean border that raised hopes that negotiations would soon resume. The comments ramp up pressure on the United States ahead of any new talks. “It is crystal clear that it is an actual drill and a rehearsal of war aimed at militarily occupying our Republic by surprise attack and rapid dispatch of large-scale reinforcements,” the foreign ministry of North Korea said, per Business Insider.

North Korea has had longstanding antipathy toward US-South Korean military cooperation, which the allies call defensive and routine but the North sees as hostile. At the dramatic June 30 meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump, the leaders agreed to resume nuclear diplomacy that had been stalled since their failed second summit in Vietnam in February. Despite the seeming mini-breakthrough, there has been little public progress since. North Korea wants widespread relief from harsh US-led sanctions in return for pledging to give up parts of its weapons program, but the US is demanding greater steps toward disarmament before it agrees to relinquish the leverage provided by the sanctions.

NK’s new constitution seems to refute the notion that they would give up their nukes….

North Korea released an amended version of its constitution last Thursday, in which the preface continues to identify the country as a nuclear weapons state. This language indicates that Kim Jong Un’s true intent for nuclear negotiations is to preserve his nuclear arsenal despite U.S. demands for verifiable denuclearization.

North Korea’s legislature, the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), revised the constitution when it met in April, yet Pyongyang did not release the full text of the revised document until last week. One notable change to the constitution is Kim Jong Un’s new status as North Korea’s official head of state, a position previously held by a figurehead. The SPA also deleted multiple references to the Songun, or “military-first,” policy of Kim’s father, former leader Kim Jong Il. This may point toward a stronger emphasis in Pyongyang on economic reforms and strengthening the nation’s science and technology sectors. It would be a mistake, however, to infer that Kim Jong Un is shifting his objectives away from national militarization.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/07/15/amended-north-korean-constitution-reaffirms-kim-jong-uns-steadfast-faith-in-his-nuclear-arsenal/

Looks like Kim is trying to play Trump ….again.

It could work because this situation, the nukes and DPRK, is the only thing that he, Trump, has to offer the world as far as foreign policy goes.

The three key actors in the Korean Peninsula crisis are demonstrating why a solution should be anchored in an international coalition and international institutions. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un shows signs that he is ready to trade nuclear and ICBM capabilities for security and economic development. US President Donald Trump appears prepared to make a deal, but his advisors and political party oppose UN sanctions relief. And South Korean President Moon Jae-in has so far been unwilling to articulate and promote a deal that would attract Trump and Kim.

Time to internationalise diplomacy with North Korea

What Trump is doing with NK is not diplomacy but rather an ego trip…if it works I will be surprised and will give credit where credit is due.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–18Jul19

WE have just celebrated the Declaration of Independence which help set this nation on the road to freedom from Mother England.

The most important document of this era was the publishing of Common Sense by Thomas Paine….if one reads the document they will notice much that much of it was is also in the DoI……check it out here….

Common Sense is a political pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775-76 and published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the beginning of the American Revolution.  Common Sense advocated that the thirteen original colonies (which later became the United States) gain independence from Great Britain. In his pamphlet, Paine makes a passionate case for independence by focusing on moral and political arguments. For almost three months, Paine managed to maintain his anonymity and did not become officially connected with the independence controversy until March 30, 1776.

In the first section of Common Sense, Paine makes a distinction between society and government, arguing that government is a “necessary evil.” As society continues to evolve, Paine feels that a government becomes necessary in order to prevent the natural evil  in humankind, and accordingly, he sees the need for laws. He explains that order must be  promoted in a civil society. Further, laws must take into consideration the impossibility of all people in a society meeting centrally to make laws. Therefore representation and elections become necessary. This model is intended to mirror the situation of the colonists at the time of publication and Paine references the Constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. However, Paine identifies two tyrannies in the British constitution—monarchical and aristocratic tyranny, where those in power rule by heredity and contribute nothing to the people. He clearly detests this.

In the second section, Paine evaluates monarchy.  He begins by arguing that all men are equal at the time of creation and, therefore, the distinction between kings and subjects (as in England) is an inherently false distinction. Paine then examines some of the problems that kings and monarchies have caused in the past and concludes the following: “In England a king hath little more to do than to make war and give away places; which in plain terms, is to impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears.  A pretty business indeed for a man to be allowed eight hundred thousand sterling a year for, and worshipped into the bargain! Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.”

In the third section, Paine examines hostilities between England and the American colonies and argues that the best course of action would be independence for the colonists. Paine proposes a Continental Charter that he states “should come from some intermediate body between the Congress and the people.” This Continental Charter should outline a new national government, which Paine argues should take the form of a Congress. Paine suggests that a Congress might be created in the following way: each colony could be divided in districts and each district would “send a proper number of delegates to Congress.” The Congress would then meet annually and elect a president.

The fourth section of the pamphlet includes Paine’s optimistic view of America’s military potential at the time of the revolution. For example, he spends pages describing how colonial shipyards, by using the large amounts of lumber available in the country, could quickly create a navy that could rival the British Royal Navy.

If there are still any doubt try reading it for yourself……

Common Sense
Thomas Paine

Table Of Contents

Try reading the document and stop depending on some political party to define what the document means……learn about the beginnings of this great nation….

AS usual I would like to make it as easy as possible to learn…so for those that are too damn lazy to read….a short video….

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

“Cognito Ergo Scribo”

Oh Goody….We Have A New Chant

Those mindless freaks that flock to the rallies that Trump holds have graduated from “Lock her up” to something new and more odious…..

A combative President Donald Trump rallied Republican supporters Wednesday in North Carolina, harshly criticizing four fiery, left-wing congresswoman of being un-American and claiming they are the face of the Democratic Party that will ruin the country, the AP reports. “I think in some cases they hate our country,” Trump said to the crowd in North Carolina, a swing state he won in 2016 and wants to win again next year. Trump’s jabs were aimed at the four freshman Democrats, self-described as “the squad,” who have garnered attention since their arrival in January for their outspoken liberal views and distaste for Trump: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

All were born in the US except for Omar, who came to America as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family. Trump recently tweeted that the Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their home countries—though three were born in the United States. Trump has accused the four of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician” and has told them, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” When he named them at Wednesday’s rally, the crowd booed and launched into chants of “Send her back!” Before he left Washington, Trump said he has no regrets about his ongoing spat with the four. Trump told reporters he thinks he’s “winning the political argument” and “winning it by a lot.”

Some pundits are outraged…..some were the same pundits that approved of “Love It Or Leave It”…..all too much crap.

Personally I do not give a crap about Israel or what someone thinks of it….that has absolutely NOTHING to do with pulling this nation into the 21st century.  Trying to piant someone as unpatriotic or hates this country because they do not agree with a bigot and a racist is silly.

But it works on the mindless…..so it will probably work again.

When he, Trump, or any of that members of the most lying bunch, the GOP, uses Israel to drive the political conversation gets their money from Israelis to do so……these are bought toadies of another nation and as such should be under investigation for being a foreign agent.

The mindless nose pickers chanting in a crowd…but how many will do it at work?  Plus this manure by the president may be painting a target on the backs of these 4 Congress people…..what happens when one is injured (hopefully not)?

My America is so much better than Donald Trump and his mindless supporters….sadly too many do not agree with me.

Enough Said!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Down South Of The Border

We have all heard the vitriol of our president for the region of Central America……he spends time demeaning the people of the region and accusing them of all sorts of crimes that are NOT true.

The US has a long history of interfering in the events of Central America.

A look at the number ot times that the US has stook its nose into affairs it should have let play out……

A national spotlight now shines on the border between the United States and Mexico, where heartbreaking images of Central American children being separated from their parents and held in cages demonstrate the consequences of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” on unauthorized entry into the country, announced in May 2018. Under intense international scrutiny, Trump has now signed an executive order that will keep families detained at the border together, though it is unclear when the more than 2,300 children already separated from their guardians will be returned.

Trump has promised that keeping families together will not prevent his administration from maintaining “strong — very strong — borders,” making it abundantly clear that the crisis of mass detention and deportation at the border and throughout the U.S. is far from over. Meanwhile, Democratic rhetoric of inclusion, integration, and opportunity has failed to fundamentally question the logic of Republican calls for a strong border and the nation’s right to protect its sovereignty.

View this collection on Medium.com

It is time for the US to recognize our part in the misery in Central America that fuels the flow of immigrants.

The condition of the migrants, however, is especially tragic, because of the role America has played in making their lives so miserable. They come from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, all places we have treated like pawns in the Great Game. Our intentions were noble, of course. We wanted only the best for our Southern brothers and sisters. But as we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In this case, it was the hell we helped create.

https://gazette.com/opinion/columnists/column-recognizing-our-role-in-central-america-s-misery/article_4dcc968a-9779-11e9-99bd-436825e49362.html

I wish I could put the blame on Trump’s shoulders but that would be disingenuous…..in realty it has been every president from 1932 to present day.

It is time for the US to stop hiding behind the Monroe Doctrine to intervene where we are NOT wanted.

Lear Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Do We Fight?

This is yet another in a series that I write as part of my antiwar campaign.

The title is an excellent question that has many answers but only one to my way of thinking.

This is not the world of World War 2…….and there is no major threat, military threat, to speak of for the US to keep a watchful eye upon….yes there is China….or Russia….or ….that is about it these days.

But let us look at what The American Conservative had to say on the question……

Today’s political and military leaders have no choice but to project technology and strategic conditions into the future while they develop their forces today. However, before such multi-billion dollar investments are made, critical questions should be answered.

What is the real mission set? In other words, whom do we fight? Where do we fight? How do we fight? And how do we get there? On Memorial Day, we must take a step back to properly address these questions because right now it’s not so clear. What we do have is a military spending strategy that is out of whack with reality and setting us up for failure when real threats arise.

The United States is primarily a global maritime and aerospace power, not a global land power. Washington is known for exaggerating threats, but is the notion of spending to fight a near-simultaneous war with Russia and China in 2030 a realistic goal? Wars with continental powers like Russia, China, or even Turkey or Iran, demand the persistent employment of large and powerful ground forces projected over thousands of miles. U.S. military advantages at sea and in the air are relegated to supporting roles as seen in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

 
These days our foreign policy is more about meddling than trying to head off war……
But let me mention just a few of the things that we didn’t learn from the Mueller report. We didn’t learn that Russian agents appeared at Republican Party headquarters in 2016 with millions of dollars in donations to influence the coming election. (Oops, my mistake!  That was CIA agents in the Italian election of 1948!) We didn’t learn that a Russian intelligence agency in combination with Chinese intelligence, aided by a major Chinese oil company, overthrew an elected U.S. president and installed Donald Trump in the White House as their autocrat of choice. (Oops, my mistake again!  That was the CIA, dispatched by an American president, and British intelligence, with the help of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later BP. In 1953, they overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the elected prime minister of Iran, and installed the young Shah as an autocratic ruler, the very first — but hardly the last — time the CIA successfully ousted a foreign government.) We didn’t learn that key advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin were in close touch with rogue elements of the U.S. military preparing to stage a coup d’état in Washington, kill President Barack Obama in a direct assault on the White House, and put the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in office. (Sorry, again my slip-up and full apologies! That was President Richard Nixon’s adviser Henry Kissinger in contact with Chilean military officers who, on September 11, 1973—the first 9/11—staged an armed uprising during which Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of that country, died and army commander-in-chief Augusto Pinochet took power.) We didn’t learn that, at the behest of Vladimir Putin, Russian secret service agents engaged in a series of plots to poison or in some other fashion assassinate Barack Obama during his presidency and, in the end, had at least a modest hand in encouraging those who did kill him after he left office. (Oh, wait, I was confused on that one, too. I was actually thinking about the plots, as the 1960s began, to do in Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.) Nor, for that matter, did we learn that the Russian military launched a regime-change-style invasion of this country to unseat an American president and get rid of our weapons of mass destruction and then occupied the country for years after installing Donald Trump in power. (Sorry one more time! What I actually had in mind before I got so muddled up was the decision of the top officials of President George W. Bush’s administration, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, to launch a “regime-change” invasion of Iraq in 2003, based on fraudulent claims that Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, and install a government of their choice in Baghdad.)
 
States use war, or the threat of war, as a last resort to solve political disputes. For every state, the ability to make war is an indispensable tool to ensure its security. However, war cannot rebuild trust. War cannot separate truth from lies. War cannot defeat attacks on the social structures currently seen in the West. We must look elsewhere.
 
If war is not the answer why is there war?
 
This from Smedley Butler……

Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.  

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

This article was originally published on the author’s blog site: Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy.

Our foreign policy should be….DO NO HARM……

We would have fewer opponents if we adopted this idea.