New Years–2020

We not only start a new year but a new decade as well…..will we be more than we are today or will we be small and insignificant?
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As with my tradition here on IST I like to look back at the year IST had…..Igt is by no means the most popular blog on the foreign policy subject or on politics here in the US…but I try to be fair, (not always successful) with my posting for there are many sides to every story or report.

I am not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking…..I just want people and readers to understand what it is they are reading and I try to be as simple as possible for international relations is not an easy topic to understand.

Please accept my heart felt gratitude to heart and please know that each of my regulars are valued members of my site and the newer readers are most welcome to participate however they would like.

A running tally…..I have written 14,633 posts at an average 350 words that is 5.1 million words typed (now I know why my fingers are so tired)……IST has had 70,121 comments…..and I have not broken any records but I have 3,617 followers….most of whom stick around…thank you for that.

I look forward to the coming year, 2020, there will be much to write about both internationally and nationally….after all we Americans have a presidential election this year…..that should prove to be interesting and entertaining if nothing else.

Thank you one and all……

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I shall have the traditional meal for my household….Corned Beef, cabbage, and black eye peas….with a good beer thrown in as well…….

So Happy New Year and let’s get busy on the year to come.

We can be the change we desire.

Watch This Blog!

“lego ergo scribo”

Merry Christmas–2019

It is that time again….time for the credit debt to rise while we spend spend spend to make our acquaintances happy.

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We celebrate the birth of the founder of the Christian faith……so my gift to my readers on this day is the story of Mary and Joseph…they were the parents if you are not so sure…..

Even if you didn’t hear the Nativity story every year, you’re probably familiar with it. A girl named Mary gets pregnant by the Holy Spirit, her fiance decides to be a solid dude and be God’s kid’s stepfather, she and Joseph go to another city to get counted in a census, there’s no room at the inn, and she gives birth to the son of God (Jesus) in a stable surrounded by cute animals. Then three kings from far away, led by a giant star pointing out where Jesus is, show up with expensive gifts (followed by random shepherds with no gifts). Zoom out on a sweet scene of the holy family. They have to flee to Egypt to escape a murderous king later. But all is calm and all is bright for now.

Cool story. But the truth about the two parents at the heart of the story is often brushed aside when talking about Christianity’s main man. But whether or not you’re a person of faith, Mary and Joseph are interesting characters. The historical details and context of their time make them way more interesting than the figures carrying a staff and riding a donkey in the movies.

This will be my only post of the day……hope all my visitors have a great day and spend time with family, fun and food….and if you are religious, faith.

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Thanx for helping make IST a must read blog on international and national politics (at least in certain circles)…..I cannot thank you enough for your participation.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Be safe, be well.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”


Today will be a slow day here on IST for most readers interested in foreign policy and such are taking the day off to be with their loved ones.

But as an old professor I just have to explain/educate my readers…..first of all Thanksgiving had its beginnings in the Old World…..

Today I will be spending quality time with my granddaughter so my posts will not be plentiful….there are a couple of days per year that I limit my posts and today is one of those shortened days.

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Hope everyone who celebrates the day will have a wonderful day…and that they could spend a moment to say a silent “thank you” to our troops and their families who are having to miss this special day for yet another year.

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I will give thanks for my family (immediate)… best friend MoMo….and my friends here on the internet…..thanx to all I appreciate your time.

I need to get to work….my granddaughter has asked me to make my home-made mac and cheese… wife wants my special dressing…..and MoMo just wants some turkey and sweet potatoes….and of course her morning walk.  (She does have a look when it is “that” time)


Please enjoy your fun, food, family and if your are a fan…football…..

On a side note…in case you would like to try something paleo….how about some ancient Babylonian recipes?

IST will return to normal posting on Black Friday…Peace Out my friends!

Until my return….Have A Day My Friends!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Veterans Day–2019

Today we celebrate the end of World War One….on 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month……but here in the US we just call it Veterans Day where we celebrate our veterans and their sacrifices in service to this nation.

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As a veteran of Vietnam I try to remember the guys and the unit that I served in during that war….as my tradition I offer up a video that explains my unit and our duties in Vietnam…..

So please take some time out of your holiday festivities to remember those that gave their all for this country.

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I will take some time away from the keyboard to remember and to celebrate all my brothers that fell in combat…..not many of us left these days.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Remembering World War One

What we call Veterans Day was originally designed to celebrate the end of the Great War….on the 11th hour or the 11th day of the 11th month….

We Americans have lost the meaning behind the day and the celebrations….it is more about a “White Sale” or deep discounts on a new truck than the people that fought our many wars.

The legacy and the cost of that war is all but forgotten… on this Veterans Day of 2019 I would like to offer a remembrance of World War One……

World War I was the first industrial war: poison gases, flamethrowers, aerial bombing, submarines, and machine guns intensified the scale of war wreckage and war dead, setting the norm for 20th and 21st century wars. By government policy, British war dead were not sent home lest the public turn against the war. Instead they were buried in vast graveyards near battle sites in France and Belgium. Even today Belgian and French farmers plowing fields in places of intense, interminable fighting and mass death on the Western Front unearth an estimated ½ million pounds of war debris and soldiers’ bones each year. (During the Afghanistan and Iraq wars Pentagon policy prohibited media coverage of US war dead arriving at Dover Air Base in Delaware until the ban was lifted, with conditions, in 2015. Many regarded the ban, like the Word War 1 British policy, as hiding the human cost of war that could turn the public against the war.)

From the unyielding ugliness and butchery of World War I emerged soldier poets, notable among them Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, whose unsparing style and content separated them from the tradition of glorifying war. These soldier poets, living in a trench war fraught with dead bodies and rats that fattened on them and with rear guard commanders who sent battalions of teenage boys into the slaughter of machine gun fire, rebuked their country’s warmongering politicians and industrial profiteers. (Likewise today, the majority of veterans of US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – in stark contrast to politicians of both parties – agree that the wars they fought wasted human lives and achieved no human progress.)

November 11: Remembering the Tragedy and Legacy of World War I

Take a few moments out of your busy day and remember all that has been given by our veterans….

A poem that describes the horror of WW1

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Labor Day 2019

Today we Americans celebrate what passes for Labor Day……we go about BBQ and beer and games and seldom remember that the brave people a hundred years ago had to fight for the benefits that Americans take for granted today.

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So as a service to my readers I give them a history of the labor movement….

The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired.

The origins of the labor movement lay in the formative years of the American nation, when a free wage-labor market emerged in the artisan trades late in the colonial period. The earliest recorded strike occurred in 1768 when New York journeymen tailors protested a wage reduction. The formation of the Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers (shoemakers) in Philadelphia in 1794 marks the beginning of sustained trade union organization among American workers.

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Labor strikes?  When was the very first labor strike in history?

The most important cultural value in ancient Egypt was harmony; known to the Egyptians as ma’at. Ma’at was the concept of universal, communal, and personal balance which allowed for the world to function as it should according to the will of the gods. Throughout most of Egypt’s history this belief served the culture well. The king’s primary duty was to uphold ma’at and maintain balance between the people and their gods. In doing so, he needed to make sure that all of those below him were well cared for, that the borders were secure, and that rites and rituals were performed according to the accepted tradition. All of these considerations provided for the good of the people and the land as the king’s mandate meant that everyone had a job and knew their place in the hierarchy of society.

At certain times, however, the king found it difficult to maintain this harmony due to the press of circumstance and a lack of resources. This situation is clearly apparent toward the end of each of the three periods known as “kingdoms” and sometimes during but an especially interesting incident during the New Kingdom (c. 1570- c.1069 BCE) stands out because it occurred before the actual decline of New Kingdom power and, according to some scholars, marks the beginning of the end: the first labor strike in recorded history.

Labor is a subject I like to keep my knowledge flowing…… for back years ago I was a labor organizer for the IWW……so I give you some of the songs from the past labor fights…..enjoy some tunes.

Finally Americans are starting to wake up to how damn important the labor movement is as well as unions…..

Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of labor unions, surpassing 60% for the third consecutive year and up 16 percentage points from its 2009 low point. This comes 125 years after President Grover Cleveland signed a law establishing the Labor Day holiday after a period of labor unrest in the U.S.

Union approval averaged 68% between Gallup’s initial measurement in 1936 and 1967, and consistently exceeded 60% during that time. Since 1967, approval has been 10 points lower on average, and has only occasionally surpassed 60%. The current 64% reading is one of the highest union approval ratings Gallup has recorded over the past 50 years, topped only in March 1999 (66%), August 1999 (65%) and August 2003 (65%) surveys.

I hope everyone has a good day enjoy family, food and fun….Be well and Be safe!

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Please take some time out of your day’s activities to remember those that were and are in the path of Hurricane Dorian…..

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This will be my only post for the day…..As Always Be Well, Be Safe……

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–08Jul19

The speech of speeches given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the shadow of tanks and fly overs out Dear Beloved Supreme Leader (you people do realize when I type that I am being as damn sarcastic as I can without being vulgar, right?)

President Donald Trump read most of his Independence Day speech from a prepared text, but stumbled on his history at one point: He talked about airports during the American Revolution.

“Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports,” Trump said of the fighting force created by the Continental Congress in 1775.

There was no air travel in 18th Century America.

The full riff:

“In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified Army out of the Revolutionary Forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.

“Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.”

One other note: The battle at Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” took place during the War of 1812, not the American Revolution.

(USA Today)

Not to worry as usual it was someone or something else fault for the miscue….this time it was the teleprompter…..

President Trump took a lot of ribbing on Twitter Friday over a mistake in his Independence Day speech. When discussing the Revolutionary War, he said: “Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do …” Trump critics were thrilled to point out that air travel was still a long ways off in the 18th century, notes Business Insider. On Friday, Trump told reporters that his teleprompter went out right in the middle of that passage. “It just went out—it went kaput,” said Trump, reports USA Today.

A reporter asked if that might explain the airport mistake. “Yeah, the teleprompter went out,” said Trump. See his comments to the media here. “That’s not a good feeling,” said the president of the dark teleprompter. “You’re standing in front of millions of millions of people on television and I don’t know what the final count was but that (the crowd) went all the way back to the Washington Monument.”

This moron that YOU elected is so ignorant that he cannot ad lib on history…..yet another example of our fine education system….a moron can become president…then there is hope for Alfred E. Newman….we already have Dumb and Dumber.