Time To Re-Think The Pentagon Budget

In twenty years we have spent trillions on unnecessary wars…..and can we state without qualification that we are a safer nation because of them?

The pandemic we are now fighting has shown us that we need to re-think war and focus on the survival of this country.

The inadequate response of both the federal and state governments to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the United States, creating what could only be called a national security crisis. More than 190,000 Americans are dead, approximately half of them people of color. Yelp data show that more than 132,000 businesses have already closed and census data suggest that, thanks to lost wages, nearly 17% of Americans with children can’t afford to feed them enough food.

In this same period, a number of defense contractors have been doing remarkably well. Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s top contractor, reported that, compared to 2019, its earnings are actually up—yes, up! The company’s success led the financial magazine Barron’s to call it a “pandemic star.” And those profits are only likely to grow, given the Trump administration’s recent approval of a 10-year deal to sell $62 billion worth of its F-16s to Taiwan.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/14/national-insecurity-and-pentagon-budget

Congress needs to step up and do the hard lifting since no one else will….but they are a worthless, lazy bunch and I feel they will do what high dollar donors want…not what is best for the nation.

More Americans have now died from COVID-19 than from the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Yet the United States is poised to continue spending more money on the Pentagon than the next 10 countries combined, with some 1 million troops deployed in about 175 countries. In other words, there’s no end in sight for our forever wars.

Monday marked the 19th anniversary of the vote to pass the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, a blank check to deploy U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world in the name of going after terrorists. Our country’s response to that attack has had unintended and tragic consequences: war profiteering by military contractors, traumatic impact to our soldiers, and massive numbers of refugees and civilian casualties around the world.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/15/its-time-repeal-presidents-license-endless-war

This pandemic has shown the nation just how inadequate our social skills are….we can go fight wars without end but we are dumb-founded by a virus.

Maybe now is the right time to start putting the nation and its people first…and I do not mean another round of stim cash that only benefits those that do not need the stim.

Wall Street wants more and more cash…..

When Wall Street receives a major boost from the US Federal Reserve it can always be relied upon to come back and demand more. This phenomenon, one could say a law of political economy, has been on display again this week.

On Wednesday, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) set out its new framework for monetary policy. It committed itself to maintaining interest rates at near zero levels, for as far as the eye can see. It would also maintain its purchases of financial assets, at least to the tune of $120 billion a month—nearly $1.5 trillion a year—and intervene even more aggressively should there be a return of financial turbulence.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/19/wall-s19.html

Time for this nation to once again become a single entity and not the wandering bands of tribes that spend all their energy sniping at each other.

Pay Attention!  Your life is depending on it!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–23Sep20

We all know about the so-called stim plans that the government has put forward to help the nation survive the pandemic.

Of course the Wall Streeters made out the best from the different plans….now news has come out that the Pentagon got stim cash to help fight the virus in the military….instead they do what they do best…pissed it away.

Back in March, Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to combat coronavirus and build up the country’s medical supplies. But instead, the Pentagon diverted most of the money to defense contractors to make things like jet engine parts, body armor, uniforms, and other military equipment.

The money was part of the Cares Act, a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. It was allocated to the Pentagon under the Defense Production Act, which allows the president to direct companies to manufacture certain products.

The funds were given to the Pentagon to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” The Washington Post reported that shortly after the stimulus was passed, the Pentagon began funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to defense contractors.

Some of the awards the Pentagon handed out were disclosed by the Post. $183 million went to companies including Rolls Royce and ArcelorMittal to maintain shipbuilding. $80 million went to a Kansas aircraft parts business, tens of millions went towards satellite, drone, and space surveillance technology, and $2 million went to a domestic manufacturer of US Army uniforms.

Some companies that accepted this hand out from the Pentagon also received money from another bailout fund, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Post found that at least 10 of the 30 companies that received money from the Pentagon also received PPP money.

Portions of the money were dolled out to smaller firms, including a group of companies that work on drone technology. But larger firms also received bailout money, like GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric, that received $75 million in June.

(antiwar.com)

More reading…..https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/22/2-million-funds-earmarked-covid-19-went-buy-army-greens-uniforms.html

The Pentagon should have the money returned from their budget……and then the generals making the decisions should be jailed for misappropriation of funds.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Blame It On Gay Marriage!

There has been so many things that have been blamed on the institution of gay marriage……but the best is that this pandemic is God’s revenge on humanity for gay marriage.

A religious leader in Ukraine has done just that…blamed gays for the pandemic…..but there is a twist here……

leading church figure in Ukraine who previously described the coronavirus outbreak as “God’s punishment” against gay marriage has contracted COVID-19.

Patriarch Filaret, leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, is in a stable condition in hospital after it was announced on September 4 that he had contracted the virus.

“We inform you that His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine tested positive for COVID-19 during planned testing,” the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate said in a statement.

https://www.newsweek.com/patriarch-filaret-coronavirus-gay-marriage-ukraine-1530261

If there is a God then he has proven that he has a sense of humor…in my book.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Can Lies Protect?

Surely we all know about the games Trump has played with the pandemic and the news of such…..

We know about the lie that it would be short lived or that it would be gone by Summer or that bleach would be a cure and that a vaccine would be ready by November……lie upon lie…..the crap just got deeper and deeper….

and now we have another side of the tale of woe…..Donald the Orange lied to protect us…..

President Trump admitted Wednesday that he may have misled the public about the threat COVID-19—but he said he had good reasons. His remarks followed the release of recordings from earlier this year in which he told Bob Woodward he had downplayed the virus threat. Asked Wednesday afternoon if he had misled the public, the president said, “Well, I think if you said in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so,” per the Washington Post. “The fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic.” In a Feb.7 phone call, Trump told Woodward that the coronavirus is “deadly stuff” that “goes through the air.” Publicly, he said the virus was no worse than the flu and predicted that it would soon disappear.

“We want to show confidence. We want to show strength. We want to show strength as a nation,” Trump said Wednesday, describing Woodward’s upcoming book Rage as “just another political hit job.” He said he was “very open” to the Washington Post associate editor, “but whether it was Woodward or anybody else, you cannot show a sense of panic or you’re going to have bigger than you ever had before.” Trump also defended his administration’s handling of the pandemic Wednesday and wondered why officials hadn’t received more praise for doing an “incredible job,” the Hill reports.

Let’s be honest…..there is no party immune from not caring about the people……

The Democrats, just like Trump, speak for a ruling class that has been totally indifferent to the loss of life caused by the pandemic, caring exclusively for the impact on the stock portfolios of the superrich.

Is it any coincidence, then, that Woodward’s employer, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, has had his wealth nearly double over the past year, becoming the first human being with a net worth of over $200 billion?

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/10/pers-s10.html

The question for me is….could this all have been prevented?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Congress Returns

After a month of laying around the house and schmoozing with high dollar donors the Congress has come back to DC to work on yet another bill that would help during this pandemic crisis we are having.

For the sake of “compromise” the work being done does little to help the jobless keep their homes or feed their children…..and the Dems will do little to help…..

As the Senate returned from its nearly month-long recess on Tuesday, there was little prospect that Congress would provide any significant relief for the tens of millions of workers who lost their $600 weekly federal jobless benefit when it was allowed to expire on July 31.

The ending of that lifeline plunged millions of working class families into desperate financial straights. The economy is still short 11 million jobs from the level of employment in February, and more than 30 million unemployed workers continue to receive government aid.

As of this week, only 19 states will be providing the temporary $300-per-week benefit authorized by President Trump in an executive order last month. The program is financed by Federal Emergency Relief Agency funds that are expected to run out in about five weeks.

The Aspen Institute reported last month that 30-40 million people in the US were at risk of being evicted in the coming months. The Hamilton Project reported even before the cutoff of jobless aid that more than 20 percent of all US households and over 40 percent of mothers with children under the age of 13 were experiencing food insecurity.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/09/cong-s09.html

Please pay attention!

This illustrates that the Congress, both Repubs and Dems, care little about the plight of the people of this nation…..keep that in mind when you go to cast a vote.

Vote for candidates that actually have a plan to help the people with the problems this pandemic has created……Party means NOTHING!  They are the same!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–04Sep20

Daily we have reports on the track of the Covid-19 virus here in the US….but seldom do we get the actual costs of contracting the virus.

A guy in Washington got his bill for his treatment of the virus…..7 figures!

One of the first COVID-19 patients in the US, Michael Flor of Seattle spent 62 days in the hospital and two weeks in a rehab facility—then returned home to a $1.1 million medical bill. There were thousands of charges on the 181-page bill, he tells KOMO News. An earlier story from ABC 13 explains that he was charged $9,700 for each day in the ICU, $80,000 for 29 days on a ventilator, and more. Fortunately, Medicare, supplemental insurance, and Congressional funding to help hospitals with coronavirus costs kicked in, and he only had to pay about $3,000. Even so, Flor’s story highlights the shell shock that could come for many coronavirus patients.

The news station says one national survey of healthcare claims found the average charge of a COVID hospitalization for someone without insurance is around $73,000; with insurance, it’s around $38,000. The full cost of COVID hospitalizations for this year in the US is expected to be $17 billion, and one actuary studying that cost and its consequences says it will end up increasing taxes and insurance premiums: “What happens with the entire system is that COVID-19 is going to be expensive.” But, she notes, the true cost may not be known for quite some time, as the long-term effects of the disease are still being uncovered. As for Flor, the Seattle Times highlights his full story here.

Personally I think that the media needs to re-port the costs as well….maybe that will scare the idiots that do not wear masks into realizing what they will be paying in the future.

Then there is the cost for the vaccine when it is finally approved for use…..for those casual readers that may have missed my post on the vaccine…..https://lobotero.com/2020/06/17/remember-that-vaccine/

Learn Stuff!

I Read. I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Covid-19 Was There A Better Way?

Closing Thought–31Aug20

6 million cases…..183,000 deaths…just to catch everybody up.

We have heard all the arguments on what is right or wrong with the social distancing thing to help save us from the pandemic.

In all fairness I try to give a balanced look at the pandemic and the treatments and “solutions”…..I would expect the WSJ to NOT approve of anything that would see a drop in retail sales……and as if right on cue….

In response to the novel and deadly coronavirus, many governments deployed draconian tactics never used in modern times: severe and broad restrictions on daily activity that helped send the world into its deepest peacetime slump since the Great Depression.
The equivalent of 400 million jobs have been lost world-wide, 13 million in the U.S. alone. Global output is on track to fall 5% this year, far worse than during the financial crisis, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Despite this steep price, few policy makers felt they had a choice, seeing the economic crisis as a side effect of the health crisis. They ordered nonessential businesses closed and told people to stay home, all without the extensive analysis of benefits and risks that usually precedes a new medical treatment.
There wasn’t time to gather that sort of evidence: Faced with a poorly understood and rapidly spreading pathogen, they prioritized saving lives.
 
Shoulda….woulda…..coulda…..what is they say about hindsight……
 
I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–26Aug20

With the conventions eating up most of the airtime for the news there are some things that need to be reported around the pandemic that is still taking lives and infecting people.

US stats….5.8 cases and 179,000 deaths…..

Speaking of infecting…..there is news that a person has been re-infected for the second time……true it is in Hong Kong but that makes no difference….

A 33-year-old IT worker in Hong Kong came down with COVID-19 in March but recovered after experiencing mild symptoms. More than four months later, he returned from a trip to Europe and was diagnosed again, this time with a different strain of the virus. Researchers say his case is the first confirmed reinfection of COVID-19, reports the New York Times. While other reports of reinfections have surfaced anecdotally, this is the first to be verified by rigorous testing. Scientists at the University of Hong Kong sequenced the virus in both infections and discovered they didn’t match, explains STAT News. Specifically, “there was a difference of 24 nucleotides—the ‘letters’ that make up the virus’ RNA—between the two infections,” the site explains.

The unidentified patient is experiencing no symptoms at all this time, which might suggest that the virus is milder the second time around. But it’s important to “not jump to any conclusions” about what the case may or may not mean, says Maria Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization, per Bloomberg. One reading of it might mean that the immunity people acquire from infection doesn’t last as long as hoped, unlike the period of a few years for SARS and MERS. It’s also possible that the man’s case is an outlier and that reinfection is rare for COVID-19. Only time and more study will tell. But for now, “this is the world’s first documentation of a patient who recovered from COVID-19, but got another episode of COVID-19 afterwards,” the researchers say.

That is scary news…..there are some that state that once a person is infected and survives then the chances that they can be re-infected is low….low maybe but impossible looks out of the question.

Any immunity looks like is short lived if someone has had the virus…..there seems to be very little concern any more with my readers for my Covid posts get very little attention…..complacency will kill us as well.

A friend has asked…How did Trump let this happen?

VOX has an answer for her….(an interesting article)……https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/21366624/trump-covid-coronavirus-pandemic-failure

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Titty Baby

Closing Thought–24Aug20

SEALs are the elite soldier, right?

Well some are just titty babies.

Like the one that says he shot Osama (or did he?)…..he is all flustered by having to wear his mask….

It all started when this former SEAL removed his mask on a flight…..

A former Navy SEAL who has said he killed Osama bin Laden has been banned by Delta Air Lines after removing his face mask during a flight. Robert O’Neill tweeted about his ban on Thursday, and the airline confirmed the action, the AP reports. “Part of every customer’s commitment prior to traveling on Delta is the requirement to acknowledge our updated travel policies, which includes wearing a mask,” the airline said in a statement. “Failure to comply with our mask-wearing mandate can result in losing the ability to fly Delta in the future.” All major US airlines require passengers to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Delta says it has banned more than 100 passengers for violating the rule.

O’Neill posted a selfie showing himself, with no mask, on a Delta Connection flight Wednesday from Minneapolis to Newark. Other passengers in the photo, including a man across the aisle who was wearing a Marine Corps hat, were wearing masks. The tweet was later deleted. In another tweet Thursday, O’Neill said, “Thank God it wasn’t @Delta flying us in when we killed bin Laden … we weren’t wearing masks.” O’Neill first said in 2014 that he fired the shots that killed bin Laden during a 2011 raid on the terrorist’s compound in Pakistan. The US government has neither confirmed nor denied the account. O’Neill later wrote a book about his time in the SEALs.

Once he was banned he went on a silly rant…showing his ass and embarrassing the SEALs in the process.

Robert O’Neill, the Navy SEAL veteran who purportedly fired the shot that killed Osama Bin Laden, is having a rough one on Twitter — all over the perceived indignity of having to wear a face mask.

On Tuesday, O’Neill posted a photo of himself to Twitter aboard a Delta flight without a protective face mask, despite the fact that the United States is still in the middle of a major novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The photo was accompanied with a simple message: “I’m not a pussy.”

O’Neill later deleted the tweet, but here’s a screenshot:

https://taskandpurpose.com/mandatory-fun/robert-oneill-twitter-meltdown-face-masks

Seriously?

I bothers him that he has to wear a mask?

But he Can wear this

Billions going into Defence for new weapons and armour for special ... But not this….

Should We All Be Wearing Face Masks? Here's Why Experts Are So ...

And yet I believe Special Ops troops wear them all the time to protect their identity, or protect them from the elements….so this “He Man” is pouty because he has to follow the rules….that illustrates the whole service of the SEALs and the problems they are having with their personnel….(read about the problems here….https://lobotero.com/2019/08/15/seals-have-a-problem/ )

Special my ass!

Like I said “titty baby”!

Maybe once but their is little special now for you can request them when enlisting.

It is time for these soldiers to return to the shadows where they belong….and prosecute the former troopers that try to be a video star…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Covid-19 Treatment

I try to keep my readers up-to-date on the news around the Covid-19….some of it good….most not so…..like 5.7 million cases and 177,000 deaths…..like I said not so good……

Well we all know that social distancing works and masks help stem the flow of germs…..and Donald the Orange has offered several ways to help prevent even cure this virus……first was some drug that was used to treat Malaria….then we had the drinking of bleach….next was the UV light thing…..then followed up by extract of the Oleander plant…….and now we have yet another treatment to be approved by Trump’s FDA……

President Trump plans to announce the FDA’s approval of a COVID-19 treatment Sunday night—but whether it’s big news or hot air remains open to debate, the Washington Post reports. The treatment is blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 victims. More than 70,000 patients have already received it, and there’s evidence it lowers death rates. But the Trump administration’s praise of the treatment—including the phrase “major therapeutic breakthrough”—is getting a dose of cold water from medical experts. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday on CBSFace the Nation that the antibody-rich product is “probably beneficial” for people with COVID-19 but is already “widely available,” so FDA approval will make an “incremental” difference.

A New York City specialist went so far as to tell USA Todaythat plasma “has not yet been shown to be effective in COVID-19.” On the bright side, STAT reports that plasma is being widely tested and got a moderate thumbs-up from the Mayo Clinic, which saw a small but noticeable impact on COVID-19 death rates. But that study’s lack of a placebo group made the results less clear. There’s also intense political pressure on the FDA amid a fiery federal election. “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”

A miracle waiting to appear?

This could prevent deaths of those that have contracted the virus….but we are still looking for that magic vaccine to prevent people from actually contracting the virus.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”