Thursday, April 28, 2016

That is billion with a "B."

1999 - US Military Budget - $382,700,000,000

2008 - US Military Budget - 

The highest was 2011
$836,950,000,000 (click here)

In twelve years, (click here) the USA had entered two wars without end and had nearly tripled it's defense spending touching almost on a trillion US dollars annually. There is something very wrong here and we need to return to our sovereign borders and missions of humanitarian aid. Since WWII when we joined allies to win the war, the USA has been grossly lacking sound military principles or methods.
I'd like to say this movement's growth is a surprise, but, I do believe Bernie Sanders knew it would take over pessimism among young Americans. I remember him saying the USA needs a political movement to take over the country. He started with a few people, it grew into hundreds, then thousands and now he is a railroad train.


The worst thing that could happen is for his supporter to think they lost anything. Lost is what they were before Bernie's leadership. They have gained a political movement from a couple that profoundly believes in them, their potential and their RIGHTFUL place in demanding and invoking political change.

Right now the Democratic and Republican establishment can't believe what is taking over the USA. It is about time. Wall Street is forced to the sidelines and they are worried. I am confident they are worried. 

For those dedicated to a far different USA the idea Wall Street big money actually existed in cronies demanding influence is so very, very alien it is hard to understand why the corrupted can't see it. 

In the 1960s the American generation known as the Baby Boomers started to demonstrate to end "The Draft." At the height of the Vietnam War there were 300 to 500 dead per week. Every young heart and mind felt it. All to often it manifested as a funeral of someone nearly legally able to drink alcohol. 

The change came, but, it didn't happen in one presidential election. It happened over a few years. But, with every election the opposition by the 'educated generation' was felt and as the body counts showed up in the news it was evident the Vietnam War was not really a war in a country far smaller than Europe when the USA moved in during WWII.

A political movement needs tending. Occupy Wall Street was a great beginning. There needs to be more and more young hearts and minds moving into politics at all levels of government. The change will come. I promise it will. But, any great movement needs people to carry it forward. This movement is right, just and moral. 

By the way, there was 'the establishment' during the sixties, too. There was a counter culture that spoke opposition out loud. Long hair, far different clothes and there were days I used to wear my father's old air force jacket and shirt. There were times I would wear a college sweater with a tie. The jerks would call me Mr..... I loved it. I rocked the boat on a regular basis and argued opposition views with instructors whenever they had the guts to dive in. A girl gets a sexy reputation after awhile. I went to church every Sunday and still had a few party dresses. I believed in pushing the envelope in which ever way it would expand. 

Opposition culture is a great thing and it acts as a cohesive to know who ones friends are. Marches are vital. Organizing a million person march for change in DC works to make an impression.

No one knows what the DNC convention will bring. I do know though, the establishment of both parties are simply waiting for this temper tantrum to be over. I'd be damned to be called a temper tantrum.

By Phillip Locker

...Contradicting the cynics (click here) say Americans are hopelessly apathetic and conservative, his announcement has been met with a tremendous wave of enthusiasm. In the first day of his campaign 100,000 people signed up to get involved on his website and 35,000 people donated $1.5 million, more than any other presidential contender raised in their first day. By the fourth day of his campaign, an incredible 75,000 people had donated $3 million at an average of $43 per donation. Over 99% of contributions to Sanders were for $250 or less.
This campaign can gain a big echo among the millions who are disgusted by corporate politics that are making the rich richer while living standards for the rest of us are increasingly lagging behind. This is why first the Occupy movement and now the Fight for $15 have won such support across the country. It is also why there is increasing openness to the idea of a “third party” and explains how Kshama Sawant won almost 100,000 votes in 2013 when she was elected as a socialist to the Seattle City Council.
Unfortunately, despite Sanders being an independent member of Congress for the past 25 years, he has declared he will be seeking the Democratic Party nomination, a move Socialist Alternative has argued against over the past year....

The assault against Aleppo has been ongoing. The bombing of the hospital is tragic, but, with the USA bombing a hospital in Afghanistan, there isn't much room to criticize.

The red marker is Aleppo and the island is Cyrus. This instability is very near Europe. Turkey is just north of that white border line. The coastal Syrian land is where the Alawites had lived before the fighting forced them out of the area. Assad probably wants to stabilize Aleppo, hence bring the Alawite refugees back to their land. That is my best guess.

February 7, 2016
By Tim Lester
...Last week, (click here) the regime of Bashar al-Assad, supported by Iranian and Lebanese Shia militia, severed the main road from Aleppo to the Turkish border, a narrow corridor through which the rebels and NGOs alike moved supplies. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that several villages in the area were hit by airstrikes on Sunday.
A defining battle for Aleppo, Syria's largest city before the war, seems imminent. Regime forces and their allies on the ground, supported by Russian bombers in the air, are tightening the noose around the eastern half of the city, still held by a coalition of rebel groups. It's estimated some 320,000 people still live, or subsist, there -- under continual bombardment....

It would be far better if the civil war ended and a governance established. The West can pretend to have an enemy in Assad, but, what the region needs is stability and not quibbling over who is going to establishment it. It's not like there is an alternative. There needs to be stability and as soon as possible. The reason this hospital was effected is because the government forces are moving into the area for a final push.

I realize Doctors without Borders performs the impossible. But, sometimes the impossible is impossible.

One the dust settles and hopefully people return to attempt to RESETTLE Aleppo they will need hospitals. I am sure this was more than tragic from both sides of the military movement into the city.
Rescuers (click here) search the rubble of the MSF-supported al-Quds hospital in Aleppo after a series of airstrikes pummeled the besieged Syrian city on Wednesday evening. Screenshot courtesy of euronews

April 28, 2016
By Andrew V. Pestano

Aleppo -- Doctors Without Borders said its hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo was destroyed by an airstrike that killed at least 27 patients and doctors.
The organization -- known officially as Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF -- has sharply condemned the Wednesday airstrike that local sources are blaming on Russia or the Syrian regime under President Bashar al-Assad. MSF warns the death toll is expected to rise.
"We are outraged at the destruction of Al-Quds hospital in Aleppo, Syria," MSF said in a statement. "The destroyed MSF-supported hospital in Aleppo had an [emergency room], an [out-patient department], intensive care unit and an operating theater. All now destroyed."
No official comment or claim of responsibility has been made over the bombing. One of the city's last pediatricians was killed....

There is always the possibility ti was purely decided on ethnicity. If there is a way of knowing it was a planned strike on Sunnis, it would take on a somewhat different light. The fact this civil war is along religious lines makes it somewhat difficult assessment.

This picture to the right is when Aleppo's market was intact and the center of life and economy. Perhaps re-establishing the market would bring back some degree of order in their lives. It would help distribute foods and water. The promise of survival is a strong force for peace.

Aleppo is the largest city in Syria. In that is the strategic definition. There is over 2 million people in Aleppo. A large percentage of Allepo is rubble. (click here) It will be a challenge to not simply roll into Allepo of end the killing, but, what does a governance have in place to try to establish the city again? 
Ted Cruz is power hungry at every turn. I hope John Bohner sets him straight once and for all. He never respected John Bohner. Who is Ted Cruz as a Senator someone to come to the US House and tell the Speaker what to do? 

McConnell didn't even do that!

Donald Trump does not have a problem with strong women. His wives and the mother of his children are not weak women. They are all business women. Pageant queens are not weak women. Cruz needs to stop talking, he is going to have the Republican Party arguing with him. He just needs to stop talking.  

Cruz is digging himself in deeper and deeper. He has no respect for authority. He didn't take his argument to McConnell and he had no right riding rough shod over the Speaker of the House. Ted Cruz has been inappropriate in most of his grandstanding.  

A political crisis? Oh, really.

Baghdad (AP) Vice President Joe Biden (click here) has arrived in Iraq for a visit intended to help resolve a political crisis that's hindering efforts to defeat the Islamic State group.
Biden flew overnight from Washington to the Iraqi capital overnight. The White House isn't publicly disclosing his itinerary due to security concerns, but Biden is expected to meet with Iraqi leaders.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is struggling to deliver on reforms pressed by protesters who are angry about corruption and political patronage. Al-Abadi has tried to appease critics but faces opposition from Iraq's entrenched political groups.
The Obama administration this month agreed to send 200 more troops and Apache helicopters for the fight against IS. But the political turmoil has become a distraction and diverted critical resources.

Let me guess with the arrival of 250 more USA military the Iraqi's are saying, "Here, you do it."

Not a good idea. The last time American hardware was placed in Iraq, it was used against the very people it was suppose to protect. Placing Apache helicopters in Iraq will only fuel the drive of Daesh to take control of them.

The USA presence in Iraq doesn't de-escalate anything. The USA should not be making more commitments in the way of military hardware. It is time to bring the Americans home.

We have NATO and other allies to worry about, we cannot intervene in Iraq, a country divided against itself, anymore. We should offer assistance to the Kurds, but, then Turkey turns around and kills them

The USA military budget is idiocy.

Global powers operate in defense of their countries. 

Every time the USA adds a new jet to it's Air Force it is met with other countries running to keep up. 

The more global the USA military is the more the rest of the world has to defend and attempt to match the power of the USA military. 

Given THOSE FACTS equates to the USA causing the defeat of it's own military. Every time a drone is deployed there is a response to that aggression. Americans named the USA's military the Defense Department. How is the USA going to defend itself from the self escalation of tensions and military armament?

The U.S. is the only global superpower, with capabilities and responsibilities that dwarf any and every other state in the world. And, as the below charts show, the U.S. defense budget reflects that reality, outspending all other nations by a significant amount. What is notable about the scale of the U.S. budget is not just its relative size to other nations, but also how many other of the major players (albeit an order of magnitude smaller) are close U.S. allies, like the UK or Japan, or unlikely foes, like India or Brazil. Only two of the top ten, China and Russia could be put in the category of potential adversaries....

The USA military is hideously out of control. If the USA military was a defense force it could never have invaded Iraq. The USA military is causing it's own problems.

The "Megatons to Megawatts" program was conceived because the spending on creating nuclear weapons was stupid. The number of nuclear weapons constructed during The Cold War could have killed everyone on Earth many times over. That was the result of the Cold War. When the USA built a nuclear bomb so did the Soviet Union. The two nuclear programs were completely irrational and out of control. When the Megatons to Megawatt program ended it had converted a total of 20,008 nuclear warheads to nuclear fuel.

The Megatons to Megawatts program IS PROOF of the irrational spending that occurs globally due to the out of control USA Department of Defense. 

If an inventory of nuclear weapons were conducted globally those same stupid ratios of bombs to human lives annihilated would still be the same. The potential to ending life on Earth through mutual nuclear annihilation is still very real. Not only is it still real, but, it is escalating. India is the most recent country to add nuclear armaments to the global stockpile. Every time a new country takes a nuclear posture to it's military, another neighbor decides to pursue the nuclear route. When does it stop? Is every country in every corner of the world going to arm with nuclear weapons? To what end? Never peace? Never economic ties that matter? The ability to kill mass numbers of people to what end?

The USA has to stop it's aggression. It's most recent aggression is now the Pacific Ocean. ??????????????  The Pacific Ocean ????????????? 

The USA military is completely out of control and the most recent pivot is proof. The USA has sovereign borders, we should re - learn to live within them.

Living within our borders while seeking diplomacy to end tensions and threats between OTHER COUNTRIES enhances the economics of world trade. Trade routes should be secure from pirates and not threatened by mutual assured destruction.  

A majority of Americans have opposed fracking for quite some time now.

November 13, 2014
By Jeff Spross

...According to Pew, (click here) support for fracking stood at 48 percent in March of 2013, versus 38 percent opposition. But as of November 2014, Americans have flipped their position: 41 percent now favor the process while 47 percent oppose it. And while support fell across all demographic groups, the biggest drops — all 10 percentage points or more — occurred among women, voters under age 49, those with some college education, Midwesterners, and independent voters. Women already opposed the fossil fuel extraction process by one percentage point in March of 2013, but for every other one of those groups, the change flipped them from decisive approval to decisive opposition....

American politicians have lied about the dangers of fracking. They have lied to people in their foreign policy as well. Fracking not only poison's water it develops seismic activity. The American politicians have lied for one reason only, funding for politics.

What I find interesting is the fact the USA can now export oil and gas when no one needs it because of the American fracking policy abroad. Odd. Where is the market stability when exporting American petroleum assets leads to a crash in it's stock value. See, when American policy conflicts like this there is a real danger in economic implosion. Greed is a terrible thing.

Another egotistical moron in the US Congress.

Perhaps Daesh should purchase it.

April 26, 2016
By Julian Hattem

A Republican senator (click here) is trying to block the Obama administration from buying nuclear materials from Iran.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) this week filed an amendment to an energy and water appropriations bill that would bar the government from using federal funds to buy Iran's heavy water, which can be used in nuclear reactors.
“It seems the president will go to any lengths to protect his nuclear deal,” Cotton said in a statement. “We’ve given the terror-sponsoring Iranian regime enough concessions at the risk of our security; we should not further subsidize its enrichment activity by making repeated purchases of this material."
The measure is not scheduled to come up for a vote, and it is unclear whether it will hit the Senate floor before lawmakers take up the underlying appropriations bill on Wednesday.

Yet the move by Cotton underscores the lingering anger over the Obama administration’s dealings with Iran following President Obama's nuclear pact with the country....

Pure, unadulterated hatred of President Obama's administration is the ONLY reason the amendment was written. 

How much of a moron is Tom Cotton?

...If ever there was a win-win program, (click here) this was it. “This is the only time in history when disarmament was actually profitable,” Anton Khlopkov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Energy and Security Studies, told NPR. The 1993 HEU purchase agreement between the United States and Russian governments, known informally as Megatons to Megawatts, not only eliminated 500 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade uranium from Russian stockpiles, but also generated nearly 10 percent of all the electricity consumed in the United States (about half of all US nuclear power) during the past 15 years—a whopping total of around 7 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy.

Under the program, conceived and championed by MIT physicist Thomas L. Neff, the Russians “downblended” highly enriched uranium by diluting it with lower-grade uranium, and sold this mixture to the United States for $17 billion—a bargain for US ratepayers, even though Russia estimated earnings of $12 billion from the deal. Rosatom, the Russian Federation’s national nuclear corporation, plans to continue selling uranium to the United States beyond 2013, but at a much higher market price. In the meantime, US uranium concentrate production rose sharply in 2013, reaching its highest level since 1997, in part to offset the winding-down of Megatons to Megawatts....
A really big moron. Tom Cotton outshines any other moron in Congress that uses OUR GOVERNMENT to play politics.

The USA has always been in a place to purchase nuclear material and remove it from the landscape. It is called national security. The nuclear material purchases have operated in complete transparency to insure Americans and other governments were assured none of the nuclear material had fallen in the hands of those that can cause deaths, injury and long term effects of any exposure.

REALLY BIG MORON! It is amazing the level of hate of President Obama that exists with morons.

War mongering is not necessary for every discussion of the USA military when the spending is in the trillions and the American people are suppose to pay for it.

Richard Haas is typical to those with a war mongering stance. "America has war fatigue after Iraq and Afghanistan."

There is something more to do? Seriously.

Has Richard Haas ever participated in a body count from Iraq? Because people were burying their dead in their yards. PLURAL. People were buried in yards in Iraq after the USA invasion. There has never been a complete and accurate body count in Iraq after a completely unnecessary war.

I would love to hear Richard Haas state, the United Nations' personnel hadn't completed their work and if they did, there would be no reason for invasion into Iraq.

I want an apology from Richard Haas for Daesh. Just apologize for it and then realize the number of people dead for no reason at all, except of course, Ba'athification. I want to hear Richard Haas say, "Not only was the Iraq war immoral and illegal, it had a completely inept strategy in Ba'athificaiton". Not only should Richard Haas apologize for the Iraq invasion he should go on further to state there was complete incompetency in Rumsfeld's cabal without an exit strategy. 

Richard Haas should do all that without writing a book for profit. If he is compelled to write about the war and the body count he can donate the profits from the book to the orphans in Iraq.

The children of Iraq (click here) are the nation’s future but today, they are in crisis.  An estimated 800,000 were orphaned over ten years of war.  More than 1 million have been displaced by ISIS.  Thousands work on the streets or in other unsafe places.  Too many children are vulnerable to recruitment and exploitation by criminals or terrorists, as well as physical abuse and human trafficking.  They face illiteracy, poverty, malnutrition, and the profound effects of trauma and loss.  The need is urgent, but with your help, ICF is devoted to making a difference for Iraq’s most vulnerable children...

Believe me when I say it is not fatigue that the American people are tired of.

Wait, wait, let me guess. "But, Daesh is far more deadly than the American military by the sheer fact they reached a million orphans when the USA invasion never did and they achieved one million in a far shorter timeline." 

COMPLETE AND UTTER INCOMPETENCE and the USA should go back to do it all over again? I don't think so.

The killing of Eric Harris, shown right posing with his brother Andre, has raised questions about the use of volunteer officers to supplement full-time law enforcement.

27 April 2016
By Reuters

The Oklahoma volunteer reserve deputy(click here) who fatally shot an unarmed suspect being subdued by regular deputies last year was found guilty of manslaughter on Wednesday by a jury that recommended he serve the maximum of four years in prison.
Prosecutors told jurors that Robert Bates, 74, an insurance executive who volunteered as a reserve sheriff’s deputy, deserved to be sent to prison for thrusting himself into the situation when there were several qualified deputies on the scene who could subdue the man....

It was not an exercise, there was no danger because Eric Harris was already subdued. Eric Harris posed no danger to anyone.

...Prosecutor Kevin Gray told jurors in closing arguments that Bates made the decision to leave his car, join the deputies and draw a weapon on Harris, who was on the ground.
“People make mistakes all the time, but to equate the shooting of Eric Harris with that is absurd,” he said....

I don't know how anyone can state the death of a man is a mistake. Hunting accidents (click here) occur, but, accidental deaths by police officers isn't really a possibility. 

I might point out the USA has 30,000 deaths per year due to the loose gun laws. That 30 thousand deaths does not include gun injuries either.