I’m sitting here watching the Republicans constantly discuss the issue of “Chain Migration”. What issue I ask? What Republicans have latched themselves onto is the idea that only people who earn the right from wealth or education can immigrate to America. In other words, “If you ain’t got no money keep your broke ass home”. That is not an immigration policy it is an extension of Trump’s Alt-Right class and racial warfare.
Merit based migration is the concept that only educated people with money to offer to the United States can migrate. That goes against the entire history of American immigration. Since the days of the Pilgrims, people have immigrated here with their families. For centuries, dirt poor, uneducated immigrants have come to the USA looking for opportunity and his own place in the sun. Continue reading “FEAR THE BROWNING OF AMERICA: END CHAIN MIGRATION”
The new Trump tax cuts enacted by the Republicans in Congress are the newest salvo in the long term Republican strategy to “Starve the Beast”. This policy goal is to cut taxes to a critical point, then use the high budget shortfall as a rationale to cut or rather, gut domestic government spending. This follows the basic belief of Republicans that government should not pick winners and losers in society, unless the winners are the super rich.
US House Speaker, Paul Ryan, who has been a long time advocate of this policy, has already announced his intention to begin legislation for cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Environmental Protection, Food Stamps and Education. Continue reading “STARVING THE BEAST”
North Korea has offered the olive branch of peace talks with South Korea and restarted direct communications with its neighbor. Many people have hailed this action as “breakthrough” which “defuses the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. This “breakthrough” is yet another in the cycle of North Korean negotiated stalemates, in which the North uses that time to make leaps a bounds in their nuclear program.
So today, Jan 4, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will rescind the Obama era policy of forbearance as to states that allow medical or recreational use of marijuana. It’s as if the government has nothing better to do with itself than to disrupt state legalization of pot. Currently 28 states have some form of legal marijuana, either medicinal or recreational.
For the Republicans, who are so keen on the concept of States’ Rights, this policy position seems odd. Yet, this policy has, historically, never been about rights or even what is right. Session is that stodgy old gentleman that believes all the myths about marijuana, which has been the policy of Republican administrations since the age of Nixon. Continue reading “TRUMP AND SESSIONS ATTACK LEGAL MARIJUANA”
I just picked up Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened. I really don’t know when I’ll have time to jump into it, but I’ll give it a shot. But before I do, I wanted to put my thoughts out on this past election in order to compare it to what Mrs. Clinton says happened. I think this election was the classic Tortoise and the Hare scenario, Clinton being the Hare.
In retaliation for interfering in the 2016 US election, President Barack Obama expelled 35 spies with diplomatic portfolios and closing two compounds. In retaliation from Obama’s retaliation, Vladimir Putin ordered 755 diplomats expelled from Russia. According to the Russians this will equalize the number of workers on each countries respective staff to 455. By the semblance of the tit-for-tat (755 for 35), it seems to be a bit extreme.
Obviously, the intent of these expulsions was not to simply equalize each nation’s delegation. The actual intent is clear since the Senate had voted, in overwhelming veto proof fashion, to sanction the Russians for the election interference. Oddly, they did not wait until Trump signed the sanctions into law, but acted shortly after the Senate confirmed a veto proof bill would be sent to the president. It’s as if to retaliate against the US legislature rather than the president’s actions. Perhaps they didn’t want to embarrass their buddy.
Now, pundits are complaining that the Russian retaliation as being well beyond the level that the US took. But this is the nature of Putin. He is very worried that the US will retaliate in a fashion that would truly hurt Russian intelligence gathering inside the US. As such, he goes way overboard to appear as if he is daring the US to retaliate in kind. There was retired official on TV talking about the tit-for-tat expulsions of the 1980’s and that he couldn’t understand why Russian would retaliate so fiercely.
When I was growing up, the bully boys at school would look for a weakness in a prospective foe. I noticed that many of those who were bullied, were bullied because it was perceived that they would not fight back, a basic poker bluff. Putin believes that the US today is a blustering nice guy. Under Putin, Russian foreign policy has focused on raising the image and stature of Russia, with evidence of a high level of success, precisely because Putin has mastered the Art of the Bluff.
There is a single controlling American idea that, in the past illustrated American prudence, but of late has allowed countries to poke holes in America’s bag of security. In 1962, this very tenet was put to the test and seemingly discarded by President John F. Kennedy. Then, Nikita Khrushchev set up his bluff, relying on American policy to set its limit at the point of where the US and Russia would have a military confrontation, at that point the United States would back down.
The point at which there is a military confrontation between the US and Russia has clearly been the silent policy limitation for America since the end of the Korean War. Russians have always bluffed as strength, as when Khrushchev banged his shoe on the table at the United Nations in 1960 to show Russian resolve. This would be a Kim Jun Un move today.
As such, Khrushchev made the calculation to place nuclear missiles in Cuba and loudly dare the US to stop him, They militarized the area to such a point that any US response would trigger a confrontation between the two powers. This confrontation was not Russia’s desired outcome, in fact, they too had a limit at the point of when the two powers would collide militarily. But, the bluff was that Russia could hold its breath longer that the United States. When Kennedy set the naval blockade and moved to enforce it, the naval engagement called their bluff. Kennedy was willing to stop the Russian ship with American naval force. At that point, Khrushchev was forced to back down from a bad hand.
Yet, Putin has revived this bluff and used it on successive presidents since George W. Bush. It was most effectively used on Barack Obama because Putin was well aware of Obama’s trepidation of using force in any major way. Putin elbowed his way into Syria to establish a foothold. Initially, they operated in a small area with air operations only. However, those air operations began to intrude on American areas. Rather than push Russians back, the US eased over each time. Confrontation was used purposely and strategically to further Russian goals. The pentagon established policies for “Operational Cooperation” to avoid conflict with Russian planes and BOOM the Russians were officially operating in Syria.
Other nations have learned that while America is too strong to be pushed with big bombs, we are very risk averse to the extent that a series of body checks can make us move over. It is this aversion that has emboldened North Korea to produce an ICBM and loudly threaten the US mainland. Whether it’s Iranian gun boats making simulated bombing runs on American naval vessels or Russian and Syrian planes flying dangerously close to American planes, our enemies have found that they can body check the United States and as long as you don’t punch them, America will only respond by moving backwards.
I once heard a TV bank robber say, “Every now and then, you have to shoot a hostage, it’s the only way they take you seriously.” This is also true in foreign policy. On July 3, 1988, Iranian planes had been simulating bombing runs on U.S. navy vessels inside the Persian Gulf. On this fateful day, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian Airbus A300 with 290 souls on board. The American ship mistakenly believed the airliner to be an attacking Iranian plane. It was an awful mistake, but the Iranians ceased threatening American vessels once it saw the damage that the U.S. was willing to wreak.
In April 2001, an aggressive Chinese jet, flying dangerously close to an American spy plane collided and crashed, and the American plane made an emergency landing in China. After this “accident” the Chinese were less aggressive. In November 2015, the Russians continued to elbow its way through Syria, having moved further North and East by nudging the US Air Force. The Russians began bombing Turkish allies inside Turkey, believing that Turkey would not challenge Russian air superiority. But a Turkish F-16 promptly shot the Russian plane out of the sky. Many Americans scrambled to avoid further conflict, while the Turks refused to back down or apologize. Russia balked, but did not violate Turkish airspace again.
I say all this to say that the Russians have been pushing this same bluff for way too long. Putin expelled 755 to the 35 Obama expelled because he believes the US fears a tit-for-tat expulsion war more than they do. If there is going to be any type of Russian reset or discussions, the US must regain the initiative. Trump and his ‘bull in a China store’ approach, makes him uniquely qualified to end the endless body checks. Problem with Trump is he seems to have his head so far up Putin’s ass he can’t even see Putin for who he really is. In return, Putin has tailored his retaliation in order to protect his stooge. Thus, rather than have a president that will challenge the bluffing bully, our president wants to be the toady.
“War is a continuation of policy by other means”, so said Carl von Clausewitz. The North Korea situation has reached that point which the past four presidents had worked in vain to avoid. U.S. policy has deteriorated to where there is but a single remaining option. On July 27, 1953, a peace of sorts was established between the parties fighting the Korean War. The ensuing 64 years resulted in a tension filled with hostilities but without actual troops fighting. For some this was called a policy success: the absence of war. Continue reading “KOREAN WAR II: A CONTINUATION OF POLICY”
Democrats have been reacting a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showing that 52% of all Americans believe all the Democrats stand for is opposition to President Donald Trump. Press pundits suggest that with only 37% saying the party stands for something, the Democratic Party lacks leadership.
Yet, its not a matter of leadership that is lacking from Democrats, it a matter of branding. Republicans have long since been masters of branding. Since the time of President Ronald Reagan, they have used commercial marketing techniques to sell us elected officials, and ideas. Yet, most effectively, Republicans have perfected the art of discrediting or maligning the brand of Democrats. Continue reading “PRINCIPLES MATTER”
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I would like to thank all of my registered users and followers. I apologize that I post so sporadically, but I had been working a fairly grueling job schedule. I wish I was still working, but now I have been laid off and have decided to try to become a professional blogger.
I’m probably not doing it correctly, but am trying to keep it real and grassroots. So I’m asking for donations from those inclined to support this media. I am not attempting to be an internet tycoon, so any amount of donation is welcome. Continue reading “MY RANT”
Donald Trump, Jr. gave America a free “Nothing Burger” and I for one, am sick of it. Initially, Trump Jr. told the American people there was no meeting. But that story didn’t last long, as the New York Times dripped out proof of a meeting. Next, we were told that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, all met with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskyaya strictly on the issue of Russian adoption.
White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, came out and called it a big “Nothing Burger”. But within hours however, the Nothing Burger began to stink. As it tuned out, the New York Times (NYT) had obtained a chain of emails revealing that: 1) Don Jr. knew (or at least thought) this lady lawyer was a Russian government official; and 2) that the meeting was expected to be about alleged dirt that the Russians had on Hillary Clinton; and all, 3) in furtherance of Russian government support for candidate Donald Trump. Continue reading “NOTHING BURGER CAUSES PTOMAINE”