Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pre-Election Observation for Serious Voter Consideration



Over time I've come to see the GOP-Conservatives reflecting this image – whether it’s on purpose, by design, or something that comes naturally to them:

As being cruel, callous, cold, outrageous in public statements, bizarre at times, nasty towards anyone different than them, always insulting, seldom offer a positive agenda or decent public worthwhile idea, and always and I mean always, bash any political opponent and always be anti-government everything possible, which is the very same government they strive to serve in while professing and advocating “I stand with the American people....”

Truly the GOP should change their name to GOH (Grand Old Hypocrites), and adopt a new logo:


Monday, October 20, 2014

Faces in History: Some Great, Beautiful, Some Not So Hot

Head of Helen. Attic red-figured krater, c. 450–440 B.C. - Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Helen of Troy *
In Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" (1604), Faust conjures the shade of Helen of Troy. Upon seeing Helen, Faustus speaks the famous line: “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium.”

Russian President Vlad Putin **

**(Is this the face who could launch a 1000 nukes)


The face of anger for sure, but how far will/would he go about this issue and headlines:

Russia warns of 'prolonged' period of cold relations with U.S.

Story here (Fortune.com) - highlights:  

Frustration at Western hectoring boils over after Milan meeting brings no progress. The Ruble near all-time lows again after Moody’s cuts sovereign debt rating and thus: Russia lashed out at the U.S. again Monday, predicting a long period of cold relations and saying that Moscow won’t agree to any conditions for the lifting of sanctions on it.  

The E.U. made a decision to fall in with U.S. policy on Ukraine and join it in applying sanctions has angered Moscow, which had counted on the importance of their bilateral trade relations –especially in energy – to protect it. Instead the E.U., like the U.S., has banned Russia’s largest banks from its capital markets and limited sales of high-tech goods to its crucial oil sector.  

Stay tuned … one thing to keep in mind… hurting a major power by hitting them in the wallet can be a tough call and that in turn can also make those inflicting the economic pain go on guard to be prepared to take whatever is thrown back at them – possibly in spades as they say …  

Stay tuned as they also say.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola Scare in 2nd Gear: Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Giddy Old Poops

Might as Well Start Here 

GOP Peddles Cheap Fear
(But the cost is high)

Ebola and the call for a travel ban ... bad idea I think and so do medical professionals ... why? People would skirt around it, lie about their travel and such ...

But, sadly, politics is about to get in between Ebola, proper care and any prevention ... and the GOP is leading that pack (how ironic is that: the GOP putting politics between us and medical personnel – kind of a twist on fear of Obama-care isn’t it)?

They are great at fear mongering and now some DEMS are not joining in what may seem like a popular idea but is one based FEAR and fear is dangerous, very.

WASHINGTON — A ban on travel from West Africa might seem like a simple and smart response to the frightening Ebola outbreak there. It's become a central demand of Republicans on Capitol Hill and some Democrats, and is popular with the public. But health experts are nearly unanimous in saying it's a bad idea that could backfire.

The experts' key objection is that a travel ban:

(1) Could prevent needed medical supplies, food and health care workers from reaching Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the nations where the epidemic is at its worst. Without that aid, the deadly virus might spread to wider areas of Africa, making it even more of a threat to the U.S. and the world, experts say.

(2) Would be difficult to prevent people from the affected countries from traveling to the U.S. and might even be difficult to enforce and might generate counterproductive results.

(3)  People would lie about their travel history or attempting to evade screening for flights.

The U.S. has not instituted a travel ban in response to a disease outbreak in recent history. The experts insist now is not the time to start, especially given that the disease is still extremely contained in the U.S. and the only people who have caught it here are two health care workers who cared for a sick patient who later died.

Let's be honest here shall we ... if that's even possible. We have a better chance of contracting the flu are suffering a hearth attack than contracting Ebola.

An article on that is here from Vox … interesting reading and from here, too.

“Threats to Americans, ranked (by actual threat instead of media hype)”  

Of course leave it up FOX to lead the fear mongering, hand-wringing crowd – via their own “FOX dynamic poll” as usual. You know the kind I mean: slanted, one-sided, and biased (seen here):



THE NAME OF THE GOP GAME IS FEAR AND THEY ARE MASTERS AT THAT GAME AND YES, IT IS A GAME ... A VERY NASTY, UGLY, DIRTY, AND IN THIS CASE, A VERY DEADLY AND DANGEROUS GAME.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola: Fuel for Fear Mongers, Political Zealots, and Most GOPers

Yeah, that's right, Ebola is this Wide. So, duck!!!
(Go hide from the Fed lies)

Case in point from a man I honestly think is one of top dumbest shit heads in or running for elected office. These are people who are supposed to exude confidence and trust, but instead they spread fear, hype, distrust, and anger at and about everything government.

They include the likes of: Rand Paul (pictured above); Ted Cruz, Louis Gohmert, Michele, Bachmann, Tom Cotton, Scott Brown, Thom Tillis, almost everyone on FOX and rightwing Talk Radio ... don't believe me, just listen and pay attention.

They are out to make political points over the next few weeks and gain control of government, and not much else. I honestly ask: Why and for what positive purpose. I can't seem to come up with anything rational except nasty dirty political grandstanding.

Take Rand Paul's latest from here, part: 

PLYMOUTH, NH – Rand Paul had a message for students at Plymouth State University who had gathered for a pizza party with the Kentucky senator: "Ebola is coming for us all and the government is hiding the truth about the deadly disease."

Then this from Salon.com: Some 56 percent of Americans say the government is prepared to handle Ebola, including 61 percent of Democrats. But that number is flipped on its head when you ask Tea Party voters: 57 percent of them say the government is not prepared, as do 54 percent of rural voters.

So two core components of the GOP red-state base coalition don’t trust the federal government, in the person of President Obama, to keep them safe – and there’s some political opportunity for Republicans in those numbers. When Texas Sen. Ted Cruz continues to insist “I remain concerned that we don’t see sufficient seriousness on the part of the federal government about protecting the American public,” those are the voters he’s talking to.

The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent makes the excellent point that one big political benefit of Ebola to the GOP is that it gives them a theme with which to nationalize the election and make it about the perceived failures of President Obama – especially in states like Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina, where vulnerable Democrats have kept it close by focusing on local issues and their GOP opponents’ foibles.  That’s why Thom Tillis is insisting that Sen. Kay Hagan (D) has “failed the people of North Carolina and the nation by not securing our border.” 

They also blame Obama and DEMS for the rise of ISIS/ISIL. Now for Ebola … they have no shame, yet they remain shameless. So, will fear sell? We are going to find out on November 4th aren't we? 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ISIS and Iraqi Chemical Plant: Threat or Not — Honest Clarity Needed

Iraq's Old Chemical Plant 
(old story making new rounds)

New story or older one recycled? From the WSJ here (June 2014), plus a lot of other sources (many are conspiracy links).

A lot of media is stirring about ISIS/ISIL now in control of the old Iraqi chemical plant – reputable reporting is, however, far and few between, but that has not stopped the hype about this old issue. More below from here, in part:

The Iraq Study group did find chemical munitions at the Muthanna facility, but they also determined that inspections by United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM, had ensured the facility was dismantled and remaining chemical stocks militarily useless and sealed in bunkers, saying in one report, in part:

“Two wars, sanctions and Unscom oversight reduced Iraqi's premier production facility to a stockpile of old damaged and contaminated chemical munitions (sealed in bunkers), a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities.” (Cite: the Iraq Study Group's 2004 report).

The Muthanna complex is near Lake Tharthar, roughly 45 miles northwest of Baghdad, an area now firmly in control of ISIS/ISIL. Further, ISIS has taken control of most of Anbar province as well as Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

Key Point: Military officials said the U.S. was well aware of the Muthanna stockpile and wouldn't have left it there if it posed a military threat.  HOWEVER: "When the U.S. pulled out of Iraq, it didn't anticipate a large swath of the country, including numerous military bases, would be overrun by radical Sunni militants. One defense official said that if the U.S. had known the Iraqi government would lose control so soon, it might not have left the old chemical weapons in place."

(I INTERJECT: That is a mighty big “if” isn’t it?).

U.S. officials repeatedly emphasized the takeover of the chemical weapons stocks didn't constitute a significant military gain by ISIS. The group, multiple officials said, would find the weapons militarily useless even if they were to get access to the sealed bunkers where they are stored. Officials said the group hasn't yet gained access to those bunkers, with one military official saying: “The only people who would likely be harmed by these chemical materials would be the people who tried to use or move them.”

(I INTERJECT: ISIS probably could care less about that aspect as I’m pretty sure, they are trying to get things in order for their use – a pretty rational thought).

ISIS military gains have been aided by other Sunni groups including Baathists and other former loyalists to Hussein. Officers in Hussein's army have also taken leadership roles in the rebellion. Some of those men may have some working knowledge of the use of chemical weapons from the Iran-Iraq war.  

My Summary: I am not one for conspiracies of any kind – preferring to deal in facts rather than opinion. But, if there are “working chemical weapons or viable chemicals or any kind” stored at that facility and could by any stretch of the imagination end up with ISIS/ISIL, and the U.S. knows or even suspect such a scenario, then it is incumbent on us to conduct quick bombing raids there to totally wipe it out. That is rational thinking and possibly what is needed. Putting all that aside, I firmly believe the public has a compelling need to know the whole and true story. 

Thus, some clarity seems to be in order, don’t cha’ think? Just call it honesty and clarity in a valid update.

Monday, October 13, 2014

U. S. Options in Iraq are Few and Far Between — None Are Very Good



ISIS/ISIL: Tons of Captured U.S. Equipment, Weapons, and Supplies
(Iraqi forces abandoned it)

ISIS/ISIL Controlled Areas
(Eye on Baghdad)

The flip side of the horrible mess in both Syria and Iraq – some highlights:

Secretary of State John Kerry said recently that while US-led strikes would weaken ISIS-ISIL it was still ultimately up to the Iraqis to fight the group off. He said in part:  “It is Iraqis who will have to take back Iraq. It is the Iraqis in Anbar (province who will have to fight for Anbar.” (Note: Anbar is the largest province in Iraq on the western side leading straight into Baghdad).

Related: Turkey has offered support to the campaign against ISIS by now granting the U.S. access to its air bases.

Here's what I see developing politically, which is not the way I want to see it:

1. The U.S. remains adamant about sending ground combat troops back into Iraq.

2.  Iraq government officials do not want U.S. combat troops back either.

3.  If the situation gets so bad, so awful, and so nasty and shows up on world screens, then …

4.  The U.S. will say “We have no choice, we must recommit to saving Iraq and ridding the region of ISIS/ISIL. We have no other option. There are no other choices. We hope the American public will see the danger of ISIS/ISIL not only to the region, but the stability of the entire Middle East.” Or, something along those lines I foresee. Let’s face it, ISIS/ISIL will not relent – they must be defeated on the ground.

That is the way I read it, and sadly it is a pathetic way to read it. I hope I am wrong, but I don't think so; at least that is what my gut tells me.

Let’s face it: ISIS/ISIL has a great PR game and they know how to play it with the best. They are milking the possibility of the U.S. reentering Iraq and that is precisely what they want, then they will further fine-tune their message to the Arab world and say: “See we told you the United States has always had its eye on us and our mission in life. We are the only ones you can trust on our way to meeting Allah’s mandate. Trust and have faith in us. Praise Allah.”  /s/ ISIS/ISIL

How cynical is that – considerable, but sadly I think it’s also true.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hide Under Your Bed — ISIS/ISIL is Coming — Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Don't be a Afraid. But, hide before it's too late

Duck under your bed. Don't move ... DUCK now!! What DUCK???
(No, damnit, not these ... jeez - pay attention)



From Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): McCain warns that both the Mexican and Canadian borders are probably entry points for ISIS terrorists, saying in part: “There is a great concern that our southern border, and our northern border, is porous and that they will be coming across.”

F/N: What he didn't say it that they wouldn't dare cross the AZ-Mex border, right, Senator? I see, I see.

Then this from practically the entire GOP: “Vote first then hide under your bed. Then stay there. We are coming to your rescue. We will stop ISIS/ISIL cold at our borders. Give us the majority in Congress in November. We'll show you. We will keep you safe. Trust us.”

Sample of that can be seen here: here >>>

In short, don't be a scaredy cat.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Truth Can and Should Be Refreshing or Put You in Shït Størm

VP Joe Biden: Mess in Syria and Rise of ISIS/ISIL


This story comes from various sources (like ABC News here): 

Vice President Joe Biden apologized over the weekend to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after saying they had a role in allowing foreign fighters, weapons and money into Syria to bolster groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad and now ISIS/ISIL has those weapons. He also made similar statements about Saudi Arabia's role in aiding extremists.

Now, the diplomatic scramble that has followed underscores the Middle East's tangled alliances and the murky sources of support that have helped Syria become a hotbed for extremists. While Mr. Biden's comments were in line with some of what U.S. officials have been saying for months, they also have the potential to complicate administration efforts to keep those same counties in the coalition fighting the Islamic State, one of the most violent groups that have taken hold in Syria.

Even after Mr. Biden's back-to-back apologies, the White House was still in clean-up mode Monday. Officials made clear that he had erred in his public comments, but stopped short of declaring them inaccurate, saying in part: “He himself wishes he had said them a little differently” (said White House spokesman Josh Earnest).

WHAT EXACTLY DID MR. BIDEN SAY?  

He said during a question-and-answer session at the Harvard Kennedy School, in part, that one of the biggest challenges for the U.S. in identifying a moderate opposition to Assad in Syria was that some U.S. allies were helping strengthen groups with extremist tendencies, but then he added (this is the part in the toilet bowl):

He said: "The Saudis, the Emiratis, and others. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons in to anyone who would fight against Assad. And, the problem is that the money and weapons ended up in the hands of the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and now the Islamic State group (ISIS/ISIL)."

Stating publicly the obvious as he did vs. not using clever behind the scenes diplomatic lingo may be correct, but it is not being honest or forthwith with the American public, and besides, when did truthful become wrong or uncomfortable?

I see nothing wrong with what the Vice President said even though he was "forced (I suspect)" to apologize. He apologized for speaking honestly and openly about something we all know is mostly factual and true.

How can what he said be wrong or bad?  In a word: It can not. I support him 100% on this flap.

Nothing should ever supersede the truth or being honest about telling the truth, and especially when mixed with political hörsëshït. At least in my view.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ebola: Dangerous Deadly Virus, Yes; As a Bio-Weapon, Not So Much

Ebola Virus Under a Microscope


Major Update of the following story: 

Shame on the GOP and their right wing talking points and rabid pundits shame on them case in point from MSNBC here, in part:

The cure for Ebola can’t be found by pointing fingers, but that won’t stop some conservatives from playing the Obama blame game. From right-wing media pundits to certain lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the current epidemic that has so far claimed the lives of over 3,400 people is yet another opportunity for critics to jump on the president’s leadership and policies – Ebola-related, or not.

Examples:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY):  Offered his “suspicion” that the disease is “a lot more transmissible” than the CDC has let on.

Steve Doocy, Fox and Friends co-host: When the CDC’s director, Dr. Tom Frieden, appeared on his that show, Doocy went so far as to question whether his analysis could be trusted given Frieden’s role in the Obama administration, saying in part:

“This is a political thing, but you’re part of the administration. The viewers feel that the administration had misled a lot of people on a lot of things. Why should we believe you when you’re telling us this stuff?” (I Note: Doocy has the ability to speak for FOX “viewers” – neat ability isn’t it?).

Laura Ingraham on her radio talk show: She raised similar alarms She asked listeners whether they believed what government officials were saying about the Ebola outbreak, given the country’s “biological incapability of telling the truth.” As evidence, she pointed to the Affordable Care Act (Obama-care), claiming that “none of” what the government said about its health care law was true.

Then the big mouth himself, Rush Limbaugh: He went after a different administration priority – developing more humane deportation practices – suggesting that the “Washington establishment/political class was making Ebola-related decisions based off its desire for amnesty,” which Limbaugh said “equals open borders.”

Then Limbaugh added: “Ebola, a killer virus, is political. We’re in the process of having it politicized. The left politicizes everything.  The Democrat Party politicizes everything.  Everything is politicized.” 

That last part coupled with the other parts, well… I still can’t stop laughing and you know the worst part: FOX viewers really to believe the crap they hear like that … and the blame game continues … I recommend the GOP adopt a new mascot/logo and make that their favorite animal: The Scapegoat



ORIGINAL POST FROM HERE:  I have been educating myself on Ebola and I have used three sources for this post (1) from CBS News; (2) from Vox.com; and, (3) from WHO (World Health Organization) (the editing is my own to fit this format).

Worst-case scenario: Could a terrorist group turn Ebola into a biological weapon and wipe out a huge number of the world’s population? The idea, almost like a movie script, is that Ebola could be used as a biological weapon, but it should be viewed with heavy skepticism. According to bio-terrorism experts, although deadly, Ebola is notoriously unstable when removed from a human or animal host, and capturing and turning it into weapon is very unlikely. 

An opposite view has been posited by Peter Walsh, a biological anthropologist at UK’s Cambridge University who says the world should be taking the threat of an Ebola weapon very seriously. He warns that terrorists could “harness the virus as a powder” for example, load it into a bomb, and then explode the bomb in a highly populated area (CBS Atlanta report).

Dr. Robert Leggiadro, a physician in NY who has a background in infectious disease and bioterrorism says that although Ebola is listed by the CDC as a possible bio-terrorism agent, that does not mean the virus could be used in a bomb, adding it would be difficult to weaponize.

Further, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, SecureBio, a CBRN security firm in the UK says Walsh's claims are an example of fear-mongering, adding: “The chance of the Zaire strain of Ebola being made into a biological weapon is less than nil. It's just not going to happen.”

Experts like those point to three main reasons why Ebola isn't likely to be used as a bio-terrorism agent anytime in the near future.

1. Weaponization woes:  In order to make Ebola into a biological weapon, a terrorist organization would: (1) need to obtain a live host infected with the virus, either a human or an animal, and only a few animals serve as Ebola hosts, that include primates, bats, and forest antelope. None of these are particularly easy to detain; (2) after the host is captured, it would need to be transported to what de Bretton-Gordon called a suitably equipped laboratory (to extract the virus). NOTE: Such laboratories, known as Category 4 or Bio-safety level 4 Labs, are not easy to come by either (less than two dozen Category 4 laboratories  exist in the entire world (Federation of American Scientists), and failure to work inside one of these labs when handling the Ebola virus would likely result in the death of whoever is doing the weaponizing; (3) if a terrorist organization were able to obtain a host (listed above), gain access to a Category 4 Lab, then isolate the virus, they still would have a lot of work to do before they could use Ebola as a biological weapon. The process is complex and multi-staged.

It involves enrichment, refining, toughening, milling, and preparation. And, Ebola is not well suited to any of these process steps, which are designed to ensure that the biological agent survives the traumatic experience of being fired from a rocket, dropped from an aircraft, and submitted to harsh climatic conditions.  

2. Ebola virus is not hardy: There's a reason we haven’t heard about Ebola ever been used as a biological weapon in the past: it has not been, because Ebola, unlike other disease-causing agents, is not very hardy.  

“The reason anthrax has been the biological weapon of choice is not for its mortality rate -- when properly weaponized it is similar to Ebola-- but for the fact that it is exceptionally hardy.  Anthrax can and will survive for centuries in the ground, enduring frosts, extremes of temperature, wind, drought, and rain before re-emerging.”

In contrast to the hardiness of anthrax bacteria, the Ebola virus is sensitive to climactic conditions, like exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures, and once the virus is removed from its host, it requires a very particular environment in which to survive, including relatively high temperatures, and humidity.

Assume a terrorist organization manages to capture a suitable Ebola host (listed above), are able to extract the virus, weaponize it, transport it to a populated city, and deliver the virus as a weapon, and then it is entirely likely that the sub-optimal climatic conditions of a Western city will kill it off relatively quickly.

3Slow transmission:  Many of the deadliest viruses and toxins that the CDC categorizes as possible bio-terrorism agents can spread from person-to-person through the air. These airborne toxins, such as anthrax or plague, could be released into the environment, through a dirty bomb or some other means, and could infect many people very quickly. [See 7 Devastating Infectious Diseases] However, that's not how Ebola works, since it is not airborne and it relies on transmission through the consumption of contaminated meat and direct contact with some infected bodily fluid.

The method of transmission makes Ebola less contagious than airborne viruses. Therefore, that also makes it easier to contain, provided strict protocols for containment are followed.  When the proper protocol is followed, Ebola is considerably less contagious than common viruses, such as measles or the flu.

Hope this helps you understand this virus; it did me. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

War Again: Could Lead to Uptick in Domestic Terrorism

Cartoon with a lot of truth...
(hard to face, but real)

Anti-government Reason Then 
(nowadays purely anti-U.S.)

I've been working on this for some time ... so bear with me (hope it's not too dry). It is very important subject and very timely.

Background: American intelligence officials have said the number of Americans who have joined rebel groups in Syria — not just ISIS, but others — had nearly doubled since January 2014. The officials believe that more than 100 Americans have fought alongside groups, including those who have died while fighting, since the civil war began there three years ago.

Various American agencies have specifically identified Americans fighting for ISIS based on (1) intelligence gathered from travel records, (2) family members, (3) intercepted electronic communications, (4) social media postings, and (5) surveillance of Americans overseas – that is those who had expressed interest in going to Syria beforehand.

Additionally, many more Europeans have joined the fight in Syria against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. By some estimates, more than 1,000 are in that category.

The British government has identified about 500 of its UK citizens who have gone to Syria. Just as troubling is that about half of that number have returned to Britain. A small number have died on the battlefield as well, officials have said.

Yes, this theme is troubling on many levels and for obvious reasons and questions: (1) do these “fighters” after they return home have their eyes on, or worse, plans of action to do harm here at home, or in other friendly Western countries (e.g., London, Paris, Rome, el al), (2) how prepared are they to carry out any attacks, and more-importantly, (3) are they, or can they be successfully monitored over a long period of time to ensure that they are not up to anything bad, or if they are up to no good, (4) how can such attacks be prevented well in advance?

Let’s face, domestic terrorism is a huge growing problem; not just by these numbers returning from Syria and elsewhere, but the old-fashioned “home-grown” ones already here spouting up all the time in small numbers – with God knows what they have in mind.

Related to this topic from the NY Times (here in 2011), and this flashback to 1985 (when it was not growing). Then bingo: 1995 in OK City when three men, Timothy McVeigh, aided by Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier blew up the Federal building killing 168 and injuring 500. Three men – now imagine scattered around the country, similar to the 19 hijackers who were receiving their flight training before 9/11 – kinda takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

Domestic terrorism (from the FBI files here and from the Rand Corporation here) is real and it’s in our face. Keep in mind, it does not take many people to do great harm. If they are well-financed, well-armed, have a good plan, and execute that plan with subtle skill and surprise, then even small numbers can do great harm. Related to this are “hate groups” spread across the U.S. – this too is a major concern.

How to combat this, or better yet, how to prevent it or greatly reduce the chances for domestic terrorism here at home in the first place? Terrorism has been around forever – it can never be stopped, but it can greatly be prevented, and that is the work of good counter-intelligence agencies and the support everyone of us can give them. 

As they say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (or in the case of preventing an act of domestic terrorism is to prevent a heart full of pain).

This is topic with extensive links and data – check them out by a simple “domestic terror” searching. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Back at War: Obama Hits ISIS-ISIL in Syria With Allies, Without Congress

Picture at This Early Stage of Campaign
(Note the five U.S. partners in the fight)

Precise Targets Hit


Excellent run down and debate here from The ED SHOW (MSNBC):


The beginning of what President Obama himself labeled as an effort that "It will take time" and insisting this is not our fight alone ... 

Funny or sadly, in an ironic sort of way, wars always take time (usually easy to get into, but a bugaboo to get out of; not even counting the human cost. 

This will take years and it will cross party lines for decades in Congress and around the globe. We are all again on high alert. 

This is also the rally call that ISIS-ISIL needs and has expected, I believe, to grow and possibly get stronger with their simple message: "See we told you so. The United States is involved now and it proves that they truly hate Muslims and Islam. Praise Allah!!!!."

Stay tuned ... this is just getting started. Believe me when I say it will get far worse and more costly — that is given.

Stop back later.

Re-brand, Re-name the Same Old Crap: Becomes Easy to BS the Public


Originally named: Blackwater

Renamed: Xe 
(after all the crap in Iraq)

Renamed once again: Academi
(helps keep the public confused and off balance)


This is how you try to hoodwink or BS the public, lesson 101: Keep renaming your product or same old stinky pile of dog shit by calling it anything except the same old stinky pile of dog shit. Eventually it will catch.

We have seen BLACKWATER renamed to XE and renamed again – hell it even sounds professional and kind of academic, too, and they even try to appear to be the smartest guys on the block (bullying aside that is).

Tidbits and tons of BS:

Erik Prince, co-founder of the controversial private security contractor Blackwater, later rename to Xe and now renamed again to Academi, claims that the organization could have successfully combated militant group Islamic State if the Obama administration had not “crushed my old business.”

Prince said in front of the conservative group Maverick PAC that his infamous private military firm – synonymous with the contracting bonanza that ensued after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 — would have effectively fought Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), allowing the U.S. to hold back our military in its offensive against the group’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

He said in part: “It’s a shame the Obama administration crushed my old business, because as a private organization, we could’ve solved the boots-on-the-ground issue, we could have had contracts from people that want to go there as contractors; you don’t have the argument of US active duty going back in there. They could have gone in there and done it, and be done, and not have a long, protracted political mess that I predict will ensue.”

Two related links here and here:

One word comes to mind when describing Prince and his brand of utter nonsense and insanity: megalomaniac.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Middle East Turmoil: U.S. to the Rescue (Again) — Hang on Tight

Always Cut the Red Wire. Wait, or the Green. Damn, maybe the Yellow...
(From Lesson Plan: How to disarm the ME)

Let's Ask An Expert, Shall We???
(About U.S. trying it again)

The U.S. has already resumed bombing campaign across Northern Iraq, with an eye now to Northern Syria. First, let's review the Syrian mess:

In January 2011, following the Arab Spring where protests against ruling regimes erupted in a number of Middle East countries, protesters in Syria came out demanding that President Bashar al-Assad and his government step down. In response, Assad sent in troops with some cities and regions being besieged for weeks and months.

Both pro and anti-government protest gatherings have at times been large.  Criticism of Syria’s crackdown has been quite widespread. The Arab League has responded by suspending Syria’s membership. Syria claims that it is fighting an insurgency that is terrorist-driven by nature and claimed al-Qaeda is involved. It has not been possible to verify that claim so many see it as a cynical excuse.

The ruling regime is a sect of Shia, so has support from Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah. The opposition is largely Sunni, thus receiving support from other Middle East countries, such as Saudi Arabia and others. Ten of thousands have been killed and displaced (like into Turkey and northern Iraq) — both civilians and armed combatants. Some have been asking the West for a military intervention like there was in Libya, but the U.S. in particular is not keen on another military intervention even though they have been openly hostile and critical of the Syrian ruling regime for many years.

China and Russia also have close ties with Syria and to date have not been keen on any action condemning Syria and have even vetoed some actions. Some papers have reported Iran and others helping Syria with weapons, while others also mentioned the opposition being armed by the West.

And, so here we are today: the U.S. is eyeing a campaign (at least bombing) in Syria in and to find, locate and destroy ISIS/ISIL who is so bad that even al-Qaeda kicked them. The rest as they say is history in the making.

Our Congress voted to allow President Obama to take action, just short of actually declaring war – against who would be the question… but another war resolution, or clarification of any existing war resolutions are in the works, but only after the midterm elections … I guess war is on hold pending a vote for a new of sustained same Congress, right? Sure seems so. So, who will run against any new action and who will not? Will that make any difference at the ballot box? We are about to find out.

It always comes down to the “why (get and stop ISIS/ISIL)” and then the “how (U.S. basically alone with a token coalition of ME countries, or the U.S. supporting them for the heavy lifting?”

Most of the public is reluctant to get any major combat unit (the so-called boots on the ground) reengaged in Iraq and a hearty Hell no, not in Syria. But, events may dramatically alter that mindset for you see when war starts at any pace or level, it has a tendency to do its own thing in all sorts of directions.  

It is insane to reengage in Iraq with major units? Let’s ask Einstein shall we?  If not totally insane, then it's damn close. 

Stop back later. We are just getting started.

Friday, September 19, 2014

GOP Tried and Untrue Stale Tactics Vis-a-Vis Mr. Obama

On A Daily Basis

Punt Comes to Mind

Allow me to state the obvious about GOP tactics vis-à-vis Mr. Obama – does it sound familiar?

1.  Attack him anyway possible 24/7 = harsh, steady, vicious, and relentless.

2.  When that fizzles, or turns out to be false or a completely dead end, what do they do? They withdraw (mostly back to FOX) without so much of a whimper or apology, and then.

3.  They start all over again at step #1, with a new topic (or many cases, the same old topic from months ago, i.e., Benghazi).  

After another predictable stale approach and outcome, what happens? They direct themselves to take two aspirins with a stiff drink, and then right back at it (step #1, and...).

Well, I think you get the picture. Kind of pathetic isn't it (the 24/7 part).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): Two Faces and One Mind (Need More War)



Sen. Graham Hits the Sunday Talk Shows
(ala 2014)

Sen. Graham during the 8-years in Iraq 
(Under Geo. W. Bush)

On those Sunday Talk Shows (recently):

Says there must be a substantial U.S. component on the ground in Syria in order to defeat ISIS/ISIL all the while he typically blasts President Obama: 

“This idea that we’re never going to have boots on the ground in Syria is fantasy. All this has come home to roost after the last three years of incompetent decisions. It’s delusional in the way they approach this.”


Memo to Sen. Graham and his partner in slime: Make up your frickin’ minds.



Friday, September 12, 2014

War on Women and War on the Poor: GOP Says No — Pay Attention

Remember Him: Russell Pearce


Here is the headline:

AZ GOP vice-chair calls for sterilizing poor women: If you want a baby, get a job

“You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job,” Pearce said on his weekly radio show.

Some background information for starters comes from a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute that details the extent of 2011’s war on Women’s Reproductive Rights. That war is worse now and if the GOP gains total control of Congress, well, as they say “Katy, bar the door.”

I assume this is Katy???

Also, from Alternet that lists the 10 worst states in which to be a woman.

Then take your pick from any of these on this list ... 

“Finally this pretty good assessment from here, in part: A warning to the women of America: If Republicans win control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections this fall it will be a powerful victory for the war on women, with consequences that will be severe and long-term. A large majority of women know this. The question is, will they will vote in November?”

The GOP War on Women and the Poor – believe it – it’s real and it's in our collective face.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

GOP on the Sidelines (Wanting it both ways): Hypocrites Par Excellence

Possible New GOP Poll (sure seems like it)

Former GOP Senate Candidate's View of his Party
(as if we didn't already know)

Here's the deal: First, the GOP en masse, blasts Mr. Obama for being weak, indecisive, and well, just in a funk as it were about his CINC duties. 

Now, after he gained support from 9 NATO/EU partners and 21 of the 22 Arab league nations, all willing to pitch in and help fight against ISIS, what do they want to talk about. 

Um ... let's ask Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) shall we. He's back from his 5-week vaca all tan and bronzed up saying just today: “The American people still want to know where are the jobs.” 

Whoa ... hang on there, Mr. Speaker. How about we chalk this up to another GOP WTF moment in a long line of other GOP WTF moments shall we? I mean if you really are an honest broker, which it looks like you are not.

Excellent discussion here from HARDBALL:


Stay tuned and watch Mr. Obama tomorrow night ... then listen to the GOP fall out ... it outta be a hoot. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Frag Order for SEAL Team-6: New Target, Details to Follow, Prep Time

Al-Qaeda "Leader" Ayman al-Zawahiri (recent video)
(Note: He has some sort of scar on his forehead. It makes a great bulls eye)

Media headlines are starting to splashing around the Globe like this from the UK - Daily Mail:

Waging Jihad against America is (still) primary goal of al-Qaeda with new Indian terror group (AQS)
  • New al-Qaeda wing say their goals include “waging Jihad against America” 
  • Add that they want to establish “Sharia-based governance” in audio speech 
  • Comes after al-Qaeda in India announced their formation earlier in the week
  • Ayman al-Zawahiri said group would fight for an Islamic state in the country
  • He said his group had been preparing for years to set up in the region
  • Some say it's part of an effort to win back media attention from ISIS
 Nuts and bolts (with emphasis on the nuts): 

A new wing of global terror group al Qaeda which has formed in India, could be set to target the United States.  It comes after the group, who have been named al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) released a video earlier this week announcing their formation. Al-Zawahiri says they will “raise the flag of Jihad across the “Indian subcontinent.”

The ISIS flag and now the AQS flag on full display — okay how about this flag or any other sub-TEAM flag of our unique DEVGRU you frickin' a-holes - um, how about that?


We all kinda remember how old bin (your previous "leader) was well... how shall I put this as delicate as possible: dispatched to those 72 Virgins as it were.

Our rally call is simple in that regard:

N E X T * I N * L I N E * P L E A S E (step right up).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Need World Solution for Bad World Situation: Engage & Defeat ISIS

ISIS Leader and Caliph-in-Waiting: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and their Rally Flag

100% Correct - I Totally Agree


Updated (*based on the NY Post front page above and below from NY Times), which I also agree with:

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman reminded readers recently that ISIS emerged from a context of three civil wars raging in the Arab world, which makes the U.S. response incredibly complicated. He urged caution, writing in part that, “ISIS is awful but it is not a threat to America's homeland.” … continuing he wrote:

I'm all-in on destroying ISIS. It is a sick, destabilizing movement. I support using U.S. air power and special forces to root it out, but only as part of a coalition, where everybody who has a stake in stability there pays their share and where mainstream Sunnis and Shiites take the lead by demonstrating that they hate ISIS more than they hate each other. Otherwise, we'll end up in the middle of a God-awful mess of duplicitous allies and sectarian passions, and nothing good we do will last.”

Who can logically answer this question: “Why is it safe or otherwise appear to be safe in assuming or saying that ISIS fighters — well-armed, with lots of money, U.S. and EU passports in many cases, and having and displaying a thirst for American blood on display with the public execution of the two American journalists: James Foley and Steven Sotloff — won't bring the fight directly to our shores?”

ISIS is not a case or set of circumstances that warrants any kind of containment or deterrence – not one bit. They have to be totally wiped out and off the face of the Earth, and that must be in harmony with an international coalition of like-mined countries focused on that same single goal.

The U.S. can and must set the example and lead. The “how part” is always the toughest part. Just “how” deep should our involvement be? “How” much must we invest compared to the countries in that region where ISIS is in literally operating in their back yard. 

There is a lot the U.S. can do… but shedding more blood like we did in Iraq and continue to shed in Afghanistan – well, that’s very different kind of “why” isn’t it? 

Original post from here: Based on everything I have read, seen, heard, and know about the ISIS movement across Syria and most Iraq and especially the awful gruesome sights of them killing the two American journalists warrants this post:

This latest from al-Baghdadi:  He has vowed to lead the conquest of Rome as he called on Muslims to immigrate to his new land to fight under its banner around the globe. Baghdadi, who holds a PhD in Islamic studies, said Muslims “... were being targeted and killed from China to Indonesia.” He says he speaks as the first Caliph or commander of the Islamic faithful since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Now he is calling on Muslims around the globe to rally to his pan-Islamic state.

He says, he believes, he wants – ha. Who cares what this blood-thirsty madman thinks or wants? What lies ahead for that region and peaceful people in the path of ISIS now? Right now no one knows for sure. We wait to see what actions the U.S. will take. Here are a few points I stand by and I hope Washington will discuss. I also hope Congress comes back into session now and ends their 5-week vacation and meets this challenge along side President Obama.

My thinking tracks along these lines. See if you agree or not with the points raised here:

1.  War should not be our first, second, or even third choices. However, war may be necessary in cases where we are up against an ideology or over zealous religious perspective that acts the way we see it acting today – that in short, denies any logical reasoning.

2.  Certainly going to war in cases or in response to attacks such as Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are totally justified.

3.  Fighting against Nazism and Japanese Imperialism in World War II are classic examples which highlight the need for strong, united, direct, and decisive military intervention no matter the cost; no matter the time; and no matter the suffering along the way. 

4.  Not acting in those cases benefit the attackers and their goals and not those of freedom-loving decent people – thus we cannot allow ourselves or our citizens to become slaves or cowards in the face of that kind of thinking.

5.  I do not advocate a hawkish national policy across the board, either. Simply stated: we must be prepared and ready and willing to intervene and act if circumstances require or warrant it.

6.  Identifying and clarifying the threat and circumstances to act must be in harmony with public support. That is key.

What we face today, I strongly believe, with the two recent beheading by ISIS of the two American journalists, who are not combatants in any sense of the word, warrant a strong and swift and decisive military action that is not limited in scope, but one that strives to build a like-minded international coalition of free men to act and react full bore to eradicate the ISIS and the threat they obviously present. 

I see no other way.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

LABOR DAY 2014: Simple Concept, Strong Principle, Way of Life

American Workers Have Made and Continue to Keep America Strong
(Whether Union or Not - Support them All)


REMEMBER: The real idea and concept behind Labor Day, and ever since, with rare exception to support the obvious GOP in office, the GOP, in general, still hates Unions, most public employees, public education, all that Labor stands for. Despite all that political turmoil, American Labor Unions have done far more good than bad for the country and middle class. 

LABOR DAY, WHAT IT MEANS:  Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

LABOR DAY LEGISLATION: Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit.

BY 1894: 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of same year, Congress passed an Act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in DC and all American territories.