This, That, and Other Things

Just a few thoughts/questions that recently came to mind …

Does anyone else think the U.S. should offer fire-fighting assistance to Australia in the wake of the terrible wildfires that are literally destroying parts of that country?

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I’m not at all versed in the financial end of politics; however, Keith and Scottie recently had a brief conversation related to government economics. I found the following comment by Keith a learning moment.

Obama did not reduce the debt and Clinton only impacted it in a small way for a short time. BUT, they did reduce the annual deficit, the annual accounting of revenue and expenses. In fact, Clinton handed a small surplus budget to Bush which was a huge statement of accomplishment. Bush then gave it a way with an ill-advised tax cut which his Secretary of the Treasury argued against doing and was fired. Obama’s reduction in the deficit was largely due to the sequestration due to the impasse on the debt ceiling. They put something in place in case no deal could be reached. No deal was reached and cuts were made.

While all of this was going on, the debt continued to climb. So, yes Clinton made huge strides to reduce the deficit. Obama made some strides, but could have done more. What should be noted about Clinton’s changes is more jobs were created under his watch than any other president by far. Yet, it is clear, both Bush and Trump have done very little to impact the deficit and debt. 

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Does anyone else agree that there will be some notable repercussions (possibly within our borders) from the recent killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic?

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Why is it OK for Christians to try and pass laws to prevent abortion (which is a woman’s liberty) but they get very angry when they feel their “religious liberties” are being threatened?

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P.S. Comments are also open to discuss issues that you may be wondering about. 🙂

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“Today Was A Good Day”

Yes, today was a good day. A man described as the “most-wanted human rights criminal in the world, responsible for the murder, torture, rape and oppression of tens – even hundreds – of thousands of people” was eliminated.

HOWEVER, it was not, as President Trump asserts, by the action of U.S. Forces. Rather, it was by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s own hand as he detonated the suicide vest he was wearing. While there is little doubt he was forced into this action as the result of a raid on his compound, it was not a direct kill.

No, this man ran for safety. And when he knew he was cornered, he took his own life. Sadly, there were children with him … and they also died.

Yet, as always, Trump has reveled in his own self-praise as he’s told the world how HE directed the kill of a major terrorist. (Although in true Trump style, he did direct a word of thanks to his buddy, Vladimir Putin.)

Undoubtedly, Trump and his sycophants will now claim the world to be a safer place without this man, but we must ask … is it?

As this article proclaims:

The Islamists are not going to disappear or give up just because Baghdadi is gone. Indeed the very same vainglorious Donald Trump who took obscene personal credit for his death has put Isis back in business by his withdrawal of American forces from Syria and giving Erdogan the green light to beat the hell out of America’s Kurdish allies. Now hundreds of hardened, trained, ruthless and cruel Isis fighters have been let loose in the region, at liberty to attack US forces and their allies wherever they find them, and to take fresh terror campaigns into Europe.

There’s little doubt that Trump believes the action he took to eliminate Baghdadi was a far bigger and more prestigious deal than that which was carried out by President Obama when he terminated Osama Bin Laden. However, what he fails to realize is that neither he nor former presidents have eliminated the hydra of militant Islamist terror and aggression.” Just because Baghdadi is gone does not mean the Islamists are going to disappear or give up. Another leader will soon arise. To think otherwise is foolish and misguided.

The referenced article concludes:

Depressingly, we also know that Trump will milk the death of Baghdadi for all it is worth, all the way to polling day: A great day for his country, Trump said, though he meant a great day for Trump. The war on terror is not over – let alone won.

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Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

How Secure Is Our National Security?

Following is a comment I made that was prompted by a post related to tRumpsky’s selection of John Bolton as his new National Security Adviser.

I can’t help but wonder … are the “deplorables” so enthralled with their elected leader that they truly think he can do no wrong? Do they actually believe bringing on the war-monger Bolton is a “good thing”? And that we’ll just go in and “whup” No. Korea’s ass if Kimmy-baby tries to give us any more BS? And while we’re at it, we’ll just show Russia and Iran who’s boss as well?

If they truly support this perspective, have any of them considered that American just might not come out unscathed? Or are they so enthralled with the idea of MAGA that they’ve lost sight of everything else?

These are not rhetorical questions. I seriously question the mindset of those who are so enamored with the current POTUS (and Faux News) that they sincerely believe America is going to be the “winner” if we take a militaristic view towards other countries.

P.S. Even though tRumpsky leans towards a more pacifist view regarding Russia, Bolton has long been a Russia Hawk. It will be interesting (for lack of a better word) to see how things play out once the two of them sit down and discuss the situation face-to-face.

Reblog: Tough Talk from our President?

More than once, this guy has put my thoughts into words … and he does it extremely well.

Ends and Beginnings

“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.” – Donald Trump tweet 4-11-17

According to Donald Trump’s son Eric, the President ordered the launch of 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian government air base in large part because his daughter Ivanka was “heartbroken and outraged” by the images of children being “sprayed down by hoses to keep their skin from burning.” Certainly I agree, as a father nothing is more difficult to view than pictures of children that have been harmed in any way.

But how about the pictures of thousands upon thousands of children behind fences in refugee camps. Or the video of children trudging through a wasteland of sand trying to find a home beyond the range of bullets and bombs. Why don’t those images tug at Ivanka’s heartstrings? Trump’s 59 cruise missiles were…

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Trump and Those Nasty Terrorists

I admit, I’m not all that familiar with the “military operations” conducted by the U.S. and/or other countries. But from what I’ve read and heard, I do have grave misgivings about our (I’m Like A Smart Person) Orange Leader and his declarations about how HE is going to rid the world of “Radical Islamic Terrorists.”

An example (to me) of his inexperienced and reckless actions was his recent decision to deploy hundreds of U.S. marines in Northern Syria. According to this article in The Guardian,  his decision is “high risk foolishness.” It points out that tRump is putting …

relatively inexperienced American soldiers into the middle of a highly toxic, multi-fronted battlefield that includes combat-tested Kurdish militias, Syrian army troops, anti-regime fighters and Russian, Iranian and Turkish forces.

It further points out that this …

simplistic idea, promulgated by Trump, that Isis and its warped jihadi ideology can be annihilated by force is foolish and naive.

The article concludes:

Trump’s Syrian intervention is “fraught with risk”, Robert Ford, former US ambassador to Damascus, told the Washington Post. “It is a huge policy change.” The potential for military escalation or “mission creep”, if and when US ground troops get into trouble, is obvious, vast and worrying. Northern Syria is a quagmire. Trump just jumped straight in.

Quite frankly, any decisions this man makes related to military actions worries me greatly. His stance related to No. Korea and its nuclear aspirations is another example. And his “friendliness” with Russia is disconcerting as well.

Unfortunately, it is what it is (at least for the time being). I guess all we can hope for is no foreign power ever questions his education, how strong he is, what a winner he is, how tough he is, his tremendous successes, how amazing he is, what a terrific job he’s doing, his leadership abilities, or his ability to build classy buildings … (taken from “Donald Trump’s 20 Most Frequently Used Words“). Otherwise, we’d better duck and cover and hope we live to see another day.