Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Globe Special: Moments of Silence

Out of respect....

"Activists protest nuclear weapons on anniversary of bombings" by Reenat Sinay and Laura Krantz Globe Correspondent | Globe Staff  August 06, 2016

ARLINGTON — Despite heavy humidity and a light rain, antiwar activists gathered in the town center Saturday morning to protest nuclear weapons and commemorate the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

About 10 activists held signs as drivers honked for them on busy Massachusetts Avenue. Homemade posters read: “Never again,” “Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” and “Abolish all nuclear weapons.”

The Arlington event was one of many planned across the state by peace and faith groups to remember the bombings on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945, that killed about 200,000 people, mostly civilians. Many died immediately and others perished later from burns, radiation, and other injuries.

A Quaker group in Cambridge planned to float candles on the Charles River on Saturday evening to remember those who died and read an essay by Trappist monk Thomas Merton, “Original Child Bomb,” about the bombing.

On Sunday, a group will ride bicycles around Cambridge to mark the outline of the Hiroshima blast, an attempt to simulate the main affected area if the bomb had been dropped on Cambridge City Hall in Central Square.

“The idea is to show how dangerous nuclear weapons are by bringing them to the eye of the public in a way that makes sense,” said Ofelia Cohen-Odiaga, 16, an event coordinator and senior at Commonwealth School in Back Bay.

(Blog editor whispers that's a good point they are making. Just be careful out there)

In Arlington, the group was overwhelmingly baby boomers and longtime antiwar activists. Many were members of the organization United for Justice with Peace and have held regular protests against nuclear weapons and violence since 2002, in response to the military escalation post-9/11 and the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

Susan Teshu, 60, of North Cambridge, said she believes the lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still relevant. “It’s important, especially as we’re getting further and further from when it happened, for people to understand that this is a real possibility,” she said.

Steve Stodola, 74, of Arlington, said he worries about government spending on nuclear weapons and what might happen if they are in the hands of the next president. “There’s a probability that it could be used again if the wrong people get into office,” he said.

(What could he mean by that?)

The US government is expected to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years on a creating new nuclear weapons. Russia and China are also building new weapons.

(Makes Obama a real hypocrite and the smaller the better, right?)

John Bach, an organizer of the Quaker event, said he worries about the use of depleted uranium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear weapons that is also dangerous and has been used as a weapon.

“We think that Hiroshima Day is a very appropriate time to remember the horrors and insanity of nuclear weapon policy,” said Bach, who is also a member of the Massachusetts Peace Action group, which is coordinating the week of remembrance events.


You know, there was once a day where I would have gushed over the Globe presenting this piece and would have been so happy. That was a long time ago.

Members of the Arlington chapter of United for Justice with Peace hold signs in Arlington Center in protest of nuclear weapons on Massachusetts Avenue.
Members of the Arlington chapter of United for Justice with Peace hold signs in Arlington Center in protest of nuclear weapons on Massachusetts Avenue (Reenat Sinay for The Boston Globe ).

In responding left to right: yes, yes, no, yes, no, yes, yes, yes. 

I'm opposed to the elimination of them unless Israel has to give up theirs (don't want to be blackmailed any more than we are with them in control of the planet) and because the U.S. never invades countries that have them. 

Nevertheless, I want to thank those people that showed up and did that. The collective conscience of the community there. 

Also see: Nuclear Option 

It's being entertained in regards to China. 

You know who might be using them, right?

"Trump’s profoundly disturbing stance on nukes" August 07, 2016

When the United States first used nuclear weapons against the blockaded, staggering remnants of the Japanese Empire, it was a destabilizing event, and those who sought power by riding the back of the tiger didn’t, as John F. Kennedy warned, end up inside. 

Look at them quoting JFK now (he was wrong, of course)! 

At least they half-admitted to the war crimes re: Japan.

Oh, right, shhhhhh!

The Trump campaign has denied that the candidate asked one of his national security advisers three times during a briefing why the United States can’t use nuclear weapons. But such questions wouldn’t be surprising. For a presidential candidate to simply utter those thoughts is profoundly destabilizing in a world that’s already being squeezed by powerful forces. The postwar period, for all its chaos and bloodletting, has been marked by a stability in the global order that 15,500 nuclear weapons today underpin. Ninety percent of those weapons belong to Russia and the United States.

To consider the fear at the point of the nuclear holocaust™ spear an underpinning of global stability seem off to me. 

Beyond that razor's edge, go ask the people in the proxy countries that were let with blood how much of a "Cold War" it was.

Our delicate international equilibrium rests on decades of formal international agreements and treaties, all based on the informal principle that future use of these weapons is morally reprehensible. American security rests on a long-settled calculation that other nuclear powers won’t risk their own annihilation by launching a first strike. Foreign powers are secure when they firmly believe the same about us. Anything that shakes those convictions undermines American and global security.

Deterrence has been the arbor under which liberal democracy has flourished since the implosion of the Soviet Union. Led by human rights activists like Sakharov, it took root first in Lithuania, the first country to declare independence from the collapsing USSR in March 1990. More than a dozen democracies emerged from the wreckage of Soviet Communism, but they are still prisoners to geography. Ukraine and Georgia have both lost portions of their nations in recent years to an expansionist Russia committed to conquest by baby-step and avoidance of nuclear confrontation.

As Reagan once said to Mondale, "There you go again!" 

It's an expansionist Russia as NATO bellies up to the border.

Trump was asked recently if he would defend Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia — all NATO allies — against a Russian invasion. His answer will cost the American diplomatic community a small fortune in dental work, once they’ve retrieved their jaws from the floor. “Right now there are many countries that have not fulfilled their obligations to us,” he said, casting doubt on Washington’s commitment to the alliance it founded.

Yeah, that set of alarm bells among the New World Order globe-kickers.

The precedent of abdicating treaty obligations bodes ill for the future of the global nuclear truce. If basic continuity is no longer a fundamental US strategic objective, what’s to stop other nations from misreading our intentions? If leaders are blindly reckless with their language to the point we can’t take them at their word, what does that say about the clarity of their thinking? 

I can't help but wonder about the clarity of thinking of a newspaper that front paged war lies leading into Iraq that now wonders why we don't take it at its word.

In the final analysis, Trump’s question about the use of nukes is frightening not only because he is said to have repeatedly posed it. It is frightening because the answer to the question is that nothing prevents the leader of any nuclear state from using nuclear weapons....

Well, one thing might.

"Incendiary language cannot only provoke and provide rationalization for extreme outcomes, but it also has less dramatic, long-term deleterious impact. It diminishes respect and trust, destroying efforts at compromise. It fosters deep resentments and separates us, subverting the search for common ground and any hope of consensus. We are currently witnessing the cynical stoking of an ugly environment of hatred and fear. As the final 100 days tick away, it’s important to appreciate the possible consequences of this type of toxic discourse. It’s sobering and instructive to look to another pivotal political moment, in another fractious and imperfect democracy, Israel...."

I'm surprised to see the Roy Cohn connections referenced there, but the the correlation in the piece opposite this editorial is the Rabin assassination! 

So a right wing lone nut gunman is going kill Trump?

Is that what the Globe was trying to infer?


I'm surprised North Korea was never mentioned?


"If the unthinkable comes to pass and Donald Trump really does become president of the United States, you might cast the blame on the voters of America, or the Republican party, or Hillary Clinton’s unlikability index."

I can't see it happening (shudder), but I reject the apportionment of blame by you-know-who. 

Let's now take a look at the Hillary Clinton foreign policy platform:

"This election, it’s foreign policy, stupid" by Indira A.R. Lakshmanan   July 29, 2016

There’s a reason Bill Clinton’s strategist didn’t coin the phrase, “It’s the foreign policy, stupid.” In the 1992 election and virtually any in recent memory, it’s the economy, not national security, that has decided the outcome. But this time could be different — and not just because terrorism and foreign policy rank now right below the economy as top issues for three out of four voters. Against a backdrop of barbaric violence executed by ISIS, a grinding war and refugee crisis spilling from Syria, a morphing threat radiating from Russia, and a nuclear-armed sadist running North Korea, the orange-haired, thin-skinned, wild-eyed bull elephant in the room is Donald Trump.

For former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the vast, bipartisan foreign policy and military collective that’s decided to back her, making the case that Trump is dangerously unqualified and temperamentally unsound to hold the nuclear codes is easy. All she and her surrogates at the last week’s Democratic National Convention had to do was cite Trump’s own unfiltered spew of consciousness. Every day he upchucks a frightening new uninformed and cockamamie rant on foreign policy.

Yeah, she has all the Bush neocon war hawks on her side and its Trump that is the danger. 

She has led the country into the messes of Libya and Syria and it is Trump that is the danger. 

Last week he egged on Russia to hunt for his opponent’s e-mails in a bizarrely reimagined Watergate cyber-burglary abetted by a foreign adversary. Before that, he threated to abandon NATO allies under attack. He’s professed admiration for notorious anti-American autocrats including Saddam Hussein, wondering on Twitter if Vladimir Putin might be his new BFF. He’s vowed to order our military to commit illegal torture and kill enemies’ wives and children. He says he knows more about ISIS “than the generals,” and he’s “speaking with myself” on foreign policy, because he has “a very good brain.”

Where do I begin?

The e-mails

Saddam Hussein once being our guy until H.W. double-crossed him?

Torture and the killing of women and children?

Trump has yet to do any of those.

It’s that kind of crazy-talk, so far outside the most broadly-defined mainstream encompassing every foreign relations school of thought of the last half-century, that prompted 120 Republican foreign policy greybeards to denounce him “utterly unfit for office” in an open letter in March. Last Wednesday, billionaire Independent and ex-mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg suggested Trump is insane, and Vice President Joe Biden declared no nominee “has ever known less” about national security than Trump. 

That's when the bloom fell off for me, and maybe that's why he won the nomination and has a 50-50 shot at the presidency.

On Thursday, surrounded by a phalanx of star-studded military brass, retired Marine General John Allen, the usually understated ex-deputy chief of US Central Command, made an impassioned appeal for Clinton that was as much a rejection of Trump, to make sure “our armed forces will not become an instrument of torture” and “our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction.”

That was the coronation, right?

After every unhinged assertion Trump has made about the world, it’s easy to understand why so many national security thinkers across the political spectrum — probably more than any other group — have decided to support Clinton, or at least stay home. The more challenging case her campaign needs to make to the public is a positive appeal for her as a leader not just with a thick resume and time logged in the situation room, but with good judgment to match.

In the eyes of many Democrats, her original sin was supporting George W. Bush’s Iraq War, a Senate vote that she called, as she cast it, “the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make” — and which she now calls a mistake.

No, it was a war crime because people were hollering about it in the streets and we knew it was a pack of lies. That's what started this whole rotten journey. The mistake bit is the limited hangout of a conventional myth narrative.

As the nation’s top diplomat, she was a loyal lieutenant for the policies of President Barack Obama, who kept a famously tight grip over national security. Sure, she supported Obama’s decision to launch the nail-biting raid that took out Osama bin Laden. And yes, she backed sanctions that forced Iran into nuclear negotiations and pushed Obama to boost US troops in Afghanistan and launch airstrikes in Libya. But those decisions were ultimately the president’s, and no, we can’t know precisely what Clinton’s own foreign policy would be.

Her main job then was Obama’s global ambassador, mending frayed alliances and a damaged US image following the Iraq War, and reaching out to adversaries where there might be openings. She didn’t achieve Middle East peace, but neither has any president or secretary of state before her. She didn’t clinch the Iran deal, but Iran wasn’t yet ready yet to make concessions. She didn’t end the Syria War, but she wasn’t the one deciding how much or how little to do. I traveled in her press corps for the four years she was secretary and watched her focus on more achievable goals: global women’s empowerment, youth civic engagement and Internet freedom, patient climate talks, and US trade and investment overseas. On those issues, she was pretty successful.

So how might her foreign policy differ from Obama’s? I’d say more at the margins than in the main. She’d seek to smooth relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose leaders clashed with Obama over Jewish settlements and the Iran deal. She’d probably favor more proactive military deterrence of Russian and Chinese regional aggressions. She might pursue a much-discussed no-fly zone in Syria, though that’s still a concept absent any viable strategy.

In other words, the continuation of the neocon, neo-lib plan for world domination.

The larger problem for Clinton is that the world faces a host of Humpty-Dumpty problems and long-term asymmetrical threats like terrorism, cyberwar, and sectarian conflict that can’t be fixed by any US president. “The world today is divided into root canal operations and migraine headaches — you take your pick of which you want to take on,” said Aaron David Miller, who worked with six secretaries of state. If Clinton’s elected, whether it’s ISIS, Russia, China, or something else, she’ll confront problems that don’t have solutions — only outcomes.


That pimped pos was absolutely frightening. 

RelatedTrump is coming for our identity, America

That's the great debate: would you rather be ripped apart by a cougar or hammered by a bear

Ooh, ooh, the damage done....

"Trump and the damage done" by Joseph E. Stiglitz   August 04, 2016

One of Donald Trump’s slogans is “Make America Great Again.” The irony is that probably never before has a presidential candidate done so much damage — damage that will be hard to repair even if he is not elected.

In a democracy, each elected government has the intrinsic right to change policy; each president has the right to try to persuade Congress to support his priorities. Thus, in a democracy, a “commitment” is always temporary, but the credibility of a country and its government is based on confidence that there will be sufficient continuity among successive governments. Historically, in the United States, foreign policy has been largely bipartisan. At its base, such continuity is based on the premise that there is a broad social consensus. Governments seek to achieve political sustainability of the policies that they enact by working to achieve broad support, often through compromise and cooperation among all elements of society.

Regrettably, the Republican right has sought to polarize the United States. They enacted, sometimes with support of conservative and center-left Democrats, policies that led to the “great divide” between the rich and poor in the United States — to the point where median income, adjusted for inflation, of a full-time male worker is lower than 40 years ago, the hourly wage at the bottom comparable to levels 60 years ago. It is not a surprise that there are many angry people who see the economy not working for them.

Trump has exploited this great divide, announcing a striking change in US policies toward others. Trade agreements will be broken, so too will NATO agreements. Everything is to be renegotiated — even the US debt. Trump, in his own dealings, never seemed to have believed that a man’s word was his honor. A contract, a promise to pay, was just the beginning of a negotiation.

Yeah, that made the banker's ears perk up and the only contract not involuble are health and pension contracts negotiated by unions. 

(NDU: America’s looming debt decision $ee who the Globe gave space to rebut?)

Unless Trump is ignominiously defeated, with something like the landslide that defeated Barry Goldwater, the fact that Trump has done as well as he has — that he has received the nomination of one the two major parties, the Grand Old Party — puts all countries on notice: Next time, someone as or more extreme may be elected, someone even less committed (if that is possible) to honor old agreements.

Whether Trump likes it or not, the world has become highly interdependent. No country can solve the problems it faces — let alone the problems the world faces — on its own. Whether the United States likes it or not, it will be affected by global warming and climate change; there will be huge economic and social costs associated with weather variability. Terrorism is a global threat. Diseases move across borders, whatever Trump’s oratory. The United States is dependent on imports from other countries for many raw materials that do not exist within its borders. The United States requires cooperation with others for the stability of the global financial system and to enforce the global system of intellectual property.

But with such interdependence, there is a need for global cooperation. Such cooperation can’t exist if there isn’t a basic element of trust and confidence in one another. Trump has issued a strong warning to all other countries: You can’t trust me or any agreement I make. And Trump’s success — with the support of even seemingly “reasonable” Republicans, like Paul Ryan — has demonstrated that the problem is not just Trump. It is a problem with America. Others are asking, “Can America be trusted? Is its word its honor?” Trump has given a triumphant answer of American exceptionalism. He has said no.

When has AmeriKa honored its word? 

The last half century has been spent double-crossing people when it was politically expedient! Can't even count the number of coups on both hands and feet.

Some might say: Hasn’t the United States (like other countries) always acted in its own interests? Isn’t Trump simply speaking honestly, something admittedly unusual in the world of global diplomacy?

This misses the critical issue: Yes, countries should act in their own long-term interest, but that requires trust and cooperation among countries. In ordinary business, cheating, lying, breaking one’s word, reneging on contracts, defaulting on loans might be good in the short run, but a businessman who engages in such policies will lose the respect of others — at least those who value honesty and trust, who will not want to deal with such a person. So, too, for countries.

Exhibit A: Israel.

While the United States has not always been an exemplar of good behavior, never before has anyone in a responsible position suggested that we would renege on our debt.

Even though the U.S. has in its past.

It was odious debt, so $crew it.

The United States has been a strong supporter of the international rule of law. 


We may not always fully live up to our agreements, but we typically do. Countries that violate the rule of law face the risk of sanctions.

Unless they are, you know.

The enforcement of the international rule of law may be imperfect, but it is better than having no rule of law.

What good is an arbitrary enforcement of law? 

That is nothing but tyranny!

We need the cooperation of others. Trump’s success has raised the question: Can the United States be trusted in the long run? Trump has already done enormous damage to America’s reputation. The only way that the US can ameliorate this damage is for its voters to overwhelmingly repudiate Trumpism.

We repudiated Bush and what did it get us?

Joseph E. Stiglitz is a Nobel laureate in economics, university professor at Columbia University, and chief economist of the Roosevelt Institute. He is author of “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy’’ and “The Great Divide.”

Oh, he works for the liberal left outfits favored by the Clintons. Imagine that.


Maybe this will shut me up:

"Clinton broadens effort to woo Republican voters" by Lisa Lerer Associated Press  August 05, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Hoping to capitalize on the criticism battering Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has begun portraying support for her candidacy as a patriotic duty of voters. She’s broadening her message and appealing directly to Republicans to keep him out of the White House.

Our patriotic duty or there is a special place in hell reserved for us?

It’s a twist for a Democratic presidential candidate who has some of the highest unpopularity ratings in history. But aides believe Trump’s controversial campaign and the chaos it’s caused within the Republican Party offers a unique opportunity.

It's another huge middle finger to pwogwessives!

Democrats, including President Obama, have begun arguing that Trump poses a unique danger to democracy. That’s an argument they did not make against Mitt Romney or John McCain, the past two GOP presidential nominees.

As she’s campaigned across the country this week, Clinton has framed the election as a choice between economic growth and demagoguery and insults. And she’s making a point of acknowledging the deep economic anxiety that helped fuel Trump’s rise in the primary polls.

‘‘I know people are angry and frustrated,’’ she said in a speech on a factory floor in Hatfield, Pa. ‘‘I’m not going into this with some kind of rose-colored glasses.’’

A small team is working on Republican outreach at Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., largely focused on fielding calls from Republicans interested in giving money and helping with fund-raising. A more formal effort will launch soon, focusing on wooing uneasy GOP voters at the national and state level.

This week, Clinton picked up the backing of Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive and Republican fund-raiser Meg Whitman, and Representative Richard Hanna of New York, the first Republican House member to back her. Clinton herself reached out to Whitman, her campaign said, and campaign chairman John Podesta is also involved in GOP outreach.

Yeah, I saw that.

Republicans doubt the effort will gain traction. Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, said he didn’t think Clinton has ‘‘a prayer with Republicans.’’

‘‘It’s probably a good strategy for her to try right now. But her negatives are as high as Trump’s negatives,’’ he said.

But some longtime GOP voters appear persuadable, such as Don Campbell, executive director of the National Electrical Contractors Association, a Republican backing Clinton.

‘‘I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. I feel like we are out of control,’’ said Campbell, who met Clinton when she toured a Las Vegas electric company Thursday. ‘‘It’s because of what comes out of his mouth, and there are a lot of people who are making the same decision.’’

Clinton’s campaign doesn’t anticipate a mass movement of what they call ‘‘common-sense Republican’’ voters or elected officials to her candidacy, according to a pair of aides. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to publicly discuss campaign strategy.

Rather, the target is moderates, particularly women, in the crucial swing counties surrounding cities such as Richmond, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio.

The campaign feels bullish about its standing in the more diverse battleground states including Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and Virginia, the aides said. They believe the outreach also could help in whiter, Rust Belt states where the race appears close.

Take a look at the map.

If those efforts are successful, that could mean a blowout victory for Clinton, giving her a clear mandate for her administration and undercutting challenges from Trump, who has already proclaimed the election to be rigged.

Do they really think they can sell that narrative? 

I suppose if they are going to rig the vote they might as well go all in. Maybe we will all believe it because it is so far over the top, huh?

The outreach effort is not limited to her campaign: Allies at Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting her bid, have begun airing an ad in swing states featuring footage of Romney and other Republicans expressing their concerns about Trump’s temperament.

Trump is making no such effort to woo Democrats. The centerpieces of his performance at his rallies have largely remained identical to that of early this year, with little outreach to undecided voters or independents. Republican strategists say Trump’s devotion to his message has affected his campaign’s ability to effectively attack Clinton.

He's already got the Reagan Democrats.

‘‘Her strength is experience. She’s not credible, but she’s got experience and they’re saying this guy is going to screw things up. It’s not a bad place for them to be. Trump can spin out of that, but he’s not,’’ said Republican pollster Greg Strimple....

Media won't let him.


Look who is now vouching for her trustworthiness:

"Warren says Clinton will stay on progressive path despite outreach to GOP" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  August 05, 2016

WASHINGTON — Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, in a telephone interview with the Globe, said she believes Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will keep her primary-era promises to support liberal positions despite her recent efforts to woo Republicans.

She's more naive than I thought.

One aspect of Warren’s behavior may soften: her refusal to participate in so-called hallway interviews with Washington-based reporters covering the Senate.

“We’ll have to see,” said Warren. “I’ve spent these first years focused like a laser on a core set of issues. And tried not to get distracted with offering an opinion on everything that comes along.”

But, Warren added: “I understand the question. It is something to think about.”

However, she still made an argument for keeping mum, noting: “My job is not to pop off on every topic that comes along.” 

Unless it is tweeting responses to Trump.


If Trump wins she is facing deportation.

No matter what happens, readers, I do know that life will spring again although I do not know how?

And with that, I will go silent for this evening.