News Media Fail ** The United States Is Turning Into North Korea

IMG_0091The last few days have been the latest example of how the so-called news media fails our Country, doesn’t do its job and pretty much only focusses on the newest shiny object they see. The relentless coverage of the “historic” “deadly” “life changing” Blizzard is just the showing of the low point of news media in the U.S.

The news media had always been referred to as the 4th estate of the U.S. government. Keeping America informed and keeping its leaders to upholding the truth. In its heyday, the news media brought down a president of the United States of America. Today, it’s CNN Breaking News: it’s snowing. Such a sad state of affairs which hurts just about everyone.

It is a reality and a disgrace that the news media has to focus on profit instead of informing the public. Having the best news used to be a symbol of a great organization. Now it’s all about the bottom line. How much money do they bring in and how to get higher ratings. Really, it’s devastating.

Where has the news media been since 2008 financial meltdown and modern day American Depression? Why has no news outlet fully looked into what exactly happened, why, and how to prevent it in the future? The point would not be to put blame on president Bush, the point would be to see what led to this calamity. President Clinton was involved with his deregulating laws that were put in place after the original Great Depression in the 1920s/30s. Again, the goal is not to ruin Bill Clinton, the goal is for the American people to never have to go through such tragedy.

The news media should be challenging all presidential administrations, whether they be Democrats or Republicans. We all know they failed us on challenging the perfectly orchestrated lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Perhaps if they had done their jobs American people might not have been for that war. And, do not forget, in 2003 Americans were behind that war.

The news media needs to be there to inform, get the truth out and then the American public can decide, by voting, what they want to do. Instead what we get is pandering to get interviews by only saying the talking points the people being interviewed want told.

This is outrageous. This puts the United States in the same league as North Korea. We aren’t hearing the truth, and neither do they. The extremes might be a different, but the concept is the same. “Tell the people what YOU want them to hear/understand/believe. What a disgrace.

Some examples. Many, including myself, have relentlessly condemned the White House for not explaining what #ACA was, how it would work, what the plusses and minuses were of the law. I still blame president Obama for not better articulating this new law and also its massive failure in NYC. But, I equally blame the media. Why weren’t they there to read through the law, report on it, challenge the administration? To me, that’s unacceptable. Not one word from any news outlet about the ACA looked at and judged in its entirety. President Obama himself has said there are many things that can be improved. The news media could have brought them to the forefront.

Another example of complete and total media failure is the state of the U.S. economy today. The media hangs on the headlines that are given and don’t look deeper. They don’t ask why 90% of the Country is extremely anxious about the economy and job security. They don’t mention there are some 40 million unemployed people not included in the 5.6% unemployment rate. They rarely mention that the so called thriving economy and job creation has created predominately much lower paying full time jobs and millions of part time jobs. Their lack of giving the public real news is detrimental to our future. If we looked at this honestly today we could try to fix it.

It’s not to blame president Obama, it’s to make the future better for all of us. When people are out of work, working part time, or earning significantly lower wages the economy stalls, like ours is now. If consumers, workers, don’t have the money to buy things companies don’t hire and there is a downward spiral.

The examples of news media failure are endless. What really happened on 9/11? Why are those 28 pages of the 9/11 report still redacted? Why aren’t we informed that the U.S. created al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIL? If we knew these things we could make better decisions as voters.

As it’s going, we here in the U.S. are fed information that is at best half truthful, non investigated and informative. How does this make us any different than Iran and North Korea?

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Panetta, Obama, Gates, Clinton ** War ** What Is The Best Path Forward?

LRAs everyone knows Leon Panetta has written a book that is highly critical of President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq, his not wanting to hear recommendations from the military and just wanting to ‘get out.’

It surprised me, although I know it shouldn’t, that so many DEMS  dismissed Panetta’s observation as a ploy to sell books. This, to me, is close-minded thinking which I thought the DEMS were above that. You can’t listen to a 40 year loyal public servant, who had lead the Pentagon and the CIA? You think he would tarnish his impeccable reputation for the sale of a few more books? That just blows my mind.

To me, smart people look at every angle, look to see how they can improve, look to see how to make the Country more secure. In my mind people need to stop thinking Obama walks on water and can do no wrong. When you have a strong message like this from an insider it’s time to learn what can be done better. It really shouldn’t be political, but that is a pipe dream and will never happen. And, people who don’t want to know anymore information just go back to their partisan base.

This is a tragedy for our Country; now and in the future. We must learn from successes and failures. We are one Nation and we all want to be safe and secure. Villainizing disagreements will in the end only hurt us.

What Mr. Panetta wrote echoes what Bob Gates, Ryan Crocker and Hillary Clinton have said. If you can’t listen to the top security team around a president, who can you listen to? No one. Open your minds.

What Sec Panetta has said is that President Obama and his team were so eager to get out of Iraq that they ignored the military’s advice of leaving 24K troops in the Country and also the Obama administration abandoned political ties with Iraq. Those are both devastating accusations. Now we hear that the Prime Minister of Iraq was marginalizing the Sunni population, much like Saddam had with the Shia. Where was the United States to help change this?

My goal is for peace in the Middle East and peace everywhere in the world. Ignoring glaring mistakes will never get us there. What if, as the military recommended, Obama left those 24,000 troops. What if those troops were able to squash ISIL immediately and the U.S. didn’t have to go to yet another war and invade yet another Muslim State?

This is the entire point of this piece. Learn from mistakes, understand what is going on and get what will make our Country safer in the future. If you can’t imagine Mr. Obama being wrong you should consider yourself as intelligent as the tea party.

The Left and Right both need to drop their partisan leanings and deal directly with what will make our Country safe, economically stable and not be at war with each other.

President Obama a War Criminal? ** The White House Not Secure** Still Too Big To Fail

IMG_2194Kinda seems like the world is in complete chaos right now. Is there any where on earth where things are going well? From Russia and Ukraine, Syria/Iraq/ISIL, fence jumpers getting deep into the White  House and recently revealed from 2011 another intruder shot 11 bullets some going into the Presidential residence to banks that are still around, still too big to fail and still no investigation into exactly what happened in the crash and meltdown of 2008.

The Wall Street Journal says the crash of 2008 was more severe than the Great Depression. That tidbit of news was ignored by all media outlets.

The latest screaming allegation, from Democrats, is that Barack Obama has committed war crimes, just as George W. Bush did, by invading and bombing Syria without a UN resolution. However convoluted Bush’s invasion of Iraq was, he had strong backing of both branches of Congress. Mr. Obama has not chosen to call Congress back for an immediate vote on authorizing our efforts in Syria. Why? I don’t know, most likely it’s political. That being the worst reason in the world to go to war. Is Obama a war criminal, was Bush, I don’t know I am not a constitutional lawyer. I’d love to hear from one.

What is one to think when the Generals past/present from the DoD say that a) ISIL is not a threat to the United States of America and b) The plan of bombing alone will never result in victory? Whose idea is this?

Why are we all screaming about the threat from ISIL when the intelligence says they pose no threat. Why do we hear from the intelligence community that the threat of ISIL was told to the President over a year ago, and we hear from Mr. Obama the other night on 60 Minutes that the intelligence was faulty and inaccurate?

Doesn’t leave one with much confidence in anyone.

Then we have the very disturbing news of someone jumping the fence at the White House and getting deep into the mansion. Why did the Secret Service feel the need to outright lie to us, telling us that the intruder was tackled immediately upon entering the mansion; when in fact he got all the way to the East Room. The White House should be the most secure place in the Country. We have a President who has unfairly been accused of everything that has gone on, including the weather, and the White House isn’t secure?

That is completely and totally unacceptable.

So, it does seem like we really have a world at war. Any and every place is in turbulence or violence or threat of disease. Then, today’s New York Times has an article about the collapse of Lehman Brothers, one of the catalysts of the financial crash and meltdown of 2008 that cost so many so much.

Since that crash we have seen no investigations. We have seen no one jailed. We have done nothing to prevent it happening again. That, to me, is a disgrace. We should know what caused it to happen, how to prevent it and charge those that were behind so many trillions of dollars of wealth that disappeared. Why hasn’t this happened?

And today, 6 years later the biggest anxiety of the American public is the economy and keeping their jobs. It is obvious that there is no one looking out for the American people and their future interests. I think two voices have been heard wanting to make real change: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

My challenge to you is to think about what would make our world a better place and do you see anyone trying to do that? I don’t. We need major change and it doesn’t come from drinking the kool-aid, it comes from having the right people in place.

Let’s change this. It’s us, and only we can make it better. Let’s do it!

Is It 2014 or 2003? Things Most People Have Missed

IMG_3969Looking through all of the top stories of the most respectable news organizations in the U.S. this morning it was obvious to see that each and every story had something to do with ISIL. U.S. attacks in Syria; U.S. has broad coalition of Arab states; U.S. targets al Qaeda in Syria; U.S. bombing in Iraq has not stopped the momentum of ISIL.

What was missing was a piece or 2 about why attacking ISIL might not be a good idea. This made me immediately flashback to 2003 where the media seemed to encourage the U.S. to invade Iraq. Today, as in back then, there were almost no pieces about not going to war.

President Obama has clearly stated that ISIL does not impose a credible threat to the United States at this time/George Bush pushed shoddy evidence about Iraq’s Saddam Hussein having WMD and an imminent threat to our ‘homeland.’ These two statements just struck me as so similar; so trying to scare the public into agreeing to continuing the ‘war or terror’ for an infinite amount of time.

What Bush said is that we face a clear and present threat. What Obama said is that we do not. If not, Mr. Obama, can you please explain why we are doing what we are doing?

The thing almost everyone has forgotten about, or conveniently don’t talk about is strategy. First, with the current strategy everyone in the military has said bombing alone won’t work. I wrote about my suggestions in my last blog posting, check there if you want to see them. But, if it’s not going to work, and we all know it, why are we doing it? To give the American public the oh so satisfying sense of revenge by seeing bombs dropping?

Secondly, and much more importantly, is that no one talks about the Bush strategy of 2003 in Iraq. This strategy has made the US look completely incompetent, not able to win a war, and a Country not to be feared. When President Bush Sr. went to war against Iraq in 1990/91 he sent 550,000 American troops and 200,000 coalition troops. And had the war completely paid for by our allies. We handily won that war. The a few months later Mr. Bush sent troops back into Iraq for a very limited time and objectives, then brought them home.

In 2003 Bush Jr sent in around 150,000 troops. What no one talks about and no one wants to learn from is that the United States wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen next and that the change of tide of that war happened in 2003. Why weren’t 500,000 American troops there? Before the insurgency struck hold there was tremendous looting of everything in Iraq. Why? Because the US didn’t have enough ground troops to stabilize the area. If Iraq was stable immediately after the fall of Hussein we would see a completely different situation on the ground now.

Now, don’t get me wrong, invading Iraq in 2003 was an asinine thing to do. But, what confounded the problem and made it unsolvable is the utter incompetence of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld to have a strategy that worked. This part of the story should be studied much more because it brings us right back to where we are today.

Our military tells us the bombing campaign alone won’t work. President Obama has ignored that. Ground presence is needed; we seem to think the ‘moderate’ Syrians will help us. No, they won’t. The so called moderate Syrian rebels are the ones that sold the American journalist who was beheaded. What makes people think the arms we give them won’t be stolen by ISIL like they were in Iraq?

I say, time for serious and truthful dialogue about what we face and what are our best options? I haven’t seen/heard of any.

If You’re Going to Do It, Do It Right ** On ISIL, Go Big or Go Home

photoSorry, had to throw in a quote from George Michael! After hearing non stop relentless coverage of ISIL and the American strategy to defeat it I am not impressed and need to speak out.

When you see or hear of a sickening group like ISIL you can take one of two options: the first being, they are not currently a threat to the United States of America, so let them keep killing themselves and let the Middle East fight its own war. Or the second option is to intervene.

Now, leaving them alone and letting the Middle East handle it could entail lots of changes to American policies. For instance, track people who are flying into the U.S. see where they were and if they had been in Syria or Iraq deny them access to the Country. You could give those people in-depth extra scrutiny, but no longer can just a passport into this Country allow you immediate access.  There are many other things the government could do, in applying pressure to our so called allies to stop funding ISIL to the occasional drone attacks like we do in other Countries.

Now, if you want to intervene, what president Obama is suggesting is laughable. The DoD, past and present, has said there is no chance of this plan working without people on the ground. They also say, and I completely agree, stop saying ‘no boots on the ground.’ Don’t ever tell the enemy what you have taken off the table. Because of George Bush’s massive fuck up in not only invading Iraq but also completely mishandling the aftermath the world no longer sees the U.S. as a powerful enemy to fear. They see us as bungling idiots. Because of Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama feels he constantly has to say ‘not boots on the ground.’

President Obama is not blameless here, not in the least. Why are we, the American public, just hearing now that the government in Iraq had been systematically discriminating against and alienating the Sunni population? If that was the case why didn’t the Obama administration step in 2 years ago. And there is always the lingering question of why Obama didn’t leave the 24,000 troops in Iraq that his generals recommended. Yes, I know, Iraq objected, but, could he have tried harder.

Getting back to my point. If you are going to intervene in the current crisis you need to go big or go home. Meaning, send 500,000 American troops into Iraq, get the situation done with and bring them home. Set clear goals and a clear time table that the troops would return. Three months, 6 months. No unending commitment, just go in and do the job. Like in the early 1990s, that much American force is a game changer and will get quick results.

This half way approach is basically a handoff to the next U.S. president since the air attacks are supposed to take at least 3 years. Again, do it right or stay out of it.

I find it particularly appalling that the other Middle Eastern states won’t commit any money or ground troops. Firstly, this is their fight, it’s in their neighborhood and they have the most to be worried about. Also, the U.S. paid for most of the militaries in the region and they are rolling in money. The absolute least Saudi Arabia could do is bankroll the U.S. efforts.

Hearing the UK say that they won’t stand for this and will bring the guilty to justice, but won’t offer any help. What is that? Put up or shut up.

The last place we want to be in as a Country is where we are baited by thug terrorists who release nauseating videos. We are the most powerful nation in the world. Anything we do should be at the time of our choosing and with the strategy we see as best.

Twenty Fourteen Is So Unusual Yet So Familiar ** We Can Change It

IMG_2175Look around the world. Crisis with ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Lebanon in a state of collapse. The United States torn by the latest race crisis and a vicious attacking of a president in his second term.  And, of course, the never ending Israel Palestine peace agreements.

Now, I didn’t really pay much attention to politics until it was thrust in my face on September 11, 2001 when 2 iconic towers that were 3 blocks from my home were demolished and I wasn’t able to return to my home for weeks. Then I started to pay attention. Yes I knew for the bombing in 1993 but killing 6 people was not the goal of the terrorists. It didn’t invoke fear in us New Yorkers or the country in general. 

Flash back to the mid to late 1980s. I was in college and paid little attention to politics. But, what I did hear was, “Reagan taking too many vacation days, Reagan out of touch with every day people.” Flash forward to 1998 with Bill Clinton. He was the victim of a vicious right wing mob mentality. Did he have sex outside of marriage? Yes. Was he not upfront about it. No, he wasn’t. To have the GOP impeach him over this was much more than nonsense and posturing. This was the exact time the Clinton administration was starting to go after bin Laden. Was their attention diverted because of the impeachment? How could it not have been?

Flash forward to 2006 – 2008. Everything Bush did was wrong. He was criticized about being out of touch, his approval ratings were dismal. He was accused of taking too many vacation days.

Flash forward to today. President Obama is being accused of all of the above. And more. If you think Obama walks on water and can do no wrong; stop reading my blog and tweets and get some help. There is no one on the face of this earth who does no wrong and doesn’t second guess themselves. So, Obama is being treated to the same treatment most of the 2 term presidents have been treated to. Don’t take it personally. Get over it.

More importantly is what happens next. ISIL is a serious threat, can Obama get a global coalition together to defeat, dismantle and destroy it? Let’s hope so. Not because we are DEMS or GOP, but because we all should want what’s best for the world. The race issue in the United States, I am not sure how that will be solved. I think the media does a horrific job of making things worse, just to get ratings. We don’t know what happened that day so we aren’t in a position to make a decision. Once we know swift action should be take; with facts in hand.

What can you and I do to make our current and future prospects in the United States better? It comes down to listening with an open mind. Don’t ever be like a Fox viewer who listens to nonsense all day. Hear. Listen. Learn.

When we know the facts we use our greatest power to vote.