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Topics - Kasandra

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General Comments / Washington DC Statehood
« on: June 26, 2020, 05:07:34 PM »
There are a number of possible resolutions to giving state citizenship to the residents of Washington, DC.  Here's an overview of the issues. All solutions I've seen carve out the area comprising the federal buildings, but not the population of the DC area.

* Make WDC the 51st state
* Give the land back to Maryland or Virginia
* Give WDC semi-state status with voting rights in Congress.  Different proposals have been discussed.

Reasons given to oppose,

* Making it a state would add to the Democratic Party membership in Congress.
* The state would be 3rd smallest by population, adding to the imbalanced influence of small states on Congress and the electoral college
* The federal government would be surrounded by the new state and dependent on it for services and commerce

Yea or nay?

General Comments / Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 03, 2020, 09:44:52 PM »
Jim Mattis:

In Union There Is Strength

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled.
The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of
the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are
rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that
all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a
small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of
thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to
our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.
When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to
support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops
taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to
violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to
provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with
military leadership standing alongside.

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that
our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we
should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare
occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we
witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—
between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground
that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and
the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are
a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders
who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.
James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with
a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more
forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a
hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to
militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common
purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before
the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops
before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi
slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American
answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to
surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.
Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not
try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.
Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of
three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the
consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite
without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.
This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it
to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our
promise; and to our children.

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a
renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic
has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the
ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in
hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their
lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their
country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive
authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and
hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our
Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better
angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to
the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country
admired and respected at home and abroad.

James Mattis

General Comments / BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: July 28, 2019, 09:47:47 AM »
Mainly to citizens of America's erstwhile colonial masters (but anyone else who cares to weigh in), what will happen because of Johnson's ascendancy? 

* Will the UK crash out of the EU?  If it does, will the UK prosper as BoJo predicts or flounder economically?

* Will the Pound sterling fall below 1:1 against the US dollar?

* Will Scotland or Wales secede from the Union?

* Will the Irish Republic and Northern Island reunite and secede from the Union?

* Will the NFL and MLB play more games in England because it will become cheap to visit?

What other positive or negative effects do you foresee?

General Comments / Run-up to Brexit and afhe termath?
« on: February 26, 2019, 05:46:16 PM »
Any thoughts from the British members on what the weeks leading up to and immediately after March 29th will be like?  I'll be in Wales up until March 25th and want to know what I should plan for!

General Comments / America Under a Supreme Leader
« on: February 02, 2017, 08:29:02 AM »
Ignoring the 20 Executive Orders Trump signed in his first 10 days, I think it's worthwhile to chronicle events taking place under Trump's Administration going forward that might escape the media's attention due to the smokescreens and distractions that he and his staff try to focus the public's attention on.

The first to mention is the disastrous Seal team raid he ordered into Yemen:

Just five days after taking office, over dinner with his newly installed secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Trump was presented with the first of what will be many life-or-death decisions: whether to approve a commando raid that risked the lives of American Special Operations forces and foreign civilians alike.

President Barack Obama’s national security aides had reviewed the plans for a risky attack on a small, heavily guarded brick home of a senior Qaeda collaborator in a mountainous village in a remote part of central Yemen. But Mr. Obama did not act because the Pentagon wanted to launch the attack on a moonless night and the next one would come after his term had ended.
As it turned out, almost everything that could go wrong did. And on Wednesday, Mr. Trump flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be present as the body of the American commando killed in the raid was returned home, the first military death on the new commander in chief’s watch.

Mr. Trump on Sunday hailed his first counterterrorism operation as a success...

A senior administration official said on Wednesday night that the Defense Department had conducted a legal review of the operation that Mr. Trump approved and that a Pentagon lawyer had signed off on it.

Mr. Trump’s new national security team, led by Mr. Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a retired general with experience in counterterrorism raids, has said that it wants to speed the decision-making when it comes to such strikes, delegating more power to lower-level officials so that the military may respond more quickly. Indeed, the Pentagon is drafting such plans to accelerate activities against the Qaeda branch in Yemen.

The highlighted text indicates that Trump will delegate the life-and-death responsibility for military action to General Flynn who will then delegate it to operational military in the field.  What could go wrong?  We have a first example here.

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