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2017/08/03

Despite Secretary of State Tillerson’s assurances, Kim Jong-un has good reason to fear U.S. backed regime change.  Some recent examples are Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad.

2017/07/26

Obamacare prevented insurance companies from rejecting anyone with a preexisting condition.  It also mandated that everyone carry insurance.  Otherwise, people would wait until they got real sick, e.g. cancer, and then apply for insurance.  The "skinny repeal" bill dropped the mandate to have insurance but kept the preexisting condition clause.  Republicans obviously don't know how insurance works.

2017/09/18

Tom Nichols writing for TheHill.com – excerpted from The Week, September 22, 2017

 

Have we faced down the threat from Islamist terrorism?  Or have we surrendered to it, perhaps in ways we don’t even understand?  Osama bin Laden knew in 2001 he could never defeat us by force.  The al Qaida leader wanted to bait us into defeating ourselves – to make us abandon our values and lash out in ways that would make the rest of the world turn against us. Well, mission accomplished.  More than a decade and a half later, Americans remain irrationally obsessed with terrorism.  We’ve spent tens of billions building a new national security state, accepted massive infringements on our privacy and civil rights, and compromised many of the country’s defining principles – all in the quest for an absolute security that isn’t possible. 

 

Ali Soufan writing for the Atlantic.com – excerpted from The Week, September 22, 2017

 

The most dangerous development is the Islamophobia that’s taken root in the U.S., including the in the current White House.  It would delight bin Laden who hoped to turn Americans against Muslims.  He’d also be happy with the deep divisions plaguing American society which make us weaker and more vulnerable.  Meanwhile, Islamist terrorism retains its toxic potency, and myriad extremist groups have sprung up in such failed nations as Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan.  Norm’s note.  We were deeply involved in helping to make Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan failed nations. 

 

2017/11/16

 

Harvey Cushing, doctor who treated WWI casualties in Belgium

 

The landscape has rotted into a moonscape of grays, gashed by trenches and pockmarked by craters.  Mines vomit soil to the sky, and horses and airplane parts lie tangled in the omnipresent mud among mutilated men.  Ypres and Passchendaele are where earlier ideals of military glory die for good.  The war in Flanders has shown the debility of civilization and divulged the "barbarian beyond your starched and studded shirt front."  A half a million men died here between July 31 and November 10, 1917.