FBI REPORT ON KAVANAUGH

This list was on Fox news today.  It explains what will be done with this finished report.

  1. Only one copy will be sent to Capital Hill.
  2. Only senators and 9 staffers can view it.
  3. It will be stored in the “Senate Judiciary Committee” safe.
  4. The White House will view findings first.

In other words, the entire FBI investigation has been what Trump allowed to be investigated and even with that, he has to “view the findings first” before releasing to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Trump had the power to:

  1. Tell the FBI what witnesses could be interviewed and told the FBI not to interview Kavanaugh or Dr. Ford.
  2. Tell the FBI how many days to take for this investigation.
  3. In public, Trump has said Kavanaugh was innocent, before the FBI report has even been completed.
  4. Trump has had help from Sen. McConnell as to what is to be allowed in this investigation and what isn’t.

Ask yourself this.  Is this democracy or is it “a dictatorship”?

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Living With Cancer

This is only one experience of the many people with cancer have.

The diagnosis of “most likely” cancer left me numb and speechless. I had a “mass” in my kidney. The urologist said she could not do a “biopsy” for fear of it spreading if it was cancer.  The only way to tell was to have the kidney removed to see if it was cancer. She said she was going on vacation & we would discuss this when she came back. This was in November, 2016.

Meantime, I had unexpected emergency colon surgery in December, 2016 so I did not have the kidney removed until I was recovered from that surgery. My doctor/surgeon is a specialist in cancer of the kidney and I had the kidney removed May, 2017.  I was so relieved to have that over with. The surgery went very well so the recovery did not take as long as anticipated. I went back to my normal life. I was to have a checkup in three months.

Because of scheduling problems with the doctor, the three month checkup turned into five months. During this checkup, the doctor found more cancer.  This time in the bladder. The doctor explained I would need more surgery to have the tumors cut and burned out. I had the surgery.  I had no bad effects from the surgery and recovered quickly.

There was another three month checkup after that surgery.  I never thought for a minute there would be more cancer.  However, there was.  This time there were more tumors, but, “tiny and “less aggressive looking” were the doctor’s words.  I made an appointment for the surgery the following month.

Checking in to verify the appointment for the next checkup, I found out the doctor had made me an appointment for six weeks before the scheduled checkup. I had no knowledge of this appointment being made and wondered what that appointment was for. I called and talked with the nurse.  She told me the doctor had made the appointment for chemo treatments.  I was shocked and cancelled the appointment. I told her the doctor had not discussed this with me and, I wanted him to call me about that.  When the doctor called, I asked about the chemo treatments.  He said it would be three times a week for six weeks!  When I asked the “effects” of this treatment, he casually said “Oh, you may just feel like you have the flu for 2 or 3 days.”  As if it was no big deal!

When I asked what the percentage of the cancer returning was if I had the chemo treatments.  His answer was 50/50. I then asked what the percentage of the cancer returning if I just had the three month checkup and surgery if needed.  Again, his reply was 50/50.  I said since the percentages are the same, I do not want the chemo treatments.  His voice became very “authoritative” and he told me if I don’t have the chemo treatments, the cancer would definitely return and it would be much worse. When I reminded him of what he said about the percentages, he changed that to 80% the cancer would return without the chemo treatments and, again said it would be much worse. Even though he had already said the tumors were “tiny & less aggressive looking” than before. He then said he would do one chemo treatment while I was under anesthetic in the next surgery for removal of the tumors.  I agreed to that since I was going to be recovering from the surgery anyhow.

The night before the next surgery, my doctor called me and said he had a “scheduling problem” and my choice was either cancel tomorrow’s appointment and make another appointment when he could do the surgery or, he knew someone who could do the surgery. Someone, who he said he would trust his own family with. Since I was ready for the surgery the next day, I really didn’t want to cancel it and since he recommended the doctor, I said I would have the surgery done by this doctor.  He also said he decided against the chemo treatment then because he didn’t want to “irritate my bladder any further”.  I didn’t understand why he changed his mind.  Now, I am thinking it was because he knew this was a “fellow” doing the surgery.

Recovering from that surgery took up to six weeks and I still wasn’t 100% back to normal. There was constant pain in most every part of my body. I felt like I had been “stomped on”.  There was also much more bleeding that lasted longer. The catheter tubing was way too long.  I could feel it constantly. It was hard to sit down. I never had problems with the catheter last time and never had problem with my hips until now.  I later found out the Dr. who did this surgery was a “fellow”.  In other words he was a certified urologist but was spending a year at this hospital learning about cancer.  He was “learning” how to do this type of surgery. In effect, I was his “test” patient.

The Dr. had not told me this! At my next three month checkup, I asked the nurse if that Dr. had done this type of surgery before. That is when she told me he was a “fellow and “learning about cancer”.   I told my Dr. about the results and, he just said “I’m sorry”. The test showed more cancer again. The Dr. said they were small.

This time I had to use the catheter for several more days than before. I called the nurse & asked why. The Dr. told her the reason was he had to “go deeper” this time. This leads me to believe the “fellow” Dr. did not get all the cancer last time and so the cancer had four more months to grow and they were now in the lining of my bladder. Of course, I don’t expect my Dr. to agree with that because he would not admit it if it is true.

This time, my regular doctor did the surgery. I didn’t have that much pain for the first couple days. Then it hit me hard and two weeks later I am still dealing with the pain.  The pain meds don’t seem to be working.  I am waiting for the Dr. to call with the pathology report on this surgery.  He pushed chemo treatments again and said these were “standard procedure”.  I said I would think about it and let him know when he called me with the pathology report on this last surgery.  I do expect the Dr. to tell me the cancer is now in the lining of the bladder so it is worse than before. I will spend the rest of my life with cystoscopys every 3 months to show more cancer and a month later for the surgery to take the tumors out until that isn’t enough anymore.

I have had over four months to think about all of this since the “botched” surgery and decided I would not have the chemo treatments. I don’t want to spend even another day feeling ill once I recover fully from this last surgery. I have also decided to stop all forms of treatment for the cancer. This is not living.  This is “existing”.  I will be telling my Dr. my decision when he calls with the pathology report. It has been a month and I still haven’t heard from him.

After I notify the doctor, I will be telling my children my decision so they have time to accept the fact I will die from this cancer. They are such a blessing with their love, caring help and support. I could not have survived these past couple years without them.

I don’t know how much time I have left.  Doctors can only guess at that.  Now that I have made my decision, I feel “free”.  No more Doctors, hospitals or surgery every three months.  No more four or more weeks of recovery from that surgery. I will try to live a normal life as best I can and, enjoy the time I have with my family.  I also feel free from thinking about what lies ahead.  God is in charge of that.

FED UP!

Open letter to Congress:

Stop it!  Stop it right now!!  Quit acting like a bunch of school bullies and straighten out the mess and danger all (yes, all) of you have put America in.

With the exception of too few in congress, you are nothing but a bunch of pathetic sycophants!  There is not a leader among you.  You are not using morality, courage or conscience to guide you.  You are using arrogance, greed and self-service as your guide in all you do.  You have destroyed any trust the people had in you when they voted you into office.  You have made me and, I ‘m sure, many more Americans ashamed of what you have done in our name, not only by the catastrophic domestic policy but the never ending investigations by both political parties that are nothing but “political grandstanding”.  You have no soul.

I want my America back with honest and trusted leaders in the White House, Congress and the Justice Department, who care more for the American people than they do for themselves.  I will vote for that in the mid-term election this year.

LOVE THEM ANYWAY

When people are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered,

Love them anyway

If you do good, people may accuse you of ulterior motives,

Love them anyway

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,

Be honest and frank anyway

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs,

Fight for some underdogs anyway

Give the best you have and you may still get kicked in the teeth;

Give the best you have anyway

And remember, some day every loose end will be tied up,

every good will be noted, every book balanced,

You will get what you have given….and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIRD CHOICE

Our political system is broke.  Americans have only two choices as to who to vote for in congress and for the presidency.  Republican or Democrat. These are the most powerful seats in America.  Our very survival depends on what they make into law.

Everyone is aware of what happens when there are only two choices to vote on in an election. Particularly, in a presidential election.  The 2016 presidential election gave us two choices most Americans didn’t want to vote for.  Consequently, we ended up with the president we now have.  Not that the other choice would have been any better.  They both had a lot of “baggage” to bring to this presidency.

In certain states, the two political parties have made rules so you are not able to vote for any other than a Republican or a Democrat in the primaries.  This keeps other choices, like an Independent, out of the system.  This is not democracy.  This is plutocracy.

Another “politician rule” is the use of Super Delegates whose votes count more than any American vote does.  This can throw an election simply with them voting for the candidate their political party has chosen.  This is not based on who is a better candidate.  We all know how the 2016 presidential election turned out.  These “Super Delegates” & Democratic establishment were determined their choice should win. The “head” of the Democratic party in this election was then president, Obama & VP, Joe Biden. They did nothing to stop the entire Democratic National Committee & Hillary Clinton campaign from “rigging” the primaries against Bernie Sanders. Every poll showed Sanders was the candidate Americans wanted and the only candidate who could have beat Trump.  Because of this, the Democrats, a majority of Americans and even some Republicans now have a president they didn’t want.

This all adds up to the need of a third party.  Independent voters need to form a “political party” of their own & get it registered as a “legitimate” political party” so they can vote in every election, just as Democrats and Republicans do. Many people who call themselves Progressives are working hard to get people elected to congress who will help America.  Not the politicians who are funded by large corporations that are controlling our political system now.  This will take time.  They should work just as hard to have an independent party now. This is the only way there will ever be a fair vote in any election.

I hear the voices who say “look what happened with the elections when Independents ran”.  If we would have had a third political party then, where people could actually vote for who they wanted, that would not have happened. It would have given voters a chance to vote for who they truly want.  Not someone each political party’s hierarchy has decided who the candidate should be.  Until Americans have more than two choices in these elections, nothing will change.

 

A great article and must read.

America has done all it can in Afghanistan — more troops won’t ‘win’ us anything

America has done all it can in Afghanistan — more troops won’t 'win' us anything
© Getty Images

There are reports the U.S. Army is readying about a thousand additional troops for deployment to Afghanistan where they will link up with some 14,000 other U.S. service members tasked with an unachievable mission.

At the same time, this news was drowned about by the latest catastrophic attack, a horrific bombing that left more than 100 dead — The United States Central Command Commander General Votel was even nearby — in the very center of a “secure” district of Kabul.

The persistence of such violence after 16 years of U.S. intervention raises serious questions about the need for and ability of the United States military to address what is at root an internal Afghan security problem increasingly disconnected from core American security interests.

I am no stranger to these un-winnable crusades. In early 2011, my own unit flew into Kandahar — part of the last few thousand troops authorized under the Obama “surge.”

This talk of reinforcement, escalation, and “surging” is nothing new. It is history repeating itself.
These next 1,000 soldiers will enter the Afghan maelstrom as no less than the fifth surge attempted by military and political “strategists” who are clearly out of ideas (perhaps because there is no military solution to a fundamentally political problem).

The first was in 2008, as the Taliban overran key rural districts, President George W. Bush “quietly surged” a couple more combat brigades — some 8,000 soldiers — into Afghanistan just before leaving office. Shortly after taking over in 2009, President Obama ordered in 21,000 more troops.

Next, after at least three strategy reviews, Obama announced the deployment of 30,000 additional reinforcements. At peak strength, more than 100,000 American troops fought there. After several drawdowns, Obama left office with troop numbers hovering around 10,000.

Trump then entered office, and though his original “instinct” was to “pull out,” he caved to the generals and instead proclaimed a “new” strategy of escalation  — 4,000 or 5,000 more service members.

Which brings us to the present potential escalation of 1,000 more brave troopers in a paltry “Surge 5.0.”

According to a recent Washington Post report, the extra 1,000 troops will contribute to the current American “strategy” to “bolster” Afghan troops so they can “pound” the Taliban in this spring’s fighting season.

How, a reasonable observer might ask, will a now grand total of 15,000 U.S. troops suddenly “pound” the Taliban when more than 100,000 of America’s finest failed to do so in 2011-12?

Leaving aside the bellicose rhetoric, let’s examine a few difficult, inconvenient facts presented by Washington’s own Congressional Research Service report:

  1. record number of Afghan provinces and districts are under the control of or contested by the Taliban at present — this after over 16 years of U.S. efforts.
  1. Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) combat deaths hit 6,700 in 2016—a rate in which U.S. commanders have labeled as “unsustainable.”
  1. The Taliban has always and will always be able to count on a safe haven in neighboring Pakistan. That’s a formula for perpetual insurgency.
  1. Afghanistan’s economy still cannot support itself. In any given year foreign military and aid accounts for about 95 percent of total GDP, which means Afghan security is unsustainable without U.S. taxpayers funding a significant portion (forever?).
  1. Despite two decades of on-again, off-again drug eradication efforts, in 2017, Afghan opium production reached record levels. The resultant heroin cash windfall funds not only the Taliban, but also “poppy palaces,” mansions built by crooked government officials.
  1. Both the 2009 and 2014 Afghan presidential elections were highly corrupt and tainted. The very legitimacy of our partnered Afghan government is dubious at best.
  1. The U.S. has attempted to foist a powerful presidency and central government on an Afghan society that has been historically built around rural autonomy and devolution. Perhaps Washington will one day recognize the reason Afghanistan has been ungoverned for centuries is because it is ungovernable, not because America’s presence has been lacking.

Furthermore, the legal basis of the conflict is questionable. American soldiers are fighting in undeclared wars authorized by the vague, post-9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

That AUMF — which authorized the use force “against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the [9/11 attacks], or harbored such organizations or persons” — seems wholly inadequate to justify nearly a decade and a half of nation building.

For starters, the vast majority of “Taliban” fighters in Afghanistan today are Islamist nationalists who seek only to expel foreign troops from their lands. They have little to no connection to 9/11 and present no transnational terror threat to the United States. Just as disturbingly, 18-year-old U.S. military recruits patrolling Afghanistan today were toddlers on 9/11.

Some military and congressional hawks might then point to the new ISIS franchise — the “Khorasan province” of the caliphate — entrenched in Eastern Afghanistan.

Except Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, neither the Mesopotamian nor Afghan variety, even existed in 2001, so they can hardly fall under the existing AUMF umbrella.

Congress has a constitutional and ethical duty to either: 1) draft, outline and pass into law a new comprehensive AUMF covering contemporary operations in Afghanistan; or 2) bring American servicemen and women home before any more are killed in a fruitless conflict which is patently not a vital strategic interest.

President Trump’s White House is now the third administration to implement a surge and ask the impossible of those in uniform.

It is long past time to stop believing in surges, leadership changes, and other tired old approaches from the interventionist Washington elite. In Afghanistan policy there is, truly, nothing new under the sun.

Prudent foreign policy realism demands strategists who recognize that there are some wars that just can’t be won, at least within sustainable commitment and costs. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has said as much, admitting “there are problems that are maybe both intractable and of marginal interest to the American people, that do not justify investments of blood and treasure.”

I’d agree, and, in this case, when it comes to Afghanistan — just as in Vietnam — perhaps the more salient question isn’t whether the war is winnable, but, rather, if it is worth fighting at all.


Danny Sjursen is a fellow at Defense Priorities. He served combat tours with U.S. Army reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government. You can follow him on Twitter:@SkepticalVet

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