Through God's Grace we shall have a Peace Train for all of us.
Monday, September 13, 2021
|Traditionally, the Christian religion has seen|
the yellow butterfly as a symbol of resurrection, a
metamorphosis of sorts, by the Grace of God.
Now that we have withdrawn from Afghanistan, it is a good time for the United States to begin to shed our dystopian, evil doppelgänger self and like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, bloom into our full promise as described in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
What I am suggesting is making a small change, a baby step, away from our norm of what we have become as a nation (See: The Cost of Two U.S. Blunders https://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2021/09/the-costs-of-two-us-blunders.html) by simply assigning a meager portion of our defense budget to fund what could become a revolutionary force for good, The Humanitarian Corps.
The goal is to create a special “SWAT-like” unit to ensure our Democracy under our Constitution; fund it out of our current defense budget; and implement a FDR-New-Deal-like slate of programs to radically change the direction of our nation away from neo-fascists-oligarchy and maintain/improve the lives of all our citizens.Here’s the idea:
|The Humanitarian Corps. Unit Insignia|
Create a new, rapid response, multi-disciplined, counter insurrection force to be activated by state governors and/or federalized by the President, under the command of the Commanding General of the National Guard. Name this unit: The Humanitarian Corps. The Humanitarian Corps. will ensure citizens civil rights and government institutions are protected under the Constitution and laws of the United States.
We nearly lost our nation to insurrectionist on 1/6. Saved because of the quick-thinking valor of a few loyalists, we came within a hair width of witnessing our vice president and members of congress strung up before our eyes on national TV. The full breath of the insurrection, the leaders, and the funding sources may soon be uncovered, but in the meantime, it is obvious we need new tools and tactics to deal with home-grown terrorism, as in this case, obviously inspired and encouraged from the highest office in our nation and by members of congress, as well. Doing nothing literally risks the loss of the Democratic Republic under the Constitution to oligarchy and fascists who have infiltrated not only our highest positions in government, but also our police departments and military.
Ultra-right authoritarians, Trump cultists, Republican Party insurrectionists and white supremacists have compromised local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and elected officials to such a degree that it is unknown whether they will enforce our laws as sworn officers and protect and defend the Constitution. Who then will protect and defend us from our own law enforcement?
Sadly, what we face today is not new. During multiple incidents in the past, U.S. presidents, including Grant, Roosevelt (FDR), Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, were forced to protect citizen voting rights, life, and property, and quell potential fascist insurrection.
However, what is new is that a sitting president of the United States and leader of one of the two established political parties, appears to have planned and encourage the January 6th insurrection of the USA. Further, to this day, he continues to organize and foster insurrection with the overt support of the Republican Party.
To ensure that our democratic republic survives the next ultra-right insurrection we must modernize and expand our "tools" to protect and defend government units and defend voting rights and other civil rights of the people who are victimized by Republican disenfranchisement… those subject to police brutality; those predominantly non-white Americans who cannot depend on their local police or state or even federal law enforcement... to enforce our laws.
A solution could be creation of a specialized "Humanitarian Corps", a new type of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, melded into the chain of command of the National Guard, under command of the U.S. military, with the mission of “quick response” to protect civil rights and our governmental institutions.
This can be a new and unexpected tool of Democracy to counter to the Republican Party, ultra-right, Trumpian authoritarianism, one somewhat akin to the post-WWII Marshall Plan, but vastly more focused on individuals over industry and government.
Once order under the Constitution is restored, we must go further to protect our Democratic Republic using existing resources and execute a relief plan akin to the post World War II Marshall Plan. Under this “Domestic Marshall Plan” we would provide humanitarian relief, education, and training, in situ, to the millions of unemployed, homeless, despairing, Americans who are mired in a never-ending cycle of poverty.
We can do something different today because we have the wherewithal to profoundly change what will happen to people who are truly hurting because of Republican sponsored domestic terrorism, white supremacy, racism, and outright treason. By doing so, by taking a different path, we can stop our national free fall into fascism.
What could comprise The Humanitarian Corps?
Existing resources, historically activated under military command, following post-combat, including military personnel, Department of State personnel, Intelligence agencies, nonprofits, etc. will be melded under the command of the Humanitarian Corps.
We may never be able to defeat the "powers that be – the funders of Republican treason". Still, we can help some of those left in misery due to our systemic failures. "No one left behind", includes the civilians we displace, leave to starve, and die of their wounds - wounds our system permits - e.g., unemployment, poor education, no health care, inadequate housing, poverty, etc. We have the means to change the course of history by allowing our "better angels" to come forward and do what needs to be done to ensure that our Democratic Republic survives the next coup attempts sure to come.
References and Links
Revealed: neo-Confederate group includes military officers and politicians, Jason Wilson, theguardian.com, 28 June 2021.
‘We’re Going Back To The Capitol’: Ex Trump Campaign Official Announces ‘Huge’ Protest, Mary Papenfuss, huffpost.com, 5 Aug 2021.
Day of Rage: An In-Depth Look at How a Mob Stormed the Capitol, Dmitriy Khavin, Haley Willis, Evan Hill, Natalie Reneau, Drew Jordan, Cora Engelbrecht, Christiaan Triebert, Stella Cooper, Malachy Browne and David Botti, thenewyorktimes.com, 30 June 2021.
Republicans’ effort to deny the Capitol attack is working – and it’s dangerous, David Smith, thegurdian.com, 6 July 2021.
Cities Drop Most Charges Against BLM Protesters as Cops Fail to Provide Evidence, Sharon Zhang, Truthout.org, 19 Apr 2021.
1 in 5 Capitol Insurrectionists Tied to U.S. Military; Soldiers “Targets” for Extremist Recruitment, Lecia Brooks, Amy Goodman, Nermeen Shaikh, democracynow.org, 25 Mar 2021.
CPAC Organizer Denounces Critics Spotting What Looks Like Nazi SS Symbol On Stage, Mary Papenfuss, huffpost.com, 1 Mar 2021.
The United States faces multiple non-traditional security threats, including pandemics (biological warfare), armed rogue “militia” groups, irregular migration, resource scarcity, climate change, and transnational crime, in addition to what has now become “traditional” warfare “hot spots” and conflicts – many seemingly everlasting – as well as a worldwide humanitarian crisis, otherwise infamously labeled, “the refugee / illegal immigrant” problem.
With U.S. military deployed in more than 150 nations, the list of active conflicts spans nearly every continent, sapping our resources and manpower.
Obviously, non-traditional security threats, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, can also be serious threats to the stability and security of the United States. With nearly 660,000 dead, millions ill, unemployment exceeding Great Depression levels, armed rogue groups storming into state capital buildings, and a historic economic collapse now possible, no one can doubt that our national stability is seriously at risk.
Additionally, prior to COVID, millions of displaced people were forced to leave their homes during times of conflict. Nearly all are dirt poor, with no food or water, no education, and no job skills. But they all share the will to live and to be safe from the mayhem and unimaginable cruelty they experienced.
Today, because of the existing conflicts, the nations of Europe have been forced to accommodate millions of refugees, while the U.S. for the most part, has politically chosen to ignore the problem. Instead of dealing with the “mess” created on our watch, we have decided to build a wall to stem the tide of displaced people and now continue to foist COVID blame on immigrants and multiple other targets of opportunity, such as China, while dodging leadership duty, responsibility and worse, opportunity.
Equally important, repeated application of our brutal battlefield superiority in the past has also created an everlasting birthing and training ground of future enemies.
Historically, many of these challenges are not new, save perhaps today’s high refugee number and the non-traditional security threats we face. However, recently, federal entities, such as the Dept. of Homeland Security, specifically, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for example, have become tools of domestic “patrician politics”, mired in political dogma, and misdirected away from the rule of law under the Constitution and Congressional mandate.
What is new and within our control is the motivating acknowledgement that security and stability is not only characterized by an absence of conflict, but additionally by how we respond – integrity of command under the Constitution – plus the wherewithal (resources) employed as Congressionally directed.
Since the beginning of our nation, The United States Army command has overcome every challenge we have faced while remaining true to its commitment to duty, honor, and country first and foremost. Indeed, the fact that we have a nation today is a result of that commitment.
The following proposed solution is meant to continue in that tradition and aimed at countering newly emerging non-traditional security threats as well as enhancing our existing post-conflict humanitarian civilian support to go the long game to win hearts and minds.
Confront and overcome multiple non-traditional security threats by combining existing military and other resources under a new corps command: the U.S. Army Humanitarian Corps.
Humanitarian Corps Mission
• Effect civil-military cooperation to prevent and overcome non-traditional security threats
• Effect global cooperation among allies and NGOs to manage and prevent non-traditional threats
• Effect a “local people first” strategy to ensure sustainable security post-warfare following “traditional conflicts”
• Establish and maintain law & order stability until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
• Provide in situ humanitarian support until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
• Secure borders until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
• Begin rebuilding consistent with local culture and heritage until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
To achieve its mission the Humanitarian Corps must deliver “no-strings-attached”, in situ humanitarian support in a vastly more individually focused way over past humanitarian support which has in many instances been directed to achieve goals in favor of a political party or corporation (s). It must include – shelter, food, water, security, training, employment, a better life tempered in consideration of local culture and customs - independent of political restrictions and abuses such as religious persecution; racial, gender, and nationality discrimination. Domestically, it must be nonpartisan, nonpolitical party. Domestically and internationally, it must be clear of quid pro quo obligations.
Using military resources for humanitarian purposes is not a new concept. Often during times of natural disasters, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., political people mobilize military units to evacuate victims, provide medical care, transport emergency relief supplies as well as security. The military, after all, has the logistical wherewithal – the ships, planes, manpower, and the command structure at the ready.
What is new is the newly emerging non-traditional threats which we as a nation must now confront. Creating a special corps to deal with these threats clearly demonstrates to the U.S. citizens, and our allies – in addition to our adversaries, both foreign and domestic – that we are seriously committed to confront them should the need arise.
Empowering military leadership, guided by their commitment to our Constitution, the UCMJ, and Congressionally approved international law, would be historic, free of political party dogma, and ultimately the deciding tipping-point in the long-game of winning hearts and minds as well overcoming these multiple stability and security threats. By doing so we will mitigate the challenges we confront; defend our people and our allies, as well as disarm our enemies.
The new idea here is to use our military resources in a revolutionary new way, the Humanitarian Corps. to implement social and infrastructure reforms. Funded through the defense budget and utilizing existing resources drawn from several federal government departments, the Humanitarian Corps. will become a specialized “SWAT-like” unit to first ensure our Democracy under our Constitution and, second, to implement a FDR-New-Deal-like slate of programs to radically change the direction of our nation away from becoming a neo-fascists-oligarchy and maintain/improve the lives of all our citizens.
Implementing the Humanitarian Corps. will be a critically essential step away from what we have become — a dystopian, evil doppelgänger USA — a war mongering, monstrous, profit making machine for the few — toward our full promise as described in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
EUGENE POLICE DEPARTMENT CRIME ANALYSIS UNIT
300 County Club Road, Eugene, OR 97401
CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) Program Analysis
CAHOOTS Brochure PDF
This Town Of 170,000 Replaced Some Cops With Medics And Mental Health Workers. It’s Worked For Over 30 Years, Scottie Andrew, CNN.com, 5 July 2020.
The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing (2015)
Reference for Post-Combat Resources – Iraqi
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Decisive War, Elusive Peace
RAND_RR1214 Synopsis PDF
The RAND report identifies post-combat resources which the Army activated (or wanted to). While the whole report is worth reading, here are some specific pages to review:
Planning for the Aftermath pg 38
Chapter 8 The Aftermath: Civilian Planning Efforts and the Occupation of Iraq pgs 319-338
Chapter 10 Conclusion and Recommendation
Planning for Post-Conflict pg 375
The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance pg 370
Humanitarian Planning pg 372
Assessing Postwar Efforts pg 380 (especially point 2 regarding interagency coordination)
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Today we remember the 2,974 people who perished at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on the UA and AA flights during the 9/11 disaster, as well as the 4,343 survivors and first responders who have died in the years since due to illnesses caused by exposure to toxic dust and fumes from the site. These are the thousands of first responders, rescuers, firemen/women, police, iron workers and construction workers. (1.)
Sadly, most Americans stop there. (2.)
We tend not to include additional major losses resulting from 9/11.
For instance, total dead, including civilians, during the Iraq war is estimated to be between 600,000 to as many as 1 million. “As of 2021, 9.2 million Iraqis are internally displaced or refugees abroad.” (3.)
In Afghanistan, "The current crisis (Sept 2021) comes on top of the 2.2 million Afghan refugees already in neighbouring countries and 3.5 million people forced to flee their homes within Afghanistan's borders." (4.)
These wars were not “paid” by increasing taxes as the Korean and Vietnam wars were. The Bush administration reduced taxes for the wealthy and borrowed to finance the wars. The approximate cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is now estimated to eventually cost American taxpayers nearly $6.5tn. That includes veteran benefits and interest payments through 2050. (5.)
Finally, who did benefit from the two wars - wars which most would say are clear blunders; entered into through outright lies; and characterized with the United States committing international war crimes?
You already know the answer: The U.S. defense contractors. (6)
"In the year to June 2020 the big five accounted for nearly a third of the $480bn obligated by the Pentagon to defense contractors." And, to ensure their cash cows, the defense industry spent, "...over $2.4bn lobbying Congress since 2001, and made direct campaign contributions to most members." (7.)
Do you really believe we are the nation spreading democracy throughout the world? I don't. The proof is clearly in the results of the past 20 years.
In fact, we have become the opposite — a Doppelganger U.S. — selling weapons of war and seeding death and misery.
1. 20 Years Later: The Lingering Health Effects of 9/11
2. Iraq: the Human Cost http://web.mit.edu/humancostiraq/
3. Iraqi Refugees https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/refugees/iraqi
4. Afghanistan: How many refugees are there and where will they go?
5. Americans could owe $6.5 trillion for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and that's just the interest https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-iraq-wars-debt-6-trillion-interest/
6. Military spending: 20 companies profiting the most from war
You will find these articles interesting.
1. About 9/11 truth: Remembering 9/11 – 2,974 WTC Murdershttps://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2014/09/remembering-911-2974-wtc-murders.html
2. About recent American History seen from an “old guy's perspective”: Lies Too Big To Fail (Parts I, II, & III) https://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2014/08/lies-too-big-to-fail.html
3. About Kent State University and truth: When Demagogues & Incompetence Rule Innocents
Friday, August 6, 2021
|America 3.0, Rifkin's Plan|
It’s possible that we may witness a rare occurrence: the U.S. Senate actually doing something positive for the people of the nation, the politicians themselves, and their corporate enablers.
The Senate may adopt an infrastructure bill aimed at repairing our aged roads, bridges, water systems, even establishing, a modern electrical distribution grid and extending broadband services to poorly served areas of the nation. We must wait and see, of course, whether Congress births another monstrosity or a beautiful thing.
After all, we have yet to learn how the billions will be spent.
Still, congressional action may finally launch infrastructure programs we can only hope that the “plan” will begin to bring us on par with the Europeans and the Chinese. Both are way ahead of us due to our inability to throw off the shackles of centuries-old carbon-based industries and Robber Baron Era Predatory Capitalism in addition to the equally failed policies of Reaganomics and Neoliberalism that all but eliminated the U.S. middleclass born of FDR’s New Deal Policies and economic protections and the post WWII economic boom.
While we were duct taping our economy together to please the oil industry people and expanding our American Empire throughout the world, plus most recently, distracted by Mr. Trump’s temper tantrums and neo-fascist fascinations, the Europeans and Chinese have moved ahead creating savvy infrastructures, new economies, to meet the challenges at hand.
They have done this by listening to an implementing the ideas of Jeremy Rifkin, the "American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist".
Yes, American. Like so many other examples from our past, our current “global” corporate executives and politicians are so secure in decades old, proven technology, as well as the unimagined wealth and the status it has brought them, that they have chosen to hang on to woefully outdated technology and refuse to act on the changes occurring before their eyes.
One obviously similar example from our past is W. Edwards Deming, the guru of modern-day, flexible lean production systems. Deming tried and failed to get the American automotive “Big Three” to adopt his ideas. The Japanese manufacturers, however, implemented them and then cleaned the Big Three’s clocks, creating and selling vastly superior quality cars and trucks.
Mr. Rifkin’s plans are underway in Europe and China.
It’s time for the USA to catch up or watch our collective clock being cleaned once again.
The Rifkin Plan,
Monday, July 12, 2021
Ever wonder why elected "officials" from both parties are really interested in U.S. borders?
It's obviously not about refugees or the reasons desperate people are trying to get into the U.S. Certainly its never been about humanitarian issues. There is no money in that.
However, there is a great deal of money available to the "border industrial complex" of corporations to militarize our southern border.
Here's the story:
The Truth About the U.S. Border | Robert Reich, 15 June 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
|Super glue was an accident, too.|
Along with graphene ( here and here), the creation of, "what may be one of the most thermally stable materials ever discovered", by Australian researchers may change our future for the better. Interestingly, this discovery is similar to many other great findings... it was uncovered by accident. Here's the story...
"A new material could find applications in aerospace components and medical implants."
"Australian researchers have created what may be one of the most thermally stable materials ever discovered. This new zero thermal expansion (ZTE) material made of scandium, aluminum, tungsten and oxygen did not change in volume at temperatures ranging from 4 to 1400 Kelvin (-269 to 1126 °C, -452 to 2059 °F)."
"That's a wider range of temperatures, say scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), than any other material demonstrated to date, and it could make orthorhombic Sc1.5Al0.5W3O12 (catchy name, eh?) a very handy tool for anyone engineering something that needs to work in extremely varied thermal environments."
"Examples of where this might come in handy include things like aerospace design, where components are exposed to extreme cold in space and extreme heat at launch or on re-entry. Famously, the SR-71 Blackbird was designed to expand so much at its Mach 3.4 top speed that it would liberally drizzle fuel on the runway at ground temperatures; the fuel tanks wouldn't even fully seal until they heated up. This new material stays exactly the same volume from close to absolute zero all the way up to comfortably over the heat you'd expect to get on the wing of a hypersonic aircraft traveling at Mach 5."
Advanced material has zero thermal expansion, 9 June 2021
A/Prof Neeraj Sharma of UNSW and Dr Helen Maynard-Casely of ANSTO explain their research on advanced materials that does not expand or contract over a wide temperature range.
Monday, June 7, 2021
Most likely you know someone who has passed because of cancer. I do.
All forms of cancer are my sworn enemy. The discovery described below could lead to eliminating the dreaded diseases.
Oddly, for me, the anti-TB drug Bedaquiline (Sirturo) is playing the leading role. I had TB as a child. Please see below.
"...FDA-approved drug called Sirturo, which is used to treat tuberculosis and works by targeting this process in bacteria. In vivo animal experiments showed that the drug could target the fuel supply of these ultra-fit cancer cells and selectively create a "power failure" in them, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. This blocked 85 percent of metastasis in the animal experiments."
Go here for the whole story:
From the University of Salford, Greater Manchester, UK, The University of Calabria, Cosenza, Italy, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, Universitaria, Pisa, Italy.
Bedaquiline (Sirturo), an FDA-approved drug, inhibits mitochondrial ATP production and metastasis in vivo, by targeting the gamma subunit (ATP5F1C) of the ATP synthase, Marco Fiorillo, Cristian Scatena, Antonio Giuseppe Naccarato, Federica Sotgia & Michael P. Lisanti, 13 May 2021.
"Targeting ATP5F1C with Bedaquiline, an FDA-approved drug, prevents aggressive cancer cell behaviors, including spontaneous metastasis
Bedaquiline (a.k.a., Sirturo) is an FDA-approved antibiotic, that is clinically used for the treatment of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). Originally, it was thought that Bedaquiline only affected the mycobacterial ATP-synthase, but more recent studies have indicated that Bedaquiline also potently inhibits the yeast and human mitochondrial ATP-synthase."
"As a consequence, we conclude that the gamma-subunit of the mitochondrial ATP-synthase (ATP5F1C) is a new therapeutic target, for mitigating aggressive cancer cell behaviors, including spontaneous metastasis."
|Mom at Springfield Lake Sanitarium, (Edwin Shaw) near Akron, OH|
Funny how memory works.
Once I had a couple of friends who could seemingly remember every detail of their childhood: toys they had… every relative… teachers… classmates… even what they wrote in kindergarten.
Oh, there are a few scraps here and there… but nothing to make a story.
One memory does poke out every once in a while. It’s more of a photo than a real memory… you know one with dialogue and people attached to it.
No, this one is only a snapshot memory.
In it I see my mother waving at us as we drive away… me in the backseat, looking out the rear window. She was standing on a balcony, a screened-in porch, waving goodbye.
Today I know that my mom was a nurse. That she somehow contacted Tuberculosis (TB) and was confined to the Springfield Lake Sanitarium, near Akron, OH, when I was a little boy. I don’t know for how long.
I do know that attached to that snapshot is a feeling of sadness and loss. Fear, actually… that I’ll never see her again.
Like other repressed memories, perhaps one day, I’ll remember more.
But, today, my mind will only let me recall that young woman, waving as we drove from the grounds.