Pride and Shame.

Our friend David has written a short piece that needs no introduction and that, if you are human, will bring a lump to your throat. Thank you, David.

The BUTHIDARS

Many times in my life I’ve been proud of my country. Proud to say I’m from the UK A few times I’ve felt great shame. Today is one of those days where if asked where I’m from, I shall say Wales and hope many people don’t know where that is. For the last few days amid the turmoil that is Kabul, following the departure of the President and the melting away of Afghanistan’s army, I have been watching scenes of Afghanis employed by the various occupying armies trying to get aboard aircraft and head for safety before the Taliban arrived.

President Trump agreed a handover to the Taliban though it’s fallen to Joe Biden to achieve it as peacefully as possible. It’s also been the responsibility of each of the occupying forces to evacuate their men and civilians who have been usdeful to them. The Taliban arrived early and panic…

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The Media and GOP Revel in Botched Afghan Withdrawal

I’m already sick and damn tired of the media and the radical right blaming President Biden for what is happening in Afghanistan. Their own last two presidents are more culpable than Biden … G.W. Bush made the wrong decision to put boots on the ground there in 2001, and the former guy actually played footsies with the Taliban! Put the blame where it belongs if you must ‘blame’ someone. Our friend Jeff has written a post that precisely reflects my own thoughts. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

The daggers are out – sharpened the past seven months by a media devoid of drama, intrigue, lies, and other wrongdoing they’d grown accustomed to the previous four years. The GOP, eager to pounce, now has some chaos they can hang on President Joe Biden.

Why does it seem that certain people seem to be rooting for failure? Because they are. It’s pretty simple. The media and the GOP have specific reasons for loving every minute of the botched exit from Afghanistan.

We’ve heard, anecdotally, that certain media members haven’t been too happy in recent months. They long for those days when all you had to do was head to Twitter early in the morning to find out what crazy mutterings the disgraced former president was typing into his phone. Ah, there’s my story for today! Oh wait, it’s mid-afternoon, and now he’s gone completely off the rails!

Those were…

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Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

I wrote last week regarding my concerns over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, my fear that the Afghani people will be subjected to harsh treatment by cruel, evil men who respect none, and the concern that the Taliban, once back in power, will retaliate once again against the U.S.  Our friend Quentin at We the Commoners blog has written an excellent analysis of the situation as it stands today.  Thank you, Quentin … great work, as always!


Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

By Quentin Choy

The scenes in Afghanistan are chilling. As the Taliban slowly conquered regions over the last few weeks, their march on Kabul was imminent.

President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was the correct decision in the long-term, but the devastating short-term consequences we are seeing are haunting.

Following two decades of war in Afghanistan, the U.S is ending the longest war in its history with very little to show for it.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.”

President Joe Biden

Read the rest of Quentin’s post here

None of the GOP Senators Deserve Their Jobs

He knew, yet he said nothing, did nothing. He claims to ‘love’ veterans, yet he knew that his buddy Putin was paying to have U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered. He knew … and he didn’t care. And now, the republicans in Congress don’t care, either. Our friend TokyoSand has written a fine piece about this and included two hard-hitting ads. Please take a few moments to read … this should be the final straw for the likes of Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and the other 51 republicans in the Senate, but they have largely only shrugged their shoulders. Thank you, TS, for an excellent post.

Political⚡Charge

Detail of “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” (1989) by Keith Haring

We keep waiting to see when the Republican Senators might stand up for something. Some value they have that they won’t let Trump cross.

And after the horrifying news of this weekend, we find that we’re still waiting.

On Friday, news broke that Russian Intelligence was secretly offering bounties to militants who killed American and allied forces in Afghanistan. Quickly, other media outlets confirmed the story, including Fox News. Then, we learned that American intelligence had known about this for months, and anger spilled over at Trump as he had very clearly not done anything about it.

Of course, Trump claimed he, nor VP Pence, nor his Chief of Staff, had been briefed about it. Which former national security officials said strained credulity. Furthermore, even if they had not been told (which would…

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The Radar is Crowded Tonight!

Puff-magic-dragonIf you could see my radar screen tonight … blips all over the place!  Oh yeah, 2019 is going to be the year that finally drives Filosofa to lose her marbles and do something crazy like streaking nude through Grand Central Station screaming, “Run for your lives – Puff the Magic Dragon is attacking!!!” Long story short, this morning’s hodgepodge are not snarky snippets, but out-and-out rants … mini-rants, but rants nonetheless.  Hold your ears …


Trump’s history lesson:

Yesterday, Trump called a cabinet meeting, apparently for no reason other than to brag about the things he says he has accomplished but hasn’t, to blame everyone but himself for everything that is wrong, and to give us a new view of world history.

“Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. So you take a look at other countries—Pakistan is there. They should be fighting. But Russia should be fighting. The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is it was a tough fight.”   Anybody want to buy him a copy of World History for Dummies or The Idiots Guide to World History?

While it is true that the former Soviet Union was financially drained by its 10-year campaign in Afghanistan, and collapsed only two years later, there were many other long-term factors in the USSR’s demise. In addition, the Soviets didn’t invade Afghanistan because “terrorists were going into Russia,” as Trump said, but because they wanted to shore up their pro-communist puppet government there.  And by the way, Donnie … Pakistan is supporting the Taliban, not fighting them.

A few other preposterous statements he made at the meeting …

“I shouldn’t be popular in Europe. I want Europe to pay. I don’t care about Europe.” This one was apropos of nothing, other than to criticize Germany, repeating for at least the millionth time that they are not contributing what he, Trump, considers proper to their own defense.  There are reasons for this, but they require an explanation of the history of Germany, and … well, let’s just not go into history with Trump anymore, okay?

Trump now claims, falsely, that he fired General James Mattis.  Not even a shred of truth to this … Mattis resigned in response to Trump’s utterly asinine plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan without even consulting his military advisors or our allies.  Period.  Trump did not fire him.

And he has new justification for his abominable wall … that the Vatican “has the biggest wall of them all”. 

The meeting lasted 95 minutes, after which all cabinet members likely headed to the nearest bar.

drunk


Another child is dead …Jazmine BarnesThe little girl in the picture above is Jazmine Barnes.  Correction … was Jazmine Barnes.  Jazmine was 7-years-old when she was murdered while riding in a car with her three sisters and her mother, LaPorsha Washington, in Houston, Texas.  The gunman has not yet been caught, even though the police know the vehicle he was driving.  Ms. Washington was also hit, albeit not fatally. Two things about this infuriate me.  First, that it happened.  Even though the majority of people in this nation are in favour of realistic and sensible gun regulation, thanks to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and corrupt politicians, we have almost none.  And so, little Jazmine Barnes is dead, and her mom, dad, and sisters are bereft.

Porshia Washington

LaPorsha Washington

The second thing that inflames me about this is that I only found this news on the BBC, three days after the fact!  The BBC!  British Broadcasting Corporation!  Where was The Washington Post?  Where was the New York Times? I had to cross the pond to find out that a child was shot to death in my own country! This should have been front-page news, but if it was even reported, it was tucked far behind all the Trump-related headlines.  I did find the news on a Houston news outlet, Heavy.com, and The Root.  Two days after the shooting, CNN finally reported on it.  C’mon, media!  Trump is not the only show in town!


What am I, chopped liver???

“Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”

This was a Trump tweet last Thursday morning.  Two days prior, he had told reporters that the furloughed federal workers were fully in support of Trump holding the nation hostage as he holds out for his abominable wall.  In just two days, the workers went from being on his side, patting him on the back, to being “just democrats” in his rhetoric.  Does this ‘man’ ever take time out to think???

The president, senators, representatives, governors, et al, are elected officials who are chosen by the voters to represent all citizens of the United States.  Their job is not only to represent the specific party with which they are affiliated.  Their job is not to represent only the people they like, or the people who approve of them or agree with them.  They are to represent We The People … ALL of ‘We’!  In addition to the aforementioned books, we should also send him a copy of U.S. Constitution For Dummies!

As a member of We The People, I am calling for the immediate resignation or impeachment and removal from office of the ‘man’ occupying the Oval Office, for he is not representing all of us, but only the minority.  He is endangering the lives of the people he is tasked with protecting and he must be removed NOW!  Hear that, Mitchell McConnell?  Hear that, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and the rest of you in the House “Freedom” Caucus?  Get. Him. Out.


Okay, well … I had one more rant, but I got so worked up over these three that I have forgotten the other.  Consider yourself lucky, I suppose.  Yep, folks, welcome to 2019.  Have a lovely day!Maxine-2019.jpg

Good People Doing Good Things — Axana Soltan

Axana Soltan may be only 21 years of age, but she has already done more for human rights than many of us ever do in our entire lives.  When she was only 10-years-old, Axana immigrated from her native Afghanistan to the U.S.  At the time Axana lived in Afghanistan, the Taliban controlled the country and women endured unspeakably harsh conditions and were deprived of their basic human rights like education, employment and freedom of speech. Girl’s schools were burned down, teachers were threatened and women who spoke up against their regime were flogged and executed.

Axana’s family was forced to flee the country and became refugees. Axana has spent much of her childhood in refugee camps where there was no school, no medical facilities, no electricity, heating, and not even access to the very basic life necessities such as water. After witnessing the disparities in Afghanistan, she has witnessed the harsh life in exile inside a refugee camp in Pakistan: children passing away due to preventable illnesses, children not being able to get schooling, and families begging for food just to survive.

refugee campsWhile in the refugee camps, Axana was drawn to the good works being done by UNICEF – providing education, food, medicine, and other essentials to the dispossessed in the camps. At a very early age, Axana made it her life’s mission to help people in much the same manner as UNICEF.  Just five years after arriving in the U.S., her work began in earnest – at age 15!

In 2013, Axana founded Enhancing Children’s Living (ECL), a non-profit organization whose goal is “a world in which every child lives a healthy, fulfilling life and builds into smart, creative, and healthy children.” The stated mission per their Facebook page is …

ECL-2.jpgEnhancing Children’s Living is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit philanthropic organization based in Richmond, Virginia. Established in 2013, the society is organized to be a humanitarian unit that ignites the lives of children living in destitute. The organization provides access to meal nourishment, education, advocacy, and medical care to children in and out of the country.

Enhancing Children’s Living invests in a better future, a different future. It invests in a world in which no child left behind. Where children everywhere have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. By partnering with local government, and child advocacy organizations, we ensure every child has a voice and no child feels neglected.

For the past five years, ECL has done so much good for children around the world, from putting together backpacks full of school supplies for children in Pakistan, to sending nourishing meals to children in Haiti, to buying hundreds of pairs of shoes for children coming to the United States from Afghanistan.

ECL-1Axana has achieved global recognition for her activism. On May 13th, 2017, before an audience of 2,500 people, Axana spoke against the travel ban of refugees in her Commencement Address, declaring the ban of children from the seven Muslim countries a violation of the Article 22 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She was the first Afghan-American Hero recipient on CBS and received praise from national magazines, such as Blaze and Value Magazine.

Last year, Axana graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

Axana aspires to become a human rights lawyer and continue her advocacy through policy to ensure that  all children, regardless of country of origin or refugee status, are awarded children’s rights protections as guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).AxanaAxana Soltan has been the energy and the inspiration behind Enhancing Children’s Living, and ECL has secured the education of over 1,700 children around the world. The organization has also been actively providing these children with thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies, hundreds of shoes, clothing and even food.

Next time you hear somebody comment on how terrible immigrants are, that they are all lazy criminals and bad for our nation, think about Axana.

“Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. Once you have determined your purpose in life, then chase after it.  In the process, please remember to help others. I strongly believe that a just and compassionate world stars with each one of us. You don’t have to be a doctor, lawyer, or a rocket scientist to make a difference in the world. There is no timeline.  Together we can create a world that places human needs and human-rights above all.”  – Axana Soltan