Soviet Union

Sixty Years Of The Space Age: A Time Of Great Achievements And Technological Advancements

Yesterday, October 4, was the 60th anniversary of the Space Age, as the Soviet Union shocked the world by orbiting an artificial satellite, Sputnik I, beginning the Space Race, leading to the United States landing on the moon on July 20, 1969, after promotion by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. It was the age of Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and so many other heroic astronauts.

It transformed American thinking, and helped to promote science, math, and technology, and the importance of promoting higher education.

So under President Eisenhower, we saw the enactment of the National Defense Education Act in 1958, and the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with headquarters in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and later in Houston, Texas.

The Space Age promoted patriotism and excitement, as millions of Americans watched all of the launches of satellites and of astronauts on television.

This blogger remembers the uniqueness of the Space Age, and is still saddened by the lack of commitment to go further into space, with the argument that we could not afford the expenditure.

If we had continued the pace of the Space Age after the last mission to the moon in 1972, America would likely now have explored Mars, which now is a goal for the 2030s, after many lost decades.

The loss of interest in science, is a great tragedy, as many ignorant people have worked against it, instead advocating religion over science, to the detriment of the nation.

Donald Trump And Afghanistan: No More Interest In Reform, Only Killing, A Prescription For Disaster!

Donald Trump’s speech on Afghanistan last night was what this blogger expected: Trump the warmonger, a complete switch from his “isolationist” stand during his Presidential campaign.

It was very predictable, as again, Donald Trump proved to be what he has always been best at being, a massive liar and manipulator of the truth!

The man who was a draft dodger, on the basis of bone spurs in the 1960s, and said his “Vietnam” was avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with women at that time of his life, now has become a war President, and is allowing his overly dominant military administration to “charge on” in Afghanistan, after 16 years, the most of any American war, and inability to resolve the matter.

Afghanistan caused the loss of Alexander the Great in ancient times; of the British Empire in the 19th century; and of the Soviet Union from 1979-1989.

It is a “hell hole” with no end, and already 2,400 Americans have died in that war, and the war has also cost an estimate of between $841 billion to $2 trillion dollars, a massive waste of money that has undermined the nation! And over 20,000 men and women have been wounded, many of them seriously, and mental issues have arisen among many of these veterans, and many others who were not physically harmed.

And to top it off, Trump has indicated there is no interest in trying to make life better for Afghan civilians, but rather just to kill terrorists!

That is a prescription for endless, constant war, and bitterness, and continued growth of terrorism for decades on end!

The Taliban control an estimated 35-60 percent of the nation, and opium production in the major province that produces the drug is 80 percent under their control.

The Afghan mentality is that you kill their relatives, for generations after, the goal will be revenge, so a war is unwinnable.

And Trump seems to be stirring up trouble with neighbor Pakistan, a Muslim nation with nuclear weapons, with his hostile rhetoric.

It seems as if Trump has decided to be a warmonger–continuing in Afghanistan, while fighting ISIL (ISIS), and stirring up China with threats of trade wars, while trying to deal with North Korea, without starting a new Korean War or using nuclear weapons on Kim Jong Un; and threatening to break the Iranian nuclear agreement; and also suggesting action in Venezuela; as well as trying to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Syria, and Iraq.

All that Trump seems to be able to do is make money all of the time, while promoting American imperialism overseas, insuring engagement in more wars, and spending taxpayer money to glorify himself as a “tough guy” in international affairs, while avoiding diplomacy, and cutting the State Department budget by up to 40 percent, including NOT having many ambassadorial positions filled or even nominated after seven months in office!

Trump is a true proponent of unregulated capitalism and American militarism, precisely what has led to so much turmoil and suffering caused by the top few percent of the population who worship Wall Street and the Pentagon as the answer to all problems in America.

Meanwhile, the white and minority working class become the cannon fodder for Trump’s egotism and narcissism, as he continues to divide America, and has no concern about the tremendous damage he is causing, creating an atmosphere of civil anger and disrespect that has split America like no time since the 1960s, and in many ways, worse than that decade 50 years ago!

43 Years Since Richard Nixon Resigned: Time For Push To Force Donald Trump Out As Totally Dangerous And Incompetent!

Today, August 9, marks 43 years since the resignation of Richard Nixon, and as Gerald Ford said, a “great national nightmare” was over.

Who would think that now, in 2017, we would have to come to grips with a man in the Oval Office who makes Richard Nixon’s good points stand out, as Nixon had real accomplishments, while Donald Trump has NONE, other than Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch!

Donald Trump is far more dangerous than Richard Nixon ever was, and he knew when it was time to go.

It is time for Donald Trump to go, but he will not go quietly, if at all, and would probably have to be moved bodily from the White House, as he has no dignity or class!

We could be on the verge of a nuclear holocaust as we commemorate the bombing of Nagasaki today, 72 years ago.

We could see massive loss of life on the Asian continent and Japan, due to the maniacal behavior of the 45th President!

The present horrifying crisis emerging with North Korea, made worse by the tone, choice of words, and belligerence of Donald Trump, has created a nightmare far worse than Nixon.

Realize Trump has set out to destroy the domestic legacy of Richard Nixon, and his work to promote peace through negotiations with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, while Trump is destroying our NATO alliance, and cozying up to Russian hoodlum and bully Vladimir Putin, endangering our national security.

Speed in the Robert Mueller investigation is urgent to rid this nation of this national nightmare as soon as possible!

Trump Undermining Of NATO A Danger To Europe And The World: A Crisis Of Massive Proportions!

In 1949, as the Soviet Union exploded the atomic bomb, and the Cold War between the Russians and the West was in full swing, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed, with President Harry Truman committing American power to the defense of Western Europe, to keep it free from the spread of Communism.

After that, under Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush; and under Democratic Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, the NATO alliance was our major priority.

But now, after the NATO summit, it is well understood that Donald Trump refuses to commit America to enforcement of Article 5, which states that if any of the nations in NATO are attacked, it is considered an attack on all of the nations in NATO, as the allies followed through on after September 11, with all of them committed to military engagement in Afghanistan.

The Trump love affair, or “bromance” with Vladimir Putin of Russia is alarming, and it is grounds for the impeachment of Donald Trump as a traitor to the United States and its national security and safety.

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel can say that Europe can no longer count on US backing, that is an alarm bell in the middle of the night, and is a shocking turn of events.

The leaders of the European nations—and particularly Great Britain, France, and Germany—realize they are dealing with a mentally unstable American President, who is totally unpredictable, and could, very easily, start a nuclear war. rather than engage in diplomacy.

They know that Donald Trump is, as the German media leader Der Spiegel has said, the most dangerous person in the world, because of his ignorance, lack of intelligence and knowledge, and reckless rhetoric and behavior.

It is time for action to be taken to remove Donald Trump from the Presidency as a danger to the nation and the world!

Afghanistan War 2001-2017: $800 Billion, And 2,249 Americans Killed In A Quagmire That Is Unwinnable With Troops!

Fareed Zakaria spoke today on his CNN show about the Afghanistan War, which began on October 7, 2001, after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

We still have more than 8,000 troops engaged in a war that never has really ended, and it is the longest war in American history.

About $800 billion has been spent fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but one cannot say that the war has been won, or will ever be won.

2,249 Americans have paid the ultimate price, in a quagmire that is unwinnable with troops, by any sensible measure of success.

The Soviet Union collapsed by 1991, partly due to the invasion of Afghanistan that went on from December 1979 February 1989.

The British tried to gain control of Afghanistan as part of the British Empire and failed, and the same for Alexander the Great in ancient times.

The loss of life and treasure is enough, and the US should stop their ground war in Afghanistan, and utilize drones as the only worthwhile investment, since the government of Afghanistan is hopelessly corrupt and unable to win the war, with no one really knowing what “winning” means in any case!

Donald Trump Border Wall With Mexico—1989 Miles, 30 Feet High, Never Will Be Built, And Would Be Boondoggle Financially!

The proposed Mexico Wall of Donald Trump will never be built. The price tag is uncertain: could it be 10 Billion? 20 Billion? 70 Billion? Such a project would be a 1,989 mile, 30 feet high wall, that cannot be built in many areas due to topography, including deserts, rugged hills, and two rivers (the Colorado and Rio Grande), and is opposed by many as unworkable, and sends a horrible message about the United States internationally. It would be a wall that would not prevent drugs, or human trafficking, and would cost loss of trust between two neighbors who share the 10th longest boundary between nations in the world. No wall or barrier has ever prevented breaching such an edifice, and it will happen in this case, were the wall to be built.

The Great Wall of China was built over many centuries, and never effectively barred invasions or prevented wars, and presented a psychological barrier for China, isolating it from the Western world, but in so doing, causing it to fall behind the West, and eventually be exploited in the 19th century by European powers. Disrepair, vandalism, and graffiti became common, and it never really advanced the Chinese economy. It marked China as backward.

The Berlin Wall, built by the Soviet Union beginning in 1961, and being destroyed in 1989, just 28 years in existence, marked the Soviets as a nation trying to stop the promotion of freedom, but the Wall was overcome by some courageous Germans, and became a symbol of the oppression of human liberty. It was a sign of the ultimate failure of Soviet Communism, with a humiliating ending in November 1989.

America gains nothing from such a wall, except to stoke fear and hatred in Mexico, and even in Canada, which has the largest land boundary in the world with the US, 3,997 miles between the 48 states and Canada, and an additional 1,538 between Alaska and Canada, for a total of 5,525 miles.

America’s reputation will be further undermined by a financial boondoggle that will be seen, were it to be built, as a negative development, which will help to sink Donald Trump to the bottom of the Presidential list all time.

It would insure that America would lose the respect and stature that it has had since World War II, as we wall off our nation, and make a very public judgment as to the inferiority of the people of Mexico and Central America, and further make America look like an imperialist nation, which has no respect for the people south of us in our hemisphere.

Presidential Family Members And The American Presidency

The growing influence of Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, is a significant factor in Donald Trump’s approach to the Presidency.

His reliance on and loyalty to his daughter and son in law demonstrates the power of family.

Other Presidents have also utilized family members as follows:

John Adams relied on John Quincy Adams as Ambassador to Prussia.

Woodrow Wilson had his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, conduct cabinet meetings after he had a stroke in October 1919.

Franklin D. Roosevelt relied on his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, for advice on so many domestic and foreign policy issues, and in his last two years, his daughter, Anna, also was available to assist him.

Dwight D. Eisenhower used his son John Eisenhower as a staff aide in the White House.

John F. Kennedy had the most prominent relative in his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, serving as Attorney General of the United States for the entire time of the Kennedy Presidency.

Lyndon B. Johnson leaned on his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, for much advice.

Ronald Reagan followed the advice of his wife, Nancy Reagan, on a host of issues, including developing a relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Bill Clinton utilized his wife, Hillary Clinton, on a proposed national health care program, as well as a host of other issues.

Barack Obama capitalized on the advice of wife Michelle Obama, as they were a very close couple.

But notice how mostly it was First Ladies who were engaged in helping their husband, with only John Quincy Adams, Anna Roosevelt, John Eisenhower (children) and RFK (brother) as important aides to the President, and Ivanka and Jared are in many ways unique in their growing role, with only RFK being of an equal or greater significance.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

Trump White House Aide Stephen Miller Declares President Has Ultimate Authority And Cannot Be Challenged! This Arrogance Must Be Repudiated!

Trump White House Aide Stephen Miller is an arrogant, dangerous 31 year old man who has the gall to declare that the nation will soon learn that the President has the ultimate authority in the nation, and cannot be challenged in his grab for total control by any federal court.

Miller is a Fascist demagogue, who would fit in perfectly in a totalitarian state, such as Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or the Soviet Union.

The shock is that Miller is Jewish, and yet is close to Stephen Bannon, the former Breitbart News Alt Right extremist, who is White House Counselor and Senior Aide to the President. He is also associated with white supremacist leader Richard Spencer, who has promoted violence against immigrants and non whites.

Miller showed up on four Sunday news programs, and talked like an authoritarian with a cockiness and self assurance that requires a quick reprimand, and yet, instead, Trump went on Twitter to support and applaud his aide’s performance.

It is clear, day by day, that Trump is moving toward establishing an authoritarian government, but it must be stopped dead in its tracks, by the Republican Party, which must love the country more than power and expediency, or go into the dustbin of history.

The question is whether critics in the media, the Democratic Party, and among the general population, can unite to pressure the Republicans to recognize that Trump is dangerous, mentally unhinged, and has dangerous aides that must be removed by a future President Mike Pence.

Will Pence do what is best for the nation, as it is hard to believe that he is not disturbed by the actions of Miller, Bannon, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who is now in danger because he communicated with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office, about the sanctions put on Russia by Barack Obama in his last days in the Presidency.

The Russian connection of Trump and Vladimir Putin, the “bromance”, is a national security issue that must be fully investigated, and if shown to be undermining our nation, Trump must be forced out of office, but meanwhile, the nation is in danger from people like Miller, Bannon, and Flynn.

The Republican Party, Donald Trump, And Russia: Ronald Reagan Is Turning Over In His Grave!

The Republican Party is now faced with an incoming President who is cozy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and whose National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, are also too close to the Russian dictator.

To have much of the Republican Party willing to accept this without complaint is an outrage, and a danger to national security.

Thank goodness for such Republicans as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio for making clear they plan to put the feet of Rex Tillerson to the fire, and somehow, Michael Flynn, who also believes in conspiracy theories, but does not require Senate confirmation, must be prevented from serving Donald Trump in the White House, where his deleterious impact could be of great harm, outweighing that of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Ronald Reagan would be turning over in his grave, as Barack Obama said, if he knew what has happened, and so would Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and other dead Republicans, who made their careers on anti Soviet stands in the Cold War, including 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater.

Yes, the Cold War is supposedly over, and Communism is gone, but is this true? Putin, after all, was part of the Soviet KGB Secret Police, and has blood on his hands, and has gained possibly the largest personal fortune of any human being on earth

We must deal with Russia, but to be naive about it, and give in to flattery, as Donald Trump has done and is doing, is alarming and dangerous to the national security of this nation.

Imagine the infamous Joseph McCarthy, the Red Scare villain of the 1950s, and how he would react to the craziness and lunacy of American foreign policy under a reckless, dangerous, unhinged Donald Trump!