• charrob's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:49 PM
    Russia/Syria/Iran are not going to let that happen without a fight. I really question if Trump would allow things to escalate with Russia. He might, but at least so far he doesn't seem to be doing that. The Kurds do want to keep Raqqa however ... the biggest problems in Syria are sure to come after the fall of isis because then everyone shows their true motives...
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:05 PM
    It's axiomatic because Trump ended the official cia program that trained/armed/funded al qaeda linked rebels. That program was official. Congress gave funding for that program during the Obama administration. I remember writing my congressman asking him to vote not to fund that program. Trump ended it: Trump administration instructs CIA to halt support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria The official program was ended. Is Trump lying to the media and congress that this program has ended (like Reagan did during Iran/Contra) and funding the cia through some other sources? I don't know, but the official program funded by congress has been ended. Is the CIA going behind Trump's back and continuing the program with some other funding? I don't know; it sure wouldn't surprise me given the reputation of the CIA. But officially that program and it's funding has ended. You asked: Why would Trump give the CIA carte blanche about droning but not about training al qaeda linked rebels? I don't know. A possibility could be that Trump, unlike Obama and the democrats, doesn't want to overthrow Assad and increase tensions with Russia. Maybe he justs wants to get rid of isis and then get out of Syria. Maybe he's uncomfortable training al qaeda linked rebels. Or maybe he hasn't made up his mind yet whether he wants to overthrow Assad or not. I don't know what his reasons are. But as far as i've seen, the official program has ended. He may re-start it; who knows? But at least for now, from what i have seen, it's ended.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:35 PM
    As i stated in the same post you are referring, do nothing and letting Syria/Russia/Iran free Raqqa of isis is of course the best solution. But since Trump has it in his mind to take part in the 'liberation' of Raqqa from isis, then Trump has a number of options, however it was one of those two options that were obviously going to be chosen. Other options would have had more pushback by the American people and the MSM. For example: working with Russia would have had the russophobes in the MSM going ballistic 24/7. Having all U.S. troops invade without local help would have had more pushback from military families and congress. Re-starting Obama's cia program of backing al qaeda linked "rebels" was not something Trump was going to do. The kurds were already close by wanting to partner with the U.S. in this invasion; the Turks also wanted this partnership. So, yes of course there were other options, but those 2 were obviously the predominant options that made the most sense for American participation in the invasion of raqqa considering all political factors.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 05:41 PM
    Sadly you are probably right. So much wish this wasn't so. :(
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 05:23 PM
    sorry i don't understand. Here was i think the sentence you are referring to: So the question is what happens after isis is defeated in raqqa? The Kurds presently have almost all territory surrounding raqqa east of the Euphrates, and over the weekend they have now taken territory surrounding raqqa west of the Euphrates. So pretty much the kurds, backed by the U.S., will be taking raqqa. Turkey (and their so-called 'moderate rebels' -- ie. ahrar al sham, fsa, al-zinki, etc.) is completely out of the loop and unable to go further south. So the big question is: what happens to this territory after isis is defeated in raqqa? I think that's where the real war or (more hopefully) the real negotiating will come in.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 05:04 PM
    Well yes of course I totally agree with you on this. True, but the Syrian military has completely cut off Turkey in the northern aleppo province from coming any further south. It may be reading tea leaves, but Trump had to choose one way or the other: go with the Kurds, or go with Turkey. And it completely appears that he has chosen the Kurds who now almost have Raqqa surrounded. And, yes, Erdogan was pissed... he stated he was. Especially after Trump put in rangers in Manbij to stop Erdogan's attack on that city. I detest Erdogan so am glad his invasion of Syria has (at least for now) been stopped. The question is how aggressive the kurds will be after taking Raqqa: will they want to keep all this territory? And that's where the real negotiating (and hopefully not war) will begin is when isis is defeated. I think Erdogan and Turkey is out (which is a good thing); i think the U.S. proxy war against Assad is out (at least for now) and by extension the U.S. proxy war with Russia is out (at least for now). But the Kurds want an autonomous or federalized state: will Assad allow this? The big questions really come after isis is defeated.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 04:26 PM
    So you are saying the pentagon is now directly training anti-assad rebel forces who are fighting the Syrian military?
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 04:24 PM
    Right. I think the difference is that the purpose of Trump's expansion (at least so far) has been to destroy isis while Obama wanted to destroy both isis and assad. Will Trump eventually decide "Assad must go"? That's anybody's guess... but at least for now it appears there is an end to the U.S. proxy war against Assad's forces in Syria (and by extension an end to the U.S./Russia proxy war).
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 04:15 PM
    Right, and that's been the breakdown for years: Obama had the pentagon train rebels that fought isis while he had the cia train rebels that fought assad. My understanding is that Trump stopped the cia's direct program of training/arming/funding the anti-assad rebels. Trump administration instructs CIA to halt support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria Trump may restart that program (who knows as he's all over the map with his policy views). But at least for now (i think) the cia's program has ended.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 04:06 PM
    Yes I know, and that's really bad. But my question in particular was about the cia program of directly training/arming/funding anti-assad rebels in Syria. That program in particular (i think) ended a couple months ago.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 03:39 PM
    That is true. But my question was on the direct training/arming/funding of anti-assad rebels by the cia. That program, as far as i have seen, was cancelled by Trump at the beginning of his administration. I follow antiwar.com regularly and believe Jason Ditz would have had an article on that if that program was re-started. But at least up till now I've seen no evidence that program was restarted. If I have missed an article stating this program was re-started, I'd be most obliged if you would provide a link.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 03:29 PM
    The question is the cia program of directly arming/training/funding the anti-assad so-called 'moderate forces': i think he ended that (see my link given above). It may re-start, but i don't believe that it has restarted (although i may be wrong). At least i have seen no news articles stating that Trump restarted that program. Re: the RP video: This video was mostly about the addition of U.S. forces to the mess in Syria, not re-starting obama's program of the cia training/arming anti-assad rebels. Also, it wasn't Ron Paul but rather Daniel McAdams who stated the situation in Manbij at the beginning of the video then elaborated on that later in the video. At the beginning he mis-spoke but later, when he elaborated on Manbij he corrected himself and stated that we sent in rangers to separate the U.S. backed kurdish forces from the Turkish backed forces. Daniel also conjectured that the U.S. military may give Raqqa to "moderate rebels" after the U.S. military obtains that land, but at this point that is only conjecture without any proof.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-27-2017, 02:43 PM
    He's helped the SDF which is composed primarily of Kurds in the north. But I haven't read anything saying he's continued the cia's arming/training/funding of the anti-Assad rebels in the rest of the country. In fact, I believe Trump ended that program: Trump administration instructs CIA to halt support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria Can you provide a link discussing that he re-started this program? Don't get me wrong: I am not happy with the continued U.S. aggression abroad, now under Trump; but I've seen no evidence of Obama's anti-assad program of arming "moderate rebels" (which pretty much caused the so-called "civil war") being re-started.
    121 replies | 1777 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-18-2017, 05:21 PM
    Okay, so what you're saying is that on the right side of the image above there are some degrees under the "Science" heading which have little opportunity for employment. Okay, fair enough. Although i would argue most Americans are spending their time and energy getting STEM degrees that are employable yet, because of foreigners with those same degrees getting these jobs in the U.S., many Americans are getting screwed and having to find employment outside of the areas in which they trained and/or worked (in the case of workers being made to train their cheaper foreign replacements). From the study: "As already indicated, the acronym STEM stands for science (life and physical), technology (computer science), engineering, and math." "Table 2 (below) reads as follows: 50 percent of natives with a technology degree have a technology job. The grayed boxes show the share of those working in the same field as their undergraduate degrees. Thus, only 2 percent of natives with a math degree have a math job, only 34 percent of the U.S.-born with an engineering degree work as an engineer, and 10 percent of those with a science degree have a job in science." So even if, for the sake of argument, you want to ignore the right side of the above image under the "Science" heading and only consider degrees on the left side of the above image (ie. Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering), you still have a huge number of Americans who have spent a chunk of their lives getting STEM degrees in employable STEM fields (and some who have worked in those fields for decades) who either cannot get jobs in those fields, or are being thrown out of fields in which they have trained and worked for decades because huge numbers of foreigners with those same degrees are being brought into this country to work at the same jobs.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-15-2017, 10:33 PM
    Because thousands of competent U.S. tech workers would still have their homes, families and their lives would not have been destroyed had there not been an artificial influx of foreign tech workers.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-15-2017, 09:56 PM
    Over several decades thousands of competent U.S. tech workers have been thrown out of their tech jobs and have been made to train their foreign replacements just to get their severance pay. What you have written above does not solve this problem; it exacerbates it.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-15-2017, 06:35 PM
    Do you have a link showing that this study involved only Bachelor's degrees? From the article: The report, titled, Is There a STEM Worker Shortage? A look at employment and wages in science, technology, engineering, and math, is consistent with research from: Georgetown University, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Rand Corporation, the Urban Institute, and the National Research Council
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-12-2017, 11:05 AM
    Yes, and foreigners who get STEM degrees are taking away jobs from American tech workers who can competently do the job despite not having the STEM degree. From the article i posted above:
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-12-2017, 10:11 AM
    Study Finds No Shortage of High-Tech Workers in U.S.:
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-11-2017, 10:56 PM
    I don't want a border police state. But I want a state with borders and immigration kept to a minimum. I oppose the open borders/globalization model.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-11-2017, 09:00 PM
    I disagree with a minimum wage. Without an unfettered supply of immigration, the supply/demand ratio stabilizes and a minimum wage is not needed.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-11-2017, 08:32 PM
    The side of the equation you are leaving out is that American consumers, who used to have good paying middle class jobs, can no longer afford to buy things because they were fired by greedy businesses importing low wage foreign labor or because their wages have been driven down by the oversupply of foreign labor. Keeping it in the country keeps the supply/demand in balance. Oversupplying labor as our country has done since the 1990s if not before drives down wages and destroys the middle class. Automation _creates_ good new jobs for Americans: and it drives up living standards. Unfettered immigration drives down living standards in a race to the bottom. The two are completely opposite in the final effect on the living standards of Americans. There may be some advanced fields where a small number of H1b visas would be appropriate -- where employers definitely are unable to find Americans that can do that work; but in most cases I disagree with screwing highly skilled competent Americans by hiring low-wage foreigners that are simply willing to live 5 families to an apartment and work 80 hours a week and get paid for 40. It's really no use arguing about it. Nothing will change my mind and nothing will change yours. Please, let's just leave it at that.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-11-2017, 07:03 PM
    I don't agree with Ron Paul on open borders. On this issue i agree with the likes of Pat Buchanan and Trump.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-11-2017, 06:56 PM
    I'm with Specsrgood on this one. Just another open borders/globalization argument. The middle class has been destroyed in this country because of globalization and endless immigration. I've read for several decades how American programmers are being screwed by these H1b's: people in their late 50's / early 60's who worked hard for a company their whole lives and, as a result, their salaries increased and benefits increased. Then, before retirement, the companies fire them and the only way they can at least even get a month or so of severance pay is if they completely train the foreigners who will be taking their jobs at half the salaries and hardly any benefits. So older workers then lose their pensions, their jobs, and eventually their homes. The Disney programmers who all lost their jobs weren't even older I don't think, yet they all were replaced by foreigners willing to work for so much less. The endless influx of foreigners not only fires American tech workers, but for those Americans continuing to work in the field, it drives down wages. There's almost 3 billion humans in China and India -- many of whom would work for less if they could get a U.S. programming job. In the mean time competent U.S. programmers are being fired, our middle class is shrinking, our coastlines where most of these jobs exist are overpopulated. Open borders for greedy businesses is not the answer.
    172 replies | 3389 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-11-2017, 12:32 PM
    That's extremely worrisome. That's blatant all out Fascism.
    143 replies | 4607 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-11-2017, 10:00 AM
    Are the manufacturers innocent? Assange is giving the code to the manufacturers to "fix" the flaws in their products. How do we know that these manufacturers didn't purposely work with the government to create these back doors? The telecoms have certainly worked with the government in illegally surveilling customers; it's really not a stretch that manufacturers of products might have purposely put back doors into their products.
    143 replies | 4607 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-08-2017, 11:10 PM
    Unfortunately you are probably right, particularly for the President-- but only in supposed "national security" matters - which have something to do with the FISA laws. And for the President in particular in this situation, I guess the only reason to get the FISA warrants that Obama tried for in June 2016 (but was rejected) then tried again for in October 2016 (which was accepted) was to bring any misdeeds they found by Trump up in court. But i think ordinarily, when it's not the President, or for sure when it's not related to "national security", the idea is that they need a warrant to look at the collected data although, again, there seems to be little to no congressional oversight on this; so who knows what they do. All of it of course is unconstitutional.
    294 replies | 6384 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-08-2017, 10:52 PM
    They wiretap everyone and save the information on the servers in Bluffdale Utah. But, supposedly, to be able to read any of that information they need a warrant.
    294 replies | 6384 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-08-2017, 10:36 PM
    The server obama used to justify the warrant didn't belong to trump. It was set up by CIA agent and neverTrumper Evan Mcmullen's sister:
    294 replies | 6384 view(s)
  • charrob's Avatar
    03-04-2017, 01:42 AM
    A 2011 report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that people who weren't authorized to work in the United States were paid $4.2 billion in refundable child tax credits during the 2010 tax-processing year. http://thehill.com/policy/finance/319244-gop-rep-urges-trump-to-prevent-illegal-immigrants-from-claiming-tax-credits The agency next to the building where i work used to have social services with free immunizations for kids, etc. When i walked across the street during my lunch break to buy a sandwich during the years they were there, the line for these free services came out the door of the office, down the outside stairs, and wound around the entire block. This went on for all the years they were there. The people in line did not speak English. And I made a point of counting the number of children with each woman every day. The least amount of children i counted was 4, but the vast majority had between 6 and 9 children with them. Were these illegal immigrants obtaining these free services everyday? I don't know. But i do know they did not speak English, not even broken English. Hate me if you will but I see employers who currently employ illegal immigrants as parasites on the U.S. taxpayer that are being made to pay that employer's corporate welfare. Because that's what it is: corporate welfare. We, the taxpayers, are subsidizing that employer. The parasitic employer's profits are privatized and his costs are socialized. While the employer gets larger profits due to paying half the wages, the rest of us taxpayers are paying for the food stamps, schooling for umpteen kids, unearned tax credits, WIC, healthcare via emergency room visits, etc. that these people utilize. If the borders were sealed and the parasitic employer had to pay the going wages -- wages American workers would accept, the parasitic employer's profits would decrease but that employer's workers would make enough of a salary that they would not require food stamps, etc., to survive. I despise globalization. And that's what this argument is about: globalization (open borders) versus nationalism.
    163 replies | 2242 view(s)
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if modern agriculture continues to follow the path it's on now, it's finished. The food-growing situation may seem to be in good shape today, but that's just an illusion based on the current availability of petroleum fuels. All the wheat, corn, and other crops that are produced on big American farms may be alive and growing, but they're not products of real nature or real agriculture. They're manufactured rather than grown. The earth isn't producing those things.. petroleum is! -Masanobu Fukuoka

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