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The Kurds gained nothing with their vote for independence

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Back in June, the president of the Kurdish region of Iraq, Massoud Barzani, scheduled a referendum for Kurdish independence. This was the fulfillment of various stillborn attempts to advance the cause of Kurdish independence. They held the vote on September 25, and unsurprisingly, the result was 93 percent “yes” to independence.

They thought it would buy them a place at the table with the Baghdad government, but they were sold the Brooklyn Bridge by the Barzanis, who have autocratically ruled the region for several years.

Now, Iranian tanks have rolled up to the Iraqi border, as Iraq’s government puts a stranglehold on the region. And its people suffer. These are some of the U.S.’s best friends in the war against ISIS. We warned them that any vote would not be recognized, and exactly as we said, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that the U.S. finds the vote illegal and illegitimate.

All the vote has done is bring Hezbollah, Iran, and Iraq more into alignment as the power players in the region, able to get the United States to do their bidding, while Iran thumbs its nose from behind a Russian shield on IAEA inspections. It’s complicated in the Middle East.

Perspectives

KRP: Kurdistan people disappointed by Tillerson’s statement on referendum

“The people of Kurdistan, who have consistently and enthusiastically supported the United States, especially more recently in its fight against ISIS and Saddam Hussein, are deeply disappointed in the statement by Secretary Tillerson on Friday,” read a statement from the Presidency.

Hezbollah says Kurdish vote a step toward wider Mideast partition | Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-kurds-referendum-hezbo/hezbollah-says-kurdish-vote-a-step-toward-wider-mideast-partition-idUSKCN1C50RKBEIRUT (Reuters) – The powerful Lebanese group Hezbollah said on Saturday that an Iraqi Kurdish independence vote marked a first step toward the partition of the Middle East, warning that this would lead to “internal wars” and must be opposed.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iran-backed group, said events in northern Iraq, where Kurds overwhelmingly voted for independence on Monday, were a threat to the whole region and not just Iraq and neighboring states with Kurdish populations.

“It will open the door to partition, partition, partition,” Nasrallah said. He added that “partition means taking the region to internal wars whose end and time frame is known only to God”.

Iranian Tanks Roll Up to The Iraqi Border As Embargo of Kurds Expands – The Drive

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/14798/iranian-tanks-roll-up-to-the-iraqi-border-as-embargo-of-kurds-expandsIran has moved tanks and artillery up to the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, close enough to the boundary that they are visible from the other side. The move is the latest in a string of increasingly threatening responses to the semi-autonomous region’s decision to vote in favor of independence, which has drawn widespread condemnation from national governments in the region and failed to win unequivocal support from many of the Kurd’s powerful western allies, including the United States.

On Oct. 2, 2017, the Iranian forces appeared along the Iran-Iraq border, reportedly as part of a previously announced combined drill with Iraqi national forces and militia in retaliation for the independence vote. Authorities in Tehran had already kicked off military exercises near the boundary on Sept. 24, 2017 a day ahead of the poll in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, ostensibly as part of the annual Sacred Defense Week to commemorate the Iran-Iraq War. More than 3.3 million people there, more than 70 percent of registered voters, turned out on Sept. 25, 2017 to cast their ballots, with more than 90 percent voting in favor an independent Kurdistan.

After the Vote, Does the Kurdish Dream of Independence Have a Chance?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/30/world/middleeast/kurds-iraq-independence.html?mcubz=0&_r=0A healthy democratic government might weather the storm. “We don’€™t have rule of law,€” we have a monarchy,” said Rabbon Marof, a member of the Kurdish Parliament and a leader of the “No for Now”€ movement that opposed the vote. The region’€™s president, Massoud Barzani, remains in power two years after his term expired.

Final thoughts

Independence is a wonderful concept, but the Kurdish people would be far from free as an independent state. They would be under the thumb of the Barzanis, who have ruled like kings or dictators. The U.S. was correct in rejecting the legitimacy of this vote. However, we should recognize what the vote accomplished. The Kurdish people deserve self-determination. Right now, their choice is between the Barzanis and the Iraqis.

The U.S. should be doing the yeoman’s work in bringing the Kurds to the table, but that isn’t likely to happen with the Barzanis in control. Then again, it’s not America’s role to dictate who should run other nations. This was a very difficult situation–again we warned the Barzanis what would happen, but they went ahead anyway.

All this vote did was make America’s work harder to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state. When that happens, the Kurds will have lost any chance of freedom. They never should have taken this vote.

+Jesseb Shiloh is not-so-new to blogging. He enjoys things that most don't and doesn't mind and occasional nap. And he's never ambiguous nor contradictory most of the time. Find him on Twitter.

Democrats

The real reason Ocasio-Cortez is afraid of the press

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The real reason Ocasio-Cortez is afraid of the press

For at least the second time, reporters were barred from covering an event featuring Socialist Democratic darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The campaign’s reason: we want attendees to feel comfortable since there’s so much national press covering her.

This is an absolutely ridiculous excuse, of course. Nobody goes to a campaign event without knowing the press will (should) be there. It doesn’t make them less comfortable and may actually give some a sense of security knowing the answers to their questions will be judged by more than the audience at hand. That’s one of the reasons for the press in the first place, to give information about an event to people who cannot attend.

Instead, the press is getting another roadblock:

Ocasio-Cortez bans press from covering campaign event

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/17/ocasio-cortez-bans-press-from-covering-campaign-event.htmlAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist star running for New York’s 14th congressional district, is facing criticism after her campaign banned journalists from covering a town hall meeting with voters this week.

The Queens Chronicle, a local news outlet, reported that the campaign for the 28-year-old progressive prevented reporters from attending a campaign event in Corona on Sunday, even though it was open to the rest of the public. The campaign reportedly barred reporters from a prior event as well.

It’s conspicuous that a local publication was barred because it runs contrary to the narrative the campaign is trying to sell. So why is she being hidden from reporters at these types of events?

My Take

It’s clear that her exposure is her best friend and worst enemy. Being talked about is a politician’s best friend on the campaign trail, but it also offers a risk of failure. This is most common in events like the town hall meetings she is holding because she’ll be forced to think on her feet.

What if she can’t think on her feet? What if her answers when placed in an unscripted situation the type of answers many would expect from an inexperienced socialist?

Until she’s ready to handle the pressure of having press cover these events, she won’t be ready to hold public office at this level. The House of Representatives isn’t for people who need to be protected from their own answers.

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Culture and Religion

Bettie Cook Scott is a racist politician. And she’s a Democrat.

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Bettie Cook Scott is a racist politician And shes a Democrat

Racism is owned by the Republican Party. That’s the narrative the press and their handlers, the Democratic Party, wants America to believe. Someone forgot to get that memo to Michigan state representative Bettie Cook Scott.

Detroit Rep. Bettie Cook Scott on Asian opponent: ‘Don’t vote for the ching-chong!’

https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/08/16/detroit-rep-bettie-cook-scott-on-asian-opponent-dont-vote-for-the-ching-chongMore than a dozen community groups have called on Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D-Detroit) to apologize for a series of racial slurs sources say she used to describe her primary election opponent, Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit).

Scott is alleged to have referred to Chang as “ching-chang” and “the ching-chong” to multiple voters outside polling precincts during last Tuesday’s election. She’s also said to have called one of Chang’s campaign volunteers an “immigrant,” saying “you don’t belong here” and “I want you out of my country.”

My Take

There are two important takeaways here. First is the hypocrisy surrounding Scott, a (formerly) rising star in the Michigan Democratic Party. If the comments she made were spoken by anyone other than a Democrat, the calls wouldn’t be for an apology. The press and social groups would be calling for her to step down and jump into a hole somewhere.

The second point is that in the real world, the one not seen through the lens of liberals and the media, racism exists everywhere. It is not owned by Republicans, conservatives, old people, white people, or any other classification. One can even make a valid argument that it’s no more prominent in the Republican Party than it is in the Democratic Party that supports groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

Racism must be eliminated from society. That will never happen as long as so many people naively believe it only exists in the minds of certain people on the political right. It exists everywhere. Accept that and we can work to make it stop.

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Democrats

Elizabeth Warren introduces dangerous anti-capitalist bill

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Elizabeth Warren introduces dangerous anti-capitalist bill

Elizabeth Warren made a big announcement this week in introducing her new bill called the “Accountable Capitalism Act.” Her bill aims to “eliminate skewed market objectives” and return America to an era in which “American corporations and American workers did well together.” It’s unclear when the utopia like conditions were according to Warren; however her website lists the 1980’s as the time period in which corporations shifted focus to maximizing shareholder returns. In any business college, it is taught that the job of a CEO is to maximize shareholder wealth. Senator Warren wants to shift this mentality with her new bill. In the statement on her website, she asserts that the “shift” has led to booming profits and less reinvestment into the companies themselves. She claims that wages have not increased despite booming corporate profits. Elizabeth Warren then moves to make the argument that the top 10% owns 84% of American stock and only 50% of households own stock. Thus, she claims, that this reinforces a cycle of the rich getting richer. This is a growing socialist sentiment that poor people, and even middle class, are incapable of affording stock. The main bullet points are outlined below. Read the text of the bill here.

Office of United State Corporations (more government!)

The bill creates a new administration within the Department of Commerce. Corporations earning more than $1 billion in revenue are required to obtain a charter from the federal government, per this new created office. The charter obligates these large corporations to consider the interests of all stakeholders. Failure to obtain this permit to exist results in loss of corporation, which in business terms mean, it would no longer be treated as a separate entity. Therefore there would be no liability protection. The Director of this office would be a Presidential appointee and requires Senate confirmation. The term last four years. Warren seeks to create a new and powerful tentacle of the Federal government.

Employee Chosen Board of Director

Employees, not shareholders, will have the ability to choose no less than 40% of a company’s board of director. This bullet point is perhaps the most ridiculous and anti-capitalist. Company boards serve to set goals for the company. The board is usually chosen by investors. In the world of private investment, the board of directors is a bargaining chip for control of the company, as opposed to just percentage of stock. Warren’s bill doesn’t outright say it, but she wants unions to control company boards. Meaning instead of the company’s interest, the board will be powerful weapon of the union. Boards start out as founding members, investors and their appointees, and neutral parties because entrepreneurs and investors craft such interesting deals. Insisting that 40% must be elected by employees renders a board relatively useless for small investment worthy companies or inflates company boards well beyond what they should be for their size (ie small company with GM size board.) This will possibly lead to more empowered officers and weakened boards so that CEOs can perform their fiduciary responsibilities without a labor union threatening their disposal. This could also make companies more risk adverse because undoing mistakes, laying off workers, and other rainy day measures are now more difficult to undo. Ultimately this would empower worse CEOs, ones who aren’t as interested in shareholder wealth. The Securities and Exchange Commission along with the National Labor Relations Board are responsible for enforcing this part of the act, as further indication that this applies to all corporations. Stiff daily fines are to be imposed for failing to comply.

Government control of stock options

Elizabeth Warren claims top executives are compensated mostly with stock options. Her bill restricts these executives ability to sell their shares for five years so that they can focus on long term company success. Basically these executive will be given stock, but will have no real ownership of that stock. This would be the government restricting private property. These types of issues are best left to corporations and shareholders who already impose vesting periods to ensure the same exact goal.

Supermajority for political expenditures (not for unions)

This is a jab at Citizens United because Elizabeth Warren and others are butthurt about the outcome of a critical first amendment case Supreme Court case. It forces company shareholders to vote in order for a corporation to make any political expenditures. It imposes a 75% supermajority threshold. Conspicuously absent from this requirement are labor unions.

Revoking of charter

The corporate charter resembles a “rule of club” for large companies. If they don’t meet the requirements of their charter or have a history of illegal activity, they will have their corporation status removed in time. The question is how political will the enforcement of these charters be? Will there be a separate set of rules for democrats and republicans? If the rest of government is any indication, the answer is clearly foreshadowed.

Closing Thoughts

The socialist movement wants to fundamentally change the purpose of starting a business and running a company. This would most certainly lead to lower caliber CEOs. The bill makes no mention of labor unions yet it’s intentions are clearly to empower them in companies that still allow them and to create politics in organizations that do not. This ideas pressed fourth in this bill are sure to gain traction, just as “Medicare For All” became a socialist rallying point. It brings about questions of how business literate politicians like Senator Warren are? Do they fundamentally misunderstand what a corporation is, or do they not care? The bill aims to reduce a shareholder’s power and return on investment which will only hurt our economic growth. While Elizabeth Warren’s bill isn’t socialist, it is heavily anti-capitalist.

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