In 1991 my little family made a trip to San Bernardino, CA to see the folks. On the Sunday of the visit, we got breakfast at the Bob’s Big Boy Restuarant, (I think they are closed now.) My husband ordered eggs and hash browns. When the hash browns came out, I didn’t like the way they looked and told him they looked faintly blue.
Being the macho kind of guy he is; he went ahead and ate them anyway. On the drive back to the San Fernando Valley; he had to pull the car into the center median on the freeway, open up the car door and throw up on the pavement.
By the time we got home, he could barely walk up the stairs and was running a fever. The fever climbed to, I think, 102.
I made a call to my GP and told him what was going on. I told him we were short on cash and couldn’t really afford an ambulance, etc. The doctor called in a script for antibotics which I ran to get. The next day, my husband was almost completely well. I really doubt any doctor in town today would do that.
This week I had a flare up of lower colon inflammation. It took me a week to realize what it was. However; while at my usual medical offices, the nurse took my temperature and it was one degree elevated.
I then went to the front desk and asked to speak to my regular doctor’s nurse. She was in a meeting. Could I write down everything and they would give her a message?
An hour later, I got a message from the nurse that I should go to ER if the symtoms were bad. It was only a message so there wasn’t anyone to speak with.
I felt the symtoms were not good but that I could wait until the next day, Friday, to see a nurse in their system since my doctor is gone on Friday. I got onto the patient portal and picked an appointment for the next day. The appointment was for a different office.
When I got to there, I was informed that they cancelled the appointment because I was not an established patient in that office. After much back and forth, I advised the receptionist I would have to speak to someone and eventually the office manager came out. More words exchanged; i.e., why did they let me book an appointment if I couldn’t be seen? Lastly, I told her, my situation is getting worse and I need to see someone today. Both young ladies at the front desk kept pointing across the street to an ER clinic that was open and telling me I could walk in there.
At long last, the office manager managed to get me an appointment at yet another one of their clinics further away. I took the appointment; saw the nurse. She prescribed the usual antibiotics and I paid my copay of $35 and went to get the pills. A day later, I’m on the mend.
The cost for the walk in ER clinic would have been at least $100 to $150 dollars. The last time I was in a hospital ER (stuck contact lense) the cost was $1729. Mericifully, the insurance paid most of it.
So, the question remains; why are nurses and doctors both pushing hospital ER’s and walk in ER clinics? Are doctors not treating illness any more? Maybe just doing a lot of tests to be sure the patient is ‘on tract’ and prescribing medication refills. Not once since I have been with this medical provider did I have a conversation with the doctor over the phone. It is always a medical assistant or maybe a nurse. What is going on here?
Here are some satistics about the difference in the prices of hospital ER’s and private walk-in clinics. The walk-in clinics are much cheaper. Still, both are still more than a visit to your regular doctor with whom you have a relationship and wherr the office has all your health records. I have gone to ER’s only on weekends when the medical offices were closed. These days, I would not consider calling the doctor on a weekend short of death or dismemberment.
So, the last word here is the unbelievable journey I had to go on to get medical care on a Friday, not a holiday, when the medical offices were open and patients were being seen. I was pushed, pushed, pushed to go to a hospital ER room. I understand many doctors now take Fridays off, but really? So; in conclusion -just don’t eat any blue hash browns.
Statistics from Debt.org.
Condition Emergency Room Cost Urgent Care Cost
Allergies $345 $97
Acute Bronchitis $595 $127
Earache $400 $110
Sore Throat $525 $94
Pink Eye $370 $102
Sinusitis $617 $112
Strep Throat $531 $111
Upper Respiratory Infection $486 $111
Urinary Tract Infection $665 $112
The Annals of Internal Medicine study found that the average cost of an urgent care visit for three common illnesses — middle ear infection, pharyngitis and urinary tract infection — was $155. Other estimates place the average urgent care visit at anywhere from $71 to $125. The bottom line is that an urgent care visit is substantially cheaper than an emergency room visi
After reading some of these articles, I gave away my packaged bread and my long time friend – seasoned salt. I have gotten bread and rolls at the French bakery. Guess what? They taste better anyway! Going ‘all natural’ is a real challenge; but the crock pot is heated up and homemade soup is cooking. That plus the bread and Viola! Dinner is served!
LIFESTYLEHEALTH & WELLNESSNUTRITION – The Sydney Morning Herald
This was published 2 years ago
How preservatives can make us gain weight
By Evelyn Lewin
Updated August 19, 2017
When choosing what to eat, we all know fresh, unprocessed food is probably best.
After all, processed foods usually contain more sugar, salt and fat than their unprocessed counterparts, all of which can cause our waistlines to bulge.
But there’s another reason why processed foods can make us gain weight: because of the preservatives they contain.
Those were the findings of new research published in Nature Communications.
The research found that preservatives interfere with our hormones, disrupting the process that tells us when we’re full.
They do that by distorting the chemical structure of those ‘signalling’ hormones. That disables the process by which hormones are transported out of cells, making them ineffective.
Without that signal telling us we’re full, we’re more likely to keep eating and gain weight.
“This is a landmark study that substantially improves our understanding of how endocrine disrupters may damage human hormonal systems and contribute to the obesity epidemic…” said Clive Svendsen, director of the institute.
For the study, investigators used hormone-producing tissues grown from human stem cells.
They then exposed the tissues to three different types of chemicals, including Butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) which is commonly added to breakfast cereals and other foods.
The other two chemicals they investigated can be found in seafood and cookware.
Of the chemicals tested, BHT produced some of the strongest detrimental effects, said investigator Dhruv Sareen.
The problem these days is that most foods we eat contain some level of preservatives, says dietitian Kathryn Hawkins.
She says preservatives play an important role in preventing health risks from food being spoiled or becoming toxic.
But some foods contain more preservatives than others.
Foods with the highest amounts of preservatives include canned foods, processed meats, cheese and wine, Hawkins says.
So if preservatives can mess with our hormones and cause us to overeat, should we try to eliminate them from our diet altogether?
Such an aim is unrealistic, says Hawkins.
However, she says there are steps we can take to minimise our intake.
Firstly, we should aim for the majority of our diet to be fresh food.
Then, we should wash fruit well before eating it, opt for organic meats and eggs and include plenty of legumes and nuts.
Scouring farmer’s markets for preservative-free food and making foods like bread from scratch at home can also help.
But even Hawkins says we don’t have to be evangelical.
“It takes a lot of preparation, organisation and a bit of extra time, and not everyone can do this every day!”
Of course, going organic is also an option, though she notes such options are not always “completely chemical-free”.
Or we could opt for foods that use natural preservatives.
They include substances such as salt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar and rosemary extract.
But they’re not perfect, either.
“Obviously salt is not ‘better’ for us [than other preservatives],” says Hawkins, who explains that a high salt intake is associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
“Sugar is also not appropriate to eat in large quantities.”
Perhaps the ‘best’ preservative is ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, says Hawkins.
While it’s commonly used in bread, jams, fruit juices and other snack food, she says its use as a preservative is limited.
(That’s because, in high doses there is a risk of vitamin C toxicity. Plus its flavour can affect the taste of food.)
Instead of trying to find the ideal preservative or eliminate our intake of them altogether, Hawkins believes our focus should simply be trying to eat well.
If you’re worried about how preservatives are affecting your weight, she says your best bet is to cut back on foods that both contain preservatives and offer minimal nutrition, such as sweets and packaged snacks.
You should then consider the health and nutritional benefits of what you choose to eat.
If you opt for fresh, minimally processed foods, you will naturally reduce your intake of preservatives while filling your body with healthier options.
And that can only be good news for your waist.
WEDNESDAY, April 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — If you’re watching your weight, you probably know to avoid sugary and fatty foods. But what about preservatives?
Eating a preservative widely used in breads, baked goods and cheese may trigger metabolic responses that are linked to obesity and diabetes, an early study suggests.
The additive, called propionate, is actually a naturally occurring fatty acid produced in the gut. When it’s used as an additive in processed foods, it helps prevent mold.
But in the new study, researchers found that feeding mice low doses of propionate gradually caused weight gain and resistance to the hormone insulin — which, in humans, is a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
And when the researchers gave healthy adults a single propionate dose, it spurred a release of blood sugar-raising hormones — and a subsequent surge in insulin.
None of that proves propionate-containing foods raise the odds of weight gain and diabetes, said senior researcher Dr. Gokhan Hotamisligil, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“The point is not to say this additive is ‘bad,'” he stressed.
Instead, Hotamisligil said, his team is interested in understanding the effects — good or bad — of the various “molecules” humans consume in their diets.
“There’s a scarcity of scientific evidence on a lot of the things we put in our bodies through food,” he said. “Propionate is just one example.”
Still, Hotamisligil said, the findings do raise an important question: “Could long-time consumption of propionate in humans be a contributing factor to obesity and diabetes?”
When it comes to processed foods, the concern is usually directed toward ingredients like added sugar, sodium and trans fats. But there’s also a host of additives that, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are “generally recognized as safe.”
Despite that “GRAS” status, though, there is typically little known about how those food additives might affect metabolism, according to Hotamisligil.
Dr. Emily Gallagher is an assistant professor of endocrinology at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York City.
Unfortunately, all the really decent Republican candidates have dropped out of the race. Probably don’t want to pit their cash reserves against the Trump. The only Democrate left standing is Pete Buttigieg, a relative unknow. Will have to find out more about him in the coming months.
Candidate % Votes Pledged delegates
Donald Trump 97.1 31,464 39
Bill Weld 1.3 426 1
Joe Walsh 1.1 348 0
Other 0.5 151 0
Total votes: 32,389 • Total pledged delegates: 40
991 delegates needed to win the nomination
Congratulations, Mr. President. You have skated through an impeachment hearing by the hair of your chinny-chin-chin. You have become a liability to the party and to the office of President. Any Republican that votes for this guy again is a complete fool. That said, who else is running against him?
Updated Dec. 27, 2019https://qz.com/1696901/2020-republican-presidental-candidates/ Quartz Magazine – Livni, Merilli and Rohrlich.
Donald Trump now has a few challengers from within Republican ranks in the party’s 2020 presidential primary race. He has not referred to them by name, but in a tweet on Aug. 27 called them “Three Stooges.” The candidates seem to feel similarly about Trump. Their platforms are primarily focused on what they see as the dangers Trump presents, and getting their party’s president out of office. Polls still indicate that the vast majority of Republicans say they approve of how Trump is doing his job.
Here is a look at who is running—in the order they entered the race—and possible candidates for the Republican nomination. (Social media figures below are as of Aug. 28.)
Who is officially running?
The former Massachusetts governor isn’t wedded to any one party, he says, but to an ideal of fiscal conservancy coupled with moderately progressive policies. In January, he changed his registration from Libertarian back to Republican ahead of announcing his run for president in April. Weld was the first Republican to win the statehouse of the Democratic-dominated New England state in 20 years when he was succeeded Michael Dukakis. He served from 1991 to 1997, quitting during his second term to when he was nominated to be US ambassador to Mexico by Bill Clinton. He withdrew when his confirmation stalled in the Senate. In 2008, Weld endorsed Democratic nominee Barack Obama. In 2012, he supported Republican Mitt Romney. In 2016, Weld officially became a Libertarian and ran as the party’s vice presidential nominee all while expressing support for Democrat Hillary Clinton. He supports abortion rights, was an early advocate for the legalization of same-sex marriage, and has promoted the legalization of medical marijuana since 1992.
Age: 74 Years in political office: Six
Who gives him money: Weld, a lawyer and private-equity firm partner, has contributed substantially to his own campaign. He has received about a quarter-million dollars from donors giving under $200. More than half of his funds—about $450,000—come from large individual donors. He’s received no money from political PACs so far.
Biggest idea for the economy: Zero-based budgeting. Weld wants to cut taxes and spending, beginning with the federal budget.
Social media following: Twitter: 83,800, Facebook: 85,074, Instagram: 243
Who will like this candidate: Fiscal conservatives, centrists, Never Trumpers, and people from Massachusetts who don’t love the progressive bent of Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic presidential candidate who is a US senator from their state.
Who will hate this candidate: Voters on the left who want more social programs and strong progressive policies, Republicans who support Trump.
What he says about Trump: ”I do think it’s not a stretch to say that, at some level, Mr. Trump is a sick man. And I don’t mean physically, I mean in his head. There’s lots of furies there. I wouldn’t want his demons. You know, I think that, like all bullies—and it’s clear beyond peradventure that he’s a bully—he is insecure.”
A Tea Party Republican from Illinois, Walsh served one term in Congress before losing his seat to Democrat Tammy Duckworth in 2012. Walsh then became a conservative talk radio host, with a syndicated show carried by the Salem Radio Network. The right-leaning company has been steadfast in its support for Donald Trump, and quickly dropped Walsh from its roster after he announced his bid on Aug. 25. Walsh, who has expressed regret over his history of using racist slurs, is running, like pretty much everyone else in the race, as “not Trump.” Yet, in many ways, the two are quite similar: Walsh—who says he plans on making a “moral case” against Trump—also has a checkered (and rather sordid) financial past, rife with unpaid debts, tax liens, and foreclosures.
Age: 57 Years in political office: Two
Who gives him money: Walsh’s has not yet filed financial disclosures for the 2020 election cycle. His 2010 congressional campaign included major contributions from insurance companies, the hospital and nursing-home industry, and the investment/securities interests. Retirees were also an important donor bloc. Walsh has not reported using any of his own money in the past.
Biggest idea for the economy: Reduce the size of government and shrink the national debt, which has ballooned to almost $1 trillion under Trump.
Social media following: Twitter: 223,000, Facebook: 1,000,000, Instagram: 6,200.
Who will like this candidate: Conservatives who hate Trump, Republicans who hate Trump, Libertarians who hate Trump, independents who hate Trump.
Who will hate this candidate: Anyone who loves Trump.
What he says about Trump: “I’m running because Donald Trump is not who we are,” Walsh says in his announcement video. “He’s the worst of who we are.”
HANDOUT VIA REUTERS
Mark Sanford speaks at OZY Fest in 2018.
The former South Carolina governor and member of Congress officially announced his bid on Sept. 8, indicating he’ll focus on the federal deficit ballooning under Trump. Sanford earned both the libertarian Cato institute’s recognition for best governor in America and the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s ranking as one of the worst governors of the country in terms of ethical conduct. He was raised in Florida as the son of successful heart surgeon who had the family sleep in one bedroom to save on air-conditioning costs. In 2008, the married governor disappeared for five days, after telling his staff he was going to hike the Appalachian trail, only to be found in Argentina with his mistress. (This episode was the origin of the expression “hiking the Appalachian trail” as a euphemism for cheating.)
Age: 59 Years in political office: 19
Who gives him money: Financial firms and banks (including Lazard Freres & Co., Chilton Investments, and JP Morgan Chase) have been his largest individual donors in the past, while the real-estate industry was the largest contributing sector.
Biggest idea for the economy: A believer in conservative economics, as governor he tried to reject South Carolina’s share of the 2009 federal stimulus package (he was eventually ordered to accept by the courts). Warning of a financial storm ahead, he proposes much tighter control over the US debt ceiling.
Social media following: Twitter 17,300, Facebook: 79,800.
Who will like this candidate: Libertarian voters, fiscal conservatives, Never Trump Republicans.
Who will hate this candidate: Trump supporters.
What he says about Trump: “So ready for a President that can move beyond either self praise or put down to one who will focus on the debt & deficit that have gone wild under his time in office,” Sanford tweeted in response to Trump calling him “Mr Appalachian Trail.”
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente
AP PHOTO/MATT VOLZ
Roque De La Fuente
An entrepreneur and businessman who’s had a career in car sales, banking, and real estate development, Roque De La Fuente, known as “Rocky,” is accustomed to running for public office. in 2016, he sought the Democratic party nomination, then ran as Reform Party and self-funded American Delta Party candidate in the same election, coming in eight in the popular vote. In 2018, he sought the nomination in nine senate races—winning none. In May 2019, De La Fuente announced his candidacy to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.
De La Fuente’s name is on the ballot in a dozen states, and he owns businesses and property in several of them. His program reflects the candidate bipartisan inclination. De La Fuente talks about gun control, immigration reform that “unites families, not divides them,” promises to match immigrants with job shortage, and supports environmental protection and investment in renewable energy.
Age: 65 Years in political office: 0
Who gives him money: Himself.
Biggest idea for the economy: Match immigrants with job shortages, invest in renewable energy to create new jobs.
Speed dating for the Middle Aged: articles on getting it right.
It’s the good news and the bad news. The good news is that, unlike some
of your friends, former classmates and relatives, you have actually made it to middle-age. Yeah! The bad news is if you are divorced or widowed it is harder and harder every year to get a date.
Reality folks. Bum deal. And it is true for both men and women(ha,ha!) So, on days you feel lonely and are cursing the mirror, think for a moment on the dearly departed and well….could be worse, right?
Okay, given the fact that you aren’t 25 any more, what are some of the components that make up middle-aged dating. Well, evaluation of partners is the starting point. The following article talks about the reality of how fast a person ‘sums up a future partner.’ And, wow, it’s pretty fast.
You’ve got 7 seconds to impress me: How we size up men in next to no time.
By MICHELLE O’CONNOR – http://www.dailymail.co.uk.
UPDATED: 03:47 EST, 13 December 2010
Would you pass ‘the seven-second test’?
‘It takes only seven seconds for us to judge another person when we first meet them,’ says Linda Blair, clinical psychologist and author of Straight Talking.
‘It’s not a conscious process, so we don’t even realise we’re doing it – but it goes back to our primitive roots when we couldn’t afford to make wrong decisions.’
Under pressure: We subconsciously judge people within the first seven seconds of meeting them. Judi James, author of The Body Language Bible, agrees: ‘Judging other people in the first few seconds of meeting them is part of our survival response. So, although we might understand that it’s a flawed and prejudiced way of evaluation, we can’t stop ourselves doing it.
‘We’re looking primarily to see if we should feel threatened, but we also make several assumptions about attraction and personality. This is also known as the attribution effect.
‘Because we tend to be time-poor, we use assumption as a short-cut, meaning if you don’t get it right first time you might not get another chance.’
But she warns: ‘Although we instantly judge others, we slip up on signals we give out, meaning we lose ground by arriving at business or social events looking dour, anxious, shy or hostile, usually without realising it.
‘We’re happy to warm up as we go along, but we should put in some effort to hit the ground running – defining who we are and what we’re like accurately at first meeting.’
So, the experts in the field tell us that actually, both sexes do ‘size up’ the potential partner in less than a few seconds. That is just the first step in wanting to know you. Since we are not sixteen anymore and are in less of a hurry; generally people who are older spend more time deciding if they want to invest in the relationship or not. According to studies, women take more time than men, but men can take their time too.
What do men/women want the most? There are a lot of personal qualities that men want in women and that women want in men. These involve dependablility, truthfulness, reliability, trust, understanding, friendship and so on. However, before we even get to that level of the relationship, there has to a be a relationship to start from and that is where age plays a big part.
What Men Want: 7 Traits Men Look For In The Lady Of Their Dreams
BY ANTHONY D’AMBROSIO
NOV 1, 2019
For years, we’ve talked about finding the right woman — someone we can ride the waves of life with, who will stand by our side for better or for worse.
As a man, committing to The One is among the most important decisions we make in life; some may even argue it is the most important.
“A healthier and more balanced approach might be to understand that there are many people you can connect with, but that they might not all be relationship material because of one reason or another,” Melamed said. “We have many chances in life to meet and connect, it’s just whether or not we allow ourselves the opportunity to do so.”
There’s so much that can go into deciding who to share your life with, so I compiled a list of the qualities to look for whenever you feel a spark with someone new.
1. They’re Reliable.
When you’re building a life with someone, one of the key tenants of your relationship is trust. The ability to trust someone, to rely on the fact that you’ll be there for each other through the ups and downs, can be crucial in any relationship.
2. They’re Respectful.
Another foundational aspect of any healthy relationship is mutual respect. If you and your partner struggle to respect each other’s boundaries and bodies, you might not be dating your life partner.
3. They’re Supportive.
A relationship is made up of two (or more) individuals with their own dreams, goals, and desires. It’s vital that all members of a partnership are supportive of each other’s intentions in order for everyone to thrive.
4. They’re your best friend.
If you’re building a life with someone, your relationship will encompass not just the serious stuff, but the silly, trivial, more intimate moments, as well. Dating someone who is not just your partner, but your partner-in-crime can make even the smallest of moments into an adventure.
5. They listen.
Active listening — not just hearing, but taking in everything your partner is saying and engaging with it — can be a fundamental part of any working relationship, romantic or otherwise.
6. They’re self-aware.
Self-awareness in no way means perfection, but it does imply that both partners are working on themselves individually. Self-awareness can create security, which makes room for vulnerability, communication, and trust.
7. They communicate.
Say it with me for the people in the back: Open and honest communication is the foundation of any happy and healthy relationship. If you and your partner are building a life together, it’s crucial that you feel comfortable communicating with each other.
Additional reporting by Iman Hariri-Kia.
This article was originally published on May 4, 2015
A woman has to determine as quickly as possible whether the middle-aged man is chasing the dream of youth and of maybe becoming a father the first time or the 5th time. If that is the case, there is no point in chasing a guy like this because ‘younger’ is all he is looking for. On the part of the man, he needs to determine if the lady is looking to hook up with a check book. If so, regardless of how you feel about her, God forbid you should have a business or financial set back. The lady could be out the door in a nano second.
For myself, I stay pretty active physically and get to the gym a lot, watch my diet, etc. and with that (plus good genes) I’m told I don’t look my age. I may meet a guy who is very interested at first, but then after time, while I don’t announce my age over the loud speaker, by virtue of reference points and past experiences, they figure it out.
It is when this realization dawns, that I will see the men pushing away. Oh, no, she’s that old? What would people think, etc. etc. etc? As the following article suggests, it is really important to try and not take rejection personally. Realize that a lot of it has to due with the age factor, social pressures, and peoples’ natural programming to mate, procreate, etc. However, once I sense rejection once or twice, I don’t wait for the third or fourth time. We are done. As indicated before, men and women both make decisions about who they want to be with very quickly. Don’t beat the dead horse or the ‘dead bed’ as a fellow once said to me. It is not worth it. Move on quickly and give the next potential a chance.
Coping with rejection: 7 ways to deal with it
1. Don’t take it personally. Although it may feel very hurtful it is not you as a person that is being rejected. …
2. Don’t generalise. …
3. Stay positive. …
4. Let them go. …
5. Keep trying. …
6. Ghosts of the past. …
7. Be conscious about how you turn someone down.
Coping with rejection: 7 ways to deal with it – eharmony Dating …
https://www.eharmony.co.uk › dating-advice › dating-coping-with-rejection
How do you recognize the signs of rejection? Due to social pressures in our society, the signs of rejection may be very subtile (no one wants to look like the bad guy.)However, there are some pretty clear markers – such as: no eye contact. The individual never looks at you or glances your way and immediately looks away. No physical contact. The person may deliberately sit as far away from you as possible. No engagement; the person will respond but only if spoken to. They never initiate conversation. They may respond to phone calls, emails etc., but will never initiate any on their own. This can be true of romantic partners and/or same sex friends.
On the other hand, a person who is interested in knowing you will: smile when they see you, maybe wave. They will start a conversation, regardless of how brief. They find reasons to be somewhere at the same time you are there. They may make the phone call, send an email, letter, card, etc. Frankly, I have found to my surprise, these rules apply to female friends as well as male ones.
Once you have been rejected by a certain individual, there might be some changes in your life. For example: you lose 50 pounds, inherit money, win the lotto, get a big promotion, sell a book, whatever, and the person comes back, looking interested again. Just say no; don’t look back. If you weren’t good enough 50 pounds ago, or without the car, money etc., you aren’t good enough now. That man/woman is a user/taker who are looking for what they can get. Their real interest is not now and never was, you the person. Have enough self-respect to honor that and honor yourself.
Speed dating is just that, reacting with speed. We know enough now to know that others judge us; as potential partners, neighbors, employees, employers, dance partners, etc.,very quickly. We need to accept that as a fact of life, recognize that, realize when we have been ‘judged’ as not… something enough and simply move on. Stop agonizing about it. Remember, when you are on this side of the grass, it is not a bad thing. Hold on to your same-sex relationships, they could be the longest lasting ones you ever have. Develop hobbies and friends, get your hair cut, keep on self-grooming because you are worth it and stay open to the possibilities life has to offer. Be grateful and happy to be alive.
Dear Readers: you can find my books for sale on Draft2Digital – some new and some old. Happy New Year to you all! Courtney Webb
Mike Pence announces that Turkey agreed to a five-day ceasefire in its Syria assault
Deirdre Shesgreen and Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAYPublished 6:28 a.m. ET Oct. 17, 2019 | Updated 2:08 p.m. ET Oct. 17, 2019
The House condemned Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria because now Turkey is attacking Kurds, who have been our allies against ISIS. USA TODAY
Turkey agreed to halt its military assault in Syria for five days, in a U.S.-brokered cease-fire that will allow Kurdish forces to withdraw from the Turkey-Syria border and potentially end the conflict entirely.
The deal was announced by Vice President Mike Pence, who landed in Turkey Thursday morning on a rescue mission – to salvage American interests in Syria amid an increasingly chaotic geopolitical conflict and a fierce domestic bipartisan backlash.
“It will be a pause in military operations for 120 hours,” Pence told reporters at a news conference after a four-hour meeting with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He said that once the Kurdish forces have withdrawn, Turkey has agreed to “a permanent cease fire” and the U.S. will work with Erdogan’s government to restore that peace and stability to the region.
President Donald Trump dispatched Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ankara to broker the deal a week after Turkish forces invaded northeastern Syria to attack the Kurds.
Trump touted the deal in a tweet minutes after Pence’s announcement, suggesting that his imposition of sanctions pushed Erdogan to reverse course.
“This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago. There needed to be some ‘tough’ love in order to get it done,” Trump tweeted. “Great for everybody. Proud of all!”
Turkey’s incursion, which began shortly after Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region, has unleashed a free-for-all inside that corner of Syria, with Russia, Iran and other powers vying for influence.
Diplomacy?: Turkey’s leader rebuffs US call for Syria cease-fire, says he’ll meet Pence
Erdogan had initially rebuffed Trump’s demand for a halt to the Turkish attack, shrugging off the White House’s threats of crippling economic sanctions and saying he had no plans to pull back. Turkey views the Kurdish fighters – who helped U.S. forces battle the Islamic State – as terrorists because of their affiliation with an offshoot group known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK.
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It’s not clear why he reversed course on Thursday.
Trump on Wednesday seemed to distance himself from the crisis in Syria, even as he dispatched Pence and Pompeo to solve it.
“It’s not our problem,” Trump said in the Oval Office on Wednesday.
Hours later, the House overwhelming passed a bipartisan resolution condemning Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, which critics said gave Erdogan a green light to invade territory held by the U.S.-allied Kurds. Trump’s comments only seemed to further fuel the bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill to his troop withdrawal decision.
“What the president said today is just outrageously dangerous,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “It undercuts Pence and Pompeo. And I don’t agree with his construct that Turkey’s invasion of Syria is of no concern.”
Trump warned Erdogan “don’t be a tough guy” in a letter to his counterpart before Ankara launched a deadly incursion in northern Syria.
The Oct. 9 letter was confirmed by a senior administration official. “Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy – and I will,” Trump wrote.
BBC Turkey reported Thursday that when Erdogan received Trump’s letter he scrunched it up and threw it in the trash. He then launched Turkey’s offensive against Syria’s Kurds. Erdogan’s office did not return a request for confirmation of the incident.
On Thursday, Trump defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria on Twitter.
“I am the only person who can fight for the safety of our troops & bring them home from the ridiculous & costly Endless Wars, and be scorned,” the president wrote. “Democrats always liked that position, until I took it. Democrats always liked Walls, until I built them. Do you see what’s happening here?”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, gives a speech as Vice President Mike Pence looks on during a luncheon at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20, 2019.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, gives a speech as Vice President Mike Pence looks on during a luncheon at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
While politican play with brass knuckles over who will be the next president of the US, the American military is front line and at risk. Military bases in Turkey are heavily exposed. While the attention of the public is focused on Trump and ‘what he’s done today’, the nation moves closer to a real war.
Your Air Force – From Air Force Times
With Turkey’s invasion of Syria, concerns mount over nukes at Incirlik
By: Stephen Losey 2 days ago
A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle lands at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in November 2015. The deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and Turkey has led to concerns about the nuclear weapons reportedly housed there. (Airman 1st Class Cory Bush/Air Force)
The Air Force on Monday said it has made no changes to daily operations at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey even as Turkish forces continue to push into Syrian territory, which has prompted U.S. forces to pull back.
But concerns are growing over the reported presence of U.S. nuclear weapons at Incirlik, believed to be about 50 B61 gravity bombs. The New York Times on Monday reported that officials from the State and Energy departments over the weekend reviewed plans for evacuating the nuclear weapons there.
Not surprisingly, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek would not answer questions about possible nuclear weapons at Incirlik and whether they would be moved in a Monday email.
“The mission of the 39th [Air Base Wing at Incirlik] is to provide persistent surety and continuous air operations for the U.S., our allies and our partners and helps protect U.S. and NATO interests in the Southern Region by providing a responsive and operational air base ready to project integrated, forward-based airpower,” Stefanek said. But she stated there have been no daily operations changes at the base.
A senior official reportedly told the Times that the weapons “were now essentially [Turkish President Recep] Erdogan’s hostages” since removing the weapons would effectively spell the end of America’s alliance with Turkey, but keeping them there would leave them vulnerable.
The end of an era: 60,000 strong US-trained SDF partner force crumbles in a week under heavy Turkish assault
The end of an era: 60,000 strong US-trained SDF partner force crumbles in a week under heavy Turkish assault
The U.S.-trained force has been abandoned by its American partners and is under sustained assault by Turkish forces and their ragtag crew of proxy fighters — some who have reportedly fought under ISIS and al-Qaida banners.
By: Shawn Snow
The situation with Turkey, a NATO ally, has become increasingly volatile as Turkish forces tore into the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after the U.S. pulled back and abandoned them.
A suspected Turkish artillery strike also landed about 300 meters from a U.S. commando outpost near Kobani, Syria, on Friday. Some troops and artillery experts believe the artillery strike was intentional, as the Turkish military had detailed grid coordinates showing them where American troops were. The Washington Post quoted a knowledgeable Army officer as saying artillery rounds had been fired on both sides of the outpost, creating a “bracketing effect.”
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In response to the Turkish artillery fire, arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis tweeted, “Seriously, it’s time to take our fucking nuclear weapons out of Turkey.”
Seriously, it’s time to take our fucking nuclear weapons out of Turkey. https://twitter.com/paulszoldra/status/1182797475460997120 …
JUST IN: DoD statement on Turkey firing artillery at US troops
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The presence of nuclear weapons at Incirlik, though never publicly confirmed or denied by the U.S. government, has long been essentially an open secret. It became even less of a secret earlier this year when a Canadian senator published, apparently by accident, a document containing the bases where the United States is keeping nuclear weapons.
In an interview this summer with Air Force Times on the future of Incirlik amid rising tensions with Turkey, former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James would not confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons there. But, hypothetically speaking, she said that if nuclear weapons did have to be removed from that base, it would be a complicated operation. It would require negotiations with the nation that would become the weapons’ new host, James said. And it would require a great deal of logistical and security work.
If the Air Force found a new nation willing to host the nukes, James said, it would have to take “the greatest of care” in their removal and transport. If the receiving base did not have the facilities or security necessary, James said, it would require a significant construction effort. And NATO would likely be involved.
“Any time nuclear weapons are moved from point A to point B, it is a major logistical challenge,” James said. “The security is enormous that goes with this.”
The question of whether nuclear weapons should remain at Incirlik took on greater urgency following the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, during which the air base’s power was cut off by Erdogan’s government.
Concerns have only increased along with tensions between Ankara and the rest of NATO, especially as Turkey decided to accept a Russian-made S-400 air defense system in July. The U.S. and other NATO allies are concerned that Turkey’s use of the S-400 could jeopardize secrecy on the F-35 and it’s stealth capabilities.
Bringing a Russian system into the alliance could lead to data leaks and security breaches and give the Russians critical information about the F-35. And flying U.S. Air Force F-35s so close to the S-400 would make it easier for the Russians to gather data on their stealth and other capabilities.
Days after Turkey accepted the S-400, the U.S. booted the nation from the F-35 program. In response, Russia offered to sell Turkey its upgraded Su-35 fighters, and Turkey threatened to attack then-U.S.-allied Kurdish units in Syria.
Aaron Mehta of Defense News contributed to this report.