Saturday, January 28, 2017

Want to Investigate Electoral Fraud? Start with whistle blowers and judo!

== Calling all henchmen! ==

I’ve called for this since way back in the last century, illustrating it in The Transparent Society and in novels like EarthWe must unleash whistleblowers on the world. Envision Edward Snowden and the Panama Papers revealer, only far more extensively, with protections and rewards that lure secrets out of shadows. 


Basics are already in place – Whistleblower Laws that offer big commissions to tattlers in certain circumstances, for example, but these are far too limited. Expanding such protections and lures could be more important to our planet and civilization than any other matter.

Remember, our kind of society is almost never seriously damaged by revelations or leaks. Spills can be irritating or irksome and even tactically harmful in the short term. But we generally find the light bracing and adapt quickly, as our services did, after Snowden. 

Our deadly enemies, in contrast are all – every last one of them – lethally allergic to light.  


Sure our Protector Caste needs some tactical secrets. Still, there is one and only one long range victory condition. In a world that moves progressively toward light, we win. “We” – enlightenment civilization – just win. In part because none of our enemies can endure light.

As illustrated by most of the wildly diverse stories by brilliant authors in Chasing Shadows, illustrating all sorts of ways that people and societies will have to cope with an increasingly transparent world. And yet, for all its irritations and disruptions, such a world will be more just. Less rife with evil.

And this applies to... the Trump Era? Especially and spectacularly so. 

Like Bushites, he and his team will lay the hammer onto whistleblowers. But some billionaire might solve this.  By offering incentives outside of government for the kind of revelations that cleanse and invigorate our kind of society, unlike any other.

See how far back  I’ve been making this call.  Especially, asking that rewards be offered to bring out information about electoral fraud.

== A little Judo ==

Take President Trump's call for a major investigation of voter fraud. By reflexively opposing this, foolish liberals play their game - which is sumo... grunting against each other, chest to chest... when democrats should instead be practicing judo.

By opposing an investigation, liberals look like they are opposed to getting to the truth! And thus they fall for a trap. Instead they should say:

"At last you are offering something that's not about delusion, but about getting to truth! Fine! Let's agree to form a top level, blue ribbon commission, drawing from the finest statesmen and stateswomen! Start with retired US Supreme Court Justice (and Republican nominee) Sandra Day O'Conner.


"Only the commissioners will look into more than just the voting-dead. They will also examine rigged voting machines. And states that deliberately make it hard for women and poor people to get ID. And gerrymandering.

"Let's go! Let this be our first joint project with the new president. Meet our reasonable offer and let's get started!"

And yes, the heart and soul of any such investigation should be whistleblower prizes.

In the long term… this matters far more than just the results of one election. Out of a dozen major “suggestions” I have offered, over the years, none is more important than making it harder – ever-harder – for conspirators, would-be lords and other elites to trust their own henchmen.  Think on that.

Then ponder how this is not a uniform effect. The Koch brothers offered lavish rewards for scientists who would sell-out, regarding climate change. The tactic worked a bit in the pharmaceuticals and tobacco industries, biasing some reports. But almost never do top researchers accept the bribes. As I said, the forces of enlightenment can withstand light, but not their enemies.


So what I really want - what's needed - is some non-governmental Henchman's Prize. A big reward for whoever reveals "the worst thing" in any given year. Prize competitions are all the thing, right? This one could cost some real money.  But nothing else I can think of would more efficiently and effectively tip the balance in favor of a true... civilization.

== Siberian candidates ==

Hillary Clinton blames  Russian President Vladimir Putin for meddling in our election, as confirmed by the FBI, CIA and other agencies who will soon feel the heel of Putin’s revenge.  But Clinton attributes Putin’s grudge to have been due to her own past criticism of Russian elections

Really lady? You don’t think he might hate you for something more tangible?  Like the huge coup that you and President Obama are credited for, in the Russian Press and by Putin’s own words?  They accuse HRC and BHO of cleverly and aggressively “stealing the Ukraine” by stage managing the Velvet Revolution that ousted Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014.  I give far more credit to the Ukrainians, frankly. But it helps to put Putin’s later, “brilliant” moves in Crimea etc in perspective as very small nibble-backs from a geopolitical catastrophe. That is what he hates you and Obama for, Hillary.  Learn to take some credit. 

No wonder DT  would refuse even to look at evidence collected by our professionals, that a foreign power has waged acts of war against us - or even accept standard security briefings.

But seriously, what do you need? Could the Kremlin have picked a more favorable U.S. cabinet than Donald Trump has, including Exxon head Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, who has received lavish honors - and billions in favored contracts - directly from the Putin Administration and who hangs with Russian klepto-oligarchs? When the U.S. imposed sanctions against Russia in 2014 pursuant to the invasion of Crimea, one of the items put on indefinite hold was a contract between the Russian government and Exxon to exploit a wide variety of off shore drilling zones off Russia's Arctic coast. Estimates made the contracts worth up to half a trillion dollars to Exxon, and even more for the Russian government.

So? All is symbolism on the right.  And hence, President Putin has ordered officials to start planning a celebration of next year’s centennial of the Russian Revolution. It will be awkward, since Putin has simultaneously encouraged restored adulation of Joseph Stalin and the toppled Romanov Czars… both the lamented Soviet Union and the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Sound a bit like Putin’s biggest western fans – Republicans? Who simultaneously declare adoration of the Greatest Generation of the 1950s while pouring hate upon every aspect of the nation that generation built -- from strong unions and high taxes on the rich to the living person those folks adored, above all others, Franklin... Delano... Roosevelt? 

As in Russia, it seems the central goal is to use emotion to drive out logic.  And hence, the outright war – in both nations – against the scientists and other fact-professions.

Oh, while we’re peering east. An interesting revelation about a Russian weapon that purportedly could sneak bombs underwater into American seaports. I would be wary of this article, though, as there are some telltales of exaggeration. Example.  There has never been a 100 megaton bomb.  One was planned but that method is probably long lost. The tsunami thing and the Cobalt thing are likely lurid arm-wavings. Their aim would be to cripple us, not to poison all our children, triggering a spasm to kill all of theirs. A ten Kt drone-mine in each harbor would leave us impotent at sea while leaving the main California cities still available to hold hostage.

== Political miscellany == 

More perspectives on how China feels about TrumpAnd why DT has so many fans in China.

The New York Times notes that, “As recently as last year, Breitbart published an op-ed article urging that “every tree, every rooftop, every picket fence, every telegraph pole in the South should be festooned with the Confederate battle flag.”  


One of the leaders of a recent alt-right convention quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”  As he finished, several audience members had their arms outstretched in a Nazi salute.

Someone at the podium shouted, “Heil the people! Heil victory,” the room shouted it back. Later: “Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests. Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Spencer said, was “the victory of will,” a phrase that echoed the title of the most famous Nazi-era propaganda film.” These are exultant times for the alt-right movement.

And finally some ironic quotations:

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”  -- Ronald Reagan

“We’re going to build a beautiful, huge wall.”  -- Donald Trump

“Moscow’s evil empire…” –Ronald Reagan

"I looked the man (Putin) in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.”  -- George W. Bush

"Will he become my new best friend?" Donald Trump asked of Putin in a tweet before bringing the Miss Universe pageant Trump to Moscow.

Consistency? Confederates despise consistency.  The only thing that matters is whom do you hate? If you hate the same folks they hate, then you must be okay.


179 comments:

locumranch said...



The Goldilocks Zone (CHZ) theory meets classical criteria for circular argument: Life as we known it evolves & exists under Earth-specific planetary circumstances. Ergo, we must presuppose that Earth-specific planetary circumstances must exist for life as we know it to evolve & exist.

Pffttt! Pink Floyd immortialised this same illogic with "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?".

Likewise, those who natter on about IQ are making the identical error. What is IQ? It is the attempt to quantify certain characteristics (including urbanity, privilege, upbringing, education & class-dependent experience) that are assumed to reflect intelligence, the 'why' of which should give any reasonable individual pause.

It's prejudice. It's parasitism, the Master-Slave Dichotomy, now know as Scientific Management. Our culture presumes that those who gravitate towards management must be 'better' (more intelligent) than others because only an inferior moron would either work for a living or allow others to dominate them so completely.

These, our most 'intelligent', sit cloistered in their academic ivory towers and corporate offices, sipping Starbucks, eating sweet meats and issuing edicts. Or, else they march in the streets to demonstrate their privileged pussy-hatted contempt for the working man & demand his ongoing obedience.

Indeed, the Age of the Whistleblower has come and we need to yell these truths from the rooftops:

We, the common man, can govern ourselves! The ruling class are parasites. Exploiters. As are most urbanites. They only serve themselves. They exist to hold us down. They do not lift us up. They create problems that only they can fix, using empty threats & boogeymen (Putin; ISIS; CC) to scare us so they may dominate us! They are Emperors who have NO clothes.


Best

TCB said...

I've read about the Soviet mini-sub bomb idea before. In a nutshell: the Soviet nuclear bomb test known as Tsar Bomba was airdropped over Novaya Zemlya up in the Arctic Ocean in October 1961, mainly as a political demonstration. It had a yield of 57 megatons but had it been built as designed with a U-238 tamper it would have been a 100 megaton explosion. However, the Bear bomber was barely able to get clear of the explosion as it was; the cloud rose to a height of forty miles.

The design was actually a conservative, reliable one, for the scientists knew they'd be punished if this high-visibility test was a fizzle. Making bombs smaller was the more challenging engineering problem! The head scientist, Andrei Sakharov, was so disturbed by working on this project that he became a leading proponent of disarmament.

So, anyway, the Politburo had considered sending a mini-sub up the Potomac (a much less sophisticated one than that in the new story; a larger sub would be needed to get it close to the US seaboard). But weapons like the Tsar Bomba are too large to even be useful in a military sense; modern doctrine is to lay down hex patterns of much smaller bombs to cover the same area of destruction.

That's right: they don't make the warheads smaller to be nice guys; they do it 'cause it's cheaper.

Jumper said...

Russia can already launch nukes from subs. As can the USA. Missile or drone, you're just as dead and blasted.

Jumper said...

There's nothing "common" about you, locum. In fact I'd say you're most decidedly uncommon. This evil is the human condition. There are pickpockets and petty thieves, and larcenous rich. An administrator can be a good person or a bad one. As can internet commenters. Your jealousy and rage do nothing to enforce law and prevent looters. Your villains look like a comic book.

Lorraine said...

What's your opinion on infiltrative whistlebowing? By this I mean hiring on with some outfit with the unstated intention at the outset of neutralizing their information asymmetry strategies, which would suppose include any number of business and political intelligence operatives, except the premeditated intention in this case would be to forward the secrets to the public domain instead of to competing hoarders of informational advantage. I think it's a righteous (albeit illegal) pursuit, but I'm jaded enough at this point in my life to be very much a "hawk" in the Helvetian War sense.

Katy Williams said...

Donald Kingsbury wrote "Psychohistorical Crisis", and unauthorized sequel to Asimov's Foundation, where the 2nd Foundation cannot survive DUE TO EXCESSIVE SECRECY. It was very good. I think I'll re-read it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychohistorical_Crisis

Russell Osterlund said...

I hope there is a "yuge" payout for the person who shines a light on which drug DT is snorting.

Dwight Williams said...

If the revelation - once confirmed as true and accurate - gets him "Twenty-Fived" out of the Oval Office on medical grounds, that could be useful.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Katy
That is one of my all time favorite books!
I think I'll re-read it as well

Dwight Williams said...

Locumranch: As a suburban child now grown, I'd like to be able to grow old as a productive and helpful citizen. Certainly, as a creative one.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

The New York Times notes that, “As recently as last year, Breitbart published an op-ed article urging that “every tree, every rooftop, every picket fence, every telegraph pole in the South should be festooned with the Confederate battle flag.”


So much for locumranch's delusion that his favorite white supremacists now march to the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

locumranch:

These, our most 'intelligent', sit cloistered in their academic ivory towers and corporate offices, sipping Starbucks, eating sweet meats and issuing edicts. Or, else they march in the streets to demonstrate their privileged pussy-hatted contempt for the working man & demand his ongoing obedience.


That's your guy showing the contempt and demanding obedience.

Indeed, the Age of the Whistleblower has come and we need to yell these truths from the rooftops:


You wouldn't know "truth" if it bit you in the ass. But then neither does your Cheetolini, so you're in good company.


We, the common man, can govern ourselves! The ruling class are parasites. Exploiters. As are most urbanites. They only serve themselves. They exist to hold us down. They do not lift us up. They create problems that only they can fix, using empty threats & boogeymen (Putin; ISIS; CC) to scare us so they may dominate us! They are Emperors who have NO clothes.


Well, then thank God your white supremacist champion of the rust-belt working man is in charge now. The Wall St billionaires he's filled his cabinet with should do a good job of liberating you.


David Brin said...

Locum: “We, the common man, can govern ourselves! The ruling class are parasites. Exploiters.”

Amen locum! Except you slavishly get on your knees to suck the exploiters who by every single metric of statistics, economics and psychic exploitation are your masters and oppressors. There are zero metrics or criteria in which they might remotely be called on your side. But coward that you are, and desperate to appease them, like a slavish doggy, you attack the diverse and varied “elites” who are your neighbors, whose power is limited inherently and who invented all the wealth and successes that you enjoy.

Their despicable traits? They live... in cities? They learned stuff in college? They resort to ... facts?

Nooooo! All that is despicable! But never ever turn askance looks at the masters who steal from you daily.

You attack the fact people because you are ordered to, by your masters. Because those masters know that feudalism will never be restored while the knowledge professions stand.

You are right in your reflex of Suspicion of authority! And you know you have been forced to your knees and forced to suck. But so terrified are you of your masters that you’ll do anything, rave any incantation, rather than bite the master of 6000 years.

Yes massa. Underneath all the macho bluster, you confeds are utter cowards.

LarryHart said...

Under the previous post, there was some discussion about the Republicans using the 25th Amendment to make and then keep Pence Acting President so that he could later run for two more terms.

The 22nd Amendment would not seem to allow this (emphasis mine) :


No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

LarryHart said...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (on Twitter) :

To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith.
Diversity is our strength
#WelcomeToCanada


I hope he continues to welcome refugees when we line up at his southern border.

Dwight Williams said...

Hopefully, you won't have to be pleasantly surprised.

Meanwhile, freezing out the Director of National Intelligence and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs in favour of the Supervillain-Worshipper? Really?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-holds-calls-with-putin-leaders-from-europe-and-asia/2017/01/28/42728948-e574-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html

Tim H. said...

Saw this on Brad DeLong's page, "Economism" by James Kwak, and I second the recommendation. Explains a lot about economic misunderstanding on the right.

Tony Fisk said...

Judge has put a temporary hold on Trump's Muslim ban (which includes all green card holders, dual citizens, air crew. Set to extend to people in US? You betcha!).

Meanwhile, in Australia, White Supremacist Plans Shooting Spree at Sydney Shopping Centre

Latest piece of shit to encounter rotating blades: head of JCS excluded from National Security Council, replaced by... Ste-eve Bannon! Come. On. Down! (in best Ceasar Flickerman voice) Now Steve, are you planning to go shopping later?

David Brin said...

Tim H... please provide links.

David Brin said...

Is it true that Trump just removed the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council and added white nationalist Steve Bannon?

David Brin said...

"The conservative Koch network plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million to influence politics and public policy over the next two years, intensifying its nationwide efforts in the initial years of Donald Trump's presidency." This after spending roughly a billion across the 2nd Obama term. And the Saudis spent about the same...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/koch-political-network-spend-300m-400m-over-2-001528120--election.html

Oh, but locumrach thinks the elite controllers are.... schoolteachers!!! Scientists!!! Journalists!!! College types!

Just as he cannot grasp the notion of a positive sum game, even concentrating hard and trying his best... his neurons simply cannot focus on the possibility that feudal lord types, who oppressed our ancestors in 99% of societies, just might, maybe, perhaps, be at it again. Wealth disparitites skyrocket, cheating grabs of lucre happen, hand over fist, all of TRump's cabinet are billionaires or servants of billionaires. But can our confederate friends even imagine that they've been had?

Cheer up. By 1864, the white confederate troops who had been suckered into marching for the plantation lords started wising up. And deserting. And coming home. To America.

HiFiLoFi said...

You have to believe that the Russians meddled in the election because if they didn't, you'd have to face the hard truth that your brand of technocratic liberalism was thoroughly repudiated this November. It must really rankle that your candidate was so loathed and incompetent she couldn't defeat a man as loathsome as DT.

Tony Fisk said...

Is it true that Trump just removed the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council and added white nationalist Steve Bannon?

Hoo, yes! (but you've probably caught up by now)

Makes you wonder if there's been a coup within a coup.

"The King... is not himself" - The Madness of King George

Alfred Differ said...

It's possible one or more of the other things were kite-flying distractions to cover the NSC change.

Tony Fisk said...

Offal covers dung... covers shit... covers sewage... the swamp is bottomless.

Whether what we're seeing is all part of a plan of disruption, or the demented lurchings of a cut snake, remains to be seen. It won't matter unless more people, like Anne Donnelly, are prepared to jam spanners in the works.

Twominds said...

@locumranch 2:40 PM

The Goldilocks Zone (CHZ) theory meets classical criteria for circular argument: Life as we known it evolves & exists under Earth-specific planetary circumstances. Ergo, we must presuppose that Earth-specific planetary circumstances must exist for life as we know it to evolve & exist.

Now you´re wilfully misrepresenting! I wanted to say wilfully ignorant, but no, I think you know enough of how the habitable zone works.

You´re better than that. Or, probably, you were better than that.

Pity. You sometimes had interesting ideas I would think about for a bit, inbetween your Rants full of Capital letter Nouns. Now, you´re fast approaching treebeards level. You lose your function here.

Pity. Really.

Twominds said...

@LarryHart 7:15 PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (on Twitter) :
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith.
Diversity is our strength
#WelcomeToCanada
I hope he continues to welcome refugees when we line up at his southern border.


Too many. Canada can never accomodate 200 million American refugees.

But in another forum I frequent I saw an idea I liked: Canada taking in all Syrian (and Irakian etc) refugees that were already vetted by the US. They already went through a very strict screening process, and it´s a big middle finger to the fears the trump admin is peddling.

Dwight Williams said...

Dr. Brin, please check the link to the _Washington Post_ coverage I posted to confirm Bannon's new NSC role.

Tim H. said...

Economism, Bad Economics And The Rise Of Inequality James Kwak ©2017 ISBN 978-101-87119-5
https://www.amazon.com/Economism-Bad-Economics-Rise-Inequality/dp/B01NAJMCQE

LarryHart said...

This could be an Onion article, except that it isn't.

Ostensibly a letter from the Arab world welcoming America as one of its own:

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/america-you-look-like-an-arab-country-right-now-214678

"America, You Look Like An Arab Country Now"

The entire article is worth a read, but here's a highlight:

And then there’s the unrest. In the lead up to the inauguration, we started to hear about youth protests against the new regime. Come on! This is bordering on plagiarism now. Please write your own plots and stop borrowing ours. Although, we usually wait for leaders to take power before we start protesting; we like your preemptive revolution approach.


And this bit should warm locumranch's cockles:

There was talk, too, of rural strongholds and urban bastions. Deep social and geographic divisions whose origins go back in time. They’re not quite tribal divisions, but there was more than enough religious and political sectarianism to ignite our interest. Who are the liberals and the conservatives and how did their disagreement begin? What’s the difference between alt-right and the Tea Party? What’s the origin of the schism between the neo-conservatives and paleoconservatives? Watching foreign correspondents trying to explain the differences was mesmerizing.






LarryHart said...

I may be inadvertently insulting the fictional character of President Snow when I compare him to our own occupant of the White House. After all, a major plot point in the "Hunger Games" series revolves around Snow's mutual promise with Katniss that they never lie to each other. Trump would be incapable of keeping that one.

Back during the Republican primary debates, Ted Cruz mocked the moderators for asking questions like "Is Donald Trump a cartoon supervillain?" Who'd have thought what an important question that would turn out to be? Installing Steve Bannon in the NSC seems to be just the latest in a series of actions which have in common the characteristic of things one would expect a candidate/president "just can't do".

LarryHart said...

Twominds addressing locumranch:

You´re better than that. Or, probably, you were better than that.

Pity. You sometimes had interesting ideas I would think about for a bit, inbetween your Rants full of Capital letter Nouns. Now, you´re fast approaching treebeards level. You lose your function here.

Pity. Really.


I've also noticed the change in loc-2017, and it is exactly what happened to a conservative former-friend on the "Cerebus" list when Obama was elected president. I at least understood why his side losing power would set him off that way. I have a hard time understanding why winning would have that effect.

Zepp Jamieson said...

The idea of a prize for biggest whistle-blower disturbs me, because I think it might encourage bad-faith whistleblowing. There really are disgruntled employees, people driving by personal or political vendettas, and monetizing grievances would bring them out of the woodwork, I'm afraid.

And yes, Doctor, you heard correctly: Bannon is now on the NSC. There's a report this morning that he deliberately overruleed the DHS on his edict banning green-card holders from reentry to the US, reasoning that the resulting chaos and confusion would be good PR. And we all know what geniuses Bannon's crowd are at PR, right?

One thing I can say for Bannon: he looks like an end-stage alcoholic. I doubt he'll be around for much longer.

LarryHart said...

@Zepp Jamieson,

From your lips to God's ear.

LarryHart said...

Who was it on this list who suggested that "Hunger Games" President Coin resembled Hillary Clinton?

While I did not get that impression when the movies were first out, I saw what you were getting at during my most recent re-watching of the series. In fact, the resemblance grows as the films progress. I was even, grudgingly, able to see what some voters might have feared and distrusted enough to vote for President Snow instead of her, even knowing full well what he was.

I don't want to spoil the final movie for anyone who might still see it. In fact, if you're planning on still watching "Mockingjay" for the first time, you might want to stop reading right now. This will be at least a soft spoiler, and I'd hate to ruin it for you........

I never read the books, but in the movie, I don't believe we, the audience, ever actually know whether the climactic action taken by Katniss was justified or paranoid.

LarryHart said...

Since yesterday's order bans entry from Muslim countries which all have in common that U.S. terrorist attackers and attempted-attackers did not come from them, what is the real impetus behind the order? I'm seriously asking the question. Yes, I get that it's red meat for his supporters, but that could have also been achieved by targeting Arab countries whose nationals actually did attack us.

Twominds said...

@ LarryHart 6:52 AM:

I've also noticed the change in loc-2017, and it is exactly what happened to a conservative former-friend on the "Cerebus" list when Obama was elected president. I at least understood why his side losing power would set him off that way. I have a hard time understanding why winning would have that effect.

The only thing I can imagine is a kind of disappointment that we can´t see how good and whole and perfect this is, and have the bloody courage to disagree and protest.

And probably, locum and treebeard&co., are enraged that we don´t bow to the inevitable and debase ourselves because their side won. So they step up their tantrums.

Or maybe I don´t understand their thinking process at all.

David S said...

Larry, Trump's Muslim band doesn't include countries that have business relations with Trump properties. See https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest/

So the reasonable solution for these countries is to build a trump tower in their country to get the ban lifted.

Twominds said...

Here´s a long-form blog post from a lawyer about the Malevolence and Incompetence of the Executive Order. I´m still reading it, but the first impression is that this person knows what he´s talking about.

Maybe it will even be enough to make the first dents in the starry-eyed optimism of my trump-loving lover.

LarryHart said...

Twominds:

Or maybe I don´t understand their thinking process at all.


And that there is the fatal flaw inherent in democracy. The theory behind democracy presumes a minimum level of compatibility of the thought process of the citizenry. We may debate and argue over tactics and strategy, but when there is a disconnect over basics like "Do we or don't we respect reality?", then the model breaks down. The Civil War was inevitable when some states considered their founding principle to be that some people were property and other states considered it self-evident that all men are created equal.

Locum salivates over the notion of President Snow sending in the Peacekeepers, declaring that his side is the Union now. But maybe it's more accurate to envision that the Divided States of America simply no longer functions as a Union, not because one side departs from the whole, but because the Union needs a divorce due to irreconcilable differences.

When a couple gets a no-fault divorce, one partner doesn't remain "the union" and the other partner a "rebel". The union simply splits apart along its fault line (making "no-fault" an ironic term). Likewise, this country is currently splitting between "The Compassionate States of America" and "The Vindictive States of America", with supporters of each side fully aware of which core principles they are supporting. I'm not sure a democracy can continue to function based upon one side or the other crossing back and forth over the threshold of 50.0001% support. Maybe the time has come, not for one side to secede from the other, but to simply recognize the split.

I contend that Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) and our own Ilithi Dragon are tragically mistaken if they believe we can avoid a Constitutional Crisis by obeying the forms. This is not a "stalemate" situation in which a move is disastrous, but staying put is safe. No, this is "checkmate", because staying put with this administration is a Constitutional Crisis of its own. There's no way to stay the course and not rock the boat any more. The only choice is what we look like when the Crisis is addressed.


Zepp Jamieson said...

David S wrote "Trump's Muslim band doesn't include countries that have business relations with Trump properties"

Well, that would explain why the band doesn't apply to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia and Israel.

LarryHart said...

From the article posted above by Twominds, this is part of Cheetolini's own mission statement of the immigration ban:


In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including "honor" killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.


So when do the Trump supporters get deported en masse? I mean, that's a checklist of the un-American beliefs and actions they support.


Anonymous said...

Oh boy more simplistic binaries, where the baddies are perforce baddy baddies and the goodies nothing less than goody two shoes, and doubtless the buldging flag-drapped thighs of the light-bearing Americans will be (any moment now) shot off to the stars (oops, toxic rocket burn) while the dirty rat bastard commies-or-whomever will gnash their teeth and cringe from light, because, well, they're bad bad evil bad. Like, you know, duh!

The Iroqui call your "light" a death path. Why could that be? Given suburban digs and cold hard cash, native americans paint their brains on the cheap particle board stucco walls in group-leading numbers. Why could that be? Or how about the Western Shoshone and their land? Mmm union gold. Or your sugar barons in Hawaii? Is that "light"? Or consider your much-beloved tech billionairs: Mark Zuckerberg now plays a Haole in Hawaii over lawsuits and landgrabs.

I guess the Whig history that progressively blocks your vision is progress, of sorts...

LarryHart said...

Anonymous might as well have said:

Heed not this rabble who scream "Revolution!"
They have not your interest at heart.
Chaos and bloodshed are not a solution.
Don't let them lead you astray.

This congress does not speak for me.
They're playing a dangerous game.
I pray the king shows you his mercy.
For shame! For shame!

TCB said...

LarryHart said:

"I at least understood why his side losing power would set him off that way. I have a hard time understanding why winning would have that effect."

Well, imagine a hopelessly hooked heroin/cocaine/you-name-it addict who suddenly gets his supply cut off. Result: trouble!

Now imagine instead that the addict wins the lottery and can suddenly afford drugs by the pound. Result: trouble!

TCB said...

Incidentally, there's been a lot of talk about the Republican idea of 'returning power to the states' and letting each state decide how it wants to do health care (for instance). But it occurred to me what weakening federalism, if taken that far, gets you to: balkanization.

And anyone who knows their history will know that you do not want that.

Marino said...

You know I lurk here but I don't post often
Locum's line is terrifying

We, the common man, can govern ourselves! The ruling class are parasites. Exploiters. As are most urbanites. They only serve themselves. They exist to hold us down. They do not lift us up. They create problems that only they can fix, using empty threats & boogeymen (Putin; ISIS; CC) to scare us so they may dominate us! They are Emperors who have NO clothes.

the only political movement with such hatred with knowledge were either the Spanish Fascists (!Abajo la inteligenza, viva la muerte!) or the Khmer Rouge. We liberals and progressives in Europe are scared, it looks like a remaking of the '30s or Tuchman's March of folly. Anyway, the only answer to such O'Brien wannabe believing that his will be the boot grinding an human face forever, is Dirty Harry's one: "Go ahead, make my day"

Anonymous HiFiLoFi said...
You have to believe that the Russians meddled in the election because if they didn't, you'd have to face the hard truth that your brand of technocratic liberalism was thoroughly repudiated this November.

two words: POPULAR VOTE

locumranch said...



So many brilliant intellects, yet so many of you are so limited by either-or bivalent thinking it's a wonder you can think at all. You may want to listen to to what Jon Stewart has to say about that self-limitation here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jon-stewart-the-daily-show-former-host-election-2016-donald-trump-republicans/

With articles like 'One Country, Two Tribes', the NYTimes has become the newspaper for stoopid people everywhere because, in truth, reality is much more complex then that. The USA (like the EU) is composed of many tribes, and the most recent US Presidential Election (like Brexit) is a repudiation of BOTH the Established Tribes of Left & Right.

David thought it snarky to quip that I thought "the elite controllers are schoolteachers!!! Scientists!!! Journalists!!! College types!", and he is partly correct. They became that way when they & their bureaucratic agencies choose to push biased sociopolitical ideology instead of what they were paid to do.

Take the US Department of Education. Established in 1979 (because everyone educated before that date was hopelessly & irredeemably 'stoopid'), it began pushing the most intellectually sanitised pablum (first, in the name of standardisation; second, in the rightwing sense of 'No Child Left Behind'; and, third, in the leftwing sense of politically-correct Social Justice) that bypassed representational government & became 'The Law of the Land' for which NO ONE VOTED.

It needs to go away, along with every other federal govt branch that insists on telling the voting polity WHAT to think, as soon as the Established Right & the Established Left destroy each other.


Best

matthew said...

The good news is even my brother and sister in law, huge Trump supporters and donors, are questioning his motives and implementation of the Muslim Ban.

Bad news is whatever is going on in the White House right now that the Muslim Ban is supposed to distract away from - Bannon on the NSC is part of it as is the sidelining of the Joint Chiefs and Director of National Intelligence. I'm sure there is a piece of this particular puzzle we've not seen yet.

And DHS not respecting the judicial stay on the Muslim Ban is definitely the next step in our constitutional crisis.

Zepp Jamieson said...

locumranch wrote: "the elite controllers are schoolteachers!!! Scientists!!! Journalists!!! College types!"

Well, cheer up. Under Uberhair Trump, those will be the first going to the camps.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

the most recent US Presidential Election (like Brexit) is a repudiation of BOTH the Established Tribes of Left & Right.


Tell that to your Republican elected officials. They haven't got the memo yet.

Marino said...

Locum, we met your tribe in the battlefields of Spain ("mit Gewehre, Bomben und Granaten/wir will retten Spanien von Faschisten un Verrater" and "Ay Carmela") and of WW2.
You're an existential enemy of both Unions. Period. I'm a EU patriot who got a very USian feeling for THAT star-spangled banner. Keep your insanity at home, in our lands too many died following those "ideals" of your. Not anymore,by any means necessary. Better the technocrats in Bruxelles playing with trifling budget issues than the technocrats who used IBM punched cards to manage death camps inmates.Remeber, I'm an educated urbanite, and I'll bow to no man in contrite humilaition (assuming that the wannabe O'Briens are human, something I'm not sure)

David Brin said...

The malakey spins on. No Child Left Behind (NCLB)- with its "firm standards and testing" - was Republican dogma! As was Obamacare ... oops Romneycare... oops Heritage-Care and the GOP's own platform for more than a decade. Sure, you can change your mind. But to spew venom and volcanic fury at what had been your own damn plan is stunning, spectacular, drroling hypocrisy and utter proof that your followers are morons.

Why did the confeds abandon NCLB and scream at it? Because the "firm standards and testing" that they earlier demanded had disastrous results. The tests showed that Blue State schools were getting better and that Red State schools starting bad, were getting steadily worse. Rather than fix their problems, the confeds sprang into action, to end testing!

Next came Common Core, which was NOT a federal program but one organized by states. And again, after first supporting it, confeds-reds turned against it because it demanded that even voucher schools should teach a little math and science.

Locum, you masters want a dull, unsapient peasantry, so they can re-establish feudalism. And you will suck any thing they tell you to suck. Hate schoolteachers? Yes Massa.

Hate scientists!

Hate every single young person who wants top be a journalist, traveling the country actually actually actually ASKING QUESTIONS of people from all walks of life! Hate them especially!

Yeeeeessss Massa.

David Brin said...

The Evonomics site is one of the best online. They have taken over my own formerly-quixotic quest to re-study Adam Smith. If he were alive today, Smith would not just be a Democrat, he'd be urging revolution, the way he did in 1776. See how this economist-historian explains the "rentier" phenomenon and why Supply Side tax cuts for the rich have never, ever had the effect of stimulating investment in productive innovations or factories. Even once. Ever.

http://evonomics.com/they-dont-just-hide-their-money-economist-says-billionaire-wealth/

Twominds said...

@LarryHart 9:18 AM:

I contend that Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) and our own Ilithi Dragon are tragically mistaken if they believe we can avoid a Constitutional Crisis by obeying the forms. This is not a "stalemate" situation in which a move is disastrous, but staying put is safe. No, this is "checkmate", because staying put with this administration is a Constitutional Crisis of its own. There's no way to stay the course and not rock the boat any more. The only choice is what we look like when the Crisis is addressed.

I think their identity is so intertwined with their (former) profession and their Oath that it will take time for them to see and digest this. And a good thing too, in general, that military people are very hesistant to throw off their adherence to the Constitution.

I don´t know enough about the US law and legal habits to know if civil disobedience is doable. To throw a wrench into the cogwork while just keeping to the right side of the law. Work-to-rule actions that slow implementing inconstitutional orders down to a halt for instance; for christians that don´t agree with trump, to invoke religious freedom to avoid obeying etc.

And as others said, this Muslim ban is just the diversion, that must be addressed, but that also serves as a cover for other horrible happenings. Bannon in a national security council?? Fucking hell!



Tony Fisk said...

@larryhart, Being fresh in the memory of movieogers, the comparisons between Trump and Snow come readily to mind, except:
1. Snow was a far wilier politician than Trump
2. Donald Sutherland is Canadian!

I have noted a striking similarity between the machinations and appearance of Plutarch Heavensbee and Steve Bannon but, as you say, end stage alcoholism...

Jumper said...

I saw a woman in a grocery store with a talkative tyke. She turned and shouted at the kid "Stop asking questions!"

Tony Fisk said...

All of Trump's actions this week are real threats that act as diversions to each other.

Offal covers dung covers shit covers sewage covers offal...

Jumper said...

Was there a Bannon background check? Who?

Twominds said...

Further at LaryHart about the above

Quote from Stonekettle Station Jan. 27: This (3 million illegal votes) isn't some bombastic billionaire yammering about a birth certificate, THIS IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CLAIMING THAT THE VERY SYSTEM WHICH PUT HIM IN POWER IS CORRUPTED.

He still wants to see resolve within the bounds of normal procedure, but it looks like it´s starting to chafe him too.



I´ll be without internet in about an hour till sometime tomorrow, so I may not react anymore.

Robert said...

I must admit. I am worried. At this point I'm not sure if it'll be the first 100 days. It might end up being the first 50.

This is not what has me worried.

We have the Executive Branch having just told the Judicial Branch "fuck you, you have no power over us."

If Trump is Impeached and removed from office, but Trump refuses to step down and calls the Impeachment and Trial Illegitimate and calls on his supporters to unite behind him and to overthrow the tyranny of a corrupt Legislature... I have a sneaking feeling many will heed that call.

You cannot have a peaceful transition of power if the former head refuses to step down. Trump could cause civil war in resisting a legitimate decision to remove him. And in doing so, a lot of people are going to get hurt... or killed.

Rob H.

MillenniumCrow said...

I saw the news about the NSC re-organization and came straight here, but sure enough someone beat me to it. I wonder if this is the visible beginning of what our host was referring to as an attack on the U.S. military as an institution. I say visible because I've seen reporting that suggests that someone in the Trump Administration (probably Flynn) was interfering with Secretary Mattis' personnel decisions in DoD.

Also, is Bannon starting to remind anyone else of L. Ron Hubbard? The NSC story that I saw mentions that Bannon is a former naval officer, like Hubbard. He's clearly gifted at writing absolute B.S. fiction, so there's that in common as well.

MillenniumCrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twominds said...

@Rob H. 2:05 PM:

We have the Executive Branch having just told the Judicial Branch "fuck you, you have no power over us."

A new development from the last few hours, or an aspect of this weeks happenings that I don´t get, from the outside?

Robert said...

A Federal Court ordered a stay on taking into custody Muslims entering into the country. The Executive Branch under Bannon refused and continues to take them into custody.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

1. Snow was a far wilier politician than Trump


We probably don't know for sure whether Snow never lied to Katniss, but I got the idea that breaking that promise would have felt beneath him--like he was canny enough to mislead her when he had to without outright lying, and that doing so was a sort of personal challenge. Absent that, the doubt he introduced into Katniss's mind leading up to the climax would not have worked.

Trump could not possibly pull that off in any sense. Lying and breaking agreements is what he does. It's like his core personality.


2. Donald Sutherland is Canadian!


Heh. But he could be a versatile enough actor to portray an American.

BTW, it wouldn't surprise me if Trump's birtherism was meant to keep people from asking what's on his birth certificate that we might want to see.

I have noted a striking similarity between the machinations and appearance of Plutarch Heavensbee and Steve Bannon but, as you say, end stage alcoholism...


Now, that is a chillingly scary thought. During the second film, I couldn't really tell which side Plutarch was on, and even through the end, I'm not sure if he was on the up and up or playing his own game. Apologies if the books made this clearer, but because the actor died before the movies were completed, I heard that some of Plutarch's lines were given to Coin instead, and I even wondered if that was supposed to be Plutarch who met Coin's fate at the end, having played even more sides against each other.

Yeah, Bannon could be a gamesmaster. Let's hope he's a flawed one like Seneca Crane.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

A Federal Court ordered a stay on taking into custody Muslims entering into the country. The Executive Branch under Bannon refused and continues to take them into custody.


Sigh--we could have stopped metaphorical Hitler in metaphorical 1932, but now we're going to have to do it in metaphorical 1939 instead. And I'm losing patience with the idea that our only hope at avoiding a Constitutional Crisis is to not use the Constitutional safety mechanisms, because if we do, #IllegitimatePresident won't go along without a fight. Yes, it would have been easier not to nominate this clown, or not to elect him, or for the Electoral College to elect someone else, or for congress to contest the election results. Each missed opportunity makes the next one harder to pull off. But here we are.

At what point are we Constitutionally justified in actually considering his rule illegitimate? I don't mean dispensing with the Constitution ourselves--I mean recognizing the reality that it's already being done to us.

raito said...

Jumper,

George Carlin used to have a routine that included how he used to be told to 'stop acting smart' in class.

Dr. Brin,

And look at the whole voucher programs aka 'choice' in Milwaukee. A few years in, the results are no better in those 'choices' are no better than the public schools. And worse from a couple points of view. Apparently, of the 12 million in vouchers, 8 million went to households making more than 100K per year. Now, I wouldn't mind that so much if it helped those it was supposed to help. But it didn't.

When I was on the committee for doing long range planning for the school district, I was rather appalled that academic achievement was nearly not brought up at all, in favor of discussing the diversity of the teachers and staff. As if that was the greatest problem in a district where we're adding as many children a year as fit into an elementary school, with the greater number of them designated as poor (I'd sure like to know where they're escaping from. And what they expect to be different here. Then we might be able to talk).

On the downside, it's pretty plain that you apparently have nearly no knowledge of sumo. Geez, half of sumo's winning technique's names are close to identical to judo's and predate them by a couple centuries! The idea that sumo is only two fat guys belly-bucking is quite amusing (and wholly untrue).

Or maybe you do, and are just too subtle. Perhaps the case is that you prefer an art where one is required to come back to the mat after being forced out and are allowed to hold the opponent to the ground to one where forcing the opponent out of the designated area is a win and has a wider range of allowed technique.

Or maybe you recognize that in sumo decorum is required, which no longer appears to be the case in judo (or fencing, for that matter). There's probably some cogent parallel in here somewhere that recently the first Japanese Yokozuna since 1998 was made.

Upon thinking on it, I might choose aikido instead of either. It still uses the opponent against himself, but generally doesn't require one to come close enough that he can drag you down with him.

LarryHart said...

Highlights from Paul Krugman's recent tweets:

The Art of the Broken Deal: America hasn't always been true to all its principles, or a benign force in the world. But one thing we were/1

a country that kept its promises. Whether it was a defense pact, a trade agreement, or a personal guarantee of access like a green card 2/

the US government made good on what it said it would do. Now, all at once, we've become totally unreliable. 3/

It's telling that right away -- from day one -- we're not just tightening rules on refugees, we're betraying friends and allies 4/

Iraqis who put their lives on the line for America; green card holders who thought they had been assured a role here; military allies 5/

Threats to rip up trade agreements are really just of a piece. The only safety seems to lie in being a personal profit center for Trump 6/

The whole world has noticed that countries with plenty of terrorists including the homes of all the 9/11 attackers aren't under the ban 7/

What distinguishes them? Trump business. So now everyone knows that America is unreliable, and its leadership up for sale 8/

We are never going to get back what we just lost. Thanks, Comey 9/



raito said...

One more thing, in a high school assignment, I cast Sutherland as Fafhrd to Dustin Hoffman's Gray Mouser. I suppose it could still be done, but only for the last couple books.

David Brin said...

raito, yes there is subtlety in sumo.

But the metaphor is unbeatable.

Smurphs said...

Dear Locum,

Thanks for an actual concrete proposal, eliminating the Department of Education, something we can actually debate, rather than your usual free association rant against whatever our host is saying.


I have numerous friends who are (or were) teachers, one friend who is a state level administrator and innumerable parental friends. I have heard every reason under the sun for WHAT IS WRONG with education in America today. And there are several commenters here who obviously know much more than I. I am smart enough to know when I am out of my depth.

My only real opinion on the state of education in America is purely anecdotal: I am the product of an Eastern Elite Education from the 60's & 70's. The best private schools in my area, Grade school and high school, including a private, Catholic, Jesuit University. ( say what you want about Jesuits or priests in general, but every individual Jesuit I know, whether I liked him or not, agreed with him or not, (alcoholic or not, there were a few) each and every one was smarter than me. And I'm not a dummy. They were superb teachers.)

Given that, my son is currently in 8th grade at the local middle school, well ranked but not among the highest in state. The education he is getting to is VASTLY better that the best available when I was growing up. So, for all its faults, American Education is at least doing some things right.

On a different topic, since someone else brought it up, over the past several years here, you said on numerous occasions that the Balkanization of America was the only solution to our differences. Now that your self-declared side is on top, do you still feel the same way? Do you want to rule us, or let us go away. It may sound snarky, but it is an honest question. And, will you let us leave in peace, if that is truly the only way?

Arizsun Ahola said...

I am furious at what has happened in the last 10 days. The GOP has control of all levers of Federal power and shows no sign of being adults who put country before party. I see Democrats protesting but without at least a few Republicans willing to stand with them....


This is absolutely appalling.


I just had dinner with friends for my son's 4th birthday. Among the guests an Afghan family who are very warm, open and Liberal. They are here because the dad was a translator for us. Even after spending years working for us and generating classified info it took them years, spent in danger, before their visas were approved and they could come to the US. My son and their son are great friends and hugged each other as soon as they saw each other tonight. Trump and the GOP betray people like my friends.

For crying out loud, Dick Cheney objects to this executive order as unamerican. Dick Cheney!

LarryHart said...

Arizsun Ahola:

The GOP has control of all levers of Federal power and shows no sign of being adults who put country before party.


Some of them are so scared of straw-Democrats that they believe their own one-party rule is in the best interests of the country. That's probably the most charitable spin I can put on them.

The worst ones in power don't care about country or party particularly. They care about maximizing their own power and influence. They're like the movie version of Captain America's Red Skull, who would have turned on the Axis powers as soon as he finished off the Allies.


Trump and the GOP betray people like my friends.


The Geico commercial again:
"If you're Trump and the GOP, you betray people. It's what you do."


For crying out loud, Dick Cheney objects to this executive order as unamerican. Dick Cheney!


Guess it takes one to know one.

As comics writer Dave Sim puts it:
"Sometimes you can get what you want and still not be very happy." Cheney can rot in hell for all I care, but yeah, that's kinda funny anyway.


Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart: We can't afford to divorce. If we go there, we will eventually have to go to war with them. Such a war will be unlike any history has seen yet.

Ilithi Dragon has a point I would encourage you to heed. He has taken an oath and his caste is deadly serious about such things. He will defend the nation. Take it as a given. The trick to this is TO BE the people he wants to defend. He described such persons very well the other day. Be one and trust him to be honorable.

He didn't ask you to be docile. He asked that you not be a better fit for the 'confederate' term than the people you oppose. Truly, it shouldn't be difficult to rise in opposition avoiding docility while also avoiding rebellion.

Alfred Differ said...

@locumranch: It needs to go away, along with every other federal govt branch that insists on telling the voting polity WHAT to think, as soon as the Established Right & the Established Left destroy each other.

Why wait? Also, why stop at the federal level? Lots of people think they can tell us what to think. In my own life, the majority of people who push against me are at the state and local level. Surely you can see them in your life too.

However, I don't see much point in pushing back against them unless they have actual power. I'm not going to get too upset at my neighbor telling me what to think. They moment he tries, I might accept the precedent and respond in kind. My one exception to this rule is when they push me toward thinking that someone else is an opponent or enemy. I get awful suspicious when they do that.

Robert said...

Larry...

Trump's presidency is already illegitimate.

It became illegitimate when Trump and his associates refused to obey the Rule of Law. When he said "the Courts cannot tell me what to do" he went over the line. He was skirting it before with his efforts to remain in control of his companies while being President. But this current bullshit with the immigration and refusing to accept the Constitution and the Courts?

There is no more legitimacy to the Trump Presidency. And that is why there are only two paths left before us. One is the death of the Union and the rise of the Fascist States of America. The other is Trump removed from office. Both will likely result in widescale upheaval, deaths, disorder, and more.

Rob H.

Alfred Differ said...

@Rob H: If Trump is Impeached and removed from office, but Trump refuses to step down and calls the Impeachment and Trial Illegitimate and calls on his supporters to unite behind him and to overthrow the tyranny of a corrupt Legislature... I have a sneaking feeling many will heed that call.

That is a lot of if's, but it leads to the purest definition of the modern Confederates I've seen lately. If those if's all line up that way, our active duty folks will have the easiest time they could have when they split with their personal decisions of who to support.

Alfred Differ said...

@Rob H: Technically, no. The Executive is a co-equal branch. He CAN tell them to @$#^% off. There are consequences, of course.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart:At what point are we Constitutionally justified in actually considering his rule illegitimate? I don't mean dispensing with the Constitution ourselves--I mean recognizing the reality that it's already being done to us.

Never dispense with the Constitution.
Always, always, always remember Amendment #9. James Madison's 'Great Residuum' applies when we feel it must, but we must be prepared to explain exactly which right we are expressing from the residual.

Trump occupying the office of The President is NOT illegitimate. He was elected by the rules that applied at the time. Find among the residual a reason to act and you won't need to break our institutions.

TCB said...

@Alfred Differ: Donald Trump would be legitimate IF he was elected by the rules that applied at the time. However, it is all but certain that he was NOT elected by the rules that applied, had they been enforced equally. He stole several states.

gregpalast.com and Thom Hartmann would like to convince you of this.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

We can't afford to divorce.


We can't afford to be a battered spouse either. Or one whose partner is ruining our joint credit rating.


If we go there, we will eventually have to go to war with them. Such a war will be unlike any history has seen yet.


Well then, to extend the analogy, we need one heck of a marriage counseling session.

Look, somehow you've got it in your head that I'm the one advocating the abandonment of the Constitution. No, I'm taking the side of the Constitution over the officials who are nominally authorized to defend it, but are willfully reckless and irresponsible at their jobs.

There's no "right" way to act that avoids a Constitutional Crisis. Disobeying the authorities is a de-jure act of rebellion, but obeying them is a de-facto failure to defend the principles enshrined in the Constitution itself. So if I'm the one causing a problem, you tell me--what do you suggest instead?


LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ (to Rob H) :

"If Trump is Impeached and removed from office, but Trump refuses to step down and calls the Impeachment and Trial Illegitimate and calls on his supporters to unite behind him and to overthrow the tyranny of a corrupt Legislature... I have a sneaking feeling many will heed that call."

That is a lot of if's, but it leads to the purest definition of the modern Confederates I've seen lately. If those if's all line up that way, our active duty folks will have the easiest time they could have when they split with their personal decisions of who to support


Yeah, that's almost the "happy path" now. Some here have suggested that elections will be cancelled as early as 2018. That would be the only excuse any blue-staters would need to refuse obedience. It's not like they could say we're "rebelling" when they refuse even to nominally obey the forms.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

Never dispense with the Constitution.


I was not suggesting otherwise.


Trump occupying the office of The President is NOT illegitimate. He was elected by the rules that applied at the time.


Only in the sense that Tom Brady won the Super Bowl by the rules that applied at the time, which parses out t "His cheating wasn't caught until it was too late to contest the outcome."

I don't consider voter-suppression to constitute "by the rules". You are correct in noting that the subsequent steps in which the result could have been called out (the Electoral College, the congressional certification) did not do so. He is the president. But "legitimate"? At the very least, there's an asterisk.


Find among the residual a reason to act and you won't need to break our institutions.


*Sigh* I don't want to break our institutions. I'm telling you that the metaphorical maintenance staff is breaking them themselves.

Here's a good reason to act. Follow exactly what the words say rather than the speaker's intent behind them:


In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Carl M. said...

I watch with amusement. There were calls for the Right to worry about the working class. There were calls for peace with the Russians. There were calls for the restoration of Good Union Jobs. There were protests against "neoliberalism" and "globalization." There were rants against the Religious Right. There were accusations that the Republicans had become a neo-Confederate party.

So the Republicans nominate a hedonistic Yankee who wants to end the remnants of the Cold War and enforce the national picket line in order to bring back Good Union Jobs.

And the wailing and gnashing of teeth grows stronger.

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

I watch with amusement.


It hasn't occurred to you yet that "This sophont is dangerous"?

LarryHart said...

@Alfred Differ,

The NY Times's Charles Blow says it well.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/opinion/no-trump-not-on-our-watch.html


If no one else is going to fight for American values, it falls to the American people themselves to do so.

Carl M. said...

@Larry: Yes he is dangerous. 10% as dangerous as Hillary.

(I voted for the Peacenik Stoner, BTW.)

Zepp Jamieson said...

To Carl M: Are you -seriously- trying to tell us Trump will promote "good union jobs"? Trump?
Have you looked at his labour relations history?
Becoming a de facto colony of Russia will end the cold war, no doubt about it.

LarryHart said...

@Zepp Jamieson,

I think what Carl M is saying--and I'm being charitable here--is not that Trump is a leftist hero, but that leftists should recognize that Trump represents what they've been clamoring for.

I don't agree with him on what his examples represent--for instance, we want peace with Russia the way we have peace with Germany now, not as if we should have had peace with Hitler--but I think that's his point.

Carl M:

Yes he is dangerous. 10% as dangerous as Hillary.


As Hillary with a Republican congress? Herr Gropenfuherer has already done more damage to US stability and credibility than Hillary could have done in eight years.

Seriously, what specifics do you think/fear that Hillary would have inflicted upon the country? Allowing black citizens to vote?


I voted for the Peacenik Stoner, BTW.


So you have the luxury of voting without consequence. Now that we know that, what do we know?



Robert said...

In one of his better moments, McCain said "When I look into Putin's eyes, I see a K, a G, and a B."

I suspect that in another week or so, if not already, a lot of Republicans will be ready to settle for 7 1/2 yours of Pence, which the Constitution does allow. I suspect he'll only get 3 1/2, two of them with a Dem Congress.

It looks like impeachment on the Emoluments Clause is just a matter of evidence collection at this point.

As for the 25th Amendment, check out the DSM-5 definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The abbreviation is NPD, but maybe it should be updated to NSDAP.


Bob Pfeiffer.

Carl M. said...

Hillary was pushing for nuclear brinksmanship with Russia. In the near term this is significantly more dangerous than global warming.

Ukraine has been part of Russia for many more years than South Carolina was part of the U.S. at the time of its secession. When ye talk of Lincoln as a "thug" for violently opposing SC secession, then I will detect some consistency.

Pushing NATO into traditional Russian territory was a surefire recipe for touching off traditional Russian nationalism and paranoia. It makes going into fascist mode popular.

Trade sanctions and thwarting access to warm weather ports confirms the wisdom of maintaining a separate industrial system from the West.

I've been taking occasional peeks at the Pravda web site over the years. It's frightening how the tone has darkened over the years. It has gone from UK tabloid style to nationalism and talks of nukes for defense.

Zepp Jamieson said...

LarryHart: "I think what Carl M is saying--and I'm being charitable here--is not that Trump is a leftist hero, but that leftists should recognize that Trump represents what they've been clamoring for."

Well, I'll leave it to Carl to explain which universe exists in which Trump would promote "good union jobs." Under multiverse theory, I'm sure it exists.

Nobody wants war, cold or hot, with Russia, but I give Putin the exact same amount of trust I would give Stalin or Khrushchev, and for the same reasons. None of them are to be trusted. Unfortunately, the same also applies to Trump. With Putin and Trump, one will inevitably betray the other, unless they both do so at once, and in a battle of devious savagery, my money would be on Putin. Trump may be just as amoral, but he's playing tictactoe against a chessmaster.

Anonymous said...

Carl M the most important thing is that Russia close the values gap with America and get with the Enlightenment progressive program. What's more important, preventing World War III, bringing jobs back to America and destroying jihadists in Syria, or putting transsexual children on TV shows and the covers of family magazines? Get your priorities straight man, are some kind of Nazi Putin stooge?

Zepp Jamieson said...

Carl M: "Hillary was pushing for nuclear brinksmanship with Russia."
Could you produce any evidence to support this claim? I recall that she wanted to reopen negotiations for nuclear arms reduction with Putin.

"Ukraine has been part of Russia for many more years than South Carolina was part of the U.S"

Going by that logic, Canada should surrender Newfoundland to England.

Obviously, Russia has its own grievances with the West, and some of them are valid. But that doesn't mean the west should cede eastern Europe back to Russia. I expect that's exactly what Trump has in mind, in exchange for personal profit.

LarryHart said...

@Carl M,

Ok, you're arguing a rational point.

"Anonymous" thinks he's summarizing my argument with you, but he's not even doing a good satire.

I'm don't really have a dog in the hunt concerning Ukraine. I see your point that Russia might consider them a secessionist state. OTOH, I also see Putin's military incursion there on behalf of ethnic Russians as eerily reminiscent of Hitler's excuse for taking Austria. And we know how well that turned out later.

I'm willing to give you saber-rattling with Russia as a danger. Are you willing to concede that sometimes you have to be willing to risk a fight if you're not going to give the bully everything?

When I say the current president is dangerous, I'm thinking primarily of danger to the workings of the United States itself. Dangerous to the constitution. Short-term, I might concede that nuclear war is more of a concern. But if our alliances, our leadership, and our Constitution go, it won't be pretty, even if we are still breathing. That's not mentioning lasting harm to the environment, which long-term might do the job that nuclear war would have.

So I'll grant you that both candidates had their dangers, but I'd reverse your evaluation. Hillary might have been 10% as bad as Trump. And mitigated by congress.

Carl M. said...

Zepp: Canada is still within the English sphere of influence. Technically, it is still part of the British Monarch's dominion.

Carl M. said...

Perhaps the closest analogy to Ukraine joining NATO would be Ireland joining the Warsaw Pact.

Ireland, like Ukraine, was part of its respective Empire for a very long time, and treated very poorly in the last few centuries.

And note how fascist Britain has become due to the IRA's activities over the years. "The Prisoner" was prophetic.

raito said...

Smurphs,

My experience is different. I came from public schools in the 60's and 70's. And my high school was often rated the best academically in the state. I feel as though I got an excellent education. I also moved rather than have my children in that district as it now stands. For high school at least, the graduation rate is down about 5% from what it was when I graduated. But both math and language proficiency have dipped alarmingly, now being well under 50%. I do rather wonder how there's a higher percentage of graduates than those proficient in basic skills.

My own elementary school age children appear to be receiving an education geared towards some lower denominator. I can't fathom how an average student could learn more than I was presented with from the work they bring home. Math in particular appears to be weak. I figured out a while ago that I'll have to teach them if they are to learn anything. Fortunately, they both like to learn, and like to go to school, and know the difference.

I've had friends who went to elite schools, too. In discussing our educational differences with them, it became clear that their schools primarily prepared them to deal well with others of their economic class, combined with mediocre but adequate academics (some theorized that was because when daddy's paying that much for you to go to school, you're not allowed to fail). By contrast, my high school had the largest concentration of the local university's professor's children in the city.

Zepp Jamieson said...

And yet somehow nobody is worried about England trying to take Canada back against the wishes of its citizenry.
Why would Russia have the right to seize lands of people who have no wish to be part of Greater Russia?

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

Perhaps the closest analogy to Ukraine joining NATO would be Ireland joining the Warsaw Pact.

Ireland, like Ukraine, was part of its respective Empire for a very long time, and treated very poorly in the last few centuries.

And note how fascist Britain has become due to the IRA's activities over the years. "The Prisoner" was prophetic.


Now, you're really confusing me.

When you indicated that Hillary was more dangerous than Trump, I thought you were saying that communism is more dangerous than fascism.

Now, you seem to be saying that fascism is more dangerous, but that Hillary is aligned with the real fascists (NATO) while Trump is only aligned with the former communist (Putin). You seem to be saying that Britain is worse than Russia.

But then that would imply that Ireland should choose to join the Warsaw Pact--that doing so would be an understandable move given how they are treated by Britain. So by that logic, Ukraine should choose to join NATO. Yet, you're very forgiving of Putin as Lincoln, keeping the USSR together, but dismissive of Britain as mistreating Ireland.

I don't know who to root for.

All I know for sure is that Hillary knows how a president is supposed to function and the president does not.


Slim Moldie said...

Carl please define a "good" union job. By the logic of your amusement, a teacher's union must not fit your definition. In the Post just today...""By trying to block this extremely well-qualified nominee, Senate Democrats are one again putting the interests of their big labor allies ahead of the needs of millions of American kids trapped in the failing status quo," said Brian Rogers, executive director of America Rising Squared."

Smurphs said...

Ratio,

Yes, I figured out years ago that my "elite" education was all about getting into a elite college. They were "teaching to the test" decades before that term was invented.

But, my main point was that I am generally happy with my son's experience in Education today. Is it perfect? No way. I still go through his schoolwork and gently correct the deficiencies I notice. At least he is finally wise enough to no longer accept the teachers' word as Gospel.* I look at it like taxes, I may not like everything they are spent on, but on par, the benefits far outweigh the debits.

* Of course, he also no longer accepts MY word as Gospel. Win some, lose some.

Carl M. said...

Hillary was far more dangerous than Trump because her policies (a stated priority!) were to back Russia into a corner. This brings out the worst in Russians.

There is a moral case for an independent Ukraine, as there is a moral case for an independent Ireland -- thus the analogy.

However, a secessor from an empire that allies with an empires' enemy is likely to trigger retaliation. The best Ukraine can hope for is the semi-independence that Finland had during the Cold War, or maybe a Canada-US type relationship.

Here's another possible analogy: suppose Quebec opted to seceed and go communist during the Cold War. Would the U.S. have freaked out?

I'd say yes.

---

A trade war with China scares me far less than U.S. tanks in Poland. China has a LONG history of very limited trade with the West. (Trump's phone call to Taiwan is another matter. A united China is pretty much religion over there from what I see/read.)

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Carl

The BIG risk with Trump is that he will allow Putin to do what he wants until one day Putin will do something that he cannot be allowed to get away with

THAT is how every big war has started!

Wars do not start when leaders are strong and growl at each other - they start when one "leader" is weak

Hillary would have made it clear that Putin was not going to get anywhere
Trump is sending mixed messages -
The US will not support NATO -
If Putin invades the Baltic States he won't respond

But if Putin DID - then the USA and NATO WOULD respond

This is the same as Saddam getting the "message" that it was OK to invade Kuwait

David Brin said...

CarlM “10% as dangerous as Hillary.” Sir, you have gone completely round the bend. Desperately clinging to the catechism of libertarian hypocrisy - that Republicans are distasteful, but Democrats are always, always worse.

This despite that fact that freedom and yes market entrepreneurship and every other US health metric do better across DP spans… AND the only significant DE-regulation has happened under dems. (The latter fact, you have seen here dozens of times yet you never comment, because cognitive dissonance makes you look away.)

“Dems favor freedom in the home while Repubs favor freedom in the market place.”

That’s the dogma, right? Utter and complete hogwash/bullshit. Goppers support monopoly and oligarchy, the ancient enemies of market enterprise, as clearly identified by Adam Smith. But why do I bother? You will clutch your nostrums.

As for foreign… Putin is OPENLY calling for an alliance of tyrants to crush the “decadent” enlightenment West, once and for all.

Dangerous Hillary? How did she differ from bama? Now show us one… just one…even one… of the hysterical lamentation-predictions about Obama that ever came true. One. At all. Ever.

Bub P it will take a LOT more than a month. At this rate, a side bet is whether Susan Collins switches parties.

Smurphs said...

Carl M said :

Hillary was far more dangerous than Trump because her policies (a stated priority!) were to back Russia into a corner. This brings out the worst in Russians.

Yes, because this worked so badly for Truman. And Eisenhower. And Nixon. And Ford. And Carter. And Reagan. Especially Reagan, the GOP demi-god. And Bush I.

Standing up to Russia is bad. We've been nuked 8 or 9 times now, right?

Paul451 said...

Carl M,
"There is a moral case for an independent Ukraine, as there is a moral case for an independent Ireland -- thus the analogy."

Errr, you do realise that the Republic of Ireland is independent. Has been for nearly a century.

I assume you meant Northern Ireland, but don't know the difference?

Paul451 said...

Carl M,
"Hillary was pushing for nuclear brinksmanship with Russia."
"Hillary was far more dangerous than Trump because her policies (a stated priority!) were to back Russia into a corner."

You've been asked for evidence of this.

"Ukraine has been part of Russia for many more years than South Carolina was part of the U.S."

Are you aware that Russia recognised Ukraine's independence when they signed the Budapest Memorandum? An international agreement which "guaranteed" Ukraine's sovereignty and recognised it's then-exiting borders (including sovereignty over Crimea). In return, Ukraine gave up its control over its huge stockpile of Soviet-era nuclear weapons, something they are probably regretting right now. The US also signed that treaty. (Similar treaties were signed with Belarus and Kazakhstan.)

Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994:
"1. The Russian Federation [and the UK and US] reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

2. The Russian Federation [and the UK and US] reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

3. The Russian Federation [and the UK and US] reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

4. The Russian Federation [and the UK and US] reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;

Paul451 said...

Aside:

I'm guessing you are fully supportive of Trump playing with Taiwan in order to tweak China's nose?

Not because it's consistent with your statements about Russia/Ukraine, but because it's consistent with the hypocrisy therein.

Paul451 said...

Alfred (to Larry),
"We can't afford to divorce. If we go there, we will eventually have to go to war with them."

Why?

The war between the Confederacy and the Union was inevitable. The primary issue wasn't slavery within Confederate states, but about control over the western territories. That battle for control would have led to war regardless of whether the Union accepted the secession. (Similarly, the secondary issue of fugitive slaves would have been a persistent Casus belli when the border was international rather than interstate.)

Today, there's no such territorial issue if the two coasts decided to vote for secession, or if the old confederate states wanted to take another shot at nationhood.

matthew said...

I disagree with Paul451 - The territorial issue would be over the easy shipping allowed via the Mississippi drainage. And it would lead to war within 20 years of a secession.
It has been argued here that the Mississippi drainage is what made America a would power in the first place. I find that argument persuasive. And I cannot see a time when that resource would not be in enough demand to ensure hostility. It's not like the New Confederate States would immediately negotiate a free trade pact with the Union, even if the Union were to be on both coasts.

David Brin said...

The White House is CLOSED FOR BUSINESS. The official comment line (202-456-1111) that used to be open to the public is now "currently closed," per an automated recording.

Say Carl, how is that consistent with the "Trump is a democrat" catechism?

Seriously that incantation is beneath you and should be beneath a hamster. A rabid one, with one cortex removed.

In fairness there are a couple of ways that DT is more a democrat. Democrats always beef up the Border Patrol and quietly clamp down on illegal immigration. They do it quietly because it might not seem nice to their core constituencies. What they prefer is legal immigrants who might eventually vote and join unions. Oh, but DT is clamping on that too... so there goes the "he's a democrat," yet again.

Seriously dude.

David Brin said...

Ukraine... part... of... Russia.... cough-choke-sputter.

In fact, Crimea was! Which is why the right's screeching over Crimea... while calling Obama "feckless" when Putin blamed Obama and Clinton for "stealing" Ukraine... sure, more hypocrisy.

For a "libertarian" to find excuses for a regime that is now - simultaneously - bringing back reverence of both Stalin and the Czars, while killing dissidents and raising oligarchy to a high art.... a regime that openly tries to be the keystone of an anti-western enlightenment arc that stretches from Ankara to Manilla and now includes a satrapy called the USA...

... well, the mind reels. But to thereupon claim "he's a democrat"?

Oy.

Twominds said...

@Rob H. 3:23 PM

A Federal Court ordered a stay on taking into custody Muslims entering into the country. The Executive Branch under Bannon refused and continues to take them into custody.

Fuck.

Does the excecutive branch have to listen to any court, or only higer than some level?
Do they have any excuse, even if only in their own eyes, for refusing and still acting legal?

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

CarlM “10% as dangerous as Hillary.” Sir, you have gone completely round the bend. Desperately clinging to the catechism of libertarian hypocrisy - that Republicans are distasteful, but Democrats are always, always worse.

This despite that fact that freedom and yes market entrepreneurship and every other US health metric do better across DP spans…


Much as I fervently disagree with Carl on this, he's not being inconsistent. He's not making an economic argument at all. He's indicating that he's a single-issue voter: Hillary would provoke Russia into a nuclear exchange. Nothing else is as bad as that, so Hillary is worse than any other candidate including Cheetolini.

Imposing tarrifs which not only should libertarians hate, but which will inconvenience American consumers rather than Mexico? Well, at least we're not in a nuclear exchange with Russia.

Banning green-card holders from entering the US? Well, at least we're not in a nuclear exchange with Russia.

Installing a Nazi as head of the NSC, in place of actual generals? Well, at least we're not in a nuclear exchange with Russia.

Breaking agreements with lawful residents, trading partners, and strategic allies, thus eviscerating the credibility of the United States? Well, at least we're not in a nuclear exchange with Russia.

Aiding and abetting climate change deniers, thus dooming life as we know it on earth? Well, at least we're not in a nuclear exchange with Russia.


So argue with him, sure, but argue over the right thing.


Paul451 said...

Larry,

However, like any crazy conspiracy theory, it doesn't leave you anything to argue. After all, if Carl is correct, then yeah, nothing is as bad as WWIII.

---

I made a similar comment during the primaries, when the Planned Parenthood shooting happened just after the Republican's best and brightest all took turns pledging fealty to the hoax baby-parts video that was going around. After the shooting, of course, they all took turns distancing themselves from it, they "don't condone violence"...

As I asked then, why not? If you believe that babies are being murdered and cut up for parts, why the hell wouldn't you "condone" violence. Or engage in it. And defend those who do. The actions of the shooter were a perfectly reasonable response if you accept his beliefs. His insanity wasn't in the act, it was in believing the things the Republican candidates said.

Catfish N. Cod said...

Ukraine was acquired in pieces by Russia during the 17th and 18th centuries. Prior to that, it was politically and culturally in the orbit of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which is why the Catholic-Orthodox dividing line runs through it.

Likening it to South Carolina's secession might have some validity, though, if not for one word:

Holodomor.

Stalin's cruel treatment of Ukraine as a dispensable population destroyed the pan-Slavic spirit that Putin craves to return to, and wiped out any chance that Ukraine could be a happy part of any version of the Russian Empire. They know not to trust Moscow.

Except Crimea! That was completely resettled by Russians! It *should* be part of Russia; only a stupid administrative change in 1954 made it part of Ukraine at all. The deep irony is that Putin would likely have *won* a referendum to transfer Crimea back to Ukraine.

But that would have meant accepting the Western paradigm of self-determination, and the ambitions to rule Eurasia require that Putin deny that principle in favor of empire, empire, Empire. Don't believe this "alliance of healthy nationalisms" bull. Putin is a KGB agent, and KGB agents all know that there are only two kinds of foreign governments: satrapies and enemies. You're either for us, or you're against us.

I'm not terribly interested in living in a satrapy of the Russian Empire, thank you.

donzelion said...

Larry (per Alfred): If we divorce, there will indeed be war, for much the same reason as elites in 1860 calculated secession was their best move: unless a sufficient number of slave-states entered the Union, their entire fortunes were at risk.

In 2017, we have a thick group of 'paper-rich' billionaires who own nothing but derivatives, factorized real estate securities, dividends on master-limited partnership interests, etc. If even a small number of these instruments were disrupted, they'd go from being worth billions to owing billions, almost at the drop of a hat. Those folks will fight tooth and nail - exactly as any slavemaster did - to retain their property.

Calexit would ruin them. We may only amount to 15-20% of their projected revenue streams, but it's enough that they'd default on their remaining debts.

That 'elite interest' factor has always been one of the strongest drivers of war: while Catholics and theologians debated 'cassus belli' as a black/white dichotomy, these folks see it as "how many other people will die so I can hold onto what I'm entitled to?" In the last 10 years, they've demonstrated that they're willing to let many hundreds of thousands of other people die. They won't hesitate this time.

Carl M. said...

Ukraine has been been passed back and forth between Russia, Poland and Lithuania. You have to go WAY back to before Genghis Khan to find an independent Ukraine -- then known as Kievan Rus, which had Swedish kings.

There are no natural borders in the area. The map thus can move very quickly.

An independent Ukraine was acceptable after the Soviet fall. Ukraine as part of NATO is what stirred the pot. It's a security hole comparable to Canada joining a hostile alliance.

----
Catfish: I agree about the Holodomor. The moral/political case for an independent Ukraine is huge. It's why I used the Ireland analogy as a similar event happened there in the mid 1800s.

And yes, I am aware that the Irish Republic has been around a while. Had Ireland joined the Warsaw Pact or other alliance hostile to England, I wonder if that independence would have lasted.
---
Paul451 -- I said the Taiwan tweak was dangerous. I didn't say I supported it.

----

David, I don't support Putin. I just don't support going to war with him. Authoritarian regimes of his type generally give way to democracy if you just wait them out. Consider Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Chile, Spain... Not worth starting WWIII over.

My point is that regardless of who is in charge of Russia, certain actions will provoke conflict. For example, the Russian dream of a warm weather port outlasted the Czars. Kerensky stayed in WWI because of a secret treaty that would give Russia the Bosphorus.

---

I am pox on all three sides (Trump, Democrats, pre-Trump Republicans) currently. I'm just enjoying the whining. All I am arguing now is that I don't see Trump as more dangerous than Hillary.

Alfred Differ said...

TCB, Larry, and others who think Trump's election was illegitimate:

The burden of proof lies with you all. Make your case, make it solid, and make it public. No matter how much I dislike Trump, I'm not convinced the election was illegitimate... yet. Convince us.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Carl M wrote: "Had Ireland joined the Warsaw Pact or other alliance hostile to England"

Eire was sympathetic to the Germans in both world wars, and yet somehow maintained their independence.

By now everyone's heard about the Saturday Night Massacre with Sally Yates at Justice. What a weak, cowardly man Trump is! The last person in the world we want dealing with Putin or Xi.

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

Paul451 -- I said the Taiwan tweak was dangerous. I didn't say I supported it.


You said Trump was less dangerous than Hillary. Hillary wouldn't have done that.


I am pox on all three sides (Trump, Democrats, pre-Trump Republicans) currently. I'm just enjoying the whining.


I guess I can understand that. But your guy Johnson is only exempt from making a fool of himself as president because he never wins. If he ever did stumble into office, yours would be just one more house to pox on. And I'd be "laughing at the superior intellect" then.


All I am arguing now is that I don't see Trump as more dangerous than Hillary.


And I'm countering that you're not paying attention to what he's actually doing already. Trump has severely damaged the credit and reputation of our country, and put a Nazi in charge of the NSC. That's after only ten days. We've still got 1451 to go.

Brian T said...

Trump’s hard-line actions have an intellectual godfather: Jeff Sessions http://wpo.st/2CoX2

Washington post is blaming Trump's flurry of actions on a plan made by Sessions. They paint him in a pretty negative light (from a liberal point of view).

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

The burden of proof lies with you all. Make your case, make it solid, and make it public. No matter how much I dislike Trump, I'm not convinced the election was illegitimate... yet. Convince us.


I thought voter suppression was self-evident. But I suppose since the forms were obeyeded--that is, the Supreme Court eliminated the Voting Rights Act fair and square, and the Republican states systematically disenfranchised voters fair and square--then "preventing opponents from voting" isn't sufficient cause to render an election suspect.

We're operating under different standards of legitimacy. I probably can't convince you. I can try to persuade you, though.

It is said that in a democracy, the voters get the government they deserve. So do you think we deserve the government that has taken control these past ten days. That the will of the people is being done?

Look, you're the one displaying a blue kepi on your image here. I presume that you'd willingly take up arms if, say, Steve Bannon's stormtroopers came for you or your neighbors. I'm saying that it's too bad We The People didn't take steps to prevent this before it gets to that.

Ultimately, time will tell. Whether or not the election itself proves illegitimate, the man proves with every passing minute his lack of qualification to hold the office. If you follow the text of the preamble to his own immigration ban--the things it claims we need to do to keep the country safe--it would require deportation of his followers and closest advisors:


In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including "honor" killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.


Carl M. said...

Zepp: sympathetic, yes. But had they been more than sympathetic...

And let us keep in mind that
1. Ireland has more of a real border with England than Ukraine with Russia
2. The Ukraine situation is more like Ireland as a whole -- including the northern bits -- lots of Russians within.


LarryHart:

Trump scares me too. Just less than Hillary.

But do be a bit careful slinging around the term "Nazi." It's about as sloppy as conservatives who call Obama a communist. Quite a few players in the Alt Right are Jewish. (This might account for some of the hostility to Moslems... )

Zepp Jamieson said...

Ireland has no border with England. They're on separate islands. There is a border with Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and Irish sympathies run deep there.
There are quite a few Scots in Ireland, but relatively few English.

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

But do be a bit careful slinging around the term "Nazi." It's about as sloppy as conservatives who call Obama a communist.


No, it's not. Steve Bannon is an out and proud white supremacist, and the Daily Stormer is a big fan and promoter. If I were a libertarian, I'd be more concerned about his position in the US government than you apparently are.


Quite a few players in the Alt Right are Jewish.


I can't explain the Log Cabin Republicans either. I'm sure plenty of Jews voted for Orange Hitler. I'm sure plenty of German Jews in 1932 voted for Real Hitler. Now that we know that, what do we know?




David Brin said...

Carl do you honestly think that intelligent people will put up with the blatant and stunningly hypocritical "plague on all houses" crap? To claim "democrats are just as bad"... without a scintilla of evidence... is the last refuge of those who finally admit that the right has gone jibbering insane.

I have compared outcomes... actual outcomes... and there is no comparison. Or rather the comparison is not quantitative, it is black vs white, day vs night. And especially from a libertarian perspective. ALL aspects of flat-open-fair and competitive markets do vastly better across the span of democratic administrations. All of them. Every... single... one.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html

The only beneficiaries of GOP rule - especially when they own all 3 branches --- have been oligarchs and the Saudies... then oligarchs and Iran... and now oligarchs and Russia.

Was it a mistake to bring NATO close to Russia? Sure I am uncomfortable with it. But it happened incrementally, as free peoples begged for protection.

Your notion that HC is a saberwaving madwoman bent on starting WWIII is mad. As is the notion that Putin would press a button. He has his hands full, knowing that most of his nukes simply will not fly or ignite. Tests have show this to be likely. Hence he is spending what his people need to avoid demographic collapse, instead on remaking his arsenals. Might they be dangerous in 6-7 years? Maybe. Hence, to buy time, he is actively waging disruption war upon the West.

I note you aren't even angry about that.

matthew said...

Libertarians are about to have a chance to prove that their name means something. I suspect 95% will prove that they are slaves to oligarchs and thralls to the Confederacy. A few of our commenters here are the *only* libertarians I have seen thus far who have any problem with the unconstitutional actions we've seen since Trump took office.
So far, the libertarians I know in person are exulting the chance to kick Muslims out of the US, don't give a rats ass about religious freedom, freedom of the press, or that actual fascists are in the NSC meetings. They are loving it.

Slim Moldie said...

To my dismay in the paper today,
I read about Stephen K. Bannon,
Whose resume hints,
Of unethical play,
And stale farts from his reich-barking cannon.

From Goldman Sachs to Biosphere 2
Dress up the lies! Paint them red white and blue!
Bring on rExon! Devoucher! And you, too Reince Priebus!
For each Butthead and chode we’ll give you a Beavis.

And now this troll has been given control,
Of the paddle that wiggles the string.
With a casserole,
From the toilet bowl,
For our potluck, he’s calling it, “King.”

Yes! The party of Lincoln’s so swell!
And America’s new clothes fit well.
Drawing lines with the PAC,
Watch them licking the crack,
That they snort from the liberty bell.

Tony Fisk said...

'Nazi' is a very apt term for the likes of Bannon, and all who associate with him. I will draw the line at the 'punch a nazi' meme that's been doing the rounds, however.

I've been mulling over a few short, pithy, and meaningful terms for Trump. After hearing the House Science Committee proclaim that Trump is the font of all truth, I have settled on 'the Alt-Father', and 'Papa Don' (Haiti being about the level of greatness he is aspiring to)

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul451: Today, there's no such territorial issue if the two coasts decided to vote for secession, or if the old confederate states wanted to take another shot at nationhood.

There are two distinct issues.

1) It won't be enough for the coasts to secede. This really isn't an issue between the States. It is a divide between Urban and Rural America. Many cities immersed in red states will want to leave too, so there won't be a clear boundary. Also, Rural America can't afford to let 'their' cities go. The super-majority of US income is generated in cities. The rural areas left behind would instantly become a weak economic power. They won't tolerate that.

2) This isn't about territory. It is about culture. Civil wars are like that and they don't end until one of two conditions is met. a) One side dies or b) They intermarry. The first is usually accomplished through genocide or something so close to it the decimation leaves one side unable to act for generations. The second makes it difficult to identify who to fight and within a few generations, the descendants are left scratching their heads wondering what the fuss was about.


The first is about why we won't find a stable compromise. The second is about where it might go. Obviously we've been trying for the intermarriage thing, but it ain't easy getting xenophobes and racists to do it. The world should be stunned we aren't shooting each other over this all the time, but we rarely do. We are WEIRD that way.

One can also make the geopolitical case that neither nation would be stable and would need to dominate the other, but I'm not convinced. CA could secede and find a border we could defend, but we'd demolish much of our economic power in trying to do it. Possible, but stupid. Also, guys like me have no intention of ceding the US to fools.

Zepp Jamieson said...

To Doctor Brin:
Salon magazine is already trying to blame Democrats for the extreme excesses of the GOP. In an article from the days after the election (http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/) they wrote of a "pied piper strategy" in which they would try to promote the worst and most extreme candidates amongst the GOP they could find. At the presidential level it seemed a redundant ploy, since ALL of the candidates were extreme and fatally flawed--Trump was just the worst amongst a very bad batch.
So Republicans didn't turn out in droves to vote for Trump; they were mind controlled by brilliant, sinister mad scientists who took control of their minds and made them go out and vote for Trump.
Yeah, that's what happened.

Jumper said...

Why Crimea? Sevastopol. However, Russia held a nice multi-decade lease so had no reason to cry.

Marino said...

Mtthew wrote:

So far, the libertarians I know in person are exulting the chance to kick Muslims out of the US, don't give a rats ass about religious freedom, freedom of the press, or that actual fascists are in the NSC meetings. They are loving it.

here in Italy libertarians are fewer than hen's teeth, but the one I know on a blog does perfectly fit this pattern.

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

'Nazi' is a very apt term for the likes of Bannon, and all who associate with him.


Exactly. Carl's comment was that it's not a good idea to sling the word around indiscriminately, as if that's what I've been doing. No, at the beginning, I even insisted on comparing DJT to Mussolini rather than Hitler, because his fascism seemed more the corporatist flavor than the genocidal one. But if he himself is not a Nazi, he's taking their advice and pandering to them, and his rallies (complete with beating up dissenters) sure smacked of Hitler rallies.

Even so, I don't refer to Cheetolini himself as a "Nazi". Steve Bannon is something else again. I mean, if the shoe fits, wear it out and proud! And now, he's deciding US military policy?

@Carl, is not the whole point of libertarianism to thwart this sort of thing? If not, then what are libertarians for?


I will draw the line at the 'punch a nazi' meme that's been doing the rounds, however.


Yeah, I very reluctantly have to hold to the proposition that violence is not a good thing to start. It tears me up to say that, though.

I've been mulling over a few short, pithy, and meaningful terms for Trump. After hearing the House Science Committee proclaim that Trump is the font of all truth, I have settled on 'the Alt-Father', and 'Papa Don' (Haiti being about the level of greatness he is aspiring to)

"Baby Don" would be more appropriate. :)

Something on the level of "Don Corleone" might work, but it would have to be more satirical than that. The real Godfather was much too competent. Perhaps the "Mad Magazine" name of "Don Minestrone"? Or is minestrone the wrong shade of orange?

LarryHart said...

matthew:

Libertarians are about to have a chance to prove that their name means something. I suspect 95% will prove that they are slaves to oligarchs and thralls to the Confederacy.


When I was in college (Reagan era), I thought "libertarian" described what I was, but that was before they became (or I realized they were) defenders of thugs and bullies as long as those thugs and bullies weren't duly elected by the citizenry.

During the primaries, someone kept calling into all the liberal shows on WCPT radio making the same point--that after 30 years of insisting they wanted a True Conservative, the Republicans had a choice between a True Conservative and a racist, and they chose the racist. In that same vein, I'd say that Libertarians now have a choice between standing for freedom and dignity or for bowing to an authoritarian, and the latter seems to win out.

TCB said...

Upthread, LarryHart wrote (or quoted):

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.

For years now, I have believed that Rupert Murdoch only became a US citizen so that he could legally expand his media empire to include the US market (then, and probably still, the biggest prize in that business sector) and that Republicans (especially Newt Gingrich) helped him to do so only because they (and he) intended to create a far-right propaganda apparatus to wreck our democracy.

If I were Bill Clinton or Barack Obama I would have signed an executive order revoking his citizenship at once, preferably when he was somewhere overseas, thus throwing ownership of Fox into doubt. Sure, that would be at the very outer limit of a president's power; sure, Murdoch would fight it in court; sure, there'd be an outcry.

But if the president justified revoking Murdoch's citizenship on the terms I just laid out, along with a little history talk about the Fairness Doctrine and why it had existed in the first place, not everyone would disagree. If there is an example in all US history of an immigrant who did more harm to the Constitution he had sworn allegiance to, I'd like to hear of it.

The order might have stuck! And we'd be so much better off if Fox News had been out of commission in the 2000 election. Or the one recently suffered.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

1) It won't be enough for the coasts to secede. This really isn't an issue between the States. It is a divide between Urban and Rural America.


I've thought that for a long time, but it's starting to look even more abstract than that. I'm seeing the split between "compassionate America" and "vindictive America". The one actually believes that all citizens are equal under the law. The other holds as self-evident that humans are subdivided into classes and one subcategory is the rightful owner of all they survey.

When I mentioned divorce earlier, I wasn't thinking of secession. In fact, I took pains to say "no-fault divorce" because my idea wasn't for some geographic areas to walk away while the others stay in place. I was pointing out that there are irreconcilable differences at work here, and that the current solution of "each side fights like heck to get the 50.0001% support necessary to ram their agenda down the other's throat" isn't stable. We need to try something different.

Maybe a two-state solution?



Many cities immersed in red states will want to leave too, so there won't be a clear boundary. Also, Rural America can't afford to let 'their' cities go. The super-majority of US income is generated in cities. The rural areas left behind would instantly become a weak economic power. They won't tolerate that.


You might have to work to convince locumranch of that. :)

LarryHart said...

TCB:

Upthread, LarryHart wrote (or quoted):

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.


That text I quoted is taken directly from last weekend's executive order banning entry from seven countries. I like pointing out the irony that the characteristics it mentions of people we must keep away for our own safety is a laundry list of the characteristics of Trump followers and appointees. Apparently, we're supposed to take that paragraph "seriously, but not literally", but I prefer the opposite approach.

Catfish N. Cod said...

@Carl M.: Hillary is no longer our concern. She's not going to be President. You admit Trump scares you. By your statements and logic, Trump should now be taken down to clear the way for a more libertarian approach.

I have chosen "neo-Axis" to describe Bannon. He's not perfectly a Nazi and not perfectly a fascist, but he'll happily -- gleefully! -- work with either type.

Oh, and unlike the authoritarian-by-temperament Orange One, he's authoritarian by design. Anathema to libertarian principles, he wishes power to crush his enemies.

I don't want to go to war with Putin either; I want him contained. Oil is the thing that has rescued his regime; there are other things that Russia is capable of, but Putin sees them as threats and blocks them off. The international move to climate change/energy independence threatens to kill off his sole source of income. It's hard for the Spice to Flow once the Bene Tleilax invent artificial spice.

--------------------

There are six resolution to the larger Crisis -- not Trump alone, but the current phase of the Civil War.

(1) Red Victory -- domination over the blue states
(2) Blue Victory -- domination over the red states
(3) Purple Agreement -- a common identity is agreed upon to bury differences
(4) Amicable Separation -- federalism splits Blue and Red into autonomous zones
(5) Partition -- the 2nd American Civil War balkanizes the Union
(6) Collapse -- the United States becomes a failing state controlled from the outside.

Obama's 2004 DNC speech was aimed at (3). The Republicans (and some leftwing Democrats) steered his administration towards (2) instead, as (3) requires negotiations and the GOP was and is aiming for (1). Indeed, Trump promised (1), and is trying to deliver; but his actions actually move us closer to (6).

Meanwhile, most of our population would choose (3) or (4) given the chance. Only fools and our enemies would choose (5); the downsides to it are why the Union was constructed in the first place.

TCB said...

Alfred Differ wrote:

TCB, Larry, and others who think Trump's election was illegitimate:

The burden of proof lies with you all. Make your case, make it solid, and make it public. No matter how much I dislike Trump, I'm not convinced the election was illegitimate... yet. Convince us.


Okay, first off: I disagree on where the burden of proof ought to lie! If we're trying to convict Izzy of burgling the soda shop, we need proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the affirmative: surveillance tapes, testimony from his accomplices Big Frank and Oscar, or evidence consisting of sixteen empty ice cream tubs seized from Izzy's living room.

Here in Unistat, one of the things that has got us so fuxxored is that we actually need proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the negative: i.e. we need proof that there is no way, no how, that the public results we're given could be fudged, shaved, flipped, shuffled, fumfered, or otherwise diddled.

We do not have that proof! We are expected to accept it on faith! And if we refuse to accept it on faith then somehow WE are the ones undermining faith in our democratic processes. Partisans in control of election procedures and machines, behind closed doors, with political and pecuniary interest in the outcome, are to be trusted, but if we doubt, then WE are the assholes.

Now, to offer a bit more specific evidence: as you recall, Jill Stein of the Green Party attempted a recount of three states (I kicked in 50 dollars). Pennsylvania would not do one, but in Michigan and Wisconsin the recount was done in the same way the official count was done and naturally gave nearly the same results.

But Greg Palast tells us that the GOP in those states prevented a hand count! Why does that matter? Quote:

Michigan officials declared in late November that Trump won the state's count by 10,704 votes. But hold on – a record 75,355 ballots were not counted.

The uncounted ballots came mostly from Detroit and Flint, majority-Black cities that vote Democratic.

According to the machines that read their ballots, these voters waited in line, sometimes for hours, yet did not choose a president. Really?


It seems the voters in these areas were saddled with old optical-scan machines that couldn't 'see' very well, and the tyrannical GOPists running Michigan would not pay for new machines. If a hand count had proceeded, in time, Hillary Clinton almost certainly should have received Michigan's 16 electoral votes. That bumps Donald Trump from 306 electoral votes down to 290, and Hillary Clinton up to 248.

Continued...

TCB said...

Continued...

This story was repeated in Wisconsin, which uses the same Opti-Scan system as Michigan. There, the uncounted votes, sometimes called "spoiled" or "invalidated" ballots, were concentrated in Black-majority Milwaukee. Stein put up over $3 million of donated funds for the human eye review in Wisconsin, but GOP state officials authorized Milwaukee County to recount simply by running the ballots through the same blind machines. Not surprisingly, this instant replay produced the same questionable result.

I can't prove Hillary would win Wisconsin under a hand count too, but Donald only wins it by 20,000 or so. I'd bet money he did not really get more votes there; he just got more of them counted. IF I am right, Wisconsin could have given Hillary 258 to Donald's 280.

Next we have Kris Kobach's CrossCheck system. Again, quoting the Palast article:

Jill Stein didn't buy it. Responding to both Michigan's and Trump's claim that voter rolls are loaded with fraudulent double voters, Stein said, "It's the opposite of what he is saying: not people who are voting fraudulently and illegally, but actually legitimate voters who have had their right to vote taken away from them by Kris Kobach and by Donald Trump."

Crosscheck likely cost tens of thousands their vote in Pennsylvania as well.

"It is a Jim Crow system, and it all needs to be fixed," Stein concluded. "It's not rocket science. This is just plain, basic democracy."


And there's more stuff the Republicans have been doing, like reducing early voting, requiring voter ID (gun permit good, student ID BAAAD!) and sheesh it goes on and on. Here in North Carolina, a private citizen can legally challenge another's voting registration, so what GOPeratives have done is send a postcard requiring a reply (to "prove" that you live where you say you do.) Lots of people don't bother to reply, and the GOPeratives take the list of non-replies to the voting board and claim that the (Democratic) voter is wrongly registered. Naturally, the Dem voter only finds out whe he/she tries to vote, and wooops it's too late.

In sum: the likelihood that Donald Trump actually won 270 electoral votes without cheating is near zero.

Now...

You can assert that everything I have just mentioned is 'hardball but within the rules'.

I would assert that a society where so much blatant wickedness is 'within the rules' is an utterly corrupted society and may not be far from open popular revolt.

This president is not legitimate.

LarryHart said...

I'm not sure States are the units of division in this conflict. After all, what are Michigan or Wisconsin? They've got Republicans in charge locally, but Trump won them by the barest of margins, and would have lost if "Hillary and Jill Stein" were a single candidate. And until this year, they were "blue wall" states.

In the 1860s, we had a war between states because the clear political incompatibility was slave vs free, which were characteristics of states. This time, I'm not sure it works that way.

I forget the exact terminology Dr Brin uses, but he writes about "horizons" which expand to include a wider range of people as fellow-citizens when people are more secure in their own futures, and which contract toward "my tribe" or "my family" or just "me" when one feels there are not enough resources to go around. If that's the difference between "compassionate America" and "vindictive America", then maybe one side can convince the other with facts. That in itself is made difficult by #AlternativeFacts . Which means that the true division may well be between "factual America" and "fantasy America".

TCB said...

According to the final official tally, Hillary Clinton got 2,864,974 more votes than Donald Trump.

Recall, that is the final official tally. If we could count all the votes that were placed but not counted, it's likely that she really beat him by 4 or even 5 million.

LarryHart said...

TCB:

You can assert that everything I have just mentioned is 'hardball but within the rules'.

I would assert that a society where so much blatant wickedness is 'within the rules' is an utterly corrupted society and may not be far from open popular revolt.

This president is not legitimate.


I agree with your entire post, and I'll go in a separate direction as well.

Trump and the Republicans themselves set up the election as being illegitimate. Norman Goldman has a field day on the radio replaying all the different times Our Master's Voice itself said some variation on "It's rigged!", or "Just you watch, it's gonna be so rigged", and the like (not to mention "We are ruled by very stupid people!")

No one expected Twitler to actually win, and so he was priming his adherents to revolt after Hillary won the "rigged" election and to treat her as an illegitimate president. That was not just about posting on internet blogs either; congressional Republicans had their excuse to filibuster Supreme Court nominees for all four/eight of her years, and to continue obstructing everything on the basis of her illegitmacy.

Well, you can't have a "free and fair election" in which Hillary winning means it was rigged, but because Hillary lost, all is fine and good. The election was rigged, or it was not. Since Hillary would have been treated as illegitimate had she won, I'm in my rights to do the same. What's good for her illegitimacy is good for His Illegitimacy.

raito said...

I wonder if the uncounted votes (and any documentation pertaining to their rejection) would be subject to a FOIA request...

TCB said...

raito, I'm pretty sure there's no legal requirement in many states to retain the 'spoiled ballots' and such; by now you might need to FOIA the landfill.

Like I said, utterly corrupted system...

TCB said...

By the way, Nor-man Gold-man is pretty awesome. I'm lucky to live in Asheville where 880 The Revolution carries him, and Thom Hartmann, and a few other great prog hosts. (Bill Press just lost his syndication, I dunno why. Come back, Bill! Your replacement 'radio news' sucks!)

Tim H. said...

LarryHart, a bit of trivia, I believe "His illegitimacy" or "His fraudulency" was used in the 19th century by opponents of Rutherford B. Hayes who lost the popular vote to Samuel Tilden, but won the electoral vote.
TCB, interesting point on the ballot scanners, what's next, a ban on workshops to teach the most legible ballot marking?

LarryHart said...

@TCB:

Yes, I've heard good things about Asheville.

But radio is so 20th Century. :)

Get the feed from WCPT 820 in Chicago. You can always stream the current show.

http://www.wcpt820.com/listen-live/



LarryHart said...

...I meant if you still want to hear Bill Press.

Robert said...

Slim? That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for your verse.

=====

Carl M. - I am a Social Libertarian. Donald Trump scares me on a fundamental level and he does not respect Libertarian values. He does not even respect property rights, which is a keystone for the Randian Libertarians who have the current heart of the Libertarian Party. If you consider yourself any form of Libertarian you would be so against Trump that there would be zero argument.

But it seems you don't care about Libertarian views. You just want to punish Democrats and liberal-minded people

I hate Hillary Clinton. Ask anyone here. If you go through the history of me on this blog you will see my consistent pattern of dislike toward the woman, in part because I detest her husband. And even with my hatred of her, I consider her a hundred million times better at keeping world peace and upholding civil liberties than I do Donald Trump.

BTW, not all Libertarians are pro-Trump, my friends. My good friend Avens O'Brien is a long-time Libertarian and is fighting for the soul of Libertarians and constantly urging people to think in her blog posts, her Facebook posts, and more. I am proud of Avens and her fight for the souls of Libertarians. And I hope she succeeds.

However, I also realize that most of the loud Libertarians are in fact just anti-government who think if government was eliminated, they'd end up top dog, or a pet of one of the warlords who would inevitably crop up. And I also see the greatest flaw in Libertarianism - it ignores the fact that if you dismantle government and have an anarchistic society, the ultra-rich would already possess most of the resources and everyone else would be poor and forced to eke out a living.

The only way you could have an effective anarchistic society is to eliminate all property rights, evenly divide all resources among all the people, and then restore property rights so that all people have equality in terms of property and resources, and then let trade and the like start up.

But that smells like communism to the Libertarian-Anarchists. ;)

Rob H.

Carl M. said...

The border shutdown has been done before -- under Obama. Where was the liberal wailing and gnashing of teeth? Where was the wailing over the daily drone attacks under our peace prize winner?

Hitlary promised to make Ukraine a priority.

The Clintons had an authoritarian record on law and order issues that matches Trump's rhetoric.

The Clinton's broke the post Cold War good feelings by taking sides in the Serbian/Bosnian conflict. Russians not happy about that. Recall WWI. (And Tsar Nicolas went to war due to popular demand. He cried when he mobilized the troops.)

Exactly where Trump is going to go on the Drug War is uncertain. I keep seeing mixed signals. He's a non-drinker who put his name on a brand of vodka. He owned casinos.

-----

Save the anger for when Trump does something Obama didn't do. Otherwise, he's going to exhaust you. Hamming it up when he angers his opposition is his strategy.

Berial said...

1) Russia and Clinton being 'more dangerous' than Trump.
An opinion call. Personally, I think you show your strength to someone like Putin and he remains in his stance. Ready to reply if attacked but not willing to attack by trying to land the first blow himself. Trump to me is 'more dangerous' simply because he's inexperienced (to be kind) and will NOT show strength before it's needed, and we end up in a war simply because Putin THOUGHT he could do something and expect a weak or non-answer from America, but Trump decides to over-react because he suddenly needs to "look tough". Clinton would at least have seen the game before and know how to play it, even if you don't think she can play it well, you have to admit she did have knowledge of how it's played.

2) Trump illegitimacy.
Russia hacked all sides of our political classes data. Picked out the bits that would confuse and divide our citizens and released that data. They didn't 'hack' our electronic voting machines or anything like that. That wasn't necessary, or even a very good idea. They simply INFLUENCED our entire voting citizenry to cause the US as much confusion and divisions as possible. That doesn't make Trump 'illegitimate' but it does make the country weaker because WE are divided and have no real recourse to reverse this 'culture divide'. The Republicans played a part in adding to the anger, confusion and division by adding in a helping of voter suppression. And don't forget Comey is a Republican that just happened to need to toss a nothingburger monkey wrench into the public's view just weeks before the election. The Russian issue (hacking) needs to be addressed but I don't know that it has a good answer that will work well. The voting issue (suppression) has GOT to be fixed and soon, or we're going to have REAL trouble. I don't see Trump or the political operatives currently in power helping the situation anytime soon, because it obviously put THEM in power. Republicans supporting Republican's first, BEFORE being AMERICANS needs to stop.

Berial said...

3) Democrats and Republicans are the same.
They are not. HOWEVER, they do have some big similarities that the Democrats need to change. The last couple of decades the Democrats have been focusing too much on markets and not enough on PEOPLE. They are more worried about the big finance, pharma, and other corporate money coming to their campaign war chests and not enough about large amounts of 'small donations'. Why? Because for most of them those small donations AREN'T there. I'd posit they aren't there because the little guys don't see the Democrats as actually HELPING them enough to support directly, but that might be a district by district thing. The Democrats need to figure out what they ACTUALLY support and push that. I approve of most of their social stances personally, of course, but all these social stances aren't putting more money in the little guy's pockets, and I'd posit THAT is #1 to a lot of people. The Democrats have got to stop offering Republican light (or 'smart' if you prefer) answers, and start offering THEIR solutions that help out the people of the country more. Social policy wise they seem to be doing well, but I don't think they are getting traction with economic policy and "It's the economy, stupid." is still in full effect. After the last election I feel they need to re-examine their ideas and make sure they have a message that their ideas WILL make life better for more Americans. Show your work, and give us REASONS to believe your economic policies will work and not just, "it's better than the Republicans".

The Republican's are going to continue to get support from their base regardless of how off the rails they go, because their base LIKES what they think they stand for; In my opinion basically "lower taxes, no abortions, hate and/or fear the boogyman(whoever that happens to be today), be against the liberal positions on everything(updated daily) and don't think about any policies too deeply".

Sorry for not giving the Republican's too much credit here, but I haven't seen any policy of theirs that doesn't boil down to support of authoritarian oligopoly when you really dig down into them and think about the results.

LarryHart said...

@Rob H on "eliminating government"

The Christian writer C.S. Lewis tried to assert that one had to be either a monotheist or a pagan--that there was nothing else. He used the metaphor, "You can't eat without using a knife and fork, but without using your hands either."

It seems to me that that metaphor describes the attempt to "eliminate government". If you eliminate the established order, another order fills in the vacuum.

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

Hitlary promised

Now, who's "slinging around terms"?


Save the anger for when Trump does something Obama didn't do. Otherwise, he's going to exhaust you. Hamming it up when he angers his opposition is his strategy.


Trump has been doing things no candidate or president has done since the primaries. With Obama, the rest of the world respected us. In Trump's first 10 days, he's made us a laughing stock at best and an untrustworthy partner to allies whose trust is important to us.

Despite Dr Brin's rebuttals, your argument so far is that Hillary is dangerous because of one thing (nuclear war), irrespective of any characteristic of the other guy. Likewise, I find Trump dangerously scary all on his own. What's the percentage in bringing Obama into the discussion now, other than the fact that he'd still be president had a third term been constitutional?

LarryHart said...

Berial:

HOWEVER, they do have some big similarities that the Democrats need to change. The last couple of decades the Democrats have been focusing too much on markets and not enough on PEOPLE.


I think that in the 1990s, Democrats "learned" that to be successful, they had to run as "Republicans with a conscience".

The most recent election was won by just the opposite strategy. His Illegitimacy won by running as a "Democrat without a conscience".

Robert said...

Carl, China is preparing for war with the United States because of Trump's actions. China possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons. Do you honestly think that should U.S. firepower prove effective against their military might that China isn't going to launch their nukes at us? You complain that Hillary MIGHT cause a nuclear war with Russia because Putin dislikes her. But Trump is leading us to a war with China, maybe Iran, and whoever else gets sufficiently pissed off at Trump's America.

In addition, you are using a false argument. Obama put a hold on NEW APPLICATIONS FOR VISAS from Iraq, but accepted current ones. People already in the pipeline were allowed in. People who filed before the freeze did not see their requests denied outright. The moment that Obama decreed the hold, if you were an Iraqi on a flight into the United States you were allowed into the United States.

Donald Trump had people arrested at the airport and refused lawyers. He refused the Rule of Law. He refused their human rights. In no way is Obama like Donald Trump. Get that thought out of your asshole right now because there IS NO COMPARISON THAT MAKES TRUMP LOOK GOOD.

Sadly, people like you, people like my mother, just hear me saying I'm against Trump and they fucking call me a Democrat. I'm not a Republican so I have to be a Democrat. There is only ONE Democrat I voted for in my life, and that was Obama back in 2008 when I lived in New Hampshire and my vote mattered... and I seriously thought Sarah Palin a threat to this nation. I had no idea that I would look back at Palin and see her as a thoughtful and decent presidential candidate in comparison to a sitting President.

And when I state and I do so state that Donald Trump is an Illegitimate President, it is not because of how he was elected. It is his actions since taking office, in refusing to sell off his properties or sufficiently divorce himself from the running of his hotel chain and other businesses, in repeatedly violating the Constitution in his dictates, in his betrayal of the Oath of Office, that I consider him Illegitimate.

We are now at what, 90 days? Until he is impeached or in some fashion removed from office.

Rob H.

Jonathan Sills said...

Carl's been reduced to repeating right-wing talking points that have already been debunked. I have therefore shrouded him; in these tumultuous times, I have no attention to spare for such nonsense.

Alfred, I hold that Donnie is illegitimate as President not because of the election (while I do have severe reservations about the whole affair, I have no concrete proof), but because he violated his Oath of Office [i]the moment he took it.[/i] He swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States - while at that very moment being in violation of the Emoluments Clause. He has since ignored other clauses and amendments, continuing and increasing his oathbreaking. This makes him illegitimate.

TCB said...

Carl might have a point about China, though. I'd bet they are having meetings on the topic of "The United States has 6,800 nuclear weapons; Russia has 7,000; we Chinese have 260. Even the French have more! How many warheads can we build, and how soon?"

TCB said...

O wait, that was Robert, not Carl.

Robert said...

All China needs to do is launch half of their nukes at us. No doubt some are targeted at military bases, others at port and coastal cities. If 10% of what they launch gets through our missile defenses (and it'll be more than that) then we still have lost anywhere between one and 13 military bases, coastal cities, and the like. And that is assuming they launched multiple nukes at each site, thus the possibility of only one city or base being nuked.

In all likelihood over half of them will hit. The West Coast will be gone. We will have lost Silicon Valley, California and a lot of farmland which will become contaminated with fallout, Hawaii, southern Alaska. Bases in the heartland of America. Of course, in doing so Trump wins as do the Republicans because in 2020 the Census will roll out and California will lose all but one House seat, as will Oregon and Washington State (as in all likelihood Trump would drag his feet in helping the West Coast and far more people would die than needed to). Not that there would be actual elections. Permanent State of Emergency you know. People tossed in jail for daring to call out the Republicans for causing this or insisting on civil rights.

For all that I despise Pence... I will breath easier if he takes over before Trump leads us to a major war. He is a monster... but still the lesser evil compared to Trump. We can retake our civil liberties. But rebuilding after a war? Decontaminating all that soil, dealing with the loss of our nation as the neo-fascists take control and refuse to loosen their grip? That is not a fight I want to fight. Lesser evils.

Rob H.

Paul451 said...

TCB,
"For years now, I have believed that Rupert Murdoch only became a US citizen so that he could legally expand his media empire to include the US market"

Uhh, is that a controversial view in the US? Coz in Australia it's considered a mundane fact. (I'm sure I've seen local columnists in News Corp papers casually referring to it without qualifiers.)

"f I were Bill Clinton or Barack Obama I would have signed an executive order revoking his citizenship at once, preferably when he was somewhere overseas, thus throwing ownership of Fox into doubt. [...]
But if the president justified revoking Murdoch's citizenship on the terms I just laid out, along with a little history talk about the Fairness Doctrine and why it had existed in the first place, not everyone would disagree."


{laughs} Obama's press secretary tried to exclude some of the fake news outlets like Breitbart and Drudge from WH accreditation, for reasons like not being actual journalists, being deliberately disruptive in press conferences, etc. And even though they didn't touch mainstream conservative outlets with real reporters - like Fox and News Corp papers, Forbes, etc - the mainstream outlets like CNN/NYT protested and boycotted press conferences until the WH backed down.

They screamed bloody murder over fake journalists being merely excluded from the WH press room.(**) How do you think they'd react to a President using political trickery to deliberately undermine the very legal ownership of a major network?

** (Of course, when Trump does it, everyone posts a mild complaint and moves on. Because "both sides are the same!" Fucking idiots.)

--

Alfred,
"This isn't about territory. It is about culture. Civil wars are like that and they don't end until one of two conditions is met."

The Civil War didn't eliminate cultural differences between the Union and Confederacy. And it didn't kill off enough of the southern population to prevent them from raising a new army.

Paul451 said...

Carl M,
"Recall WWI. (And Tsar Nicolas went to war due to popular demand. He cried when he mobilized the troops.)"

Public objections to Russia's involvement in WWI was the primary motivator for both 1917 revolutions. Right from the beginning, in spite of public hostility towards Germany, there was widespread cynicism over the Tsar's motives for involving Russia in European war.

"He cried when he mobilized the troops"? {laughs}

"Hitlary promised to make Ukraine a priority."

One more time, any chance you want to back that up with anything she actually said?

[Although it's interesting that you've already walked it down from "pushing for nuclear brinksmanship with Russia" and "her policies (a stated priority!) were to back Russia into a corner" all the way down to just "make Ukraine a priority".]

Jonathan Sills said...

Well, we all know that if China launches nukes, the area around Vegas will be defended (except for one or two errant missiles) by the defenses constructed by an eccentric billionaire, DC will be devastated and later fall under the control of Super Mutants, and Boston will be partially spared (although not from the radiation!) by the fact that the missile launched from the Yangtze will miss, striking southwest of the city... ;-)

TCB said...

Paul451 said:

They screamed bloody murder over fake journalists being merely excluded from the WH press room.(**) How do you think they'd react to a President using political trickery to deliberately undermine the very legal ownership of a major network?

They'd react badly, I am sure. And? Why, oh why, is it only the right-wingers who are allowed to play smash-mouth?

In other words, Bawk bawk baCAAAA! BAWK BAWK BAWK BACAAA!

LarryHart said...

@TCB:

I think Paul's points were:

1) There's a good reason why no president took the further step of revoking the citizenship of the owner of a news empire

and

2) It's too bad the press doesn't play the same smash-mouth against Cheetolini, when it really matters. At that press conference when he refused to call on CNN (fake news), every single reporter's question afterwards should have been "Same question," or else "Why don't you answer his question?"

Zepp Jamieson said...

Carl M: "The border shutdown has been done before -- under Obama. Where was the liberal wailing and gnashing of teeth? Where was the wailing over the daily drone attacks under our peace prize winner?"

Nah, that's just right wing crap being repeated ceaselessly in the RW bubble. The borders were never "closed"--not in the sense being pretended to here. Obama simply had the government stop accepting new refugee applications for several months. He wasn't turning away green card and visa holders without cause, the way this criminal idiot tried.
There's one way to prove the difference: no court struck down Obama's action. Three courts have struck down Trump's, in just two days. See the difference?

Zepp Jamieson said...

Robert wrote: " But Trump is leading us to a war with China, maybe Iran, and whoever else gets sufficiently pissed off at Trump's America."

One of the more interesting things about Iran is that it has a non-aggression treaty with Russia, so if Trump attacks Iran, his old buddy Putin might just conclude that is an act of war and respond accordingly. I question if Trump and Bannon even understand the implications of such a pact, or that it even exists.

With most Republicans, they do know better, but when they talk about attacking Iran they're just pandering to idiots and/or the Israelis. You may have notice that Netanyahu never attacked, despite his apparent belief for the past eight years that Iran was only weeks away from developing a nuclear weapon.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Give me 260 nuclear weapons and I could raise a fair old bit of mischief.

TCB said...

Zepp, here's what you do: sell half of them, use the money for an Orion ship to Proxima Centauri B (and the other half of the bombs to power it).

David Brin said...


Zepp sure it looks as if Trumpism is a caricature of Bushism and Tea Party mania and oligarchy taken to such an extreme, that some have raised the idea that it’s all a big plot to discredit and destroy American Conservatism. Like they needed help? The Bushite version had already driven off every knowledge profession, sending average education levels and IQ among Republicans plummeting. A pungent Tom Tomorrow comic strip shows a frustrated closet-commie Dick Cheney whining that no degree of stupidity or betrayal – undermining the system from within – seemed to enough to turn their mass followers away from slavish devotion to oligarchy. http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/

But the scenario posits vastly too much Machiavellian cleverness by democrats, who cannot even realize they must do the thing I recommend in this blog!

LH: re American Nazis… do watch The Man in the High Castle

Catfish, your resolution #3 – Blue victory – comes with a historical addendum. That blue America is seldom vindictive. Read Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural. Reds will murmur outrage, sulk, accept the new world’s wonders, and plot their next Dixie Cup rising against our kids.

CarlM “The border shutdown has been done before -- under Obama.”
Bullshit, as is your every other point. Assertions replace evidence. Grand proclamations substitute for reasoned comparison. Who ARE you and what have you done with the Carl I know?

EVERY single state that has pulled back from the Drug War is a Blue State. Yet your mind cannot deal with the cognitive dissonance.

EVERY Deregulation of over-reaching or captured government – banning the CAB and ICC and unleashing the Internet and GPS and telecom – was done by democrats. Dissonance! So look away!

EVERY metric of healthy, flat-fair-open-competitive markets does better under democrats. As does personal freedom. Dissonance!

SO you rail against Bill Clinton for cheaply and efficiently and effectively and surgically resolving the Bosnian crisis and giving Europe its first peace in 4000 years. Oops, ignore how popular he is over there, today. Everywhere. And yes even (among young people) in Serbia. What dizzy nonsense.

You need to look here http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-democrats-and-republicans-wage-war.html

“Save the anger for when Trump does something Obama didn't do.”

Sir, you have goner completely around the bend.

“Democrats have been focusing too much on markets and not enough on PEOPLE.”

Vwheeeeeeeeeeeeee! Caper and cavort wheeee!

David Brin said...

onward

onward

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