« Will no one think of the poor racists? | Main | E Day »

August 18, 2017

Comments

I am a bit ashamed to say that I never paid much attention to the "war" part of "cyberwar." As flaming p-o-ed as I can get about scammy spoofed phone calls, I never consciously sat up and imagined ongoing cyberwar as much more than an ongoing low-level irritant.

Sailors have died. That's otherwise known as plain old war, isn't it?

/rant

It's arguably an act of war. IF that's actually what happened -- and all we have so far is speculation bouncing around the web.

Also, these kinds of low level sparring events, complete with casualties, happen from time to time, without escalating into anything bigger.

I can see him resigning if he decides that the alternative (staying) would be worse.

For example, if he became convinced that he would be impeached (let alone removed), I think he would resign -- while claiming victory.

I've always thought there was a chance he might resign. Apart from the plausible possibilities mentioned above, I also think if he saw a possibility of his businesses (money!) suffering longterm, he'd find a way to go. Also, if it was nothing but pain, i.e. no fun, longterm, that might do it. But nothing but pain and no fun from his point of view means almost continuous criticism at the same time as no more rallies with worshipful crowds, no media approval (even Fox), etc etc. And constantly looming and advancing legal problems. And yes, particularly looking like a loser, that would do it.

I saw the play Girl from the North Country tonight. Contrary to the fairly rave reviews, Mr GftNC and I were not that impressed, at least by the play itself. The songs of course were great, and the singers and musicians were excellent, but in a way that's what sunk the play. It takes place in Duluth in 1934, times are extremely hard and there are many tragic storylines wending their way toward some kind of ending. But we were unmoved, which can only have been the fault of the play. FWIW and in case any others in London are considering it, or if it comes to the US, we think it was completely unbalanced by the songs and vocal performances, and that the play was almost like a first draft, or a work in progress, compared to the musical side. If it gets substantially reworked, that might make a big difference.

at the same time as no more rallies with worshipful crowds

This is part of why I'm skeptical of the possibility that he'll leave. Worshipful crowds will be conjurable for a long time to come, if not forever. I suspect he's mind-bogglingly insulated from the full force of his unpopularity.

Ditto losing money: he has always lost money. No one knows what his net worth actually is ("That beggar is worth $8 billion more than me" or whatever he is supposed to have said to his daughter once on the street in NYC.) It dawned on me during the campaign that his "genius" isn't for making money, it's for making money flow through him to create the illusion that he has a lot of it. That seems to me, in fact, to be a defining image of our era.

So he's totally used to his businesses being in flux.

The legal stuff....maybe that's different. Maybe finally he won't be able to intimidate his enemies with lawsuits.

Of course, I suppose it could get to the point where he fears that no one will play with him (in the money-flowing game) any more, not even the Russians. But it then seems like he won't really realize that until it's too late.

Well, at the rate that charities and other organizations are cancelling previously planned events for Mar-a-Lago, the financial impact is starting to show. Just one of those events, as I read the reports, would have been worth upwards of $700,000 NET. Even if you're rich, that ain't chicken feed.

It is most likely he will essentially retreat to the White House and sulk until his term is up.

It is most likely he will essentially retreat to the White House and sulk until his term is up.

No. If it comes down that way, he will retreat to his fantasies, his penthouse, the golf courses. He doesn't really like being "in" the White House. He's made this pretty clear.

I predict he will finally shoot somebody on 5th avenue. It will be him.

Trump's Afghan speech,

More of the same, but with his shit smeared on the same old policy. 6th grade bullying tactics posing as grown up policy. A blunder, wrapped in a utterly failed view of the world that he previously denigrated, and now shares.

Such imagination!

Tilt toward India.....(not really wise).

He owns it, now. Just like his predecessors and their similarly pointless pronouncements.

Ditto losing money

as far as I can tell, he and his family are making shitloads from his being POTUS.

if they're not, it's not for lack of trying.

one of those events is worth $700K.

the price of a club membership went up $100K.

my guess is he came out ahead. plus, next year he'll get all the CSA nostalgia trade.

Tilt toward India.....(not really wise).

Well, given that the alternative is tilting towards Pakistan.... Can you honestly say that seems like a superior choice.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is taking a stand regarding the grift, I see.

Wonder if it will occur to him to recuse himself when the emolluments cases arrive at the Supreme Court.

not mentioned in sapient's cite - Trump operates the DC hotel in violation of the terms of his lease.

he's a greedy crook.

So, open thread and all:

Do not share this recipe past anyone who reads this blog:

Take 2 cups blended Scotch (Chivas or Johnnie Walker) and one cup honey (get unheated honey from a local beekeeper) and muddle a few sprigs of tarragon. Take the tarragon out in about a week. Leave the concoction alone for a couple of months or maybe a few months. Results will vary depending on the honey. Obviously, make more. Drink it.

Never tell anyone where you got this.

if they're not, it's not for lack of trying.

That's certainly true. But it's possible it may eventually turn out to be a bad (financial) move for him as time goes by. Of course, this could just be wishful thinking. I get JanieM's point about having been in negative equity before, but I'm hoping he was relieved when that ended, and doesn't want to go there again. Plus, he's older now. And possibly partially blind, after yesterday....

I don't care how much money he does or does not make long term.

The man is abusing his office to enrich himself. Whether that nets out positive for him or not is beside the point.

Oh, and have we discussed the Secret Service self-dealing scam yet?

Trump is already on track to spend more on travel in a year than President Obama did in eight, with a huge swath of that cost coming from the security detail required to protect him and his family. Since the inauguration, the president has taken seven trips to Mar-a-Lago (which cost an estimated $1 million to $3 million a pop) and five to his golf club in New Jersey, where the Secret Service has already spent $60,000 on golf cart rentals alone. It probably doesn't help that Trump's tweets have apparently brought on a "tidal wave of threats," keeping the overworked agents on constant high-alert.

But it's Trump's sprawling family that's really putting a strain on the agency. A total of 42 people—including his kids, their spouses, and his grandkids—require protection, and many live up and down the East Coast. Don Jr. and Eric, who run the Trump Organization, have dragged agents to Uruguay, the UK, the Dominican Republic, Vancouver, and Dubai on business, while Ivanka, Jared Kushner, and Tiffany Trump have brought them along on various vacations across the US and Europe.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget turned down the agency's request for $60 million in extra funding in March, and—while Alles is looking to hire more agents—500 have already quit since being hired last year because the job is just too difficult, USA Today reports. Meanwhile, those sticking it out have to face the reality of working overtime on one of the world's most dangerous jobs without actually getting paid for it.

Of course, the agents' expenses are all being paid to Trump properties.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4781714/Is-Russia-developing-GPS-spoofing-system.html

Last month, the US Maritime Administration filed a bizarre report, in which at least 20 Russian ships appeared on trackers to be in the same spot 20 miles (32 kilometres) inland, despite being at various positions in the Black Sea.

While this initially appeared to be a glitch, experts now suggest that Russia may have been testing a new system for spoofing GPS.

If this is the case, it could be a worrying first step towards electronic warfare in which movements can't be traced.

The report was filed by the US Maritime Administration after the master of a ship off the coast of Russia discovered that his GPS had put him in the wrong spot.

And after contacting other ships nearby, the captain discovered that the same issue had affected at least 30 other ships.

Speaking to New Scientist, experts have said that they think the incident is the first documented use of GPS misdirection.

Daily Mail. but, it does link to the report mentioned in the article, which does confirm the report.

The man is abusing his office to enrich himself. Whether that nets out positive for him or not is beside the point.

Maybe it's beside your point, but it wasn't beside mine, which was to argue with wj over whether he'd ever leave office voluntarily.

which was to argue with wj over whether he'd ever leave office voluntarily.

In case that isn't clear: whether he nets out positive or negative is, IMO, very much to the point of what might or might not motivate him to leave on his own.

Granted it's just an abstract discussion, maybe of no interest to some people, maybe of no practical use in/to the world, unlike the rest of what gets said here.

I don't care how much money he does or does not make long term.

The man is abusing his office to enrich himself. Whether that nets out positive for him or not is beside the point.

What JanieM said. The point of the comment was that if HE thinks he's going to lose out financially in the long term, it might make him resign.

I don't think that Trump is his own man. Just a reminder: "I'm not a puppet. You're a puppet."

"I'm not a puppet. You're a puppet."

Yup, maybe Putin could make him resign. But at this stage, it's rather hard to imagine why he would want to. He's no good to Putin at the moment, hasn't been able to repay P's investment, but would Pence be any better? Of course, you may be saying that even if he wanted to resign, Putin wouldn't let him, and that's an interesting speculation...

Of course, you may be saying that even if he wanted to resign, Putin wouldn't let him

I don't think he wants to resign, but he's also very good for Putin, IMO. Also oligarchs, who probably have an interests in Trump's wealth. I don't think he's an independent actor by any means. Obviously, we don't know all the details.

Well, Putin's goal, I believe, was to have Trump disrupt our system just by being a candidate. I don't think he had any more expectation of Trump actually winning than anyone else did.

Of course, once Trump did win, there may have seemed a possibility for additional benefits. Temporarily. But by now, it's pretty clear that those won't happen. In fact, Putin's getting more sanctions (written into law, where they're much harder to change) precisely because Congress feels the need to make sure Trump won't do Putin a favor.

So at this point, the question for Putin becomes, what will cause the maximum further disruption? And Trump resigning under pressure (which is how Trump fans would see it) would seem to be a good bet.

I repeat, rump will not resign or recognize any impeachment proceedings to oust him.

bobbyp is on the money with his pronouncements regarding the Afghanistan debacle.

I would add that in his well-enunciated projectile vomit speech on the subject, rump raised the specter of India increasing its involvement in Afghanistan. While elements in nuclear Pakistan's paranoid military and government are villainous, involving their mortal enemy, nuclear India, on their western flank will be a disaster and could lead to nuclear war on the Indian sub-Continent.

They despise each other.

But rump wants to use nuclear weapons. When he stared into the sun yesterday, take it as his willingness to stare into the flash of a million suns given off by nuclear conflagration.

Look what the republican party and their fucking vermin base are doing to us.

They must be destroyed as soon as possible.

So at this point, the question for Putin becomes, what will cause the maximum further disruption?

there's [always] another election coming up.

Maybe it's beside your point, but it wasn't beside mine

Yes, quite right. Sorry about that, the last couple of days have kind of pegged my crank-o-meter to new and previously unknown levels.

Which, given my normal state of mind, takes some doing.

A month ago:

"Over nearly two hours in the situation room, according to the officials, Trump complained about NATO allies, inquired about the United States getting a piece of Afghan’s mineral wealth [sic] and repeatedly said the top U.S. general there should be fired. He also startled the room with a story that seemed to compare their advice to that of a paid consultant who cost a tony New York restaurateur profits by offering bad advice."

But listen to the dupes and shitheads buy the fake pivot.

Not awesome.

Bullshit.

Count, perhaps the question is to wonder: since this latest announcement was scripted and read off a telepromoter (albeit without the massive visible reluctance of the words about Charlottesville), how long until there is a tweet that goes in an entirely different direction?

Although I suppose it's possible that tonight's fan club meeting in Arizona will keep him distracted for a while....

russell -- no worries. In case it wasn't obvious, I responded out of crankiness myself. I can't even blame you-know-who, or at least not totally; I am building up a debt of not-quite-long-enough nights of sleep. Going on a few days of vac tomorrow, hopefully that will fix me right up! In Canada, no less!

inquired about the United States getting a piece of Afghan’s mineral wealth

From here:

According to other reports the total mineral riches of Afghanistan may be worth over $3 trillion US dollars.[33][34][35] "The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world".[36] Ghazni Province may hold the world's largest lithium reserves

They're gonna wish nobody had ever heard of them.

Another opinion:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/07/27/dear-president-trump-afghanistans-minerals-arent-very-valuable-theyre-really-not/#2e93bd242615

Don't ask me who's right. I have no friggin' idea.

Russell, so the "right" course forward might be to carve out a new country** (like the Kurds did?) in the area of the lithium reserves. Something small enough to actually take and hold. Then make them all rich enough from mining that their interest in the Taliban disappears.

** I confess this seems unlikely. If we thought that way, we would have long since extended diplomatic recognition to Somaliland (which is peaceful, stable, and relatively well run), instead of wasting time on the chaos which is Somalia.

Don't ask me who's right. I have no friggin' idea.

Tim Worstall pops up from time to time to comment at Crooked Timber. He has ... an agenda. Who doesn't, of course, but I doubt it would be my agenda if I understood the subject matter better.

Your hourly update of the republican stupid:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trumps-monumentally-stupid-gift-to-maduro/

Mein Kampf is OK for a Texas prison coffee KKklatch book club but not James Balwin:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/08/reading-texas-prison

Why has the Texas State Government not been incinerated by nuclear weapons?

open thread abuse continues:

A good piece about the whole freaking mess we're soaking in.

The author is a friend of mine, he and his family were at the Great Big Thing in Boston on Saturday with my wife and I.

Part of what Max talks about here is the experience of living in a different America than the one you thought you were living in, and the creepy disturbing feeling that maybe you've been living in that not-so-nice America all along.

Pretty much where I'm at these days.

Too good not to share. Just now on KCBS (the local all news station), at the end of a story on "Just say no to drugs" and abstinence only education:
What over 3 decades has shown that abstinence only education is really good for: making babies.

That's a good piece, russell, your friend sounds like an excellent guy (even if he does say "wrote memorization" when he presumably means "rote"). His evolving attitude reminds me of mine; I too was brought up in a pretty secular way, and used to dismiss friends of my parents, in Israel, who would warn me that widespread anti-semitism was never going away, and that I might think I had gentile friends, or even marry a gentile, but that, to quote P G Wodehouse about aunts, sooner or later out would pop the cloven hoof. I pitied them for their closed-mindedness, but excused it because of what they or their relatives had gone through in the Holocaust. The thing I never did was believe them. They thought that Israel had to exist, and be strong, because when push came to shove, jews needed a country to run to if they had to. I'm not saying I believe this stuff now, but I have been so astounded by the kind of anti-semitism, islamophobia, and other kinds of racism now openly, proudly on show (in Europe, the UK, and the US) that some of their words are coming back to haunt me. It doesn't make me feel especially vulnerable as a jew, but, like you, it makes me feel that the world is not as I once thought it. These are dark times indeed.

russell, Interesting viewpoint in the article.

I suppose all of us grow up with myth's and idealistic views of the world to some extent. I really believe though that the number of overt violent racists, let's call them Nazi's to avoid having to make unimportant distinctions, is really small. Ultimately there are very few, where one is too many, racial domestic terrorist attacks and they are roundly decried by all but an infinitesimal minority of people in the US.

All to say that it is depressing that Max and others, including you in a different way, are forced to deal with this in a way that is likely out of proportion to the risk or the size of the threat, reality being closer to the view he had growing up.

But certainly the success of the terrorists has been that he has to deal with it.

I have been so astounded by the kind of anti-semitism, islamophobia, and other kinds of racism now openly, proudly on show (in Europe, the UK, and the US) that some of their words are coming back to haunt me. It doesn't make me feel especially vulnerable as a jew, but, like you, it makes me feel that the world is not as I once thought it. These are dark times indeed.

Disgusting as these people are, I think that the level of their emotion is actually a hopeful sign for our nation(s). They are in an absolute panic, in no small part, because they know deep down that they are losing. (Perhaps even, have lost already.) The world has changed, their views, which were once unremarkable, are now denounced by most of the population.

It doesn't matter whether their particular boogeyman is Jews, blacks, Muslims, gays or any other group. Most of the population doesn't share their view these days. And many, if not most, of the population is actively hostile. Half a century or so ago, that wasn't true.

Is it bad that they are still out there? Yes. Is it bad that we have a President who is encouraging them? Yes. Do we need to continue to make the point that their views are unacceptable. Also yes.

But we fail ourselves if we do not also acknowledge that, imperfect as things are today, they are hugely better than they were, in the lifetime of people still living. Progress, even when incomplete, needs to be celebrated as well. The times are not all sweetness and light. But they are a damn sight less dark than they were.

I hope you are right, Marty and wj.

The thing is, situations can devolve, and historically they often have. So we don't know, right now, whether these people, having been egged on and facilitated by Trump, are on their last gasp, or are the first sign of a reversal of direction that is going to unwind the gains that have been made in the past few decades. (For that matter, many of what I would consider to be gains have already been unwound, and unwinding others is the top agenda item for a certain majority party in Congress. E.g. voting rights, for just one example.)

As a gay person, I have never been complacent about whether "we" will do a u-turn and I, or the next generation, will be forced to make a hard choice about risks and the closet. I have occasionally had dreams about darker scenarios to come, which I hope do not in fact come.

I'm not saying we're doomed, I'm just saying it's not a given that we're going to be fine.

wj: The times are not all sweetness and light. But they are a damn sight less dark than they were.

Depends, I think, on when "were" was. ;-)

But that's just another way of saying we don't know yet whether the current mess is a blip or the first step in a longer term change in direction.

"Last gasp" is overdoing it in any case. We are human. There will always be issues and hatreds. We can manage that human tendency better or worse, keep it de-fanged or have it run amok around us, but it's not going away.

My major volunteer work is for a land trust. I love the work and the people who do it, but I cringe every time they go on about how some parcel of land has been protected "forever."

Never mind that nothing is "forever," all it needs is a change in the tax laws to make the work start to unravel.

Cynic, me. And somewhat of a pessimist.

Think of the blood and treasure, and the Jews, gays, and Gypsies that could have been spared if Antifa had successfully smashed European Fascism in the 1930s:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-fascism

Maybe not the best of people now, but probably too nice back then.

And by the way, JanieM and others, when I listed my deplorable attitudes (antisemitism, islamophobia etc), I meant to include homophobia and other prejudiced hatreds too, but didn't want to go back in just to add another post. And I also agree with JanieM in her response to wj and Marty, I hope you two are right, but the fact that these arseholes feel so safe and entitled now, in several countries and for the first time in my memory, has me much more pessimistic than you. The enabling effects of social media and fascist stuff on the internet, in particular, strike me as a new and sinister development compared to anytime from about the sixties onwards.

Depends, I think, on when "were" was.

I was thinking mid-50s. Not a good time to be black in America. (Not as bad at the 1920s, perhaps, but not good.) Entering an interracial marriage was no longer illegal in much of the country, but still was some places. But legal or not, people who did so were potentially looking at being expelled from their family -- it happened; people who would neither hear from nor see their family for decades as a result.

And being gay was likely to get you killed; badly beaten at an absolute minimum.

But perhaps there was a "when" that was as good as today? Somewhere that I've never heard of.... ;-)

But perhaps there was a "when" that was as good as today? Somewhere that I've never heard of.... ;-)

This time last year?

The thing is, situations can devolve, and historically they often have..

Canaries in the coal mine...Brexit, Hungary, Poland? The electoral losses of the right wing in Netherlands and France notwithstanding.

All to say that it is depressing that Max and others, including you in a different way, are forced to deal with this in a way that is likely out of proportion to the risk or the size of the threat

An astute observation that, for some strange reason, has not been deemed particularly applicable by our government since the first PLO airliner hijacking.

Entering an interracial marriage was no longer illegal in much of the country, but still was some places. But legal or not, people who did so were potentially looking at being expelled from their family -- it happened; people who would neither hear from nor see their family for decades as a result.

In my lifetime, most everyone has paid lip service to going forward. There have been some exceptions, of course. Affirmative action comes to mind. But everyone proclaimed "Of course, I'm not racist!" Neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates were hidden. "Decent" people, like the folks who post here, don't understand white privilege. They've had to work hard for a living, and that concept doesn't square with "privilege".

But now, the demons are out. Especially with guns. The difference between C'ville and Boston were the weapons. People knew they could come to Charlottesville fully armed and dangerous. Why go to Boston to make trouble if you can't carry weapons and intimidate people? A total bust for the neo's.

sapient: This time last year?

This time last year, Trump was holding rallies of his adoring fans. This year, he holds rallies and masses of protestors show up. Seems like a bit of progress to me....

Seems like a bit of progress to me....

Dead counter-protestors in my town doesn't seem like progress. Nor did it seem like progress with those Oregon killings. Nor did it seem like progress when I went campaigning on Sunday for our D candidate for governor and some of my "neighbors" (folks I didn't actually know) were openly hostile (before I actually started talking, so it wasn't about my a-holeness). That kind of thing hasn't happened before - people who answer the door have always said something like, "No, thanks. I'm a Republican." It's uglier now. (Let's not even mention what it must be like to be an undocumented immigrant.)

The contradictions are heightened.

I am by nature an optimist, so I tend to agree with wj's analysis. I have to say, though, quoting Tom Lehrer, "the out patients are out in force."

It seems like DJT has made it OK to be out in this way. I hope it doesn't lead to worse than we have already seen.

"No, thanks. I'm a Republican."

his support among Republicans went up last week.

some have tried claiming that it's because some people have stopped admitting to be Republicans. i'd like to see that data. but even if true, it does nothing good for the label "Republican". morally good, that is. electorally, who knows. this country is broken.

--

i think i saw this on a FB repost of a tweet from someone i don't know... but it was regarding black folks and Confederate statues, and it was to the effect:

imagine you're a Jew and every morning you have to drive by a statue of Hitler or Mengele on your way to work. heritage?

overt violent racists

Three overlapping circles in the big American Venn diagram. One not so big, one pretty small, one actually pretty large.

Between the three of them, they cover more ground than you might think.

I invite you to look at the Facebook page of Boston Free Speech, the group that put on the rally. Interesting comments, remarkable not so much for flaming bloodthirsty racist vigor, more as a record of two groups of people who look at the same set of facts and see utterly different realities.

Utterly different.

We're not all on the same planet anymore. Jews, Black Lives Matter, antifa, apparently all rule the world now. Much to their surprise. And 40,000 people came out for the express purpose of defeating free speech.

Never mind getting to something like consensus, just getting to an approximately common understanding of the basic facts on the ground is utterly beyond us.

The difference between C'ville and Boston were the weapons.

My first reaction to this was to think no, it was the behavior of the cops. But in C'ville the cops were outgunned.

So yes, weapons.

forced to deal with this in a way that is likely out of proportion to the risk or the size of the threat

Since 9/11, radical Islamists have killed 119 people in 23 incidents. Domestic white supremacists have killed 106, in 62 incidents.

That's since 9/11, it excludes the WTC and Pentagon attacks, which is quite the outlier. Then again, it excludes the Murrah building, ditto.

Compare and contrast how we respond to the threat of radical Islamic terror, as compared to that of domestic white supremacists.

Yes, the absolute number of overt violent racists is small in proportion to the overall population. It's still probably in the very low tens of thousands.

That's a lot of people running around intent on murder and mayhem.

The most worrisome thing, to me, in all that I've come across in coming up to speed with the modern hipster racists is the degree to which it's all kind of a joke to them.

Actually, the most worrisome thing is probably the existence of a dude named Augustus Sol Invictus, former libertarian candidate for the US Senate from FL, who espouses eugenics to keep the sick and diseased from breeding, and who went on some weird pagan vision quest in the Mojave Desert, where it was apparently revealed to him that he was to lead the 2nd American Civil War. In gratitude for not dying in that adventure, he sacrificed a live goat and drank his blood.

The man ran for the US Senate.

Invictus aside, the most worrisome thing to me is the number of young dudes who think this bullshit is just one big joke.

We didn't really mean it with the nooses and the goose step and the Hitler salute. Just pranking the normies.

Clarification - Invictus drank the goat's blood, not his own.

Let's not get carried away!

Never mind getting to something like consensus, just getting to an approximately common understanding of the basic facts on the ground is utterly beyond us.

That really is the core problem in today's America: one side (or, to be more precise, a significant and possibly controlling segment of one side) simply rejects any inconvenient facts which don't support their preexisting views. It makes it impossible to find agreement on how to deal with anything, because there is, and can be, no agreement on reality.

"Compare and contrast how we respond to the threat of radical Islamic terror, as compared to that of domestic white supremacists."

Here is the thing most worrisome to me. Within the Constitutional limits, that are pretty widely accepted, the distinction in these two things is quite similar. FBI keeps files on people here, VIA and FBI watch external groups, phones are tapped, plots identified.

The only perceived difference is that there a slim possibility that,acting on intelligence, you could stop an attack at the border. An opportunity you just don't have with domestic terrorists.

The other difference is simply the legal status of the perpetrators, but mostly people I deal with think we should treat foreign born terrorist more like citizens, not less.

Last, foreign terrorists recruit all over the world and field armies. They're just not the same.

Today, for the first time in my life, we have reasonable people approving of vigilante justice in our society. That isn't the America I grew up in, or believe in. That worries me more than a few thousand angry people blowing up stuff.

You wanna convince a guy to bring the overwhelming force, show him the T&A:

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/08/22/mcmaster-learns-to-speak-trumps-language/

It's the Murdoch/Ailes news strategy: reveal the decolletage and get the beaver shots in conservative faces and we report and you, uh, decide.

The Christian Right and Pence are bombing Afghanistan to restore the miniskirt. But they won't dine with them because something might happen, a rapey thing, which they can't help.

American conservatives are vermin, you little minxes.

Marty, you forget the outcry from the people with the big megaphones when the authorities are caught even just looking into domestic, non-islamist, non-leftist terrorist matters.

the distinction in these two things is quite similar

nobody is calling for the rounding up of white supremacists. no comments about the threat of white supremacist terror in campaign speeches of the POTUS, or anyone else for that matter.

foreign terrorists recruit all over the world and field armies.

white supremacists recruit in our very own communities. i'd say that's worse.

They're just not the same.

among the differences - organized white supremacists have been active in this country for 120+ years.

we have reasonable people approving of vigilante justice in our society

unclear what you refer to here. can you expand?

Marty's referring to Batman, I think. People think he's pretty cool.

i assume he's talking about the armed 'conservatives' who show up to wave their guns at people who think honoring slavery is beyond the pale.

Is Justin Moore reasonable? He was good with James Alex Fields, Jr.'s version of justice.

Today, for the first time in my life, we have reasonable people approving of vigilante justice in our society.

You mean these people?

Well, of course you don't.

Marty, 'compare and contrast' doesn't mean 'let's string those guys up'. At least not to me. So equating it with 'vigilante justice' is bizarre.

One of the points several people have made is that the protestors at Standing rock were greeted with rubber bullets and firehoses. Why so nice to these guys? It's not vigilante justice, it is pointing out that these guys (and they are guys) are _still_ benefiting from white privilege. If not, what justifies the difference in treatment?

9/11 was one of the greatest days on the history of the Republican Party. Nothing gave them the leverage to push through their authoritarian domestic agenda like that day of infamy.

The threat of Islamic terrorism on the "homeland" keeps defense and law enforcement budgets flush, while providing cover for cutting the social safety net and demolishing the tax code for high earners.

The President of the United States, that republican conservative lout who represents all republican conservative louts, just yesterday again threatened to shut down the federal government unless his wall is built.

Nothing like vigilantism from the top to achieve their malign ends.

The Bundy vigilantes were treated with kid gloves by law enforcement despite threatening deadly force against law enforcement and federal employees.

They should have been butchered on the first day of the standoff.

rump is a piece of vigilante filth who has his own private vigilante security detail, consisting of thugs, on my meal ticket.

He prompted vigilante action from the dais against Americans at his campaign rallies throughout the campaign and cheered it on as it occurred. So did his vermin voters.

He employed vigilante foreign force, in the form of hackers and a fuck hold up in the Ecuadoran Embassy, to steal the 2016 election.

Not a single conservative objected.

Fuck the republican party. Fuck it and kill it.

The NRA is purely a vigilante organization in the service of the authoritarian republican party, daily threatening threatening vigilante action against huge segments of the American polity. Smash it.

"(and they are guys)"

Well the girls done cucked us all our lives so there ain't nothin for it but to worship vigilante authoritarianism, Chester.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/young-men-fascism-faith/

Dreher drives me batty. I wish he would finally head for and cloister himself behind the codpiece of the Benedictine monastery, but I realize he needs to hang with we Godless moderns as long as possible and sell as many copies of his book while the gettin is good.

Sing it, cucks. The cock is coming 'round:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RTBn3qFrGQ

Giving libertarian cucks a bad name:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-insidious-libertarian-to-alt-right-pipeline?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

From the Dreher piece the count links to:

They wish to be warriors, but they see no dragons to slay. They want to be heroes, but they can find no one to save.

  • They could join the Army and go fight.
  • They could join Habitat for Humanity and build houses for poor and homeless people.
  • They could join the Peace Corps
  • They could get a MA in education and teach in underserved rural and city schools
  • They could get an MD and practice in underserved rural and city communities
  • They could go the library and read to little kids
  • They could prepare and deliver meals to older people and shut-ins.
  • They could participate in Neighborhood Watch to make sure their Nazi-light buddies don't burn down synagogues and mosques and trash cemeteries.

How long of a freaking list do they want?

If none of that suits, they could start fight clubs, beat the crap out of each other, and leave everyone else the hell alone.

Poor little wounded boys. Cry me a river.

They could also find a nice woman, besides their mother clumping around the kitchen upstairs and their third grade teachers who cucked them all their live long lives, to treat real nice.

Oh, wait ...

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-getting-harder-for-white-supremacists-to-find-romance-online-2017-08-22?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Well, look at 'em girls, Can't you just wait to read their profiles?

William Shirer made the point in his diaries that Hitler fashioned "Mein Kampf" as a kind of dating profile in order to get the girls.

No, Shirer didn't write that, but it's a plausible theory.

After all, Hitler got plenty of girls. Most looked like FOX foxes and fascist nookie Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter.

The problem with taxpayer-funded libraries is the lost boys would have to share the books with socialist cooties. Yet another libertarian/alt-right convergence.

They don't play well with others.

Then, of course, they would have to learn to read instead of negotiating the world through their thumbs on the video war games.

"unclear what you refer to here. can you expand?"

The violent antifa movement has picked up support and justification from people who I believe otherwise to be reasonable. Yet masked avengers bringing their weapons to every protest and counter protest so they can create violence is just vigilantism. They don't even pretend to not want violence. Their justification is those people deserve it and since they haven't broken any laws the cops won't do anything, so we either beat the crap out of them or get them engaged in something the cops will arrest them for. Those are vigilantes.

The border patrollers are at least showing their face and categorically denying that they do anything except watch and notify border patrol. Because anything would be, illegal.

Batman they ain't.

the Party of Personal Responsibility™ sure does lean heavily on "it's all the left's fault", when it comes to explaining why so many of them act like assholes.

The violent antifa movement has picked up support and justification from people who I believe otherwise to be reasonable.

Like who?

Even Noam friggin' Chomsky is critical of Antifa. He is being criticized for that by some people on "The Left," so maybe Eleanor Penny and Asa Winstanley, mentioned in the linked article, are the reasonable people Marty's talking about. I don't recall hearing of either of them, myself, before reading the linked article.

"9/11 was one of the greatest days on the history of the Republican Party."

I'm surprised they haven't erected a statue of Osama Bin Laden at the 9/11 memorial. Why are they trying to rewrite history?

The violent antifa movement has picked up support and justification from people who I believe otherwise to be reasonable.

what hairshirt said.

I know *A LOT* of people who are politically active on the progressive side. I don't know a single person who supports or agrees with antifa's tactics.

That includes me.

To a person, they wish they would stay the hell home.

When you lose Chomsky, you've pretty much fallen off the cliff as far as the American left goes.

I realize some of it is venting, some of it is hyperbole, some of it is an attempt at humor, but I’m disheartened with how casually my fellow travelers apply “racist” or “evil” tags (directly or indirectly) to other folks.

Cleary the KKK and Nazis deserve the whatever vindictive that comes their way, but to play six degrees of separation with words like “racist” and “evil” is counterproductive.

When you label someone “evil”, you give yourself a pass on working to see the world from his or her perspective. When you call someone a racist, you make yourself feel a little better, a little superior, but in all likelihood you make the target worse of a racist.

This isn’t entirely directed at posts/posters here. My firm is somewhat active in Dem politics and I’m alarmed that political pros who are usually good naturedly cynical regarding the emotional side of politics (at least after a few drinks) have become wide-eyed sweaty-toothed zealots.

For my part, I’m actually sanguine on many fronts (if not overall).

I don’t care if Congress is Republican-controlled at the moment; it’s a good thing that the legislative branch is reasserting itself and we are walking back from the unitary executive. Bush and Obama both traveled too far down that path for my tastes. The judiciary has also played its roll. The presidency is not supposed to be an all-powerful chief executive. It’s good to be reminded of that.

Trump is also a helpful reminder that elections matter; this is serious business.

I’m also OK that we are having this spasm of right wing ugliness now. As I've said before, this was a boil that needed to be lanced. Better it happen with Trump leading the movement than someone competent. I have some economics training and believe in markets, including markets for ideas. I’m honestly not worried that these alt-right assholes can foment an organized movement in the real world. Protect their first amendment rights, let them have their say, and let them see their words of hatred fall on deaf ears.

I’ve lived in many regions of the country and seen racism everywhere. I grew up in a small town in SC and saw it everyday. I have a really good idea how broad and deep racism runs in this country and I have zero concerns that the alt-right can or will engineer a white supremacist revolution.

My suggestion: Take a breath. The republic is not falling apart. If we learn the lessons of the Trump mistake, the nation will be all the better for it.

They want to be heroes, but they can find no one to save.

They could...

Note one thing about your whole list. All of them, to different degrees, require work. Sustained effort.

My sense is that, in a lot of cases (maybe almost all of them), they want to be heroes without being willing to pay the price. Just get the comic-book magic spider bite or something -- no effort required to become a hero.

hell, i'm don't i even agree with "antifa"'s overall goals. aside from a shared hatred of Nazis and the KKK, they and i have very different things in mind when we speak about what is "fa-" and what isn't.

i don't want the destruction of capitalism, the destruction of the police, the destruction of the US government. i don't want communism or anarchy. and i wish they'd stay the hell away.

hell, i'm don't i even.

English 2.0 is still in beta.

When you label someone “evil”, you give yourself a pass on working to see the world from his or her perspective.

I don't care to see the world from the perspective of someone who hates immigrants, condones the cold blooded killing of African-American youth, wants to step up environmental degradation instead of slowing it down, basically endorses a politics of cruelty, and ignores blatant lying, calumny, and misinformation. All of that is evil, truly evil. Whether the people themselves are evil? Although I would rather not judge people (leaving that to God, or whomever), I can't find it in my heart to think highly of them.

My suggestion: Take a breath. The republic is not falling apart. If we learn the lessons of the Trump mistake, the nation will be all the better for it.

I find that hard to believe that I'll discover any good coming of Donald Trump in my lifetime. I'll certainly be happy to be wrong.

As to antifa, what cleek said at 12:24.

I don't care to see the world from the perspective of someone who hates immigrants, condones the cold blooded killing of African-American youth, wants to step up environmental degradation instead of slowing it down, basically endorses a politics of cruelty, and ignores blatant lying, calumny, and misinformation. All of that is evil, truly evil.

Posted by: sapient | August 23, 2017 at 12:30 PM

Do you think that describes all Republicans? Even most of them?

Do you think that describes all Republicans? Even most of them?

Certainly seems that their policies are driven by those attitudes.

All of them, to different degrees, require work. Sustained effort.

Funny, that.

I have zero concerns that the alt-right can or will engineer a white supremacist revolution.

Look, until about 50 years ago, people could be denied access to housing, public accommodations of all sorts, and almost anything else you want to name, based on the color of their skin or their religion.

De jure.

De facto, black people, Jews, Catholics, gays, people of different races or religions who simply wanted to marry each other, could expect to be met with violence. Killed, beaten, property destroyed. They could be denied employment or lose employment.

And so on and so on.

The de facto thing went on for much longer than 50 years ago.

I don't really have much of a problem calling those things evil. If "evil" seems overly harsh, I'll settle for plain old wrong, on moral, ethical, and humanitarian grounds.

There are people - people in positions to actually make policy, to make things happen in the public sphere - who advocate for removing or weakening the laws and institutions that keep those things from returning.

Freedom of association!
States rights!

There are widespread efforts, by people holding national public office, today, to prevent people of "certain demographics" from voting.

And there are a great big crapload of folks who would be - who are - perfectly fine with all of that.

I'm not worried about anyone engineering a white supremacist revolution. I'm worried about the nation sliding back to a white supremacist steady state.

In spite if my firm's active support of Dem candidates, I represent many Republicans. I also have many Republican friends. Some of these folks even voted for Trump (though they don't approve of him today). I can't find one who hates immigrants or condones killing black folks (regardless of age). I disagree with them on the importance of "border security" and the level of lawlessness, but I can't detect racial animus in their views (believe me, I know it when I see it).

All of them are skeptical of the efficiency and potency of efforts to combat global warming (though many of them agree with me on a revenue neutral carbon tax). Most agree with the basic science related to global warming, but are skeptical of the predictive power of current models (I kind of agree with them there).

Do I think many of these folks are focusing on the wrong things and have their priorities out of whack? Sure. Do I think they are evil? Not for a second.

Do you think that describes all Republicans? Even most of them?

"Certainly seems that their policies are driven by those attitudes."

The term "Trump Voter" is a useful shorthand for 'those people'. It's up to them to prove otherwise.

I can't detect racial animus in their views (believe me, I know it when I see it).

I see it when I see people voting for politicians who enact laws and policies in a larger agenda that is cruel to "certain people", that is based on denying "those people" their right to vote, and that jeopardizes their health and safety. YMMD

I have tons of friends who are Trump supporters. They're good people. They just have a terribly distorted view of the world outside their own direct personal experience (IMO, of course - maybe I'm the one who's blind to the very real problems they all see ... or maybe not).

I can't say why that is. They aren't generally stupid. They just look at the world and see something very different from what I see. It's perplexing, to be sure.

YMMV, I guess I meant. I'm so bad at acronyms.

Your mileage may differ.

That's what I meant, but the Internet says YMMD means "you made my day."

I can't find one who hates immigrants or condones killing black folks

Then those aren't the folks I'm talking about in my 12:49.

It strikes me that you, and Marty, and maybe some other folks want to minimize the threat that is posed by the "alt-right" crowd.

The danger is not that they are going to seize power and turn the nation into a Pepe-worshiping totalitarian state.

The danger is that they are going to stress the institutions of public life - the institutions that make it possible for all of us, and all kinds of us, to coexist in a common polity - to the breaking point.

That is not a particularly far reach, from where we are right now.

Your mileage may differ.

You Made Me Do it.

Do you think that describes all Republicans? Even most of them?

Clearly not all of us -- for example, me! ;-)

But it's increasingly hard to argue that it doesn't describe most self-identified Republicans. The polls seem pretty clear on that.

My personal experience suggests that there are a lot of us who are nothing like that . . . which offers me the luxury of assuming that the majority who are mostly live in "those places." Which is a handy shorthand, just like "those people", but so be it.

They just have a terribly distorted view of the world outside their own direct personal experience

....

They just look at the world and see something very different from what I see. It's perplexing, to be sure.

I've gone on about this ad nauseam, but here it is again. This kind of stuff is happening because there is no longer a foundation of agreed facts and reality, as conveyed in schools, by the media, etc etc. Maybe it started with New Age anti-science nonsense (homeopathy, anti-vax etc etc), or maybe it started with the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine, maybe it started as politicians meddled too much with school curricula on ideological grounds. But the end result is that, nationwide, there is no base-level understanding of reality in the world. I am not (too) naive: I realise that people's worldviews always varied based on class, race, political affiliation etc. But they all started from the foundation that e.g. 2 + 2 = 4, and that the scientific method establishes the explanation for physical phenomena thus, among other results, enabling technological advances. The destruction of this commonly acknowledged reality ends in people believing whatever they are told, or indoctrinated with by people they have decided to trust, and no argument or proof will convince them otherwise. You would never have convinced die-hard racists they were wrong, but a great mass of people in the middle have been convinced by accusations of Fake News, and believe the lies and evasions of the racist politicians they support.

Do you think that describes all Republicans? Even most of them?

Most of them voted for Trump. QED

But seriously, sure, one could say many of them are just plain ordinary folk...but when they act as a group they are, to put it bluntly, a bunch of assholes.

The comments to this entry are closed.