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Open Thread 13-19 Feb

by Bjinse Mon Feb 13th, 2017 at 07:32:11 AM EST

Outside of a dog, a thread is man's best friend.


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by Bjinse on Mon Feb 13th, 2017 at 07:36:07 AM EST
I'm sure I've read that (I'm widely, though shallowly, read).
Now I'll follow the link and go "Duh"

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Feb 19th, 2017 at 03:27:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LENIN'S TOMB: On Forgetting Yourself -
Everything we do on Facebook and Twitter is about, in part, cultivating, tending and refreshing daily, a self-portrait that we can take pleasure in. Far from escaping from the self, we would be horrified to find ourselves digressing too much on these platforms: too many people are watching.

It's easy to criticise online narcissism, but that is not the problem, as such. However, the kind of narcissism that is encouraged by the ecology of likes, shares, retweets and so on, is the fragile narcissism of the mirror. You find out what you're like by constantly evaluating the coded and quantified reactions of others.

That whole article is pretty good and at least partly runs parallel to a thought I've been carrying around for some time. Clear name policies would probably make online discourse on the whole worse because it forces everyone to "be" someone. You can not talk about a topic at hand without carrying your identity with you.

by generic on Mon Feb 13th, 2017 at 12:17:25 PM EST
by generic on Mon Feb 13th, 2017 at 02:33:59 PM EST
While I share his sentiments, we need to recognise that US democracy is broken. The checks and balances we expect to solve this crisis are on the scrapheap. Good luck with this but nobody in authority is coming to save you.

As Jefferson should have warned, "It's a Republic, but only if you can keep it"

FB - Michael Moore

My thoughts on the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn...

Now that Flynn is gone, he can rejoin his son in pedaling the story that Hillary was running a pedophile ring out of Comet Pizza. This is what was passing for National Security. Whackjob...

I'm fondly remembering Michael Flynn at the Republican convention leading the cheer from the stage: "LOCK HER UP!" Now it may be him who gets locked up. Be careful what you wish for!...

Flynn was colluding with a foreign government accused of helping throw the election to Trump, promising them they would be taken care of. Arrest him...

Let's be VERY clear: Flynn DID NOT make that Russian call on his own. He was INSTRUCTED to do so.He was TOLD to reassure them. Arrest Trump...

TRUMP KNEW EVERYTHING. It will all come out. Along with the rest of Trump's collusion & obedience to Putin. #IMPEACH...

The Washington Post & NY Times now reporting Trump HAS KNOWN FOR A MONTH Flynn lied about the Russian call - and Trump did nothing. #IMPEACH...

This is who Trump named "National Security Advisor": A lapdog to the lapdog of Putin. Feeling secure America? He's gonna get u killed...

Hey, @realDonaldTrump -- one hour after Obama put sanctions on Russia YOU told Flynn to call them & promise them it'll be OK. Admit it. Traitor! Resign by morning!



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 03:21:57 PM EST
one hour after Obama put sanctions on Russia YOU told Flynn to call them & promise them it'll be OK.

Is that really how treason works? There was an election, the publicly stated policy of the winner was rapprochement with Russia and apparently the privately stated policy was the exact same?
I mean Flynn being a blood thirsty bigot who started rattling sabers toward Iran day one is quite enough to have him fired but the Russia stuff remains weak tea.

What is becoming apparent however is that the Trump admin folds like wet paper when faced with real opposition.

by generic on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 03:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Trump admin folds like wet paper

We already saw that with the one China policy.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 03:59:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So we need a third point for a trend.
by generic on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 07:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"See you in court" (the SCOTUS) and then giving up, promising a new decree instead?
by Bernard on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 08:17:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we now know that his actions "will not be questioned"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 08:57:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps Trump's 'actions will not be questioned' simply describes a new PR plan. Instead they will change the subject and surround themselves with friendly news folks who will be the only ones chosen to ask questions at news conferences. The result: Trump's actions will not be questioned. If Democrats in Congress persist, they will be dealt with like Elizabeth Warren was handled.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 10:03:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It puts the question in the basket

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 15th, 2017 at 02:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean Flynn being a blood thirsty bigot who started rattling sabers toward Iran day one is quite enough to have him fired but the Russia stuff remains weak tea.
What's even more frustrating about this is that we know - because it's in a public disclosure - that Flynn took actual money from Erdogan. And we know he wrote at least one op-ed to order, attempting to argue that the US should hand over Gülen to be disappeared into some Turkish sound-proofed basement.

But apparently that actual, acknowledged case of corrupt foreign influence isn't newsworthy, because something-something-underpants-Russia.

Truly this russophobic witch hunt has been God's gift to all sorts of grifters.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 09:50:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good reminder, I had forgotten about that. And good riddens to Flynn considering his sabre-rattling towards Iran.

My guess, is that the real crime is seeking friendly relations with Russia.

by fjallstrom on Wed Feb 15th, 2017 at 09:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Flynn was a shit-show waiting to happen in several ways. Though personally I was less worried about Iran than about what having a Turkish puppet in the White House would do for Rojava, which by the standards of Kurdish history is already overdue for being stabbed in the back by the US.

Trump, much like Raygun, strikes me as fundamentally a blustering, cowardly bully, not a real militarist. Iran is not a pushover, and hostility to Iran is a useful sales device for the armaments industry, driving both domestic sales and exports to Saudi, Israel, and Turkey. So I think the hostility towards Iran will be limited to woofing, maybe a few militarily inconsequential air strikes, and continued economic sanctions.

The Syrian Kurds, by contrast, have "victim" written all over them, and while that has ended poorly for everyone who's taken a crack at it to date, except the Turks, the people who lost against the YPG/J have all been distinctly second-rate militaries. So that might not deter the Americans.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2017 at 07:23:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that Trump is a coward. But a coward on a personal level without any established abstract thinking skills. I'm not optimistic.
by generic on Wed Feb 15th, 2017 at 08:55:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump's highest priority is Trump. So, if that involves his financial empire's solvency being at the behest of Vlad, he will be first and foremost concerned about Vlad's priorities. I am not sure this is true, but a lot of signs point to the possibility. Even releasing his tax returns might not fully answer the question, though it could well open the door to discovering the answer.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2017 at 05:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Donald Trump's businesses owe $1.8bn to more than 150 different institutions, new study suggests
Mr Trump has previously declared $315 million (£254 million) of debt owed to ten different lenders [...]

One of the banks Mr Trump owes money to is Wells Fargo & Co., which is the trustee or administrator of $282 million of loans to the businessman and his companies. It is also involved in a further $950 million of debt paid to a property that one of Mr Trump's companies partly owns.

Wells Fargo is currently under investigation by US regulators for fraudulent practices that allegedly included staff opening up to two million accounts without customers' knowledge [...]

Another company the President-elect owes money to, MetLife Inc., is currently engaged in a court battle with the US government over attempts to regulate it more strictly.

Meet the 23 Republicans blocking Congress from seeing Trump's tax returns. Is your rep on the list?

by das monde on Thu Feb 16th, 2017 at 06:11:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MSNBC - Morning Joe - What Stephen Miller said should worry everyone

Joe and Mika react to Stephen Miller with shock and horror. Yes, Joe f..ing Scarborough, Trump fanboi, is lost for words watching Miller

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 10:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is quite interesting.

Washington Monthly - Martin Longman - The Blackmail Story Doesn't Add Up

When it comes to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, I have long seen him as an informal member of the intelligence community who often acts as their mouthpiece. For example, back in April 2012 I wrote the following about what I could learn about the progress of nuclear negotiations with Iran from reading Ignatius's column:

I always need to read between the lines of any David Ignatius column to see whose agenda he's pushing. He usually operates as a tool of our intelligence community, and what he says is less important than the interests he's advancing. I have to say that I am quite relieved to see that the story line Ignatius is pushing this morning is that the nuclear talks with Iran are well-designed, working well, and likely to succeed in a peaceful and mutually acceptable settlement.

I don't really care what Ignatius thinks about the talks, but it's a good sign that his "masters" want to send the message that our government is pleased with the progress so far. It's not a familiar message. Normally, what we hear is bellicose, alarmist, and apocalyptic.

It's in this basic context that I go back and read Ignatius's column (and the update to that column) from January 12th. As is his habit, Ignatius buried the lede in the 10th paragraph where he revealed that "According to a senior U.S. government official, [Michael] Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking."



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 15th, 2017 at 02:49:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's just Mr. Booman.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2017 at 07:43:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does Trump (and Russia) Want California to Secede?

by bento

Comment by esquimaux :

I'm in California and consider this idea completely ridiculous.

That's today. Times change, shit happens. Be patient.
 

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 at 09:12:08 PM EST

Cars vs public transport yearly tickets in Vienna.

by generic on Fri Feb 17th, 2017 at 01:30:00 PM EST
So, what's driving that? Radical improvements in the infrastructure? Pricing, tax breaks?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Feb 19th, 2017 at 03:37:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Der Postillon
Es ist fast schon traurige Routine: Die Berliner Polizei wird in eine kleine Wohnung gerufen, in der offenbar bereits vor Tagen ein Mann einsam und alleine an Altersschwäche gestorben ist. Doch im Falle von Amal al-Majid ist alles anders

[...]

Laut den in seiner Wohnung gefundenen Unterlagen war al-Majid 1995 - damals noch im Dienste al-Qaidas - als Schläfer nach Deutschland gezogen, um einen großen Anschlag zu verüben. Schnell war er mit seinen Vorgesetzten einig, dass der damals bereits konkret geplante neue Hauptstadtflughafen ein angemessenes Ziel sei. "So ein Flughafenbau kann ja in Deutschland nicht allzu lange dauern", heißt es in einem Fax, das al-Majid damals aus dem al-Qaida-Hauptquartier erhalten hat. "Die Deutschen sind bekannt für ihren Fleiß

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Feb 17th, 2017 at 11:23:39 PM EST


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