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The Triumph of Trumpism

by Frank Schnittger Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 11:22:35 AM EST

Ever since the election of Donald Trump (which like many others, I didn't see coming) I have kind of lost interest in US politics. It's not as if I condemn all Americans as dumb-ass stupid. I have been to the States a couple of times in the distant past and know it is a very varied country. It has it's very conservative backwards parts, and some very progressive forward looking districts. It has lots of very poorly educated people, but also many of the most brilliant minds and innovators in the world.

Since the end of World War II, the USA has gloried in the title of "Leader of the Free World", although allying with Stalin against Hitler is a distinction without much difference. It's subsequent alliance with every nasty dictator on the planet against "communism" didn't do it much credit either. But my dispute is not so much with what the USA was, as with what it has become under Trump. Basically a country without hope. Without almost any major saving graces.

Sure, if you are lucky or smart, with the right racial/linguistic profile, you can still make your fortune there. But don't get sick. Don't "drive while black". And it helps if you are a white supremacist racist bigot. Believing in Zionism, creationism and denying climate change also helps. In general, besides McDonald's, Microsoft and Google, what positive contribution does the USA make to the world now? Dylan and Springsteen belong to a prior age. Hollywood hasn't produced an original or inspirational movie in years. Since MLK, has any US political leader provided much inspiration to the world?


All crass generalisations, I accept. And I do admire the "can do" positivism and sunny optimism of so many Americans I have known. But even if the EU is a bureaucratic quagmire and Brexit a sore on the back-side of creation, what positive inspiration can one now draw from the US? The USA has always had it's crass materialistic side. I remember being shocked when asked  "How much do you make" almost as an opening conversational gambit. It seemed that some people only defined you, and themselves, by their earning power.

But with Trump that strain seems to have become almost entirely dominant. There seems to be no moral, political, environmental or social concern which isn't Trumped by the bottom line. If "Driving while Black" almost amounts to a crime, then doing almost anything while rich is absolvable. Trump has even said he could shoot someone on Times Square and get away with it. The "Moral Majority" of "Christian Conservatives" will forgive anything if you are rich and white. The fast growing Mormon church even seems to equate material success with divine favour. Church of Mammon, more likely.

And in the meantime the world is consumed by war and deprivation often as a direct consequence of the depredations of US multinationals, military and contractors. A mass extinction event is under way as humans destroy ever more planetary resources beyond the planet's ability to regenerate and sustain. It is not that we in Europe are blameless, but that Trumpism seems to glory in leading us all in the wrong direction. The worst aspects of global corporate rule made flesh.

Please somebody tell me I have got it wrong. That there are widespread positive trends afoot in the USA which will soon overthrow Trumpism and all it represents. That UK Brexiteers will get their noses bloodied, and then some. That the nascent fascists in Europe will get their comeuppance. That political stability will be achieved in the Middle East... But somehow I don't see too many positive trends. Yes globalism has lifted many in Asia out of absolute and into relative poverty, but at a price the earth is unable to sustain. This has the look of an epoch that is nearing it's end. Please tell me it isn't true.

Display:
Nice rant Frank ... I can grasp your disillusion with such a potential great nation. It's not a triumph by any means  and it's not the win of Trump. It has been decades long coming and many have foreseen this day. Ever since the 9/11 attacks and it's shock effect on society, I knew the fascist state would gather pace.

Throw the International Conventions and Laws overboard and one will reap what is sowed. The divergence in American society started right after the victory of D-day and the military march on Berlin.

The might over the atom was a forewarning, see  the true scientists, there are many, but Einstein was one of the dissenters.

The implosion of the Soviet Empire and Communism should have been a chance for the global community to come together.

The Americans with a lack of unity in history plus some defect in a common culture (genocide of the indigenous people called "savages") have ravaged numerous states across our planet with impunity.

From ancient history there is a basic knowledge how society should function,  New America was build on individuals, adventurists, puritans, religious people from many background and in the end their children and grandchildren were emboldened by wealth and their false god of $$$$$.

I have experienced the change in the blog community of the Pond and find it shocking. Just like the theory of Darwin, it's natural selection due to the numbers and the strongest voice. Progressive and creative minds are lacking.

Similar what we see in EU politics, there are no leaders and spokespersons as MLK was. Corruption is rampant across the globe. Just as I blogged today in a reply to Cat, it's a grab for power in a battle of oligarchs. Politics of might trumps all. :-(

With Internet and the giants in social media, it's all about misinformation and propaganda. The common people who have a job in an attempt to stay alive, have no chance to see the next global catastrophe of the environment, global warming or war coming.

Elections? The Supreme Court settled that companies are people too and get to participate in democracy with unlimited cash for victory.

More specifics later ...

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 03:00:19 PM EST
Trump triumphed because White America is having a temper tantrum.  The post-WW 2 economic boom has gone bust.  They don't know why it went bust. So, in  accordance with US history and culture, they are blaming somebody else and committing random acts of violence.

As I've said several times, is anger building in the US.  Trump is the overt sign of that anger.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 05:59:09 PM EST
Except that the economic boom hasn't gone bust.  GDP growth has averaged 2% p.a. even allowing for the savage drop in 2009. It is economic inequality which has grown strongly and yet the US has elected a plutocrat who glories in screwing the little guy. How stupid is that? And I'm not convinced the GOP will be trounced in the Mid-terms or that Trump won't win re-election if he wants it. More likely the USA will double down on its mistake, as will the Brexiteers, and there is little sign of an effective mass resistance movement to stop it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 06:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My thoughts have always floundered, not that Trump could win (there were signs ahead), but how he could win with such support of Republican voters. Despite every bit of damaging information about Drumpf, they came out to vote, including the evangelicals.

The only somewhat coherent construct I can think of is that it's all about hating the guts of the other guy more - and about wanting to see them lose: primordial tribal hatred. Which the Republicans reap from fanning flames of hate - it's become larger than just a business model. And the internet and its social media oligopoly are the perfect tools for it, which the Trump campaign strategically exploited.

Who knows, in a few decades, after strict protocols have been put into place to tamper anonymous internet trolling and mass spamming, we'll even thank the Russians for beginning to use the internet so openly to subvert and disrupt democracies.

by Bjinse on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 09:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're talking about the polity that re elected W. What I find most striking is that everyone sort of assumed that Trump's unique public grossness would make this election different. It wasn't. There was no mass exodus of suburbanites and white women from the GOP, most everyone voted along the old tribal lines.

On the Russian troll front: Quite irrespective of the question, where, between the actual 911 and the Iraqi WMDs they lie on the threat-delusion axis, the result of the Russian panic seems obvious: most internet communications already go over two internet behemoths. Now arbitrary denial of service gets legitimized. And if we go back at the prime examples of Russian interference from he first report, pushing BLM and anti - fracking activists, it is not difficult to see who will bear the brunt of this.

by generic on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 10:54:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Little of that GDP is happening in a way that benefits any but the 1%, and part of it doesn't exist at all.  It's possible to book GDP in the US even though the production is elsewhere, which doesn't help US workers much.  Also, a big chunk is FIRE (financial, insurance, and real estate), which is totally bogus and does nothing but exacerbate inequality.
by rifek on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 at 01:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GDP is worthless when it comes to the real situation in people's lives.  To wit, GDP increases and increases in productivity have been captured by the 1%:

"The economy is improving" is the standard neo-liberal BS cover for ever-increasing economic domination of the 99% by the 1%.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 at 04:15:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If "Driving while Black" almost amounts to a crime, then doing almost anything while rich is absolvable.

I'm sorry Frank, but this has always been true. It's pretty much true everywhere.

It's actually a sign of hope that we now notice it. That white people think it's terrible that all these bad things are happening to people whom we share space with. That white people men notice.

I know that seems perverse but black people have been murdered almost routinely by white people for hundreds of years, not for any reason but just because they could and they felt like it. And no white people seemed to care, let alone put it in the papers or on TV. Hell, what do you think Rosa Parks and MLK were really marching about? Water fountains and bus seats were the freaking least of it. Did you think that everything was fine since the Civil War? Or since Eisenhower ended Jim Crow? You know better

But now it's headline news. Now, it's a problem in DC. They might not want to solve it, but it ain't going away. Cos the arc of history bends towards justice. Visibility is improvement.

It's a sign of hope that the behaviour of Harvey Weinstein is now seen as an unacceptable excess rather than business as usual. Visibility is improvement.

Trump is the last gasp of an old guard. Just as the NRA has (probably) over-reached itself, the oligarchy have over-reached.

There comes a point where they revel in it too much, where it is not merely enough to win, they must rub everybdoy else's noses in the excrement they create. This is that time.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 09:46:55 PM EST
It is that time too here, in the UK. The local elections will demonstrate that, sometime in the last few months, the tide has changed. The tories are facing wipe-out in London (usual caveats about polls apply) with other bd results in Tory heartlands promised, which, if it happens, will probably result in a no-confidence vote against Mrs May.

At which point I think the Tories have to resign and a General Election ensues cos there is no replacement that will be acceptable.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 09:47:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now the topic of new general elections is breached, what are your thoughts about a party like Renew?
by Bjinse on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 09:54:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inspired by Macron??? They can go f... themselves. We've had 40 years of unbroken Conservative government thanks to the Tories and the Balirites. We don't need more Blairite centrist bullshit-mongers. That's what the Lib-Dems are for now.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 10:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FPTP doesn't work for multiple parties. In past times centrist parties have hurt Labour, but that is very unlikely now simply because the current Labour party has over half a million members.

Their ability to work the streets will overwhelm centrist parties who are usually the well funded creations of wealthy people playing at politics. They might be able to get some has-been and eager young things grouped together for a charming photo-op on College green in Westminster, but when it comes to putting people on the ground around the country, they'll come up very very short.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 10:16:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It could be helpful to learn from the experiences of the most vocal, most visibly oppressed "minority" groups in the history of western civilization how, when, and why the doctrines of Enlightenment is the sham of pathological violence that has failed everyone but guardians of that canon that rule the majority of a society's members. One tries.

In this long struggle some people have undertaken to condemn institutional barriers to peaceful existence among people, "Trumpism" is undifferentiable in terms or effect than liberalisms, conservatisms, corporatism, fascism, republicanism, and capitalism. The next change of label will neither alter the essential practices of dominating human relations and goals nor distribute wealth, profit, and material goods so many recognizes as grotesque "income inequality" between people

of every race, ethnicity, creed, sex, gender, religion, or color

"Anglo Disease" or "White Supremacy" is an attitude toward the world that is antithetical to human instincts and, in fact, the successful reproduction of the species. It is an attitude taught by a few people and nurtured by to many people who cannot help but believe their survival depends on their obedience to conspicuous figures of proper, lawful violence.

Accordingly, "black" is a political identity that serves many rhetorical purposes, mostly warnings.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 at 11:15:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Because capitalism tends toward deepening inequality and can defeat reversals by keeping them temporary, it is capitalism that must be overcome to solve its inherent inequality problem.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 05:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since MLK, has any US political leader provided much inspiration to the world?

Sanders is certainly one of the few inspirational figures on the Left today.

by generic on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 10:56:41 PM EST
He doesn't do it for me, and he isn't getting any younger. I would have said the same for Eugene McCarthy or George McGovern back in the day...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 21st, 2018 at 11:56:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'm grading on a curve here. For me personally he has too much US common sense foreign policy nonsense in his past to get truly starry-eyed over. But the movement that coalescended around him looks comparably healthy.
by generic on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 at 09:17:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean like this?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 07:10:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feeling inspired already.
by generic on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 07:21:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What problem do you find with these tweets?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 11:05:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's an article of faith that the Russians had no influence, since that way the left can just blame the other left and have an enjoyable little battle without needing to win power.

Same as usual.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 02:35:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Democrats want $300 million to fight possible Russia election tampering
+ $386M for Homeland Security whathaveyou and Election Assistance Commission subsidies

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 04:40:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As opposed to blaming the Russians and not bother doing anything else to win power? (Once it becomes established truth that the Russians were behind Trump's win, we might even get another Clinton run - and loss).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 04:51:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indictment
They spent thousands of dollars a month to buy advertisements on social media groups, while carefully tracking the size of U.S. audiences they reached, according to the indictment.
by generic on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 10:13:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
from the "cloud"? Srsly?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 05:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]


archived: twitter - RT media plan, Oct 2017. Remember that?

This is a table titled "MEDIA PLAN". It's format is typical of all publishers' rate sheets.

This is Twitter's offer to sell its publishing services. Twitter is not selling advertisements or advertising content to RT. AD TYPE is format of an advertisement. INVESTMENT is the price asked to reserve location(s) of RT's advertisement by format size, $/area, by frequency (user-group INTERESTS x ACCOUNTS x KEYWORDS). This rate sheet illustrates differential pricing by AD TYPE.

How can people have an intelligent conversation about a subject --exchange value of advertisements' contents and placements by a publisher-- if their knowledge of the subject is ignorant?

They cannot.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 06:19:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SELF, What does the line item "8% value-add" signify?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 06:32:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if that were the case that they had no influence (it's not), I would want a leftist leader to make it a big deal that Trump attempted to get them to deliver him the election.

The attempt itself would be treasonous even if it had not had any effect.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 01:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Besides, it seems that Russians tried to support Sanders against Clinton.

If Sanders had not explicitly condemned all of their actions, I would have been very uncomfortable with him, however much I liked the way he brought the political discourse leftwards.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 01:53:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Am I to understand this event did NOT occur?
Sanders supporters revolt against superdelegates, FEB 2016
That false US personas fabricated this event?
Bernie Sanders Delegates Are Furious and a DNC Floor Protest is Possible JULY 2016
That the editorial management of Vanity Fair is composed of Russian co-conspirators to defraud the US government?
DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES OVERSHADOWED BY VIOLENT PRO-SANDERS REVOLT MAY 2016
That Russian people's "political advertising" -- reproducing that news or solicitations to petition the DNC-- sabotaged the unity of the Democratic Party?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 07:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I have said elsewhere, the Russians simply wanted to disrupt the effectiveness of Clinton as President.

They didn't support Trump so much as saw him as a useful vehicle to throw mud at Clinton and the US political process. Similarly with Sanders, his role was to undermine Clinton and the Russians were willing to help him all the way. Especially after the primaries where online troll campaigns to suggest that her victory was tainted were intended to damp down enthusiasm from Sanders supporters for Clinton's Presidency attampt.

Classic "enemy of my enemy is my friend". I don't think Putin expected Trump to win. Rather, given how the loss has led to the US digging up the drains on the methods used, he'd rather Trump lost but allowed the GOP to win the rest of DC and tie her up like they tied up Obama. The US would have had 8 years of emails and Benghazi, giving the russians carte blanche in the rest of the world. And that's what the russians really wanted.

For the russians, Trump's has been a Pyrrhic victory

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 at 05:39:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton would have had 8 years of Benghazi and emails even without the Russians. You can count on Fox "News" for that. I doubt Putin is so stupid to waste his time on that.  If that's all it was about, it was probably Russian hackers working on their own initiative.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 07:33:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While I agree in principle, there seems to be some personal bad blood between Putin and Hillary, concerning the Libya "no-fly-zone". And Hillary was one of the most hostile candidates. So the release of the DNC files I consider a real possibility. (Though if that was indeed true, why wait until after the primary?) But paying a few interns to shit post? Unless the Russians really have this unmatched competence they have in the Spike whatever they tried would just be noise below the billions poured into propaganda by all the other players.
by generic on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 05:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was president Mevedev who got hoodwinked by the Obama administration and SoS Hillary Clinton in 2011 to the chagrin of Vladimir Putin.

The lessons of Serbia and Kosovo were not learned, the Americans are for regime change contrary to the UN Charter guaranteeing protection of sovereign states on their internal affairs. That is the prime reason for China to use its veto in the UNSC. It was the international intelligence community that colluded with the false claims of WMDs in Iraq when it was already burdened by a decade of UN sanctions. The illegality of the US led invasion in close liason with the UK was never in question.

The next step by old colonial states of the West with the US is to use the prerogative of the R2P principle. It was conceived after the illegal bombing of Serbia in the 1990s and used to get a first protection order from the UNSC in 2011 for NATO led bombing raids on troops  of Gaddafi. It was to break the siege and "protect" the citizens of Mirata. Russia under Medvedev agreed, the US and the West escalated and set the goal for regime change.

George Bush had failed in 2008 to protect the Rose Revolution of Saakashvili's Georgia and its act of aggression towards South Ossetia. In 2014, the West, NATO and Victoria Nuland succeeded in de coup d'état in Kiev and install a Western ally in the Ukraine. That Crimea would stay under Russian influence should have been a calculated known.

Ever since April 2008 and the NATO meeting in Bucharest, it was clear the United States would not accept Russia as a partner but preferred a Cold War defiance and make Russia a pariah state.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer: "NATO should not have committed to membership of Ukraine and Georgia."

Israel, the Serbia with Nukes ...
Covered by DeAnander here and Sirocco @BooMan

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 06:31:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dermokratiya, USA
In 1996, a chaotic mix of Russian schemes -- from fraud and profiteering to old-fashioned conspiracy -- worked to keep Yeltsin in the driver's seat. Throughout, American players silently watched, facilitated, and at times, actively helped construct the Faustian bargain between Yeltsin and his oligarch supporters. This pact would have ruinous effects on Russia's democracy and economy in the decades to come.

[...] it's striking that American influence in Russia was so openly acknowledged. The public record shows clear points of direct American coordination, collusion, and action in Yeltsin's favor. One can only guess what the two nations' archival records would reveal.

[...]

Despite domestic pressure, Clinton made good on his promises to Yeltsin. During the first half of 1996, the White House pushed for a timely IMF loan, refrained from publically pressing for NATO expansion, ignored the Russian oligarchs' massive campaign of fraud and theft, and stayed silent on Yeltsin's brutal war in Chechnya. Clinton also honored Yeltsin's request to not meet privately with Zyuganov during his visit to Moscow. Pickering pressured Grigory Yavlinsky, a member of the liberal Yabloko Party, to drop out of the election's first round to help Yeltsin's chances.

Clinton's staunch defense of Yeltsin's Chechen assault eventually descended into the absurd [...]

That the Yeltsin campaign employed American consultants is hardly controversial. The relay between Richard Dresner and Clinton's chief strategist Dick Morris, however, crossed the line. In his memoir Behind the Oval Office, Morris notes that Dresner offered to keep him in the loop on the Russian presidential race. With Clinton's approval, Morris received weekly opinion poll briefings that he would share with the president, who would in turn pass on recommendations to Dresner via Morris.

Was it some other Clinton?
by das monde on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 07:26:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US has always interfered in the internal affairs of other states, sometimes not even bothering with rigged elections, just installing their preferred strong man dictator directly.

However it is totally unacceptable for Russia to interfere in US elections. That would be to imply that Russia is somehow the equal of God's own country and the World's only legitimate superpower.

The only country with a special licence to interfere in US elections is Israel. Hell they can even install their operatives in the US defence and intelligence establishment without being accused of spying.

Lying Hillary was fair game as far as Trump was concerned. She should have been in jail anyway. All this Russian collusion stuff is just liberal whingeing anyway. As the Mafia used to say: "It's just business"...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 10:08:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Am I to understand that eurotrib.com supports foreign "political advertising" that disparaged Bernie Sanders?
Bernie Bernedict Arnold booed by his own supporters at the DNC who he betrayed
Or eurotrib.com "reach" is limited to internet subscribers who are not US citizens?


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 07:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have something to confess, Cat: in all the time since you have been here, I don't reckon I have really understood what you wrote even once.

Initially I would try, hard, with every post. Then I realised that I had invested many hours and yet could still not say with any certainty that I had understood even one post.

So nowadays I usually check the signature after a few words when struggling and, most of the time, skip the post. Not that I have anything against you, and I regret not being able to understand, but I only have so many hours to live.

But this time I have to assume that you are addressing me, as you respond to my post. All I can say if, I don't mind engaging, but you'll need to make an effort of intelligibility.  I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say or imply.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 at 04:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough.

I have the advantage of cumulative knowledge, historicity or "lived experience" as the children say these days, of US politics and public policy --pertaining to personal, city, state, and national events-- that some eurotrib commenters do not have. I have the advantage of formal and vernacular US-English fluency that US some eurtrib commenters do not possess.

Admitting this is not to assert my authoritative position in this context, but to agree with you that sometimes I will read US media reporting differently than eurotrib commenters. I will detect false or true statements quicker than some eurtrib commenters, and I comment in brief. That is my comment relates to my knowledge base not yours. So I frequently comment with links to third-party material which supplement information available to eurotrib readers. Do I expect readers to "click through" those links? Not immediately, if ever. Such are the limitations and contingent utility of gratuitous remarks --"memes"-- which sustain social media communications.

Having said that, here, I was responded specifically to your remarks...

Besides, it seems that Russians tried to support Sanders against Clinton...
with four (4) questions relating that conclusory statement to three (3) links to the extraordinary political activities of "real US persons" which determined "support [for] Sanders" in the USA.

You have not responded to those questions. Instead you question my coherence. Alrighty then.

Help yourself understand the language of illegal foreign political activity by reading the US Special Counsel's indictment of IRA before you comment again on the subject.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 at 08:36:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, thanks for making a clear effort there.

I am puzzled by your questions. They seem so unrelated. For instance, why should my post imply that an event did not occur? I made no such claim.

So, if you want me to respond to that question, well, no, you are not to understand that a particular even did not occur from a statement that made no such claim.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 at 09:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you did:
Besides, it seems that Russians tried to support Sanders against Clinton....
is a conclusory statement, a "claim". This claim does not refer to any facts other than your recall and opinion of Mr Sanders' repudiation of alleged illegal foreign political activities.
If Sanders had not explicitly condemned all of their actions, I would have been very uncomfortable with him, however much I liked the way he brought the political discourse leftwards.
"why should my post imply that an event did not occur?"
Your conclusory remarks do not refer to any facts which "seem" to represent either specific illegal political activity OR specific legal political activity during the US primary or general election period. Your "post" assigns significance to indeterminate events.

Events which I link (above) represent counterfactual arguments to your statement.

In fact "it seems" that "real US persons" tried to support Sanders against Clinton. There are additional factual arguments representing legitimate, contemporaneous, and significant "support" for Sanders against Clinton archived as well at eurotrib.com, not least of which are legal briefs and orders concerning Sanders' delegates litigation against DNC "political activities".

Now.

Say what you want. Respond to my comments if you will or not.

I'll not be silent on matters of measuring and assigning significance to speech, while US gov litigation against IRA seeks to define "meddling and interference" and restrict the scope of "political activity" anywhere at anytime to telecommunications produced only by "real US persons." Because I can.

Were the Special Counsel's prosecution of IRA trivial, illegal political activities to prevail here, US gov could in future indict and prosecute you, any commentary about US political candidates, and the owner(s) of eurotrib.com URL under FARA because none of you had registered your "real" persons as a foreign agent operating in the USA.

With the assistance of your national gov and EU gov statutes and law enforcement agents. Quid pro quo.

Don't think the next figure of US justice won't try.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 at 11:04:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Your conclusory remarks do not refer to any facts which "seem" to represent either specific illegal political activity OR specific legal political activity during the US primary or general election period. Your "post" assigns significance to indeterminate events."

You claim to have an advantage over us of a lot of cumulative knowledge, so much so that you write with the implicit assumption that people have read a whole lot of documents, so it should have been a given that you were aware of the Mueller indictments.
Which are rather more researched than articles in the press.
Since you link to them, surely you have read them.

"Events which I link (above) represent counterfactual arguments to your statement. "

No they did not. That some American people were campaigning for Sanders (would anyone suggest otherwise?) is not a counterfactual to the suggestion that Russian bots smeared Clinton while deliberately not attacking him.

Sanders himself does not seem to deny it:
"https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/02/21/bernie_sanders_i_did_not_know_russian_bots_were_ promoting_my_campaign_real_question_is_about_clinton.html"

As for your fantasy that an organised operation, funded by people with very clear geopolitical interests, that pretends to be a huge number of US citizens posting on all sorts of social media, is in any way similar to a website where people, who at no point pose as what they are not and only post within its confines... well, you say you won't stop because you can, so I guess there is no point in commenting...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Feb 26th, 2018 at 12:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh. I'll let that pass.

US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Plaintiffs-appellants motion granted to amend the complaint is GRANTED 10 Jan 2018

archived:
case history through DEC 2017
Welding et al. v. DNC Services Corp., d/b/a [!] Democratic National Committe MAY 2017


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 02:43:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just like Cyrille, I often cannot make sense of your writings: the elliptic references to some backgrounds I obviously don't know anything about, the lengthy dissertations covering screens after screens of comment threads leaving me really confused.

And it's a crying shame because I'm sure you have very interesting things to point out to, that we've never seen from our side of the pond. But in the end, I just fail to decipher your point and I end up just skipping over your writings and moving on. Sorry.

by Bernard on Mon Feb 26th, 2018 at 08:50:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like Cyrille and Bernard, I too often have difficulty following the logic or relevance of your posts, Cat, and this is in no way intended as an insult or put-down. It is simply a matter of fact.

In my case it can also not be put down to a lack of familiarity with English, either formal or vernacular, although I fully accept some US idiomatic expressions may be unfamiliar to me.

Some of my issues in understanding your posts relate to content, some to style, and some to context.

In terms of context, the posts often appear to have only the most elliptical or abstruse relevance to the main topic under discussion in a diary.

In terms of content, they often reveal a detailed knowledge of a particular, sometimes obscure, and often legalistic understanding of a topic although I often don't read the documents you cite to mean what you say they mean.

In terms of style, your prose often seems needlessly complex, formal, legalistic, even pretentious. It sometimes feels you write to impress others with your superior knowledge rather than to inform, educate, or even entertain. Occasionally, your interaction with others appears to border on the arrogant or insulting.

I'm sure you don't mean it to be so, but it is important that one is aware of how one's on-line persona can come across to others who have no particular axe to grind with you and mean you nothing but the best. You may be concerned that few enough people here engage with you, and that may be part of the reason.

Writing is a form of communication and you have to try and meet your readers half-way - so that they can link their experience to yours. Coming from very different places with difference styles doesn't imply ignorance or superiority, just difference.

I think Bernard and Cyrille have been very respectful and courteous in their engagement with you and have tried to understand where you are coming from. I hope you will extend them a similar courtesy.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 01:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean no offense to you, Cyrille, Bernard or anyone else.

I contribute mostly to NEWSROOM threads. Just as Oui began to contribute to DIARY topical diversity. These take me a while to read but are very informative on topics I know nothing about.

NEWROOM wasn't much populated when I returned to eurotrib, and there was some concern about site participation decline, was there not?

Adding TRUMP to the newsroom was not my doing. Did it increase volume of eurotrib site visits?

I struggle even now to imagine eurotrib-appropriate responses to TRUMP-topics other than open-ended litigation of conspiracy charges and digital advertising practices.

I have linked many primary source documents and gov websites on matters of ostensible vital interest to eutrib "context" and my own in the USA which is necessarily, culturally and politically unorthodox.

I went over this before

I read these pdf's at least once because media digests are unreliable truth-bearers. They always have been. That is the purpose of propaganda, is it not?

Does this "pretension" annoy eurotrib readers?

Canvassing daily news to populate eurotrib NEWSROOM  or OPEN THREAD and inform myself has become a habit. Nested excerpts of pdfs may well look like "lengthy dissertations covering screens after screens of comment threads leaving me really confused" on a phone.

I admit, I add related topical commentary and questions to my own diaries whether or not anyone else comments on the diary subject.

Does this "pretension" annoy eurotrib readers?

I have a lot of leisure time. I thought that obvious. I track multiple topics' developments over time as indicated when I remember to append archived links to my comments. That is not to show off. These are breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs lead to off-site track-backs. Referring builds visitor volume and sometimes reciprocal linking.

I will stop immediately since this activity is received as my sense of "superiority." It is useless.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 06:35:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for your considered response and your contributions are welcome even if some of us find them difficult to understand or engage with. Diversity is a key value for Eurotrib if we are to grow in readership and relevance.

My comment is specific to your style of engagement with other contributors and you may have wondered why so few even try to engage. Maybe you can attract new members who will find your style much more intelligible and engaging. Perhaps some of us old-timers have gotten too used to our own comfort zones.

For reason of time I focus mostly on trying to keep the front page ticking over with European specific topics.  So I can't comment on your contributions to NEWSROOM.  Many thanks for helping to keep it going. Primary sources are always to be preferred. I am not aware of any issues with the TRUMP strand there.

I think you misunderstand what I was trying to say in relation to "pretentious" which relates more to style of engagement rather than content. But I have expressed it as well as I can and so will just leave it at that. Your presence here is valued and appreciated even if some of us find it very difficult to engage with you.

The thing is, Eurotrib is for all who want to participate in good faith and if you can find a way to participate here to your own satisfaction I will be more than pleased.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 10:06:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not sure if American political culture is salvagable in any working form, and I have no confidence that anything arising from the ashes will be even as good as the previously flawed status quo. Democracy doesn't work when a good chunk of the political actors have decided that winner-take-all eliminationism is the way to go. That leads to fascism, if they win at the ballot box, or to civil war, if they lose decisively.

I'd put my money on death camps and/or nuclear war.

by Zwackus on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 at 04:55:47 AM EST
The Twank, is that you? Please stop possessing Zwackus.
by Bjinse on Mon Feb 26th, 2018 at 08:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No no, here is the difference. Twank always sounded happy about it, and I'm kind of sad about it.
by Zwackus on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 05:17:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump on China's Xi consolidating power: 'Maybe we'll give that a shot some day'

A Drumpf dynasty would not surprise me. I had this image in 2016 while hearing how novel is Trump in contrast to the Bush and Clinton families. The universe might conspire for that, with the irony that other president could have been enjoying an extra term now. Willing support is ready:

5 Reasons Why America Should Become A Real Empire ("Return Of Kings" warning... indeed)

Didn't we have some conditioning  "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier"... "just so long as I'm the dictator" ... from yet other president?

by das monde on Mon Mar 5th, 2018 at 10:02:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Term limits

US Americans have difficulty comprehending structures of government other than their own. They do not even understand their own. This deficiency of judgment necessarily prevents them from differentiating legitimate, unlimited term limits of parliamentary leaders and those of "presidents" or, say, monarchs rattling state treasuries around the world.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Mar 6th, 2018 at 04:47:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fast growing Mormon church even seems to equate material success with divine favour. Church of Mammon, more likely.

I don't know about the Mormons, but prospority theology is a Christian thing.

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one's material wealth. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.
by Gag Halfrunt on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 at 12:04:57 PM EST
Oh it's definitely true of the Mormons.  I'm in the front row and front line here.
by rifek on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 01:50:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actor John Leguizamo said something on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert a little while ago which I think may be what is happening in the USA.  He said that he thought Trmp's election was like an enema for the country and all the feces, all the filth will come pouring out.  Certainly, the contradictions are becoming clearer almost every day here.  May Leguizamo be right and all the filth is exposed and eliminated.

Former Governor Jennifer Granholm also said something on TV recently which may be pertinent.  She said that Emily's List, a group that supports women candidates, had about 3000 candidates in the last election.  These days they have something over 30,000 candidates running in 2018.  So far.

You can also see some of this activism in the women's marches and now the Parkland survivors.  Trmp has mobilized an enormous grassroots opposition.  It doesn't have full political power yet, except in some individual states, but it is pushing consistently towards that goal.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 at 11:18:51 PM EST

House Cancels Votes for Billy Graham to Lie in Honor in Capitol Rotunda
Graham, an influential preacher who served as an adviser to 12 consecutive U.S. presidents, will be the first religious leader to lie in honor. A bicameral service will be held as his casket arrives Wednesday; the public will have access later that day and Thursday to pay their respects.
[...]
 Before Graham, the only people to have lain in honor at the Capitol were civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and Capitol Police officers Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson, who were killed in the line of duty, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

Which of those women candidates will run on ending "Prayer Breakfast" at the Capitol?

archived
Re: Christian Zionists Collude with Alt-right

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 02:20:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What music do they play at those things? I'd go for Nixon-tape remix.
by generic on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 09:12:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They could just play tapes of Billy Graham himself.


He apologized later for having been caught.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 11:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the getting caught that matters.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 04:35:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Billy Graham's body's rotunda viewing goes nicely with Leguizamo's enema comment myself but I have a perverse sense of humor.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 10:09:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 10:38:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two possibilities: the USA go either the Texas route or the California route neither of which are wonderful scenarios. There have been numerous explications how Texas is the pioneer for national trends such as gonzo privatizations, culture war, disappearing competent government and so on (e.g. a recent NewYorker article and the book "As Texas goes" by an NYT columnist).

Then we have the relatively positive scenario of California where they elected Schwarzenegger (remember that guy?) after a recall election. They suffered from a standstill in the legislature (that requires 2/3 majority for a budget) and a failed constitutional reform campaign. That situation has been turned around with a Democratic supermajority and governor. So they have been forerunners as well, having had their bullshitter media personality as head of government (also, Reagan) and legislative deadlock. Yet they are still weighed down by a lot of baggage. In the California way, the US limps on after the last dead-cat bounce of Trumpism.

Maybe there is hope for renewal if the questions that have been hanging around for such a long time are finally properly contested in the open. "We need to have this out." said a Texas legislator about the conflict with the fading white majority.

Or if we smell and hear decline it could just be real decline.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 12:02:45 AM EST
Is this anything new?
You are liable some day to have a President supremely lacking in the qualities of a statesman, and one who is egoistic, impulsive, of immature judgment, a mere glutton of the limelight, ready to barter away prosperity and even his country's freedom for momentary popular applause.

If he is an autocrat, such as he, for the time, will your country be. Instead of a mighty nation, great in her physical strength and greater in her moral qualities, you may have a strutting, shrieking, meddling America.

No, not Trump. S McCall (R-Mass) on Roosevelt, quoted, in 1907, in Mark Twain's Autobiography (Vol 3, p.113)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 04:56:49 PM EST
Mark Twain did NOT like Teddy Roosevelt.  Not one bit.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Fri Feb 23rd, 2018 at 10:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Teddy was all that and a reformer and quasi-Progressive as well.

Both Roosevelts were a uncommon mix of characteristics.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 04:33:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I started writing a comment on "European Trumps", but it grew big, so I've turned it into a diary.
by Bernard on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 06:09:56 PM EST
It is not unlike the last years (40s BC) of the Roman Republic, when Caesarian populists broke up that decadent aristocratic machinery of limited democracy. Imagine awkwardly smart Cicero and his imperceptive conservative colleagues relying on oligarchs like Pompeius Magnus.

As well, it is not unlike the end of the Islamic Golden Age, with al-Ghazali hammering key nails on that progress.

And it is not unlike the decline of ancient Babylonian, Assyrian cities, with rural traditionalists having the last laugh by establishing religions for ages.

And now... or soon... we may obviously see a major malfunction... and powerlessness... of the progressive pulse... again...

Is our benevolence too arrogant, humanity too abstract, and knowledge of good and evil too superior? Why else would unappreciative commoners just like to troll us?

by das monde on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 at 10:37:57 AM EST
Most of the bad stuff going on in the US can be traced directly to racism.
by asdf on Mon Feb 26th, 2018 at 12:51:20 AM EST
Yes, but it's also encouraged by the 1% to better allow the looting

As LBJ, nobody's idea of a nice guy, said;-

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 26th, 2018 at 01:49:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the over-arching trend is the decline of the US empire. The advantages in raw materials and industry are gone, those that once laid the foundation for taking over the crumbling Brittish and French colonial empires. This was masked by the fall of the Soviet union, when the US could temporarily expand thanks to the weakness of others, but with the gradual rise of China the time is limited.

The war on terror was classic over-reach by neo-cons dreaming of transforming the empire into a more classic empire of colonies and colonial bureacracy. Absent nuclear weapons we may very well have had a great power war by now, but MAD exists so the US stutters on until it falls by itself. Unless confrontations with Russia in Syria, Ukraine or cyberspace is interpreted by either party as the start of real war, leading to the start of world war three. Cyberspace is the most worrying area really, because if now the computers start malfunctioning and showing missiles which aren't there, is that because computers glitch or because the enemy is in the system? And the democrats keep beating the drums of war, lest anyone thinks there are any options here.

Best case scenario US huffs and puffs and then the empire crumbles from economic collapses. But count on a ton of huffing and puffing. And probably some more countries destroyed. Venezuela might be next.

After the US empire (in the best case scenario), China is well posed to take a leading role, though far from as dominant as the US. EU less so, with the autoeconomic strangling of member countries.

The real question is how unstable the climate will be by then.

by fjallstrom on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 01:55:28 PM EST
Good diary Frank! Excellent comments and some posters we seldom see. It is The European Tribune but the USA is still the elephant in the living room - now Trumpeting.

I am very concerned about the devolution of US politics, but I feel I have little choice but to remain optimistic. Now is not the time to give up. And I agree with Helen that there are real reasons for optimism. In November we at least should be able to better confine that elephant with control of at least one House of Congress.

As Drew Jones has so often said, demographics are in our favor. While we are still growing racists in the USA, their relative number is declining and the more numerous older generation is dying faster that it can be replaced. But the real challenge is not getting Democrats in control of government, but getting progressive Democrats in control. Only then can we even start to deal with the underlying problems: wealth distribution and the power that gives to the wealthy. And such an agenda can only be accomplished with strong support from the electorate. Paying for it will likely require normalizing concepts and insights from Modern Monetary Theory and rehabilitating Keynes.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Feb 27th, 2018 at 05:31:13 PM EST


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