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  • By Yvette d’Entremont
    When you deeply want something to be true, that’s when you have to question it the most.
    I want chocolate-covered bacon to be a health food. Who doesn’t want to get in shape by eating foo […]

    • You can say what you want about the writing style of this article but the fact that it’s published in the magazine Cosmopolitan is a good thing. With a circulation of three million readers and international editions too, this article will reach their target audience of young single women.

      From Wiki:

      The magazine currently features topics including sex, relationships, beauty, fashion and health. The advice and feature articles in the US edition are written to a presumed audience of white women.[21] On September 2016, Michele Promaulayko was named the new Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan after Joanna Coles was promoted to Chief Content Office of Hearst.[22]

      Cosmopolitan has 64 international editions worldwide published in 35 languages with distribution in more than 100 countries making Cosmopolitan the largest-selling young women’s magazine in the world.[3] Some international editions are published in partnerships, such as licenses or joint ventures, with established publishing houses in each local market.

      The article gives an easily accessible overview on the state of the Trump situation as it stands now. At the end it encourages young women to get out and vote for candidates on all levels of government that can oppose his destructive policies.

    • @OP – link! – What can you do?

      There’s a small ray of light here. This is not locked in for four years.
      In two years, you will have the opportunity to vote out every single member of the House and a third of the Senate to make sure the administration is beholden to politicians who understand science.
      Make phone calls, and write both emails and physical letters to your representatives about what’s important to you, including environmental policy.
      Track their voting record on issues that matter to you, so that when time comes for re-election, you know if your representatives have been working for you or not.

      Also, stay involved both at the state and local levels.
      So many of our regulations are put in place at the state level, and they’re made by concerned citizens who got off Facebook and got involved.
      Go to your town and local meetings, and have a voice. If you don’t want to run for office personally, consider volunteering for local campaigns and science-based environmental initiatives.

      I think this call for citizen involvement is the best prospect to reduce the damage!
      A loss of Republican majorities would delay some stupidity until the next presidential election gives the opportunity to remove the problem.

    • I’d rather mope. (Kidding.)

    • He simply has to be removed from office. He will destroy earth with a nuclear war or by climate change and pollution. What methods are available?

      impeachment

      some sort of medical/mental disqualification?

      another country using violence.

      resignation from scandal

    • Yvette d’Entremont ( Cosmo): Even if regulations are changed nationally, you can still be a good science-based environmentalist. No amount of regulations that the Trump administration strips away will stop you from buying a low-emission vehicle (or better yet, walking, cycling, and taking public transportation when you can), recycling, cutting down on meat consumption, supporting biotech that’s environmentally friendly, and if possible, adding a solar panel or two into your personal energy grid. And truly, no matter what Trump’s administration does, we’re getting less dependent on fossil fuels and moving more toward renewables all the time.

      Here’s the public-service-message bullshit we’ve been getting for years about climate change. It’s called global warming because the atmosphere doesn’t sit over the Prius parked in your driveway. Trump, despicable in so many ways, did not invent carbon emissions. Even before taking office he can serve as the decoy duck for limousine liberal demagogues jetting around the world: When Trump is deposed, your misery will vanish!

      Nonsense. Obama was in power when this happened:

      “Since 1751 approximately 392 billion metric tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Half of these fossil-fuel CO2 emissions have occurred since the mid 1980s. The 2013 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 9776 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 1.1% increase over 2012 emissions. The increase marks a quick recovery from the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis which had obvious economic and energy use consequences, particularly in North America and Europe.”-

      See, what did I tell you? Where are your troubles now? Gone! (Line from master of ceremonies in Cabaret)

    • @5 Pinball

      `banking on scandal’

      Yes, he seems to be very busy trying to distance himself from many of his past activities and not just the business ones.

      Might also be ‘got to’ by one of his own countrymen. It’s happened before, it won’t help if he’s not too popular with the security staff. A sign of that will be if he starts to use his own security in some way. Bit like the foreign body guards used by the more corrupt Roman emperors.

      I think the appointments he’s made don’t look very promising, they all look like a bunch of ‘yes’ men for a large corporate body, but maybe that’s not far from the truth.

      Could also run into problems with the GOP in some way. Especially if he goes that bit too far to the right, just a matter of how many really support him in his own party.

      Not too sure about his nuclear weapons comments it might be a good thing to make it clear he would use them if needed. As soon as anyone in his position looses credibility on that issue there is an immediate increase in the likelihood of actally having to use them just to prove it again.

    • @6 Melvin

      I agree Trump didn’t cause the problem. But he’s in the driving seat now to get it fixed.
      And there’s the worry, the first step to fixing a problem is to admit it exists. If he’s starting with denial then he’s making the same mistake as the liberals have in their approach to Muslim extremism.
      That will get him voted out, but what damage will he have done in the mean time? Global warming if left unchecked will possibly be more devastating than nuclear war, just the time scale is longer hence it is no so obvious, you have to make predictions and understand more. It’s easy to see the consequences of a nuclear bomb exploding within seconds of the event. The effects of dumping CO2 in the atmosphere play out over centuries. The human brain struggles to comprehend over longer time scales, not everyone thinks on a logarithmic time scale. If Trump really wants to carry on as before then it has to be he really doesn’t see it our way due to a lack of education or intelligence, or both.

      If we have the confidence we are right the the best thing we can do is to either get Trump to understand the truth, give up or take extreme action, which we claim to be completely against. Thus the only correct approach is to practise what we preach by limiting our own CO2 production as far as we can and remove all investment we control away from carbon emission based businesses. If there is no demand for fossil fuels Trump and friends won’t want anything to do with it.

      Obviously it’s easier to do this from the platform of the Whitehouse, but that’s not the way it is. So educate Trump if we can, and in all other ways just ignore him and try to influence world opinion to overcome the grave threat we face or more accurately, our children and grandchildren face. By the way, doesn’t Trump have those too?

    • Tim Smith #8
      Dec 26, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      So educate Trump if we can,

      I think that is probably an impossible challenge!
      Trump has an incredibly long record of resisting attempts to teach him anything – especially science, and he consistently asserts he knows better than the experts trying to advise him!

      He has surrounded his little political bubble world with spoiled brat, ignoramus millionaire yes men, who share his delusions of asserted personal expertise on subjects they know nothing about.

      and in all other ways just ignore him and try to influence world opinion to overcome the grave threat we face or more accurately, our children and grandchildren face.

      In order to do anything, he and his bunch of reactionary clowns, will have to employ and co-operate with many other people!
      He will probably fall out with any competent ones fairly quickly, and get into multiple destructive disputes as he has done in the past!

      It remains to be seen just how much damage he will do and where exactly the damage will be.
      He cannot even open his mouth in public without putting his foot in it!
      His obvious lack of understanding of international issues and ignorance diplomacy does not bode well!

    • When I was a teen, I went to see a play called the Firebugs by Max Frisch. A landlord has tenants who give escalating clues they are arsonists. For a variety of reasons, he pretends not to notice. Eventually, they set fire to his home. Trump makes it clear he plans a nuclear war and to send earth into runaway climate change. He HAS to be stopped, but nobody does. The Coca-Cola company would not approve (reference to Dr. Strangelove).

    • Roedy, Damn, I’m glad I’m sixty. I’m not sure some of the people here will reach that age before things get out of hand.
      I’m hoping for another few years before the sky turns red.

    • To clarify my critique, I give full credit to Yvette for informing readers of the background of Trump appointees and forecasting probable setbacks in U.S. policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions over the next few years. Nonetheless the article spews the fluff candy rhetoric of the global warming crisis you’d expect in popular media propaganda: “You can make a difference by buying a fuel efficient car, putting a solar panel on your roof, eating less red meat ( apparently from a vegetarian worried about methane gassing cattle farts?).

      For too long, the self-congratulatory narcissism of environmentalist elites have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that administration, regulations, resolutions or even at the level of individual “responsibility” to whining about microscopic differences in carbon footprints. Few people understand or appreciate that climate scientists have told us that annual increases in global carbon emissions may have reached the doomsday point of no return at 400 ppm CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. With over a billion people in China, over a billion people in India, over a billion people in Africa, the world awaits the tsunami of carbon pouring into the atmosphere over the next 80 years. The crisis will not be solved by going after a climate science denier congressman in backwater Alabama with a fly swatter. (Climate Science filtered through delusional prisms and reinforced by popular media may be too alarmist about predicting real world consequences.) In any case, the article will probably be skimmed with worried clucking, before the reader gets down to the serious Cosmo stuff about “Ten Ways to Turn Him on in Bed.”

    • Alan4discussion #15
      Dec 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      There is a formatting error which I was too late to edit.

      This section:-

      For too long, the self-congratulatory narcissism of environmentalist elites
      Disparaging “fluff-candy” rhetoric about perfectly effective action which an individual could or can take, is just a display of ignorance!
      have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that

      Should read:-

      For too long, the self-congratulatory narcissism of environmentalist elites

      Disparaging “fluff-candy” rhetoric about perfectly effective action which an individual could or can take, is just a display of ignorance!

      have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that

      So back to psychological projection of dumb comments in the interests of abdication of personal responsibility…

      and “the personified fault of this or that” demonstrating the depth of investigation and level of personal grasp of the evidence!

    • Question for Alan, others, about global warming:

      I just spoke with a friend (and a man of reason) who acknowledges that global warming is real and caused by Man, but doesn’t think that it is reversible. We will never be able to control India and other countries that are doing most of the polluting. He also says that environmental deregulation is at odds with capitalism itself, which has a life of its own, and can’t be controlled. (I think that’s what he said.) My question: how much damage has already been done? Is it reversible? How realistic or likely is it, from a (geo) political and a physical point of view, that we can put an end to it?

    • Thank you!

    • Alan4discussion #18

      Dec 27, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      The free-trade fanatics preach deregulation…

      Q: are the “free trade fanatics” for or against free trade? Trump is against free trade and for deregulation.

      Dan (“Dumbo”) is confused.

    • The danger is , that at certain temperatures and climate conditions severe feed-backs set in which add to the warming and then trigger more feed backs.
      (Alan4 #18) The sorts of feed backs are drying of thousands of square miles of tundra peat and forests, which then catch fire and release all of their stored carbon as CO2.
      Another feed-back is ocean acidification which stops plankton from using CO2 in building their shells and dropping it form limestone on the ocean floor. – This is a main part of the recycling system which takes CO2 out of the atmosphere.
      A third devastating feed-back is the heating of polar oceans to the point which all the natural gas in clathrate layers, turns the oceans into a fizzing oxygen free, methane soup, killing most marine life and boosting atmospheric heating with massive amounts of methane which is much more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

      Watch it Alan! You’re starting to sound like an educated “Doomsday” skeptic.

      Since 1751 approximately 392 billion metric tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Half of these fossil-fuel CO2 emissions have occurred since the mid 1980s.

      Looks like antropogenic greenhouse warming is actually a very recent phenomenon kinda creeping up on our species predominantly and at an accelearating pace since 1980 when world population stood at 4.45 billion now heading for a doubling of that astronomical number in 20 years. The world appreciates all the articles you cite telling us what to do and not to worry. But seriously, what are we really, really going to do? And by the way aren’t all the elephant-stomping tantrums irrelevant to one who is all 4 discussion? We’d better hope human kind has a century or two to achieve zero emissions from all the energy that 10 to 11 billion people will be consuming by then.

    • Melvin,

      the increasing population is all the more reason why we need to deal with these threats. If we are going to allow unfettered consumption then any number of major issues will continue to hit us. You’ve expressed concern about population (a concern I share), but you seem to use this to deflect doing something about the immediate threat we face as a result of our overconsumption in this case global warming. So I’m curious about this aspect of your thinking.

      If population is your concern then a sure way of reducing it is to do nothing and climate change and the myriad of other environmental impacts we are causing (in no small part due to our population) will reduce it handily due to famine, extinction, natural disaster and the conflicts that are bound to follow as the catastrophe’s we are causing embrace us. However it seems to me more rational to deal with the issues we can including population. Even if we mandated a one child policy world wide the impacts of global warming would still wreak havoc, we clearly need to contend in the short term with climate change and be continuing to education people about the need to reduce population. It doesn’t really matter environmentally if our population is 1 billion or 20 billion what matters is the amount of consumption of the Earths resources consumed by those people. The planet would be fine with 20 billion if they all lived like some starving villager, however it is unlikely the world would handle half a billion if we all live like Donald Trump.

      So I hope we could agree that the real factor here is not the absolute numbers but the environmental impacts caused by the people that are here. Clearly we have this wrong and AGW is one of the things telling us we have not got this right. I don’t understand why you can not get on board with this project.

      Looks like antropogenic greenhouse warming is actually a very recent phenomenon kinda creeping up on our species predominantly and at an accelearating pace since 1980

      We have known about the connection between CO2 and greenhouse warming since 1890’s at the time due to our low amount of CO2 emissions it was thought a little help in that regard would be a good thing. By the 1980’s there was a pretty firm consensus hence the development of the IPPC. They suggested we reduce CO2 emissions by 20% in the next 20 years. What have we done since then? So if Alan and others here seem to be having tantrums we are not, we are just sick of the facts being ignored and people getting in the way of doing something serious about this. What is more people are starting to do the right thing, people are putting up solar, they are buying more efficient cars, they are buying more efficient appliances, they would buy electric vehicles if they were more available and more affordable. But to see people choosing to vote for climate change denying clowns like Trump is going to result in a strong voice of descent, and so it should. The discussion will and should be heated when people are refusing to listen to reason. After all our civilization is a genuinely at stake. We know what we have to do to reduce the impacts of climate change stop releasing carbon into the atmosphere. That’s what we really, really need to do, we’ve known so for decades, we have the technology now to do so at a fraction of our global GDP, why can’t you get on board with that?

    • Dan #20
      Dec 27, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Alan4discussion #18 – The free-trade fanatics preach deregulation…

      Q: are the “free trade fanatics” for or against free trade? Trump is against free trade and for deregulation.

      Free-trade fanatics are against the regulation of trade.

      Trump is against the regulation of industry and against the regulation of trade, BUT in his disjointed thinking, he recognises that the polluting and unregulated industries of India and China can under-cut cleaner US industries. so he has a two pronged approach. – Deregulate the emission controls and (already weak) clean air requirements in the US, and restrict the cheaper imports from Asia.

      In addition to this, the EU is threatening to put tariffs on goods produced by polluters to produce a level playing-field in the market, so he wants reprisal tariffs against states which tax pollution-generating goods.
      The rest is just pandering to the isolationists living in their bubble of delusion – and trying to avoid importing (rational) foreign influences.

    • Melvin #21
      Dec 27, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      Watch it Alan! You’re starting to sound like an educated “Doomsday” skeptic.

      That must be a result of being an environmental scientist, who actually understands the mechanisms involved in both climatic and ecological stability, and the instabilities which arise when these are out of balance.
      I have given links to historical examples of past doomsday events which give analyses of the causes of those extinctions on Earth.
      There are also examples of the physics in action on other planets.

      Looks like anthropogenic greenhouse warming is actually a very recent phenomenon kinda creeping up on our species predominantly and at an accelerating pace since 1980

      It certainly is!
      It is co-incident with the history of the industrial revolution, and the scale of carbon burning throughout that period.

      But seriously, what are we really, really going to do?

      I think previous discussions spell out most of the options fairly clearly.

      And by the way aren’t all the elephant-stomping tantrums irrelevant to one who is all 4 discussion?

      Not at all! That’s why I challenge them and the associated asserted ignorance, when I encounter them!

      We’d better “hope” human kind has a century or two to achieve zero emissions

      We simply don’t have that length of time, so relying on “hope” is self-delusion!

      from all the energy that 10 to 11 billion people will be consuming by then.

      It humans don’t rapidly achieve clean energy and zero emissions, there won’t be 10 or 11 million.
      The changed climate (massive loss of farm land, loss of ice-cap irrigation water, coastal flooding, desertification of the tropics, powered up storms, longer and more erratic droughts, ocean acidification killing fish stocks, geographical migrations of invasive pests and diseases, etc.), will be killing them by the million – even before we start counting over-exploitation of the remaining resources and wars over these shortages!

      Denial of science, has a high cost to the populations involved in the consequences of mismanagement!

    • A pretty concise explanation of why the people in Trump’s cabinet got their jobs.

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2016/Pres/Maps/Dec28.html#item-1

    • Arkrid Sandwich #25
      Dec 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      A pretty concise explanation of why the people in Trump’s cabinet got their jobs.

      How very American Capitalist –
      The presidency and leadership, sold to the highest bidders!

    • Just to mention one of Tump’s picks, Rick Perry, whilst Governor of Texas arranged a massive prayer meeting to pray for the Lord to send rain to drought stricken Texas. Apparently the Lord didn’t oblige and instead sent massive wild fires. Let’s just hope Rick Perry prays for global warming ?

    • Reckless Monkey #22: the increasing population is all the more reason why we need to deal with these threats. If we are going to allow unfettered consumption then any number of major issues will continue to hit us. You’ve expressed concern about population (a concern I share), but you seem to use this to deflect doing something about the immediate threat we face as a result of our overconsumption in this case global warming. So I’m curious about this aspect of your thinking.

      You make a lot of sense and your criticism is thoughtful. My focus on overpopulation derives from my observations that Homo sapiens are an animal species who destroy ecosystems including the atmosphere at their own peril. Unlike other species we have achieved a kind of transcendence over natural constraints on population growth. Understandably yet harmfully we’ve developed various kinds of transcendent language to celebrate our uniquely privileged position at the center of the universe – all because we happened to evolve with large inventive brains and manipulative fingers. “The Lord will provide” and “Science will solve the problem [global warming]” partake of the same ambition for transcendence.

      Advances in medicine, hygiene, crop yields -technology in diverse applications- have all but eliminated infant/childhood mortality. That every individual born to a species should survive to reproductive age is unique to human beings and catastrophic in consequence. The smallest birthrate above replacement level will result in infinite population growth at an accelerating pace as the child-bearing base grows. Fortunately we can avoid a nasty fate by bringing total average birthrates down to replacement level or sub-replacement level through contraceptives and elective abortion. It appears that world populations are headed in this direction but effective zero growth is mathematically impossible for another 80 years or so – delivering at least 10 billion human beings on the planet by 2100.

      I stand with Phil and Alan4 in solidarity along with many others trying to disseminate clean energy technology to the world in order to mitigate, stabilize, then reverse annual carbon emissions during this century. I believe, however, that the preponderant evidence, much of it examined by climate scientists themselves, shows that the mission will not be accomplished in the crucial limited time frame they propose.

      Consistent with a naturalist view of the universe and evolutionary biology, absent a pragmatic anticipation of a transcendent power of salvation, world leaders and the public should proclaim that Homo sapiens are an earthly animal species (however they may otherwise religiously or “spiritually” celebrate human uniqueness) and that ecological imperatives necessary for our species survival mandate social contracts to limit our numbers aligned in harmony between a flourishing environment and a flourishing humankind. Few have had the courage to take the first indispensable step.

    • http://us.cnn.com/2016/12/28/politics/trump-obama-statements-not-smooth-transition/index.html

      Now shit for brains is whining about the transition not going well and it’s all Obama’s fault. We’ve obviously still not plumbed the depths of how low this turd can sink. I wonder what excuses he’s getting ready for when the presidency collapses.

    • Arkrid

      Oh boy! That speech today has really ramped up the political drama! Trump must have steam shooting out of his ears right now! hee hee 😀

    • Laurie, Arkrid

      And Netanyahu is spouting all over like a whale.

    • @31

      I canNOT listen to Republicans anymore. (Paul Ryan just said that Obama is “throwing Israel under the bus”.) It makes me crazy. And I find CNN infuriating.

      Lauwie, I stole this from you: canNOT. You stole this from me: hee-hee (I’m flattered.)

      This is a very difficult time.

    • I stand with Phil and Alan4 in solidarity along with many others trying to disseminate clean energy technology to the world in order to mitigate, stabilize, then reverse annual carbon emissions during this century. I believe, however, that the preponderant evidence, much of it examined by climate scientists themselves, shows that the mission will not be accomplished in the crucial limited time frame they propose.

      Hi Melvin, I agree with most of what you have said in your reply to me. I disagree with part of what I have quoted from your reply above. I have to say (and I say this trying not to sound dismissive I’m actually interested in what your position is- and if it is as you have largely outlined in your reply we are not very far apart) that you responses often come across as against doing anything about climate change in the short term. This contradicts what you have said in your reply so I’m either misreading your tone or emphasis or you are not reading Alan and Phil’s tone/emphasis correctly. I’m certainly willing to accept that I am misreading your posts for what it is worth.

      I cannot speak for Phil or Alan (both of whom are far more educated on these matters than I – both of whom I look to for information on these matters) but I suspect that neither disagree that population is an issue. I suspect from what I have read that they consider AGW to be a priority now or our population will be controlled by Global warming. We all wish to see the negative effects of global population fall (read – over consumption fall – as I explained in my last post I’m not so worried about the numbers as the consumption per capita and how this relates the overall impact). I suspect what Phil, Alan and I (and also you) are united on is that we should try to achieve this without massive violent loss of life, due to storm, flood famine, drought etc.

      Obviously we need better education of birth control. On a personal level I have one child in no small part due to the consideration that I really have to make a good argument to consume that many more resources by bringing another child into the world. This was a factor (and not the only factor in the decision) that was shocking to many when I articulated it almost everyone in my circle. They had reactions from horror, disbelief to offense (as some have several children). I particularly feel this as someone of the West who consumes a lot more than I would if I was a rural villager where my per capita consumption and hence contribution to environmental impacts would be significantly lower.

      Where I think we may disagree is in priority, you seem to be saying that we need to continue dealing with climate change but your priority seems to be focused on population control. You seem to think that discussion should be more focused on population and less focused on abating climate change? Would this be a fair summary of your position?

      If so I suppose I’d only say if we wish to avoid violent population crash rather than a controlled reduction, we need to deal with the short term issues now of things like AGW and coral bleaching, massive plastics dumping into the environment and so forth, and at the same time educate people about effective and ethical family planning (a much harder issue in my opinion as religious beliefs are motivating much of it). If everyone stopped breeding now it’s going to take a human lifetime to stop population, as that is not going to happen any action taken today is going to take an average human lifetime to see the benefits, we have maybe 10 years to significantly reduce our CO2 or AGW will take care of our population problem in less than that time frame. I don’t want to live in that world or think of my son having to suffer through that. So perhaps we disagree only on priority, or perhaps we don’t really disagree very much at all, I’d be keen to know which.

      Regards

    • Reckless Monkey #35: Where I think we may disagree is in priority, you seem to be saying that we need to continue dealing with climate change but your priority seems to be focused on population control. You seem to think that discussion should be more focused on population and less focused on abating climate change? Would this be a fair summary of your position?

      I believe you make a fair argument for setting priorities. The intractable problem is bringing the other 7 .4 billion people along with us, weening them from reliance on fossil fuels toward gradually accepting clean energy alternatives while building economies and raising standards of living out of the urgent need to break the bonds of poverty and deprivation. I’m pessimistic that this can be done on a global basis within the time frame that climate scientists allow for our survival. Let’s hope the global warming doesn’t exterminate us before 2050 or 2100; that the alarmists are simply wrong about that outcome for the sake of your child and grandchildren. Your thoughtful question underscores the double-bind our species has fallen into. Neither global warming nor overpopulation can be solved by choosing a priority now. It will take centuries to mitigate both.

    • I’ve just been watching All In with Chris Hayes, 27th Dec edition. There’s a segment on how a Russian colonel saved the world from nuclear war in 1983 when a Russian satellite decided it had detected American nuclear weapons being launched at Russia. Colonel Petrov made the decision that rational people in the USA don’t start nuclear wars like this with no reason and recommended to his superiors it was more likely to be a systems glitch in the satellite and to NOT retaliate.

      Chris made an excellent point. Petrov could only come to this decision because he could assume he was dealing with rational people in the USA. Trump is making it clear at every step, every cabinet appointment and with every tweet that he’s not rational. He’s an insane megalomaniac who does everything on a whim with precious little thought for consequences. No one really knows what he thinks or what he might do because he changes his mind every five minutes and sometimes between the start and end of a single sentence.

      I wonder what Petrov’s decision would have been if Trump had been president in 1983 and what decisions the rest of the world are now going to have to wrestle with over the next four years? It’s not global warming I’m shit scared about. Trump might set that back a bit for four years but that’s small beer in the long term scheme of things. What I’m shit scared about is whether with him in the White House, or Trump Tower if that’s where the USA is going to be governed from, whether there’ll be any of us left in four years time to worry about global warming rather than the nuclear winter enveloping the planet as he pisses off China, North Korea and India before he’s even got into office.

      I have to assume that his insanity, narcissism and megalomania are not going to diminish now he’s just been handed the most powerful position on the planet. Rather he’ll see that as a validation of his ambitions and they’ll magnify. He’s emboldening Israel to attack Palestine, Russia to expand its plans in Asia and Assad to retake Syria and commit more atrocities. He’s destabilised the world to a greater extent in 50 days than anyone thought possible and he’s not even in office yet. God knows what’s going to happen when he is.

    • Akrid,
      While your point is valid,
      Think this over…. Ronald Reagan was President then. He was nuts. The Russians knew he was nuts

      I read a quote from (baseball pitcher) Nolan Ryan. he said, “it’s helps if they think you are little nuts”. He was responding to his tendency to throw a hundred mile fastball AT the batters head.

      Reagan had a staff astrologer. He was scary as hell (so is Trump-perhaps for different reasons). But what happened in your exemplar was level headed thinking by the Russian fellow. Thankfully he was there, because there wasn’t (isn’t) much level headed thinking at these levels of government.

    • Reagan wasn’t nuts. He had Alzheimer’s late in his second term (I think). Nor was Thatcher. They were just wrong. Trump may or not be psychotic; but he is not rational; I agree with Arkrid. And when he talks there’s no one there; it’s obvious. He is a right-wing ignoramus. The man is cruel and incompetent, and is surrounded by fanatics like Flynn and others. When asked about Kerry’s speech, he said “it speaks for itself.” Not an answer.
      Then he says “everything will change when I get sworn in”. What? He’ll support Israel without question? That IS nuts. And as Laurie said, Palestinian suffering and rage will increase dramatically. And that is just one issue. There are a host of others. We are all in grave danger now.
      America made a big mistake. This is something new.

    • Alan4 #37: It seems that your persistent wish-thinking use of the denialists term “alarmist”, for those who ring alarm bells on real threats, contradicts and undermines the credibility of your other more positive statements!
      Someone who discovers a fire, sets off a fire alarm, and warns people to evacuate the building while the fire brigade tackle the fire, IS NOT AN ALARMIST!

      The analogue is not pertinent. Climate scientists are projecting possible alarming consequences for human welfare – perhaps survival 20, 40, 80 years in the future. The challenge for those who want to prioritize dealing with the crisis by pouring massive inputs of financial and material resources into replacing the global fossil fuel infrastructure immediately with a clean-energy alternative must confront three daunting challenges: 1) Cost, 2) Effectiveness, 3)Credibility. Solar and wind provide an impressive share of energy in some locations but always as a supplement to fossil fuels on a global scale not as a cost-effective or practical alternative. The heavy lifting required by manufacturing, transportation and even large-demand household use cannot be met with solar and wind electricity generation alone. Rather than review the various biased claims to the contrary , the statistics of per capita CO2 emissions reaching fair parity in the 21st century virtually prove that global reductions are impossible over the next 30 to 50 years. If the greenest nations of Europe could reduce emissions 80% on a current base 10 to 2 metric tons per capita while developing nations could raise emissions to 2 metric tons per capita with growing populations dwarfing those of Germany, France, and the UK, world emissions would actually escalate.

      Examining trends, I perhaps discovered another discouraging development. Contrary to popular belief, the atmosphere did not begin to warm significantly with the onset of the industrial revolution comprehensively measured between 1750 and projected 300 years to 2050. Dangerous CO2 concentration build-up did not begin until after 1950. Put in personal perspective, if you were born in 1950 you would turn 10 without an inkling of atmospheric warming on the horizon. Today at age 66 you would have witnessed the entire disaster play out in your lifetime, almost exclusively in the last 30 years. The sudden quantum leap corresponded with overwhelming world population growth since 1950 when it stood at around 2.5 billion. The upward trajectory of emissions impacted our awareness well after 1960 when world population reached 3 billion and doubled to 6 billion by 2000. The threshold link between population growth and global warming cannot be denied.

    • Population is significant; fine; but why would Trump hire climate change deniers, and very aggressive and committed ones, to occupy and deal with energy and the EPA? That’s suicidal and the height of hubris and greed. You can argue about stuff, various details; but we all know that climate change is real, is manmade, threatens our survival, and has already had an impact on crops, has caused fires and flooding, has and will affect food supplies, air, water, etc. Trump is determined to throw fuel on the fire. Is that the answer?

    • Melvin #41
      Dec 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Alan4 #37: It seems that your persistent wish-thinking use of the denialists term “alarmist”, for those who ring alarm bells on real threats, contradicts and undermines the credibility of your other more positive statements!
      Someone who discovers a fire, sets off a fire alarm, and warns people to evacuate the building while the fire brigade tackle the fire, IS NOT AN ALARMIST!

      The analogue is not pertinent.

      Allegedly!

      Melvin #41 – The challenge for those who want to prioritize dealing with the crisis by pouring massive inputs of financial and material resources . . . .

      INTO BUYING FIRE-ENGINES!

      must confront three daunting challenges: –
      1) Cost, 2) Effectiveness, 3)Credibility. 🙂

      ????????

      I suppose you can just let the fires spread and burn down the whole city and then spread into the nearby forest!

      Yeah! That saves laying out all those gazillions of tax $ on fire engines and crews!
      The alarmist fire- crews probably only told you to fit alarms, to keep themselves in a job anyway!

    • Melvin #36

      The intractable problem is bringing the other 7 .4 billion people along with us, weening them from reliance on fossil fuels toward gradually accepting clean energy alternatives while building economies and raising standards of living out of the urgent need to break the bonds of poverty and deprivation. I’m pessimistic that this can be done on a global basis within the time frame that climate scientists allow for our survival.

      good I think this probably gets to the core of our area of disagreement. I’ll break up your statements and let’s see we get.

      The intractable problem is bringing the other 7 .4 billion people along with us,

      I agree it is very difficult but I don’t understand quite why you see the solutions to AGW as so intractable but don’t see population control in the same light. I remember at high school seeing Chlorofluorocarbons being considered impossible to replace or so expensive that it would collapse the whole economy in doing so, in the end the problem was largely solved and no-one had to stop having air-conditioners or fridges. Tell Catholics, Mormons or Muslims to stop breeding so much and I suspect a whole other order of complexity. Something we need to try but I feel switching to carbon free energy ultimately won’t be quite that hard.

      weening them from reliance on fossil fuels toward gradually accepting clean energy alternatives while building economies and raising standards of living…

      This is another area we disagree I think. Two things here raising standards of living is no necessarily a going to continue at the rate it is now, for one the Earth cannot handle it and left unfettered famine, flood and wildfires will cut the populations down and reduce productivity. So we need to face the fact that improving wealth must incorporate sustainable growth in living standards, likewise here in the west our challenge is to decrease our impact while maintaining our lifestyle. I believe it is possible. Another factor in small areas remote from grid power is often that using alternatives is often far cheaper. For example adding solar powered lighting and say using cow manure and green waste to generate methane for cooking is far less costly than mowing down areas of forest to put in electrical power and digging up coal. I have a mate here in Australia who went solar 20 years ago completely off-grid, this was expensive but far cheaper than the $40 000 quoted to put a line from the highway to his house (he lives in the bush). If he were to get the same kilowatts now using lithium ion batteries it would cost less than half of what he paid. Often the green solution is also the best and cheapest. In the West part of our issue is how to adapt a grid or system that we have already sunk a lot into. The developing world has the choice to go with more modern modular systems, this is what we should be helping them do IMO.

      I’m pessimistic that this can be done on a global basis within the time frame that climate scientists allow for our survival.

      You may be right, that is we may not succeed in bringing up the standard of living of all the poor in the third world, we may not succeed in dealing with climate change before it is catastrophic for us also. I suspect that even if we hit 4 degrees we’ll still survive but in a much more destructive, conflict ridden world. I’d like to avoid that. The scientists are trying to be alarmist, this is what the data is telling them and they have been telling us for decades to do something. If we’d acted in the 1980’s we’d be well on the way to having this problem if not solved then at least much better mitigated and we would have a more hopeful future, but because no-one wanted to act and we had decades of denial we are now going to have to take more stringent, more expensive in the short term action. But I too feel we may not have a very bright future unless we get off our arses right now. Are you feeling the scientists are wrong to state the current position as they see it or do you think they are exaggerating?

      Cheers

      P.S. just adding an edit

      Neither global warming nor overpopulation can be solved by choosing a priority now. It will take centuries to mitigate both.

      You are right that the carbon we have put into the oceans will continue to travel under the ocean and be spat back out again in about 700 years in memory serves. So what we do now will impact for centuries to come. What you are describing is much like driving down the highway, doing 150km/hr in the fog you suddenly realise there is a truck ahead that you will not avoid hitting you are definitely going to hit it no matter what you do. So you choices are hit the brakes do nothing or hit the accelerator. I choose hit the breaks (even though I know I’m going to be in a car wreck) every second we wait will make the consequences (the crash) more destructive.

    • Another related issue:

      Adding to the concern is Mr. Trump’s choice of a politician with no expertise in nuclear or technical matters, former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, to lead the Energy Department, which runs the nation’s nuclear-weapons labs and the safeguards program.

      Mr. Perry, who will follow two highly accomplished physicists if confirmed, is far more familiar with issues involving the oil and gas industry. But weapons programs account for more than half of the Energy Department’s $30 billion budget.

    • In my last post I said…

      The scientists are trying to be alarmist

      of course I meant to say ‘scientists aren’t trying to be alarmist’

      typo sorry for any confusion.

    • Come on, Reckless, you meant it – unconsciously.

      Kidding, but think about it: Why wouldn’t scientists want the public to be alarmed?

      Freud lives!

      🙂

    • At what point do the owners of the world’s seaports wake up to understanding the cost of relocating themselves to cope with rising sea levels?

      If New Orleans is to be taken as an example, they won’t. Instead some opportunist will get rich on setting up an alternate port when one gets drowned, and any sudden disaster will be used as a convenient way to evict an unprofitable population to be replaced by a profitable one.

    • I re-watched a nature documentary, a segment about mats of bacteria/algae growing in the hot mineral rich water flowing from hot springs. The mats grow and extend until they block the flow, which builds up until it washes them away, downstream where the water is colder and less sustaining, where they perish, leaving small patches of surviving biomass around the edges, to start over.

      None of this is conscious. It’s just Life. More and more I suspect Humanity (as opposed to individual humans) is no more conscious than this, it will simply expand into every niche until the niche turns them out by the consequences of the changes caused by Humanity….

    • Hi Dan,

      I think scientists have kind of been misread over the years in terms of climate change. I we as a species are poorly equipped to deal with these issues even when we understand them. This video helps explain it

      here

    • Alan4 #44: I suppose you can just let the fires spread and burn down the whole city and then spread into the nearby forest!

      Reckless Monkey, a friendly discussion on a tiny blog about what appears to be happening in the world around us has turned into ad hominem reductionism. It’s all MY fault! Inflammatory language (hah hah) aside, implacable conditions on the ground persisting at least to mid century make it statistically impossible to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and prevent concentrations rising from 405 ppm to 450 ppm. Climate change, global warming publications project both general and specific consequences that run all over the map like a wet hen. Many of these publications present the most respected credentials for scientific authority. Notwithstanding, some are highly infected with bias. Greenpeace and other environmentalist organizations; even the IPCC and the U.S. EPA are highly politicized with propaganda so entangled in vague language and conflicting data that they boggle the mind. Few touch the third rail of population growth or try to measure impacts out of fear of offending the species that has been granted dominion over the earth by a supreme being; or more precisely, by its own self-inflated ego.

      Until and unless new technology comes rapidly on the scene that extinguishes the burning of fossil fuels, we will have to rely improbably on feeble wind and solar to stop greenhouse gas emissions in their tracks then reverse them with all possible haste over the next 30 years. What actions would be necessary? If decoupling of economic growth (GDP) from CO2 emissions takes place in the next two days at a rate that approaches 100% by January 1, 2017; combined with an annual year on year reduction of 2% for 33 years we could reach 1970 levels by 2050. If per capita outputs continue to play even a rapidly diminishing role, assuming a huge per capita reduction of 80% to only 2 metric tons of carbon per person on earth, gross emissions by 2050 will still be higher than today adjusting for world population growth adding between 2.5 to 3 billion people. “Impressive” sounding reductions of 10% – 20% – 40% are worthless if not achieved on a global scale and if not achieved in 20 to 30 years. That’s it, folks. It is what it is no matter the stomping of feet or gnashing of teeth: Statistically impossible.

      Progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions will proceed at a pace consistent with effective and affordable near-zero-carbon energy coming gradually on line and may well take a century or two to disseminate worldwide. In the meantime, I suspect we are being kept awake at night by the ephemeral contagion of hysteria emanating from the prism of climate science that either waffles about an uncertain future or has clearly traced the path of the bullet with our number on it.

    • @Melvin

      Reckless Monkey, a friendly discussion on a tiny blog about what appears to be happening in the world around us has turned into ad hominem reductionism. It’s all MY fault! Inflammatory language (hah hah) aside,

      I’m genuinely sorry it appears that way, not my intension. I’m trying to get to where we disagree because you say things that sometimes appear that would make you appear to be an AGW skeptic then you explain you believe in AGW but think that population is prime importance. I’m trying to find out where we disagree as I feel it is important to get to the heart of an issue, I’m not trying for a gotcha, I’m trying to engage with someone who disagrees with me about aspects of a very important issue. Most of my last post to you was dealing with the one paragraph that appears to show the differences in our positions so I’m interested in getting to the heart of the issue and teasing out the areas we disagree. My motivation is not to cause offense and I’d be horrified to think I was using ad hominem attacks – can you outline what I have said that you found so aggressive? It certainly wasn’t my intention, even if we passionately disagree (I do with many many members of my family and friends) the goal is not to cause offense so sorry if poor wording on my part has led you to this conclusion.

      To the heart of the post.

      I can’t speak to the reliability of the EPA, I did read much of the IPPC report the last one not the Paris meeting while doing a unit on climate science in some post grad study I was doing, I found it measured and reasonable. Wind not feeble just not always blowing which is why you need a mix of power such as solar, geothermal, wave and tidal. Technologies are coming on but yes not fast enough, it would help enormously if governments began supporting them in the short term to mitigate the effects of climate change in the future. I’d also like to draw your attention to an argument you appear to be making…

      implacable conditions on the ground persisting at least to mid century make it statistically impossible to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and prevent concentrations rising from 405 ppm to 450 ppm.

      okay certainly not without us doing one hell of a lot more than governments seem prepared to do now. But I’m assuming you are basing your predictions on our current trends and general level of inaction. Regardless, let’s say you’re right for the sake of argument and we don’t stop at 450 pp, where is it safe to stop? Climate scientists are worried about this level because certain tipping points will be breached for example a lot of trapped C02 and methane will be released causing a greater problem. However clearly if we can’t stop at 450, we’d better be trying to stop as close as we can. We need to hit the brakes not coast to a stop, if we can’t halt it by 450ppm then it had better be as close as possible and as soon as possible or we are burdening future generations with our refusal to act.

      regards

    • @OHooligan #51

      That comment reminded me very much of Schopenhauer and

      “…that variance with itself essential to the will [in nature and in the unconscious life of Man – which is no more or less a part of nature than anything else].”

      What applies to the bacteria/algae in relation to itself, and what applies to animals that must devour each other in order to survive, applies to Man in relation to himself (or Man in relation to the individuals that constitute Man). One and the same unconscious element (“Will”) which feeds on itself.

      A constant “fight for the matter, time, and space of another.”

      The phenomena of nature “snatches matter from one another.” But matter itself, constantly changing form, persists.

    • The joint Harvard / Sydney University Electoral Integrity Project has published its analysis of the recent election.

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2016/Pres/Maps/Dec30.html#item-7

      The USA ranks lowest in terms of electoral integrity of every western democracy.

    • I’m scared. And getting more scared.

    • Melvin #53
      Dec 30, 2016 at 2:26 am

      Alan4 #44: I suppose you can just let the fires spread and burn down the whole city and then spread into the nearby forest!

      Reckless Monkey, a friendly discussion on a tiny blog about what appears to be happening in the world around us has turned into ad hominem reductionism.

      Nope, As I have said before, calling out challenges to well evidenced science and competent scientists, based on ignorance and empty rhetoric is not ad-hominem.
      Challenging ridiculous, strawman, vacuous assertions, is what scientists do, so they are unimpressed by those who have got it wrong through personal ignorance of the subject, playing the offended card!

      It’s all MY fault! Inflammatory language (hah hah) aside,

      Well yes! The use of the term “alarmist” to describe carefully calculated evidence based warnings about climatic changes, IS inflammatory language! – No Ha! ha! about it!

      implacable conditions on the ground persisting at least to mid century make it statistically impossible to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and prevent concentrations rising from 405 ppm to 450 ppm.

      In your personal non-scientific opinion based on a lack of understanding of the mechanisms (demonstrated by your estimates – frequently wildly wrong by large factors).

      Climate change, global warming publications project both general and specific consequences that run all over the map like a wet hen.

      ??????? This is supposed to be a rational comment???

      Many of these publications present the most respected credentials for scientific authority.
      Notwithstanding, some are highly infected with bias. Greenpeace and other environmentalist organizations;

      Greenpeace is biased on occasions, but is a campaign organisation NOT the source of “publications the most respected credentials for scientific authority”!
      Simply lumping scientific research papers with political campaign documents, demonstrates an inability to distinguish one from the other!

      even the IPCC and the U.S. EPA are highly politicized with propaganda

      This is simply repeating ignorance based nonsense, equating media propaganda, media misreporting, and leaflets from campaigning groups, with original peer-reviewed scientific documents, and views built on corroborations from large numbers of them, assembled by scientific bodies.

      so entangled in vague language and conflicting data that they boggle the mind.

      “My mind is boggled, because I cannot understand scientific terminology and scientific calculations, therefore the calculations and conclusions are biased and wrong!” is not a rational argument!

      It simply demonstrates an inability to distinguish competently published scientific information, from low-grade personal opinion, and media propagandist bunk!

      Progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions will proceed at a pace consistent with effective and affordable near-zero-carbon energy coming gradually on line and may well take a century or two to disseminate worldwide.

      You really don’t have a clue about climatology, costings, economics, or renewable energy do you?
      If it takes a century or two, the climate WILL SOLVE the problem of the human population explosion! – Possibly permanently!

      In the meantime, I suspect we are being kept awake at night by the ephemeral contagion of hysteria emanating from the prism of climate science

      . . . . . and you wonder why your ignorance is challenged when you produce this inflammatory nonsense as your asserted denial of science, based on your whimsical “suspicions”!

      that either waffles about an uncertain future

      Sorry, but your projected waffle, has little or nothing to do with the solidly evidenced and identified features of our changing climate, which are being mapped across the globe at the present time, by thousands of scientists and dozens of satellites!

      or has clearly traced the path of the bullet with our number on it.

      Several metaphorical bullets (artillery shells, and nuclear bombs), have indeed been clearly identified, (and listed on this thread), although the specific targets and times of arrival of some of them, have some error margins and uncertainties.

    • MODERATOR MESSAGE

      Thank you Alan4discussion, #59. And with that comment we will draw that exchange to a halt.

      Melvyn, the site is not here for idle chatter or the mere self-indulgence of being able to pontificate to a wider audience than one would have at home. This is a science site, an activity belonging to a foundation for Reason and Science. We will follow the science, and we expect the arguments made here to take account of the science. The issue of climate change and how to deal with it is far too important for us to allow scientifically informed discussions of it to be derailed by obstinacy and contrarianism, and there is no reason why other users who have amassed considerable expertise on this subject should be required to spend hours and hours rebutting sheer obstructionism. Enough is enough. We will not hesitate to remove any further comments that merely obstruct constructive discussion of the subject.

      The mods.

    • Cairsley

      The horrific haircut is part of his personal product branding. If he had a buzz cut he’d be reduced to bland nothingness. In politics and Hollywood ALL news is good news. Love them or hate them, it’s all good but the worst thing that could happen is if they are boring and forgotten. He’s NEVER going to cut that hair. And by the way, Pinker’s hair has the same effect. Is there anyone else with hair like that? Love it or hate it, you see him turn up with that hair and there’s no mistaking who it is! These two guys with these two extravagant hair-do situations – it’s totally working for them!

      RD has his beautiful ties (I really like them) but what is needed now is a creative mop-top to go with them. Something with a purple tint I’m thinking. The new year is upon us. Let’s have Richard come strolling out on the streets of Oxford with a statement that’ll have the tongues wagging. You only go around once… 😀

    • LaurieB #62
      Dec 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

      The horrific haircut is part of his personal product branding.

      It’s a bit like Boris Johnson and his carefully tousled mop which he assiduously rumples just before any camera focuses on him. Yes he looks like a dick but on the basis that no publicity is bad publicity it gives him a brand of some sort. I think in Trump’s case it is more utter vanity and narcissism because he simply can’t appreciate that people think he looks stupid. His ego doesn’t allow that.

      Humans have a very strong tendency not to think other people are actually insane. We rationalise it with they’re a bit unusual or individualistic but if you’re too far away from the median on behavioural aspects then by definition you are not normal. Trump is not normal. I think we underestimate how not normal he really is. I think his crushing inferiority complex from failing to live up to his father’s expectations make him more dangerous than we think. I’m not really sure there’s anything he won’t stoop to to bolster his ego.

    • Arkrid

      I think we underestimate how not normal he really is

      Not me!!! I think he’s actually much more abnormal than he appears to be. I think he’s doing his damn best to appear normal and presidential but the crazy keeps shining out from between the cracks. O_O

      I agree with every insult and suspicion of mental illness you’ve ever put out here having to do with SFB Trump. I’ll say that I strongly suspect that he’s a psychopath but just don’t have evidence for it.

      The people who underestimate how not normal he is are his ignorant bully admiring supporters. People who are hell bent on getting that border wall built (somehow) and willfully ignoring his obvious alarming psychopathology. Like we need to build a wall on our southern border but dropping a nuke on Tehran…no biggie.

    • He might learn a couple of things about the latest evidence for nutrition , but a good article for the mag it’s in I suppose …

    • Moderator: Fair enough. I hope the issue of overpopulation will be kept open. In the meantime…

      Yes, Trump should do something about that horrible hair. It scares me.

    • Was that the sound of Melvin moving on?

      Nope…wait…..sorry. I just heard some damp gunpowder going off!

      Sorry Mods!

    • @Alan4Discussion

      “Can humans collectively manage their population and resources with more intelligence than a yeast culture in a barrel of fruit-juice?”

      For some reason this makes me want to have a large glass of wine.

    • @LaurieB,

      Beautiful, I also have admired his ties. I would have thought Richard was a fairly conservative guy (as far as fashion is concerned), until I heard one of Sam Harris’s discussions with him on his second last podcast in which Richard explains he has taken to wearing odd socks to fight the tyranny of having to match or throw out socks when you loose one. Quite subversive, wouldn’t be surprised if he has a few tatoo’s sprinkled about the place. Perhaps a nice little Darwin fish on his ankle, the chorus to Tim Minchim’s Pope song across his shoulders in a nice decorative font.

    • Arkrid, Laurie, et al—

      Trump’s hair is the least of our problems. But he reminds me of Hitler in that Hitler wore that mustache, which no one – except for a few copy-cats – has worn before or since. It says something about the man. He wants to stand out and thinks a little bit differently than everyone else.

      (As for Pinker, he looks like Pat Metheny, minus the musicality. I had something to say about him on the new Pinker thread.)

      Trump plans to privatize the VA. In the news today. No surprise. He wants to privatize, privatize. Evil bastards, and they are undermining the CIA and FBI. This is an insurgency, led by Bannon. Crazy situation. Trump himself is not the problem; he represents the interests of most of the Republicans (closet libertarians) in Congress and corporate interests, the interests of private power – and has the support of all the greedy ideologues in the country – who are as sick and twisted and devoid of empathy and filled with hate as he is.

      The rest were exploited, duped, tricked. They may come to realize this, or may not.

      Trump’s dismissal of the validity of intelligence findings re the hacking of the DNC and emails undermines the people working in intelligence who will soon be working for Trump. Plus it is part of a larger problem; Trump wants to discredit the media and all of the information that the public receives. Investigative journalism Watergate-style will not have any impact; Trump will just make it seem like it’s the liberal press, etc., feed the culture war, creating diversion and doubts in people’s minds.

      Trump is a manipulator and will not allow transparency or be held accountable.

      Slovenly and shady Steve Bannon, I suspect, is behind much of what they’re aiming for. A twisted uber libertarian, a nationalist, an extreme reactionary, was with the tea party. You remember them, right? (Remember that mob, those crazy, angry, foolish people who were protesting health reform?)—It was created by the ministerial and despicable Koch brothers with the help of Fox News, which is almost on a par with the Ministry of Propaganda.

      Extreme corruption, saber rattling (with nukes). Rick Perry to be in charge of energy / nuclear weapons. A position formerly run by physicists. I could go on. The environment! Education! Israel!….Ugh….It’s all so awful.

      A nuclear war is not impossible. (Pinker’ll be running around like a chicken with his head off when he finds out that we’re facing a missile crisis, but he’ll still be “right”.)

      AIPAC owns them all (Congress, Trump). Iran deal scrapped? Just what undemocratic Israel wants.

      Trump and his team are a million times more corrupt than Hillary. They sure did a number on her (who is on the right side of all or most of these issue; yes, she spoke at Goldman.—So what!), dragged her through the mud. The emails were never anything that serious. Nothing compared to all this. And he’s not even in yet.

    • Reckless

      I admit that I used to have a very poor opinion of tatoos. Then, along came Carl Zimmer with his book Science Ink and I promptly changed my mind. Images from the book:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=science+ink&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=608&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjr2KmLiZ3RAhVs0YMKHTI9C9oQsAQIKw

      Soooo tempting….

    • P.S. Reason demands clear thinking. I think things are worse than most people think. I have all but lost my equanimity and sense of hope. Trump is a gangster, a thug, a psychopath, a manipulator (tyrant) and all or most of his cabinet are serving the interests of the few, the interests of greed and private power. We are in great peril. I can defend this argument very easily.

    • Psychology is not really my field although I’ve studied a bit of Hans Eysenck and suchlike but Trump’s behaviour strikes me as somewhat akin to that of a wife abuser and I wonder if others can throw more light on this. He alternates between nice and nasty keeping everyone off balance which is how abusive people control those who they want to dominate. Eventually they start to think the nasty episodes are perhaps their own fault for doing something wrong and it might be nice all the time if only they did better.

      He tweets that Boeing are too expensive and he’s going to cancel their order, their stock price crashes. A bit later Beoing are fine again and he’s attacking someone else. He starts whining about Obama obstructing the transition. Next thing he’s telling everyone what a nice phone call he got from Obama.

      I’d like to see him get a taste of his own medicine. I’d like Obama to come out and say that given Trump keeps interfering in presidential matters before he’s taken office then Obama is going to slap compulsory purchase orders on Trump Tower and Mar-a-lago and demolish them both before he leaves office.

    • Dan: Fortunately our democratic system of government has too many checks and balances for Trump and his cabinet to do as much damage as you fear. We should also take great comfort in the popular vote that gave Hillary Clinton 3 million more votes than Trump giving moderates and progressives a significant lead in public opinion now considerably enlarged with those afflicted with buyer’s remorse after voting for him out of frustration and protest. Trump’s incompetence exceeds words we can find to describe it. I would speculate two main scenarios: 1) He makes so many egregious errors of judgement that harm American interests, economic well-being and public welfare that he is fatally marginalized at the mid-term elections or otherwise impeached for malfeasance; or 2) He limps along “delegating” real power to a coterie of advisors who are able to implement policies adequate enough to keep the ship of state from sinking at home and abroad until the Republicans are defeated in the presidential election of 2020 after disastrous losses to the democrats in the mid-terms. The two scenarios foresee much the same outcome.

      Trump is not comparable to Hitler historically, politically or morally. It’s 2017 not 1933 or 1940. Trump justifiably believes he is a good man acting within the constraints of normal morality and humanitarian empathy, however misguided his policies. He is not a murderer obsessed with genocidal ambitions like Hitler.
      Unlike Hitler he does not have the power or opportunity to dissolve congress and claim absolute power under a state of emergency that seemed to engulf civil society in bloody street conflicts during the Weimar Republic. He does not have the wartime opportunity for the remarkable victories Hitler’s armed forces achieved during the early years of WWII that sealed his popularity and the fanatical allegiance of the nationalist, militarist, and racist German people of the 1930s and 1940s. I can think of nothing more anathema to our times than the Hitlergeist.

    • The president-elect holds rallies, lies his ass off, flatters those he likes, ridicules his enemies, uses scapegoats, avoids, demonizes and turns others, against the press (something truly worthy of a tyrant), is profoundly manipulative and narcissistic, is promoting private power, hates organized labor, is exploitative, appeals to the lowest common denominator, is a demagogue, an opportunist, is greedy and ruthless. Not sure how authoritarian he is or how enamored he is of war at this early stage – but there are already some red flags. How’s that for starters? —That’s enough to warrant a comparison – to Mussolini, to Hitler even. Genocide, no. I agree. Different time. We are not Germany in the 30s.

    • We’re starting to see just how dangerous Trump is going to be in world affairs. After 8 years of the most supportive administration to Israel there’s ever been with another 38 billion dollars in Israeli support agreed to by Obama, Netanyahu completely disses him and accuses him of organising the UN vote against him and then thanks Trump profusely who isn’t even in office yet. Why?

      Because everyone has sussed out that Trump is a narcissistic 5 year old girl who responds to empty flattery. This is the way diplomacy is going to take place for the next four years. World leaders crawling up Trump’s arse and disowning their long time staunch allies to curry favour. It’s going to disrupt traditional allegiances and make the world a very turbulent and ephemeral place.

    • Oh my fucking god. Trump has just tweeted this as a New Year message.

      “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do, love!”

      I said earlier we hadn’t yet plumbed the depths of what he could stoop to but I still struggle with each new low.

      So, a show of hands. Does anyone still think he isn’t insane?

    • Akrid,
      I said it a long while back…. Trump is a schoolyard bully. In my experience, the bully almost always runs into the tough fuck that beats his/her ass. He will get his ass whipped at some point because no one wins every time they put their fists up. My fear is that his defeat will come at my (our) expense. But, make no mistake, pride comes before the fall, and Mr. Trump is destined for an epic epic demise.

      And, do I think he is insane? No. He is a dangerous narcissist with a severe case of the confirmation biases. He is not particularly intelligent although he is educated in his field. He is the last gasp of the white male aristocracy and he will fail. The world has evolved past his macho chest thumping bullshit and will respond in accord.

    • @Arkrid #79

      I am 59 years old, and have never been called an enemy of my own country. It feels weird.

    • Hi, Vicki,

      Well we’re all in the same boat. So don’t feel too bad (“weird”). A lot of people are worried and horrified. We’ll get through this.

      A happy new year to you and yours.

      Here’s a very good (and rather disturbing) piece, everyone, about the conservative movement in this country and where it wants to go, by Robert Reich (former labor secretary under Clinton). Reich is good. It’s the Christian Science Monitor, but don’t let that bother you; Reich’s just a “guest blogger”.

      http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich/2011/1201/What-kind-of-society-do-Republicans-want-It-looks-like-social-Darwinism

    • @Dan #83

      Hi Dan! I hope for you and yours a happy and healthy new year!

      Good article, thanks. I like Robert Reich; he did a great documentary on the widening income gap called “Inequality For All” and some of the causes behind it, as well as the damage it causes.

    • Happy new years everyone.

    • Scary stuff. I am not the only one that suspects that the idiot Trump is the puppet of a far right revolutionary madman. I “pray” that I am wrong. (Happy New Year.)

      ANDREW O’HEHIR SALON.COM (Excerpts)

      Steve Bannon, Bolshevik: Maybe Donald Trump’s alt-right Svengali really is a “Leninist”

      Steve Bannon has called himself a “Leninist,” and the ludicrous comparison isn’t quite as stupid as it sounds.

      At a book party at Bannon’s Capitol Hill townhouse in November 2013, Radosh recounted in the Daily Beast, Donald Trump’s future Svengali referred to himself as a “Leninist.” We’ll get back to the details of Radosh’s account, but Bannon has not denied it.

      Both men were members of the educated elite who became leaders of “revolutionary vanguard” movements that represented a highly motivated minority. Both perceived a “revolutionary situation” that was at once national and global, a moment when the existing political order was far less stable than it appeared to be, and could be overturned by applying the right degree of pressure in the right places.

      […] But Bannon also enjoys outraging nearly every sector of the right except his eager-beaver followers, and the specter of Lenin embodies everything regular-order conservatives claim to fear and despise: violent revolution, the overthrow of the old order […] When Radosh wrote to Bannon to seek confirmation of their 2013 conversation and brought up tactical criticisms raised by conservative economist Thomas Sowell in the National Review, Bannon replied: “National Review and the Weekly Standard are both left-wing magazines, and I want to destroy them also.”

      Also highly disturbing:

      http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/12/energy-department-says-it-wont-give-trump-team-list-of-climate-change-staffers/

    • Another reason: Conjecture: DJT needs something Bigger than 9/11, and he needs it in his first year, like GWB got.

      Only thing better than being President is being a Waaar President. Commander in Chief just doesn’t have that zing to it in “peacetime”.

      Get back to me this time next year, tell me I was wrong. Please.

    • It sure ain’t looking good. Here’s something else: the GOP, behind closed doors, just gutted the Congressional ethics panel. Now they’ll be “policing themselves.” That on top of everything else.

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/02/politics/office-of-congressional-ethics-oversight-of-ethics-committee-amendment/

    • Dan #93
      Jan 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      It sure ain’t looking good. Here’s something else: the GOP, behind closed doors, just gutted the Congressional ethics panel. Now they’ll be “policing themselves.”

      It looks like more deceptive use of semantics by fanatical right-wing liars, with more of their “Right is right” mantra, regardless of lies, fraud, cronyism, or legal or scientific evidence to the contrary!

      @your link! – But GOP Rep. Hal Rogers, the Appropriations Committee chairman, told reporters he backed the proposal because “it’s the right thing to do.”

      But GOP Rep. Hal Rogers, the Appropriations Committee chairman, told reporters he backed the proposal because “it’s the Right thing to do.”

    • Alan4discussion #95
      Jan 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      It now seems that this “liberation from ethics” has been blocked and reversed!

      What we’re now starting to see is why sometimes it pays to be very careful what you wish for. The Republicans gambled on just obstructing everything Obama tried to do for 8 years in the hope that the American electorate, being generally so low information and so prone to voting against their own interests, would blame the Dems for not achieving as much as they wanted and forget it was the Repubs who actually stymied everything. It worked. They’re back in office with majorities in both houses. Now what was sauce for the goose for 8 years is now going to be sauce for the gander and it’s starting to implode very quickly.

      Now they’re stuck with a President who wants to govern in messages of 140 characters or less which just about fits his limited attention span and intellect. The Repubs can also no longer just rail against everything Obama did without coming up with something better. They can’t.

      The Repubs decide to gut the ethics committee after Trump bases much of his campaign on draining the swamp. Stupid move but Trump’s surrogate Barbiedoll Conway goes on tv defending the move just before Trump tweets he doesn’t like it. Oh dear. Barbie doll and silly hair clearly not on the same page here which looks like either they don’t talk much or Trump changed his mind in a split second thereby throwing her under the bus.

      Now the Repubs have come up with a 10 year budget resolution which starts off with an annual deficit of $583 billion in 2017 rising to over £1 trillion in 2026 for a total increase in the National Debt of $7.9 trillion over ten years! Suddenly they’re finding it’s not so easy to put a budget together with huge tax cuts for the rich on one side and huge infrastructure and defence spending on the other that still balances in the middle. The easy bit was sitting on the sidelines attacking Obama’s debt increase for the last few years, most of which though was forced on him by Bush tax cuts, two wars and a recession.

      Now we’re also seeing why Silly Hair doesn’t get many security briefings. It’s not because “I’m a really smart guy, I don’t need to be told the same thing every day”. It’s because he’s too dumb to get the briefing dates right. He’s also too dumb to check his dates before firing off on Twitter about it. So now he’s not just pissed off the security services even more than in the last few weeks, he’s revealing constantly just how stupid and impulsive he really is.

      With a president who is a compulsive liar, not very smart, not at all capable of keeping his own people on message, changes his mind and the message every five minutes anyway and a congress completely unable to think of anything that’s actually better than Obamacare or a budget that balances it’s heading for an internal civil war. Maybe the Dems don’t need to do much more than keep giving them more rope and they’ll hang themselves anyway.

    • Holy crackers. Exxon Mobil are planning to give Rex Tillerson a $180 million resignation pay off if he’s appointed Secretary of State. Of course I’m sure he’ll give them no special privileges in return like easy access to the Russian oil fields he’ll be discussing with Putin soon.

      Trump meanwhile could benefit by billions just from the tax cuts he’s proposing which mainly benefit guess who? Ummm him. Still chicken feed though compared to the hundreds of billions he’s going to make when his family are esconsed in Russian oil interests rather than property. He’s going to rape this presidency for all it’s worth, wait and see.

    • Arkrid,

      Good post.

      There are a lot more of these financial conflicts of interest that you mentioned. I can’t keep up with them.

      Alan,

      Good post (99)

      A lot of reasons why Russia had a stake in this election and others in Europe and the UK. Can hardly keep up with that either. I heard something about Putin having a vested interest Scotland’s independence; it has something to do with nukes. Know anything about that? I’ll look it up. Okay. Done.
      http://thebulletin.org/scottish-independence-could-leave-uk-nuclear-weapons-homeless7395

    • Putin was behind the hacks and interfered with the election.

      Trump and his team are liars: They said “no evidence that the election outcome was affected.” The report had no comment on that. They merely established proof of hacking and interference, which was extensive.

      Horrifying. Beyond serious.

    • I think it’s time to abandon any hope that Trump will ever rise to the gravity of the office. I clung to this for a while, hope against hope, stupid me perhaps, but it’s not to be apparently. As he wastes precious time gloating childishly at Schwarzenegger for not beating his Apprentice ratings, lambasts Toyota for daring to go about their own personal business as a foreign company which is none of his bloody concern and not build every car plant they’re thinking about in the USA, denies that Russia affected the election, insults and demeans the intelligence agencies whose people risk, and sometimes lose, their lives trying to keep his country safe, consorts with mobsters, sells access to himself for a handful of silver, refuses to divest himself of conflicts of interest, fills his cabinet with deplorables, puts foreign countries on what might be near as dammit a war footing before he’s even in office, lies and lies and just keeps fucking lying, – I think we have to admit defeat in the hope for any sanity. I thought Bush was dangerous but Trump is like a blowtorch in a fuel depot.

      A petulant child with no morals, no ethics, no common sense and no compassion now holds the keys to the kingdom. To those who voted for him, I hope you get everything you wished for. You stupid, short sighted, low information, zero critical thinking, gullible religious nutters.

    • “To those who voted for him, I hope you get everything you wished for. You stupid, short sighted, low information, zero critical thinking, gullible religious nutters.”

      That should be on the front page of the NY Times.

    • It’s not that he denied that Russia affected the outcome of the election, Arkrid; he has denied Russian interference for months, and after the report was released he lied and said that the report indicated that the outcome was “absolutely not affected.” The Intelligence investigation did not indicate that, stated that it did not seek to establish any conclusion about that. But in addition to that lie, Trump and his surrogates are still unwilling to publicly acknowledge that Russia engaged in cyber warfare, interfered with the election, and wanted him to win.

      It is now known that the Russians celebrated his victory.

    • Alan!

      “. . . . and the gullibles are chanting “Lock HER up!” over emails illegally stolen by foreign cyber criminals from the Democrats…”

      This is news to me. Is there evidence that this happened too? I’m confused. Are these the emails that Hillary’s enemies said she herself destroyed, or others? Both? The email “scandal/trust” issue was a huge factor in the election.

    • A bunch of crooks! Look at this. Monica Crowley, one of Trump’s appointees, committed an egregious act of plagiarism, as you can see here. (Proof provided below.)

      “The Trump transition team says any attempt to discredit Crowley “is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country.

      Crowley is also one of these wacky conspiracy theorists, said Obama was not really black.

      Liars!!! Crooks!! They won’t be held accountable for anything!!

      http://money.cnn.com/interactive/news/kfile-trump-monica-crowley-plagiarized-multiple-sources-2012-book/

    • What I find extraordinary about this Putin thing is that Trump campaigned on “make America great again” but even before he’s taken office he’s done more to make America weak than any president I can think of. As he aligns himself with Putin, refuses to acknowledge Russian wrongdoing, trumpets Assange over his own intelligence agencies it becomes harder to accept that he even holds American interests foremost. In fact it gets closer day by day to wondering if this is in fact treasonous on the face of it. Nevermind the actual facts about who hacked whom, it behoves the President or president elect to unwaveringly support his own people and their national interests above those of any foreign power, let alone an unfriendly one.

      What is now going to happen is several fold. Friendly foreign nations like the UK are going to become very wary about sharing future intelligence with the USA if it isn’t even certain that their president is not just a Russian puppet and might be sending that intelligence straight to Putin. That might sound far fetched but as I’ve said before, I believe Trump is a full blown psychopath with zero normal emotions and only considers his own interests and his own pocket. I don’t actually find it that far fetched that he might place the potential hundreds of billions of dollars his family could earn getting esconsed with Russian oil over and above any concern he has for the USA, if he even has the slightest such concern.

      Secondly we have to assume the American intelligence services are thinking the same thing as above. Do they continue to tell the White House everything they know if A) it’s just going to get ignored or even worse B) it gets sent to Putin.

      Do they even continue to put their operatives in harm’s way to glean intelligence that gets treated like this?
      Do the operatives continue to volunteer to be put in harm’s way for a president who might be a traitor?

      What we might see in time is a two tier political and security system. The actual administration which no one trusts and the security services and military working behind the scenes to try and keep America safe even if that means cutting out or bypassing Trump and his cabinet. Maybe in fact those services, foreign as well as domestic, might feel they can only work with trusted Democrats like Schumer, Dean and perhaps some Republicans like McCain but all on the downlow.

      This is very scary stuff. I would go so far as to say Trump has already crippled America’s standing in world affairs. If I were say the British prime minister I would already no longer trust him or any of his cabinet.

    • Alan4discussion #116
      Jan 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      In a media self aggrandisement proclamation of his “wonderful choices” , Trump has been claiming his cabinet is the best ever!
      The delusion is strong in this one!

      Tillerson and Sessions have both been forced to contradict Trump on several points under questioning so far including on nuclear proliferation and immigration controls for muslims. This will no doubt not go down well with a autocrat like Trump but if you espouse insane views it’s pretty hard to get all your people to parrot them, especially when they’re seeking the approval of others.

      Meanwhile the Republicans, like jellyfish floating in the current, are waiting to see which way the wind blows about Trump. While he’s strong they’re desperately trying to hitch their horses to his wagon but if the tide starts to turn they’ll desert him like rats fleeing a sinking ship. “Little” Marco Rubio has some axes to grind after being humiliated in the primaries and he in particular gave Tillerson a hard time.

      Trump meanwhile continues to make it clear that nothing he’s ever said can be relied on as true. He’s not going to release his tax returns, not going to divest himself properly of any conflicts of interest and not going to stop doing deals after just boasting about discussing a $2 billion one with Dubai and claiming he could run the country and continue to run his businesses at the same time.

      He’s about to learn a hard lesson. So far in most of his life he’s been used to being in absolute charge of everyone he deals with but as he pisses off the intelligence community, the press, powerful foreign nations and members of congress, not to mention the electorate, there will come a time when the worm turns. Ladbrokes are quoting the odds of him surviving his first term without resigning or being impeached as only about evens now.

      https://sports.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/betting/politics/american/specials/donald-trump-specials/222881036/

      That’s unprecedented to an extraordinary degree and we can only assume the odds will shorten still further given his behaviour.

      No one wants to perform at his inauguration, his approval ratings are the lowest in history for an incumbent and the realisation of what they’ve done must surely be starting to sink in to those who voted for him.

      All this before he’s even in office but soon he’s indeed going to be appointed Potus (Psychopath of the United States) and then we’ll see.

    • Good one, Arkrid.

      On top of everything else, the lying is very troublesome. Lying is a very effective form of treachery. He lies and lies and so do all of his spokespeople. His team is a conniving bunch of liars.

      The Russian connection looks awfully suspicious. Not treason. No war going on. I would say that Trump has almost committed treason, by giving “aid and comfort” to the Russian hackers (our “enemies” in this situation), and presumably to the Kremlin and Putin himself, by downplaying the whole thing.

      And look at this. (Democracy Now is one of the best independent news programs we have right now.)

      https://www.democracynow.org/2016/12/12/could_massive_russian_oil_deal_with

      One of the enormous deals that Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson worked on was a $500 billion oil exploration partnership between Exxon and the Russian government’s oil company, Rosneft. The Obama administration blocked the deal when it imposed sanctions against Russia for its intervention in the Ukraine. In a recent column for ThinkProgress titled “Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet,” Joe Romm, founding editor of Climate Progress, writes, “This deal could explain why Putin appears to have interfered in U.S. elections in favor of a Trump victory.” Romm goes on to say, “if the sanctions are lifted—something a new Secretary of State could help make happen—it would pay off big time for Exxon. … Imagine … if the oil giant is freed to produce and sell oil on the staggering 63.7 million acres of Russian land it leases, which is over 5 times the amount of land it leases in this country. Happy days are here again, for Exxon.”

    • Trump & Putin will ensure that each PROFITS from the next few years, why would anybody fail to see that capitalist icons will just feather their nests…..and the world will keep spinning….

    • Finally, someone in the Trump team admits you can’t believe what comes out of his mouth. In an interview with CNN, Trump’s surrogate Barbiedoll Conway tried to defend his mocking of a disabled reporter and finally in desperation started whining why don’t you believe what’s in his heart rather than what comes out of his mouth? Well ta for that miss nutjob and let’s hope it comes back to haunt you many times over. So now we know that only psychics can interpret Trump properly as what he actually says A) doesn’t represent what he supposedly believes and B) can’t be taken as true.

      Of course we all know this anyway although I see no evidence that Trump actually has a heart for psychics or otherwise to look into even if they could. I imagine there’s some sort of shrivelled blackened organ in there where the rest of us have a heart but that’s about it.

      Meanwhile Rachel Maddow graphically portrayed just how big Exxon’s interests in Russia are. 63 million acres of leased land ripe for oil exploration (nearly 6 times what they have in the USA and 9 times what they have in Canada) which was all stymied when the USA banned such exploration under sanctions against Russia. As soon as those are lifted it’s drill baby drill and Tillerson, Trump and Putin become insanely filthy rich.

      No doubt there are lawyers and accountants busy at this very moment trying to work out the mechanics of how Trump can line his pockets without getting impeached too quickly. I anticipate that it will be his two sons Uday and Qusay who will run such enterprises until Trump leaves office so let’s see how long it takes them to set up an oil exploration company that can partner with Exxon and Russian oil once Trump has lifted the sanctions and syphon off a slice of the revenues.

    • I begin to feel the start of a tipping point coming. Nothing concrete but my spidey sense is tingling mildly. Trump has just launched an attack on Congressman John Lewis, the last surviving speaker from the 1963 march on Washington led by Martin Luther King. Lewis is a hero of the civil rights movement. This is a man who was beaten by police for daring to be an uppity nigger and shed blood for his convictions. After Lewis stated that Trump is not a bona fide president, Trump tweeted that Lewis is all talk talk talk but no action and congressman for a “horrible” district.

      You don’t tell a man who marched to Washington to try and get blacks equal rights, and shed blood in the process, that he’s just talk and no action.

      Trump insulted the “Blue Star” Khan family who lost a son in Iraq. He parodied and ridiculed a disabled reporter. He called the greatest actress of our modern generation “overrated”. To ridicule Lewis though, a goddamn genyouwhine hero to millions, is something he’s going to come to regret though. This I feel is his step too far. The tide will now start to turn. There are still a few sane Republicans in congress and they will be starting to realise this man has no limits and get a sense of just how much damage he is capable of.

    • Alan4discussion #123
      Jan 15, 2017 at 6:05 am

      If you look at records, Trump’s response to any criticism of his ill-considered, irrational, and reckless outbursts/decisions, is an ad-hominem attack on the critic!

      I have little doubt that if Jesus himself were to actually be real and come back to earth and declared that he didn’t support Trump then Trump would tweet “Just another Clinton stooge. The miracles were fake. So overrated. Sad!”

    • Trump has just launched an attack on Congressman John Lewis…

      Arkrid, shocking tweets from the twit is a red flag to look around at what is actually happening.

      Of course, with the Orange Julius, it could be any number of things: repeal of the ACA, the inauguration, his golden shower episodes, the juvenile press conference, or the confirmation of his yes-men.

    • Wonderful stuff from Saturday Night Live this weekend as usual. Alec Baldwin’s portayal is going to go down in history of course but I especially liked the bit later in the show about Trump’s sons Uday and Qusay with the greased back 1980’s hair and vacant looks and whether when you look at them you wonder if they ever stood at the top of a deep hole and said “It puts the lotion in the basket!” I wouldn’t rule it out.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      All great comments (119-127).

      I suspect that the tweets are designed, in part, to distract the TV news media (a bunch of gleeful, corporate stenographers, for the most part) – and they’re playing right into his hands. They’re forever talking about his tweets. The tweeting are worth discussing – especially the really inappropriate ones; but each individual tweet is given undue attention by CNN and MSNBC, at the expense of discussion of real issues and dangers, like the ones Vicki mentioned.

      Arkrid, I heard that loathsome lady Kellyanne say that too. She knows “what’s in his heart.” He wasn’t mocking the disabled reporter and rile up the mob. Oh no. He wouldn’t do that.

      What’s particularly frightening is that Trump and his surrogates, his whole team, are liars. They are all liars! I think Trump is basically an authoritarian autocrat. If he could he would abolish all opposition, dissent, oversight. Total control without any accountability, is what he is aiming for, and one lie after another.

      Look how he’s dealing with the press and what he’s saying about our own intelligence! He is a neo fascist – and that is THE TRUTH!

      Arkrid, I don’t think SNL or even Bill Maher is helping. I have suggested a moratorium on ridicule and satire on TV. It feeds into the illusion of normalization. This is a bloody crisis! Not a joke. Ha-ha-ha-ha….

    • This week is going to be a firecracker. Is there enough momentum to stop the Great Pumpkin from taking over the White House.
      Is the DOJ going to file charges? Is the Pumpkin going to be in violation of laws as soon as he is sworn in?
      Does the Trump like pee?
      I can’t watch, the tension is deafening. (sorry Dan, its how I deal with insanity)

    • “It puts the lotion in the basket!”

      Ha-ha, I wonder how many will get that one? That gruesome twosome seem to sum up their father perfectly: extreme misplaced narcissism coupled with extreme vacuousness.

    • Dan #129

      Some of the old-school public figures are keeping Trump’s indiscretions out there. Dan Rather, Robert Reich, Bill Maher (naturally)…

      Here’s Reich’s latest:

      http://robertreich.org/post/155923849570

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Yes, Vicki, but it is horrible that they are going after the office of government ethics director – for doing his job! We have to rely on Dan Rather now for oversight? Better than nothing; but how much can an ex-news anchorman and Robert Reich do?

      How many people read The Nation? How many people watch Rachel Maddow?

      http://thehill.com/homenews/house/314109-oversight-panel-requests-interview-with-ethics-chief-who-criticized-trumps

      Trump is an autocrat and is trying to silence opposition, even if it comes from the CIA. (Confuse, divide, and conquer.) He and his accomplices will continue to lie and distort – and destroy. Very disturbing

      Alf, I joke around too; I just think that all this ridicule on TV gets us nowhere. They all need to get serious for once in their damned lives.

      Hi, Steven.

    • @Dan

      I’ve added Riech, Rather, Maher, PBS and now Maddow to my social news feed. Getting the information prepares me for debates online. I do not think we can wait for someone else to fight Trump for us.

    • I have to say I’d love to hear a reporter with the guts to stand up at Trump’s next press conference and ask his sons one of the following questions.

      A) Have either of you ever stood at the top of a deep hole and shouted down “it puts the lotion in the basket?
      B) Have either of you ever made a suit out of human skin?
      C) What’s it like having a narcissistic sociopath for a father?

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Trump just said that “everyone will have healthcare”. Let’s see what that really means.
      Alan, I don’t think we get BBC 1 in the US. You can get it, but you have to get “BBC player”– whatever that is.
      Vicki, try to watch Laurence O’Donnell too. He comes on right after Maddow. He’s the most hard hitting, although Maddow is good too; very informative.

    • If you want to watch specifically UK tv programs then I suggest you join www. tvchaosuk.com

    • Well I just watched the Dispatches program “The World According to President Trump” and it was appalling. Just a puff piece really. No conclusions or even any revealing insights that we don’t already know.

    • I’ve also now watched the Panorama program on Trump, The Kremlin Candidate. Much harder hitting with some good interviews. Some food for thought in that one.

    • I said a couple of days ago I felt a tipping point coming in the Trump transition. Monica Crowley has just dropped out as pick for national security advisor having been found to have plagiarised nearly everything she’s written for the last 25 years including her own Phd.

      His pick for secretary of HHS, rep Tom Price, seems to have been insider dealing in pharma stocks while he was pushing through legislation that would help them. He’s not dropped out yet but he might find it hard to run HHS from a jail cell.

      Andy Puzder may be dropping out as secretary of labour and in any event his confirmation hearing has been postponed.

      http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/16/politics/andrew-andy-puzder-labor-trump/index.html

      It’s without doubt the most appallingly handled transition in living memory with apparently not even the most rudimentary vetting of Trump’s picks being done to see what skeletons they might have in the closet. It highlights Trump’s complete lack of understanding of the seriousness of the process and it augers very strongly for a much bigger disaster when it comes to actually governing. Hiring people for the national stage and the full spotlight of press exposure is not the same as hiring them for a reality tv show. If he can’t even get this bit right it’s not going to get easier later.

      He’s also made history with Jeff Sessions becoming the first senator to have another senator testify against his confirmation although I doubt it’s the type of history Trump wants to be remembered for. Even the alt-right has apparently lost its enthusiasm for Trump as it becomes clear that he only said what they wanted to hear but has no intention of doing much of it.

      There’s an old saying, you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Trump lied to everyone about everything and even with the gullible and stupid you can’t get away with that for ever. For a brief while his constant lying seems to have hypnotised everyone like a bird by a snake. The press simply didn’t know what to do with mendacity on this sort of scale and didn’t call it lying for a long time in case that sounded too negative. Now they’re starting to just flat out call the lies for what they are and him for being a liar. His supporters tried to give him a free pass by saying take him seriously but not literally but that’s starting to pall now as his cabinet picks come straight from the swamp he said he’d drain. No less than five Goldman Sachs executives after he accused Hillary of being in their pocket! That takes some gall.

      We’re now seeing, or more properly his supporters are now seeing, that he can’t spend all his time on Twitter or feting mobsters or going on victory tours and still do a proper job of being president elect. He said he could run his businesses AND the country at the same time but it seems he can’t even do one of these properly nevermind both. The only thing he can do really really well is boast about how great he is.

      I find very little in life that doesn’t at some point take me back to the late great Douglas Adams and my favourite books, the HHGTTG. This time it’s the products of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation whose only profitable department is their complaints department. Of their products it’s been said “It is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words – and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation’s Galaxy-wide success is founded – their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.”

      Trump’s superficial design flaws, his tweet storms, lying, constant belittling of others and anyone who criticises him, boasting, slamming the press and now the intelligence services have, at least for a while, blinded everyone to his more fundamental design flaws. He’s completely fucking useless!

    • Some time ago, and I have no idea in which thread now, I wrote a piece about the rise of mendacity in Republican politics. To summarise briefly, what limited honour there might once have been in American politics seemed to disappear at about the same time as religion got into Republicanism with Jerry Falwell and Ronald Reagan. This went through a number of stages. Politicians who got caught out in lies would initially apologise. That got to be thought of as too weak and the phrase “I mispoke” came into play for a decade or so. Now even that is too much of an admission so generally no backing down of any sort is used.

      What Trump has done though is raised the art of lying to a level no one could have foreseen and yet he still won the election. The danger of this is not just in his presidency but in what it tells Republicans they can now get away with. We’re starting to see this happen already. Not just in the lies but the complete disregard for accepted protocols and honourable behaviour. As Trump campaigned like this the Republicans decided to just not bother voting for a new Supreme Court judge. To the Dems astonishment they found there was nothing they could do about this. There are no time limits for Congress to hold such hearings by hence no way of making them do it.

      Trump didn’t release his tax returns, no doubt because they hold some horrible news about his real wealth and business dealings, so now the Republicans have decided not to bother providing the ethics vetting packages for Trump’s cabinet picks despite McConnell so vociferously calling for them for Obama’s picks.

      What Trump has done is shown the Republicans they had only previously scratched the surface of how mendacious, obstructive and two faced it was possible to be if you were prepared to thrown honour and decency completely under the bus. This I believe is the main cancer that he has introduced into the political system and it will be very hard to get rid of.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Nothing to add re the tweets, save this one small aside: Trump uses tweets like a sorcerer, or a hypnotist. Mind-control.
      To put it another way, they are designed to (further) brain-wash his already brain-washed base.
      I had a nightmare about Steve Bannon, a ministerial, shadowy figure who compares himself to revolutionary Lenin and who greatly admires Dick Cheney. That delusional, nationalist, who looks like a drunk road manager, is running our f_ing country now.
      Kellyanne Conway: a ruthless, Satanic spinmeister. May she eventually suffer all the pains of hell.
      Comey: He used his office to influence the election. I think this is a terrible misuse of his office and a profound betrayal of the public trust. It’s sickening, and I pray he will eventually suffer all the pains of hell.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Sickening.

      WASHINGTON — Repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. A repeal could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million in 10 years, the report said, while causing individual insurance premiums to double over that time.

    • Dan

      I really don’t believe that the Republicans care one iota about uninsured citizens. Our elected representatives have a very peachy health insurance policy paid for by our taxes so they’re all set. They have their sights set on the maximum profit model – a predatory private corporate medical insurance system. Big business as usual. Ethics, compassion, humanitarian values and fairness are lost on these people.

      Bernie said today that trashing Obamacare and moving back toward privatized insurance is the exact wrong direction to take. I agree with him as usual. Bernie is right. We need a revolution here.

      cue: Street Fighting Man

    • Dan, I had a dream about a Neo-nazi stopping traffic on the top of the bridge.
      Today is the last day I spend above ground. I’m going into my bunker for a couple weeks. I have stocked four hundred pounds of peanut butter. The crackers haven’t come in yet.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Arkrid 142

      There’s an old saying, you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

      That was Lincoln who said that. I have said this before and will now say it again. Mr Lincoln should have added this: although you can fool too many of the people too much of the time. (I am quite sure that this witty and depressing remark of mine would have made Lincoln smile.)

      Laurie 146

      Spot on. You nailed it.

      Alf

      It’s awful, isn’t it? What a terrible situation. But don’t despair (yet); and remember; you are not the only one who is horrified. There are many others who feel exactly the way you feel.

    • Quite a revealing interview that Trump did with the UK Times and German Bild newspapers this week. The full transcript in on the Times website but you have to sign up with a name and email address.

      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/full-transcript-of-interview-with-donald-trump-5d39sr09d

      I don’t know why he did this or what sort of questions he was expecting but he has revealed himself to be about as seriously out of his depth on international affairs as it’s possible to be. The answers were rambling “stream of consciousness” sorts of things much like what used to come out of Sarah Palin’s mouth. Words strung together with little coherent order revealing a mind flitting about internally unable to stay on a single topic for more than milliseconds. He apparently couldn’t remember who the British Prime Minister is, they had to insert the name in brackets to complete the transcript for him. Here’s one example of the cogency of his replies.

      Q: Can you understand why eastern Europeans fear Putin and Russia?

      “Sure. Oh sure, I know that. I mean, I understand what’s going on, I said a long time ago — that Nato had problems. Number one it was obsolete, because it was, you know, designed many, many years ago. Number two — the countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to pay. I took such heat, when I said Nato was obsolete. It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right — and now — it was on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, they have a whole division devoted now to terror, which is good.

      And the other thing is the countries aren’t paying their fair share so we’re supposed to protect countries but a lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States. With that being said, Nato is very important to me.”

      Q: Britain is paying.

      “Britain is paying. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much, from 22.”

      Actually there are 28 nations in NATO although what any of that has to do with why Eastern Europeans fear Putin is not very clear.

      When asked about if he had any heroes from the past he mentioned his father briefly and then spent the rest of the reply talking about himself and what a great negotiator he is. In fact his default reply about most things is to start talking about himself. It’s a staggering level of narcissism but only the most fleeting level of comprehension about anything outside of his immediate sphere of interest – property development and his own greatness.

      Although we’ve all realised for a long time that he’s a narcissistic sociopath I may have even underestimated the degree of narcissism at work here. It’s so all consuming it’s hard to get ones head round. I wish I knew more about mental illnesses but it’s not really one of my topics but there’s a rampant megalomania and paranoia at work here of staggering proportions.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Tim Kaine is excellent. I love this guy. (He would have made a great VP.) Check this out. It’s a tour de force. I liked him the first time I heard him speak at a rally with H. Clinton. There are some excellent senators in Congress: Warren, Franken, Sanders. Kaine, others.
      Watch Kaine grill Tillerson on climate and other matters. Unfortunately, the video ends before Kaine is finished.

    • Dan, I watch Devos get grilled by Warren. I have never seen a liar like DeVos calmly sit there and lie.
      I am glad Warren is on our side.
      And she calls herself a christian evangelical. These people are up to no good.
      My crackers came in today. I’m just waiting for three hundred pounds of canned sardines and i’ll be set.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Alf,

      My sister told me I can hide in her attic. If I do I will keep a diary.

    • Trump now hires his 6th Goldman Sachs executive after campaigning that Hillary was in their pocket. Anthony Scaramucci who we castigated a while ago in here for claiming there used to be overwhelming scientific evidence the earth was flat and at the centre of the universe as he tried to deny climate change.

      The swamp must surely be deep enough now. I know Trump promised to create a really deep swamp but this one is not just the perfect habitat for alligators already, it’s got 1950s B movie monsters living in it.

      Oh hang on, my bad, Trump promised to drain the swamp not build a bigger one. I get confused so easily.

    • I was watching as a pro-gun moron was expecting Trump to be far more sympathetic to the gun-toting citizens. Apparently he was expecting that he thinks that it will make it likely that children will be able to arm themselves in school (presumably to defend themselves against the next in-school shooter)…No modern democracy should need to arm children against psychopaths. How can anybody sane not see this?

    • M27, Children with guns IS the problem. So if we give each child a 44 mag, there will be no more shootings. Sounds reasonable. If you live in a mental ward. (USA)
      How about we give them pepper spray instead? Just in case there is a “potential” bear around.

    • And back to the OP (or something close to it), there’s this from the recent inauguration coverage and the changes already taking place:

      On the Internet, there were other signs of the seismic shift in power. The White House Web page — which that morning had touted President Obama’s initiatives to slow climate change — now touted a promise from Trump to eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan.”

      Sigh.

      Source: Washington Post

    • Trump now seems to be signing executive orders with the same ignorant gay abandon and lack of any competent advice, which is exhibited in his previous tweets!
      Government by reactionary knee-jerk, appears to be the new order of the day!

    • On behalf of the rest of the sane Americans, I would like to take this opportunity to say,,,,,,,DUCK!
      We are fu*&$^KED……..
      And now, I’m going to have to start eating squirrels. I hate squirrels.

    • Scaramucci

      Wasn’t he the Bond villian played by Christopher Lee?

    • O’hool, Scaramanga?

    • @alf1200

      Close enough. Thanks.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      All of our social and cultural programs will be gutted. This is the most reactionary and evil administration in the history of our country.

      The National Endowment for the Arts will be the first to go.

      “The moment Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at noon on Friday, the LGBT, climate change, health care, and civil liberties pages disappeared from the website of the brand new Trump White House.”

      I am too depressed to post the links that informed me of all this pleasant news.

    • Dan #163
      Jan 21, 2017 at 4:06 am

      “The moment Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at noon on Friday, the LGBT, climate change, health care, and civil liberties pages disappeared from the website of the brand new Trump White House.”

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/20/trump-s-whitehouse-gov-disappears-civil-rights-climate-change-lgbt-rights.html

    • A4D #159

      If you want him, you can keep him!

      We’re full up on crazies right now. If there’s an opening in the foreseeable future, we’ll keep him in mind.

    • My friend in upstate NY just told me what happened to her this week. She was walking her dog at night on the leash, it saw something and bolted, pulled her over. She landed heavily on her arm and thought it was broken. She went to hospital. At least it wasn’t broken. Now she’s worrying how much it will cost her when the bill comes. She has healthcare but the deductible is so high she never actually gets any healthcare for free. Living in the UK I can’t imagine a society that operates like that. Having to consider whether you can afford to go to a doctor or a hospital is such an alien proposition it is difficult to get my head round. Under Trump she’s now afraid the premiums will go up even more and the deductible will too. I said well at least you still have a hospital there you could go to. That might not be true for much longer.

    • Living in the UK I can’t imagine a society that operates like that.

      At the core of the issue is our dogged belief in the god Capitalism. Bypassing the costs and focusing only on the insurance was the only way Obama could get the ACA (Obamacare) passed.

      http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/080615/6-reasons-healthcare-so-expensive-us.asp

    • Vicky, That’s the obvious problem no one seems to want to talk about.
      The problem is not the availability of medical care, its the cost.
      American doctors make ten times the salary of doctors in the UK.
      The whole health care industry and pharma industry are there to make money and there is no way to loosen their hold on our politicians.
      The shareholders of the corps that own the hospitals want profits.
      Capitalism has destroyed our medical system and put a high price on our lives that we can no longer afford.
      Even the democrat senators from my state, Washington State, voted no to importation of drugs from Canada basing their objection on the “danger” of imported drugs.
      Of course the Canadians are dropping dead from bad drugs………….(sar).

    • While I’m on a rant, I would like to rip the government for the education system.
      If you want a degree so you can practice medicine, the cost for education is staggering. There is an expected return from this investment.
      In addition the loan practices are to blame.
      The Treasury give out loans to banks that give out loans to students so they can make money.
      The money is the taxpayers to begin with and then we have to pay interest to use it? In addition the USA has 1.5 TRILLIION in unpaid student debt that adds to the national debt.
      If we simply forgave those debts the national debt would decrease instantly. In addition the people could use the money to pay bills and inject more funds into the economy.

    • President and immediately signs executive order to ‘ease the burden of Obamacare’. President Donald Trump signed his first executive orders in the Oval Office on Friday.

      ‘ease the burden of Obamacare’. – or translated into English – means insurers should “avoid paying out to claimants on their insurance” – so as to retain more profit!

      I see he also claims that in swearing and oath of allegiance, he is swearing “allegiance” to all Americans! – Apparently “allegiance” does not extend to looking after their health or environment! – or perhaps it just illustrates more of the deceptive disconnected incoherent double-talk babblings, with which his followers have become blissfully familiar!

      A notable feature of this election, has been the absence of any clear manifesto of joined up credible policy, a total and utter lack of democratic scrutiny of Trump’s knee-jerk decisions, and an absence of practical evaluation of even scraps of any disclosed plans!

    • And,,,,,,,,This idea of giving tax breaks to companies has got to stop. At this point it is nothing but bribery.
      Since when if a company goes under does the equipment get destroyed the factory is leveled and the employees are killed?
      The company is turned over to a new owner, the equipment is reused and the employees have a new employer.
      The demand is still present and the profit will be obtained by a more efficient owner.
      We have been giving tax breaks to fuel failing companies when they should disappear.

    • Our Obamacare is being taken down one piece at a time with no replacement in sight. Back to the bad old days of predatory insurance companies. Can’t afford to pay for your surgery? Then go away and die and stop bothering us…

      Americans have been conned by the super capitalists to believe that we have the best health care system in the world and that Canadians and Europeans have some sort of socialist backwards miserable failure system. I’ve lived in Europe for a few years a while back and our experience with their medical system was excellent. When I explain that to my fellow Americans they are astounded. They don’t know what they’re missing. They’ve been conned.

      When my husband retires in a year and a half he’ll get medicare but I have six years to go before I get it. And now no Obamacare to buy into. Six years with no insurance.

      Shopping for a new nationality.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Inauguration/Trump

      I find this whole thing about “love of country” and this angry, contentious take-everything-over tone of his, and all this bs about the people ruling (libertarianism), and this America First business, highly disturbing and chilling. Chief adviser Bannon is behind it all. I don’t know what Bannon/Trump et al want, but it doesn’t look too good. Bannon is a man who identifies with revolutionary Lenin and also said that Cheney is the man that he admires most in recent history.

      The appointees are all millionaires/billionaires, CEOs and Goldman Sacks people, climate deniers and religious, free-market fundamentalists. Between all that and the way they are treating the press…

      Today the press secretary was shouting into the mic about the SIZE of the crowd, and how the “dirty press” got it wrong. All about size (of crowds and hands). Pathetic.

      Right wing populism, nationalism. What will become of us? I was heartened – a little – by the women’s march(es) today.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Check this out!

    • Dan

      That press secretary is quite bizarre. Is he a Trump-mini-me ?

      The cabinet is the most pathetic collection of dumb asses I’ve ever seen.

      The marches are all wonderful. My daughters were both at the Boston march. They said it was fantastic.

      I read Kissenger’s autobiography years ago. In it he explains that the riots and demonstrations that were going on during the Vietnam war absolutely put pressure on the administration to get out of Vietnam and they undermined him in his negotiations at the end of that war because the opposition was well aware that things were blowing up on the campuses and everywhere here.

      Trump’s bunch are all saying that demonstrations don’t accomplish anything but just remind them what the anti-war protesters accomplished decades ago. They were a force.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Epiphany!

      TRUMP IS INSANE AND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT THINK SO IS A STUPID IDIOT!

      This is beyond anything I have ever seen in my lifetime, the Trump presidency. In addition to our new president wasting time and energy debating the size of the mall crowd his press secretary held an angry press conference where he accused the media of intentionally underestimating the size of the inaugural crowd. Then he left and took no questions. THIS IS REALLY NUTS! Is this anyway to run a country?

      Trump is mentally ill, no doubt.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Laurie,

      Even Nixon, years later, admitted that they were a force. But early on he dismissed the incipient movement as insignificant. (Just like Trump et al.)

      (Trump is worse than Nixon.)

      Vice President Hubert Humphrey accepted the Democratic nomination in August in Chicago, and 10,000 anti-war demonstrators showed up outside the convention building, clashing with security forces assembled by Mayor Richard Daley. Humphrey lost the 1968 presidential election to Richard M. Nixon, who promised in his campaign to restore “law and order”–a reference to conflict over anti-war protests as well as the rioting that followed King’s assassination in 1968–more effectively than Johnson had.

      The following year, Nixon claimed in a famous speech that anti-war protesters constituted a small–albeit vocal–minority that should not be allowed to drown out the “silent majority” of Americans.

      Demonstrations don’t do anything? I think they do. Well if the don’t maybe we’ll have to step it up and engage in civil disobedience. And a good boycott would do the job too. (The Montgomery bus boycott was amazing.) Boycotts are extremely effective. What should we boycott? Any ideas?

    • I wish all the Trump properties would be boycotted worldwide.

      Those properties are a target for protest.

    • Dan replied 10 months ago

      Note: “Incipient movement.” By 68 the anti-war movement was not an incipient movement. Protests started as early as 65. Massive protests in 66, 67, 68. (The biggest was in 71, I think.) And Nixon still called them insignificant in 68. A lie.

      I think we should boycott health insurance, if the ACA is repealed and not replaced with something as good or better. (And it won’t be.) Let everyone who is healthy take a risk and go off their insurance for a year, at least. Pass it on.

      For what it’s worth, I heard, from a knowledgeable person in govt., that the major private insurance companies all got together, in anticipation of Trump’s possible victory, and conspired to raise premiums to make the ACA look worse than it is. Does that sound plausible?

    • @Dan #179

      See, if we hang around long enough we start to agree.

      Boycott health insurance, that’s far enough out there to be brilliant. Crowdsource some funds for the inevitable major casualty of this movement to soften the impact, put your insurance premiums in there…

      … oh, wait, that’s doing an Uber, isn’t it — inventing a new insurance company, basically.

      Still, an Ethical Medical Insurance scheme whose shareholders are the members, the premium-payers. That’s a Co-operative, isn’t it? Do they have them in USA? Either not-for-profit or distribute the dividends as a percentage off the next year’s premiums. And no megabucks for the CEO either. Could it be done?

      As an aside, the repeal of the ACA might even make it easier to set up something like this, less government regulations to deal with, perhaps?

      But yes, healthy people, stop paying health insurance. That would really scuttle them. Even if you keep some kind of accident insurance, as separate cover.

      Well said, Dan. As for the Conspiracy Theory regarding insurance companies, what? When have competing businesses ever conspired to raise or maintain prices? Oh, yes, of course, they do it all the time as long as they think there’s small chance of getting seriously prosecuted.

    • Now that sanctions have been lifted on Cuba I don’t see why Americans can’t go there now for their healthcare and drugs. As anyone who watched Sicko (Michael Moore’s documentary) knows the medical care there is excellent and 1/10th the cost of the USA. An influx of American customers would kickstart their economy too.

    • Dan #176
      Jan 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm
      TRUMP IS INSANE AND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT THINK SO IS A STUPID IDIOT!

      I’m just up today here in the UK and catching up on yesterday’s news in the USA. I’m shocked to the point of total bewilderment. Trump’s comments to the CIA, standing in front of the wall of the fallen and talking about how many times he’s been on magazine covers and boasting and lying about the size of the crowds at his inauguration. My disgust knows no bounds. The disrespect. The inappropriateness of it. I’m actually trying to type this through falling tears.

      I’ve been saying for months now that as a sociopath Trump has no normal human feelings and hence is unable to know what he should and should not say. I’ve been saying he is mentally ill by any normal definition of that term. One person in here disagreed with me. Does anyone now still think he is not insane?

      And then the press release that Sean Spicer was no doubt forced to speak, lambasting the press for doctoring photos of the inauguration to make it look like the crowds were smaller. Lying about the numbers who travelled on the Metro system which were actually 1/3 less than in 2013.

      Horrific. The friend in NY I mentioned earlier, well I was chatting to her on Facebook yesterday before I just saw any of this and sent her a link to Joseph Goebbel’s sayings on propaganda.

      http://www.azquotes.com/author/5626-Joseph_Goebbels

      Read some of them and see what, and who, they now remind you of. “A lie told once is just a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

      America is now a Fascist dictatorship I’m afraid. The truth will henceforth come from The Ministry of Truth. For those not familiar with Orwell, look up its motto. “War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength.”

      This is not a presidency. This is a war – on truth, on honesty, on respect, on freedom (of both the press and the people), on common sense, on empathy, on social justice.

      You gave Trump a chance to rise to the position of the office and he has not. It must now be clear he is incapable of such. He is a mad dog. Howling at the moon. The moderators will not like this but there is really only one certain cure for a mad dog.

    • LaurieB #175
      Jan 21, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      That press secretary is quite bizarre. Is he a Trump-mini-me ?

      The cabinet is the most pathetic collection of dumb asses I’ve ever seen.

      Trump’s bunch are all saying that demonstrations don’t accomplish anything but just remind them what the anti-war protesters accomplished decades ago. They were a force.

      We should bear in mind that any resemblance of what Trump’s bunch says and reality, is purely co-incidental!

      Trump’s parades are what is to be expected! – All the money spent on show and hype, with nothing allocated for anything of substance or enduring value to the people!

      I think the world-wide protests about the unsuitability of a person to be US President, must be unprecedented!

      I think Trump is going to have a lot more to criticism to whinge about in the media as times goes on!
      His knee-jerk responses with personal attacks on critics makes him a prime target for world-wide ridicule!

    • @realdonaldtrump Lowest inauguration turnout for 3,000 years of American elections, empty spaces on the mall, overrated president, so sad, loser.”

    • @OHooligan #180

      That’s a Co-operative, isn’t it? Do they have them in USA?

      The Amish have such a system within their community, and it seems to work pretty well. I work in a children’s hospital, and they are there often. Their kids have a lot of genetic disorders (my guess is because they only breed within their communities, too). They regularly get 25% discounts (sometimes more) because they pay the discounted price in full with a hand-written check, sometimes from the patient’s family and sometimes from the church. Many times the checks are tens of thousands of dollars.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_among_the_Amish

    • @Laurie #175

      The Post has an article in today’s edition about Spicer’s press “conference” yesterday. It’s annotated–a nice feature that I suspect they’ll be using more often.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/21/sean-spicer-held-a-press-conference-he-didnt-take-questions-or-tell-the-whole-truth/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_fix-spicer-1110pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.4c12135dc0c6

    • Dan #174

      No, check this out 🙂

      http://www.snopes.com/trump-inaugural-address-plagiarism/

      I think things are going to be just about as bad as they can be with Trump, but for that very reason, we’re all going to need to be ultra-careful about passing on stuff just because it appeals. We’ve probably all been guilty of it at some point, and we’ve probably all fallen for it before now – I know I have.

      But if we make or pass on claims that are easily shown to be untrue, then we lose what we are going to need most over the coming years: our credibility.

      The “No, it’s not true, but it suits me so I’ll say it anyway” approach is clearly going to be Trump’s MO. But the way to beat it is not going to be to join it. If we do, we’re really going to be lost.

      There are so many lies flying around, from all quarters, we’re going to have to be scrupulous about checking everything – even, or perhaps especially, the stuff that “feels” true to us.

    • Vicki

      It’s annotated–a nice feature that I suspect they’ll be using more often.

      Yes, that was interesting!

    • Alan4discussion

      Trump’s parades are what is to be expected! – All the money spent on show and hype, with nothing allocated for anything of substance or enduring value to the people!

      As much as I disapprove of the ridiculous amounts of money spent on pomp and circumstance, it seems that this is something that humans enjoy in all places and in our history. A universal? On your side of the pond think royal family. From here, I have no idea why you Brits put up with those parasites and fill the streets with loud joyful fanfare and confetti throwing. I don’t get that at all but on the other hand I thought there could never be enough of that exact behavior on display when our Barak Obama won his Presidential election and his inauguration that followed. It’s totally subjective I know it.

      I’m with Sheldon on this one. It’s a social convention. No getting away from it although I’d be happier to be handed a check for the amount that these displays cost and put it to much better use. Housing and health care for the poor or scholarships for good students who can’t afford college, etc. It’s not gonna happen.

    • Dan

      MSNBC reports that Trump will have a phone chat with Netanyahu later today.

      As our current meme suggests: Brace for impact!!

    • God looked down upon Trump and stopped the rain for his inauguration. Think about that.

    • Marget #193
      Jan 22, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      God looked down upon Trump and stopped the rain for his inauguration.

      Almost everyone with any respect for honesty and integrity, looks down on Trump! 🙂

    • Marget

      Good point. I’m appalled by the constant outpouring of religious blabbering and pious posturing that has gone on through the whole inauguration process. One thing has been made clear – God is on their side! God loves their plan for America and the world. A super mandate from a supernatural source. God bless America!!!!

    • Laurie, I agree. God may be responsible for Trump. It all makes sense now.
      Racist, sexist, hateful, revengeful, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,They are so alike, I see the truth now.

    • alf

      haha! Yes indeed. Two peas in a pod is what we’ve got here. Another way of putting it is – a couple of narcissistic assholes are running the place.

    • And we shouldn’t discuss religion or politics in “polite” company?.
      These are the narcissistic assholes that we call politicans and the narcissistic assholes we call religious leaders.
      I’m tired of being polite.
      How about “political correctness” being applied to religion? I’m not going to be “pc” when it comes to religion.
      The religious right want to abolish “Pc” except when it relates to protection of their religion.

    • Laurie

    • Thanks Phil.

    • Good one Phil

    • Alan

      Israel has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem, after the staunch pro-Israel US President Donald Trump took office.

      So Trump is being led by the nose by American zionist extremists and blunders into this idiocy that will end up bringing down consequences that I don’t even want to imagine.

      He has a cabinet of Christian extremists who will insinuate religion into our public education and every aspect of government as far as they can.

      What the hell is wrong with him? Are the brainwashed control freaks manipulating Trump or is it the other way around? Or do the psychopath and the mind control bunch find themselves to be convenient bedfellows?

    • Infrastructure/”alternate facts”

      I myself haven’t been hearing much about God and religion, although I did not see the inauguration. That’s par for the course with Republican inaugurations. Bottom line: I don’t see how any decent and intelligent person can think that this lying fascist oligarch has anything good in store for us.

      From Alternet:

      The Trump administration is pushing infrastructure privatization. But private, for-profit corporations are not good bets for managing municipal drinking water systems in the public interest.

      “Where I live in in downstate New York’s Rockland County, most of the water infrastructure is owned by Suez North America, a subsidiary of the $15 billion multinational Suez Environnement, which has a poor track record in the U.S. In Rockland its management has been marked by persistent complaints of deferred maintenance, understaffing, low water pressure, service interruptions, metallic tastes, bad smells, and brown, unusable water, to which the company has been less than responsive.”

      From Politico:

      Donald Trump kicked off his presidency by spreading falsehoods about how many people came to the National Mall to see him take the oath of office and apparently ordering his staff to do the same.

      GOP strategist Steve Schmidt’s alternative view: “purposeful deceit, willful lying by a government spokesperson, is the hallmark of a totalitarian or an authoritarian regime. It’s absolutely pernicious in a democracy.”

      “The issue is small, trivial and stupid — but the act of dishonesty and arguing about it is a big deal,” Schmidt added.

      “There are narcissists who think anything they do is right and anything they say — not persuaded by evidence — that is what is frightening,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian who met with Trump during the transition. “When you’re saying something that is brazenly false and expecting your followers to adhere to it, that’s a dictator. That is not an American president.”

      Oh!! No release of his taxes. Conway said (today) that they will not be released and that “people don’t care”. Another blatant lie. And Trump said he would release them after the “audit”, when he was campaigning!

    • Phil,

      The end of that video was disappointing. He makes a series of nice points, presumably about Trump and the Republicans – and then tells us he’s been talking about Christianity the whole time. What exactly is the point? Why did you post that?

      Marco 188

      Wow! Incredible. Is that getting media attention? Thanks for that!

    • Yesterday I said this.

      “America is now a Fascist dictatorship I’m afraid. The truth will henceforth come from The Ministry of Truth. For those not familiar with Orwell, look up its motto. “War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength.”

      Today the electoralvote website said this:

      “On his first day as White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer told easily disproved falsehoods about the size of the inaugural crowd. When NBC’s Chuck Todd confronted Kellyanne Conway about this on “Meet the Press,” she said: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving—our press secretary, Sean Spicer, gave alternative facts to that.” At that point, Todd pointed out that there are no “alternative facts,” saying “Alternative facts are not facts; they’re falsehoods.” Aaron Blake of the Washington Post discusses this exchange and a memo circulating on social media that purports to come from someone who worked in a previous administration and makes three points:

      The new normal is lying to the press and not giving them a chance to ask questions
      Trump’s goal is to solidify his base, which believes everything he says, the rest be damned
      The goal of proposing “alternative facts” is to confuse people and make them think there is no such thing as truth.

      If we come to a situation in which large swaths of the country no longer believe there are actual facts and that everyone is entitled to have their own facts, a discussion of news, events, and reality itself becomes impossible. This appears to be what the administration wants. We are not quite at George Orwell’s “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength,” but Spicer has held only one briefing so far. ”

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Pres/Maps/Jan23.html#item-1

      I’m feeling extremely prescient but I’m not happy to be so right. We are in completely unchartered waters in American politics. Lying is the new normal. Honesty now has no value. The electorate are sheep to be coralled and managed and maybe eventually slaughtered. This is fascist propaganda of a similar ilk to Nazi Germany in the 30s.

    • Alan (and others), do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

      Our institutions are fragile, our anemic democracy is fragile; can a society like ours endure when a wholesale effort to fool the people with sophisticated propaganda techniques is underway? They will gut all of our social and cultural programs, take away many of the rights that we now enjoy, and deregulate and privatize everything. This will cause great suffering, and great harm. Hard to undue what is done. And there are worse scenarios.

      A close friend of mine wrote this to me the other day. I don’t know how NOT to be pessimistic or “wrathful”. Is it reasonable not to be? Am I an hysteric?

      Daniel
      You are hysterical. Trump loves hysterics like you. You remind me of the type Dante wrote about in the Inferno. You are full of Wrath! […] Did you happen to notice the incredible peaceful protests across the world? Of course not. That would interfere with your Wrath! Your Wrath has completely taken you over […] Shame on you! Shameful. Shame on you!

    • Dan #208
      Jan 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

      Alan (and others), do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

      This sort of blatant incompetence, transparent lying, and disregard of constitutional and legal requirements, must be an embarrassment at least to SOME Republicans who will be looking to elections in two years time – and who will have to vote in Congress or the Senate on Trump’s proposals!

    • I don’t know why sometimes when I post an article with a link in it it gets through straight away and other times it gets blocked for moderation. Hopefully what I posted a while back will appear in due course.

      • Hi Arkrid

        I don’t know why sometimes when I post an article with a link in it it gets through straight away and other times it gets blocked for moderation. Hopefully what I posted a while back will appear in due course.

        We’ve cleared it now.

        The mods

    • Dan #209
      Jan 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

      Alan (and others), do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

      It will be a hard fight and it will take the will, and protests, of the people to achieve. The Trump administration is as close to anything George Orwell wrote about in “1984” as anything I’ve seen in a modern democracy. His inauguration speech of a dystopian view (completely false view) of a country riddled with crime and the tombstones of derelict factories was horrific. He’s a cancer and cancers must be excised.

      BTW I’m not sure you need friends like that.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #212
      Jan 23, 2017 at 7:16 am

      It will be a hard fight and it will take the will, and protests, of the people to achieve. The Trump administration is as close to anything George Orwell wrote about in “1984” as anything I’ve seen in a modern democracy.

      Trump has however, thrown down the gauntlet to the world’s press, – and while he had Faux News as cheerleaders during his campaign, the media of the world will not timidly take threats, attempts a bullying, or psychologically projected claims of promoting “false news”, from lying conspiracy theorists!

      The background criteria for selecting Trump’s buffoons, would suggest they have minimal capability for dealing rationally with evidenced criticism or exposure of their lies!
      The prospects of them dealing competently with ANY of their responsibilities requiring expertise, means they are likely to generate laughable beginner mistakes in quantity!
      The comedians are already having a field day at their expense!

    • Trump and his cabinet will make MONEY! and that is a certainty. I do have (and I have said this before) this horrible foreboding that Trump is “The Laughing Tiger” a.k.a. Greg Stillson. Lets hope that Stephen King doesn’t prove to be the same visionary as Jules Verne!

    • Dan #206

      Wow! Incredible. Is that getting media attention? Thanks for that!

      Your sarcasm has been noted – and I apologise if I sounded patronising. But I stand by my comment.

      Trump poses a major threat to the USA and the world – on that we agree.

      And for that very reason we’re going to need every last drop of determination and energy and FOCUS to do whatever we can to keep the damage he inflicts to the absolute minimum.

      Meanwhile, as that press conference showed only too clearly, the Trump team is going to be throwing out distractions as fast as it can.

      If we allow ourselves to descend into wailing panic, throwing out links to claims that can be debunked in 10 seconds flat, chasing every hare he sets running, working ourselves up into greater and greater hysteria, we are just going to end up in an exhausted heap, having achieved precisely nothing.

      What’s going to be the best way of limiting the harm Trump can do? I don’t know. I wish I did. I totally get the emotion. Hell, I share it. I am not one of those saying “Give him a chance” and “It’ll probably be ok”. But we’ll all think more clearly and act more effectively if we can park the panic and engage our reason instead.

      At first glance this link might seem unconnected to the topic – but in a way, it goes right to the heart of it. In any case, it’s always incredibly inspiring and I guess a lot of us could do with some of that right now!

    • A caller on the radio today put forward a theory that Trumps battle with the media is deliberate to desensitise America when the big stuff hits. Worked for Erdogan In Turkey!

    • Olgun

      Ever been to a three ring circus? Action everywhere you look. Impossible to focus on any one thing going on. But that’s where the Ringmaster comes in. He directs our attention to what he wants us to see.

    • Trump’s press secretary just announced that May will be here for meeting on Friday.

    • Press secretary Sean Spicer has been ranting for an extended period on how Trump & co. have very hurt feelings about the mention of a lesser crowd size between Trump inauguration and Obamas and Trump inauguration and women’s march. Very hurt feelings! A very long explanation of this by Spicer. Pathetic and bizarre.

    • Marco 217

      “Wow! Incredible. Is that getting media attention? Thanks for that!”

      No sarcasm whatsoever. Sorry. I blame email and posted comments: they have the drawback of being tone-deaf. I was truly struck by the info provided by your link, and I was appreciative as well. More evidence of the unprecedented degradation of Trump and his team.

    • M27 Holts

      I do have (and I have said this before) this horrible foreboding that Trump is “The Laughing Tiger” a.k.a. Greg Stillson. Lets hope that Stephen King doesn’t prove to be the same visionary as Jules Verne!

      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

      The darkness drops again but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

      I do have this terrible foreboding that Trump is that obdurate force (totalitarianism) whose image was painted by another prophet and visionary (Yeats), in the greatest political poem of the 20th Century.

    • Everybody,

      Watch this fifteen minute interview. It is one of the most disturbing and frightening things I have seen in quite some time. This is sick stuff. Trump has decided that he is beyond reproach and has hired someone to deflect all questions that suggest otherwise, and to twist and spin and evade. This is obscene and dangerous. Every authoritarian state needs a propaganda minister. This is a nightmare.

    • The insanity continues. Trump met congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle yesterday but instead of sticking to anything important he went off on one harangue about his inauguration crowd size which is clearly driving him crazy and which he still claims is the biggest in history and then despite the election now being 3 months ago he claimed that he also won the popular vote but for “3 to 5 million” illegal votes cast by Democrats.

      http://us.cnn.com/2017/01/23/politics/donald-trump-congress-leaders-obamacare/index.html

      There must come a limit when even those people giving someone the absolutely most elastic benefit of the doubt has to admit that he’s mentally ill. Constantly distracted by his petty and mainly imaginary grievances and vendettas this is a sick man unfit to hold office.

    • The first thing that needs to happen in the fightback against Trump lies is for the press to grow a pair. They’ve been fairly pathetic for a long time now. They need to boycott Sean Spicer and KellyAnne Conway en masse. Simply refuse to attend White House press briefings or have that mad bitch on air. Take away all their oxygen. If Trump wants to get his lies out he’ll have to tweet them 140 characters at a time.

      Of course it’ll never happen although CNN did decline to show Spicer’s first “briefing” about imaginary crowd sizes on live air which was a small start I suppose.

    • KellyAnne Conway is far more photogenic than Goebbels that’s for sure. Lets face it, Trump is like every bad guy in “Scooby Doo”, sooner or later somebody will strip him of his disguise and reveal the man behind the monster and for what he really is. Power mad psychopath. I really think that he won’t want any president to come after him and there is only one way he can achieve that!

    • Arkrid Sandwich #226
      Jan 24, 2017 at 3:56 am

      The insanity continues. Trump met congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle yesterday but instead of sticking to anything important he went off on one harangue about his inauguration crowd size which is clearly driving him crazy and which he still claims is the biggest in history

      It is unsurprising that an ego-centric obsessive, who takes decisions on a basis of knee-jerk bigotry, is probably incapable of presenting a coherent analysis of actual issues!
      A feature of Dunning-Kruger confidence, is the utter lack of awareness of the existence of real issues!

      Trump contradicts, opposes, and destroys, what others have done. – Especially the work of “establishment” experts!
      There are signs in the records of some of his golf projects, that he finds complex environmental evaluations and planning issues, “too tedious to bother with”, so he just makes up crap and ad-hominem attacks, on opponents, expert opinion, and critics!

    • Dan

      You must have missed Sesame Street that day!

    • It might be expected that someone unable to focus on important issues would still be whining three months later about an election they had lost but to be whining about one they won is hard to comprehend.

      Many months ago I gave an analysis of Trump’s raging inferiority complex and how people so mentally afflicted get a very temporary respite by attacking, demeaning and belittling others to make themselves feel better. But each time it’s only a temporary respite. Nothing really assuages the corrosion eating away inside you because it’s an integral part of your psyche. If Trump had won the popular vote he’d still be complaining it wasn’t a big enough win and that illegal Democrat votes had hurt it. If he’d taken 100% of the vote he’d probably be complaining about why people from foreign nations hadn’t also voted for him even though they aren’t allowed to. If his inauguration crowds had stretched from Washington to New York he’d still be complaining that the press had doctored the photos to make them look smaller.

      We can try to analyse why his behaviour seems not to be rational but the sad fact is simply he is not rational. He is insane by normal metrics. He is broken. Even winning the most powerful office on the planet will not assuage him for long. He will go to his grave thinking he still failed because it wasn’t a big enough win.

      What worries me is if he tries to make his presidency so outrageously different to try and give himself the place in history his ego craves this will entail the war of all wars, or the destruction of more of society than any other president has ever contemplated. He’s already slashing and burning trade agreements that took years to negotiate. I predict he will slash and burn relationships with countries that have been friendly as well soon. America will end up up isolationist, on the fringes of international pacts. Ridiculed by foreign leaders and ignored in world affairs.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #232
      Jan 24, 2017 at 6:23 am

      We can try to analyse why his behaviour seems not to be rational but the sad fact is simply he is not rational.
      He is insane by normal metrics. He is broken.

      His swagger seems to appeal with the media hype message:-
      “I’m an ignorant red-neck – just like you – but filthy rich with it! – so that makes me your perfect aspirational image of role model as leader!”
      Lot’s of gullibles will buy into this!

    • his ego craves this will entail the war of all wars

      That’s what I meant when I think that Trump wants to be the last president. Nearing the end of his tenure he will press the big red button and I don’t think that anything will stop him!

    • Unbelievable. Spicer’s first press conference was to complain about the size of the inauguration crowds. Today’s task is to repeat Trump’s claim that he won the popular vote too apart from millions of illegal Democrat voters. What am I missing here? Is there anything about this nonsense that doesn’t make them all look bat shit crazy?

      There’s arguments that this is to deflect from other news or some sort of attempt to make all news fake news but I can’t get much further really than it just shows that Trump is insane.

    • There’s arguments that this is to deflect from other news or some sort
      of attempt to make all news fake news but I can’t get much further
      really than it just shows that Trump is insane.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/10-executive-actions-trump-signed-far/

    • It’s now official. The most dangerous mouth on the planet is not on one end of a Nile crocodile, or a lion or a great white shark. It’s at the bright orange end of Donald J Trump. Connected to a brain of blithering stupidity, zero self restraint, inability to foresee consequences and a miniscule amount of policy knowledge, Trump’s irrational and off the cuff remarks at the CIA that America should have kept Iraq’s oil (a war crime btw) and “might” get another chance to do so have put every soldier trying to win hearts and minds and every diplomat working in an oil nation in clear and present danger. Not just danger of failing to be able to do their jobs now but actual danger of actual bodily harm from locals who’ve already been pissed off quite enough by the USA invading them in the first place and now afraid they might do so again just to steal their resources.

      The threat this deranged man poses to world peace is growing by the day.

    • Vicki #238
      Jan 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      There’s arguments that this is to deflect from other news or some sort
      of attempt to make all news fake news but I can’t get much further
      really than it just shows that Trump is insane.
      10-executive-actions-trump-signed-far

      Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread!

      Trump just blunders in and disrupts whatever he and his clowns cannot understand – where he appears to be unable to understand ANY of the duties of a responsible president or government, or any of the mechanisms for seeking competent advice!

      His wrecking spree over the coming days and weeks, will take years to repair when he is dumped from office!

      AS @#235 and #236, Trading partners are already looking to make alternative agreements excluding the USA, while Trump dictates requirements to use skills which are probably not available in the US to build obsolete industries which are not needed!

    • Talking of Trump and fake news:-

      http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2017/01/24/dutch-speaking-trumps-language-welcome-video/

      Now that Donald Trump is President, the Netherlands figured that it’s best to get along – so they decided to introduce their tiny country in a way that will probably appeal to him the most – using Trump’s delivery style and language.

      And no, obviously it’s not from the Dutch government – it’s from the satire show Zondag met Lubach (Sunday with Lubach) hosted by Arjen Lubach.

    • Hey Dan,

      Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

      Et-hem. I think we were right on the mark.

      Just sayin…

    • Yeah.

    • LaurieB #242
      Jan 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      Hey Dan,

      Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

      We’ve known since November that the presidency was going to a 5 year old throwing a permanent temper tantrum. We didn’t then know how much damage this child could do. It’s looking worse than anticipated. There was a time I guess we all hoped he might just rise a little to the gravity of the office but that’s clearly not to be. If anything he is now emboldened by the power and sinking further into the slime at the bottom of the pond. His comments at the CIA are lethally dangerous and his disrespect to their service and to those who lost their lives in that service disgust me to the very core of my being. The Australians had it right when they branded him a revolting slug.

      However I said a while back I saw a tipping point coming and I think that has taken place. The press are calling him out on his lies, the marches against him have been, and will continue to be, huge. If nothing else it will inform the low information voters about the mistake they made so hopefully they don’t repeat it. But I don’t see it stopping anything he wants to do. He pays no attention to other people’s wishes. His approval ratings will plummet further and he will leave office as the most hated president in history. Pretty much as he entered it I suppose.

    • The TPP has come under criticism for being too much on the side of corporations, for example allowing them to sue governments that don’t play their way. Examples cited were Big Tobacco and Big Pharma. I think exceptions were written into it so (for example) requiring plain packaging for tobacco products was something that couldn’t be challenged, and NZ’s centralised pharma purchasing agency (Pharmac) wasn’t dismantled as “anti-competitive” or something, but these seem to be specific exceptions, while the general rules are that governments basically cede a lot of their power to multinational corporations. There are also problems relating to patents and copyright.

      In short, the TPP isn’t necessarily a good thing, and it’s demise can be seen as an example of DJT accidentally doing some good for the rest of us. Note that the equivalent European deal, TTIP, was already tipped into the harbour by the EU side of the negotiations. I’m sure it’s a mistake, and I don’t expect he’ll learn from it, as he takes the bull-in-a-china shop approach to making ‘merica grate again.

      ps where did I read that the hats distributed at the (sparsely attended) ceremony were made in China? Any truth in this? Or were they in alternative fact made in some US Chinatown?

    • Arkrid Sandwich #237
      Jan 24, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      There’s arguments that this is to deflect from other news or some sort of attempt to make all news fake news but I can’t get much further really than it just shows that Trump is insane.

      It seems his staff think so too.

      http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/trump-aides-cant-stop-blabbing-about-how-hes-a-madman.html

    • Dan #223

      I was truly struck by the info provided by your link, and I was
      appreciative as well. More evidence of the unprecedented degradation
      of Trump and his team.

      I’m afraid I have no idea where you got that from. Trump and his team are certainly providing daily evidence of their “unprecedented degradation”, but my link did not. My link simply showed that the claim in your link – that Trump lifted parts of his inauguration speech from movies – is not true.

      Here it is again.

      http://www.snopes.com/trump-inaugural-address-plagiarism/

      It’s precisely because this is a crisis that we need to keep our heads.

    • Dan

      I saw Maddow’s show. What really frightened me besides the fracking story was that she claims that the EPA is now under a gag order!

    • There’s a good Twitter thread here, via the link:

      Don’t be put off by the fact the tweeter describes himself as a “crank theologian”. Good to see someone talking in terms of specific actions that can be taken to try to stall Trump as much as possible.

    • Marco,

      I guess I misunderstood. I thought those were more examples of taking lines from movies. Sorry.

      Everyone,

      This is an unmitigated disaster. This can’t go on. It’s a nightmare, gets worse and worse every day and it’s been less than a week. Trump wants to investigate something that never happened! 3-5 million illegal votes cast, he he says!! This will usher in voter suppression. And now he wants “torture” back. One thing after another. Where will it end???

      Federal agencies have been ordered to restrict their communications:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-agencies-ordered-to-restrict-their-communications/2017/01/24/9daa6aa4-e26f-11e6-ba11-63c4b4fb5a63_story.html?utm_term=.6f6389c2557b

      “Vladimir Putin must be proud,” Cook said. “The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what’s being done to protect or harm public health and the environment. Americans of all political stripes should be furious.”

      Separately, the Interior Department reactivated its official Twitter accounts early Saturday after an abrupt shutdown after the National Park Service account retweeted two items viewed as unsympathetic to the new president. One referred to the size of the inauguration crowd on the Mall, while another addressed policies that were excised from the White House website after Trump’s swearing in.

    • He’s controlling the flow of information. He’s a tyrant. Bad news for this country and the world.

    • http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/14/505482691/an-obama-backed-change-at-voice-of-america-has-trump-critics-worried

      For decades, the international U.S. broadcasters were not allowed to present their programs to the United States, but that ban was lifted in 2013, accentuating the concerns of what a Trump administration might bring.

      “Congress unwittingly just gave President-elect Trump unchecked control of all U.S. media outlets,” Kempner told Politico. “No president, either Democrat or Republican, should have that kind of control. It’s a public jewel. Its independence is what makes it so credible.”

      The Washington Post’s editorial board, suggesting Trump could appoint the head of Breitbart News as the broadcasting CEO, wrote, “If Congress’s intention was for U.S. broadcasting to rival the Kremlin’s, it may well get its wish.”

    • Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

      Et-hem. I think we were right on the mark.
      Just sayin…

      Well Laurie, his little band of thieves and perverts are now doing everything to destroy this country.
      Every thing is coming true that he threatened. He is silencing Govt scientists, clamping down on the media and now Breitbart news is going to be the official White House news.
      The cities have been threatened today with fund cutting over the sanctuary cities. Millions will be affected overnight.
      Womens rights are under attack. Torture has been deemed “ok’ by Trump. And Obamacare is now gone. And millions will be left in limbo.
      But the “unborn” will be protected.
      The “fucking” wall is now going to be built thanks to OUR tax dollars at sixty Billions dollars!
      But we can’t get any more money to the homeless or the Va or Medicare.
      If I were younger, I would be planning to leave this country. I’m still thinking about it.

    • Oh yea, the DAPL.
      So now the pipeline has a go ahead without an EPA approval. And it will be drilled under the river.
      I am planning to go to N Dakota this summer. I’ve never been arrested before. But I’ve never been scuba diving either. Should be a new experience.

    • Well said, Alf.

      Here’s something else well said, by someone named Leonid Bershidsky.

      Diversionary tactics: President throws critics off his trail

      ….According to data collected by BuzzSumo.com, the most widely shared CNN news story about Donald Trump since Jan. 21 was one about his press secretary, Sean Spicer, attacking the media for their reporting on inauguration attendance. It was shared 169,700 times on Facebook. A story on Trump’s executive order to start rolling back Obamacare clocked just 71,100 shares. On The New York Times’ website, the most widely shared story debunked Spicer’s “alternative facts.” It showed up on Facebook 170,900 times. The New York Times piece about Trump’s executive order abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership got 44,600 shares.

      This is the result of a manipulation strategy described long ago by Noam Chomsky: “Keep the adult public attention diverted away from the real social issues, and captivated by matters of no real importance.” Leftists such as Chomsky argue that this is what capitalist elites do, but I know it as a common tactic of kleptocratic regimes such as Vladimir Putin’s in Russia….

      ….Trump’s and his team’s communications look awkward, inept, gallingly primitive. It’s time to wise up: These people know what they’re doing. They want their political opponents to be confused, to flail at windmills, to expend emotions on meaningless scandals to distract them from any targeted, coordinated action against specific threats. There are going to be many of these: Trump appears intent on keeping his promises. Calm concentration is needed to counteract dangerous policies….

    • Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

      Remember when people were saying that they couldn’t vote for either candidate? I am feeling increasing resentment towards the people that said that Hillary Clinton was corrupt and that they were both bad candidates. I hate the halfwit losers that fell for fake news and the Bernie-only fanatics and the non-voters. Bravo to these slobs that helped get him elected.

      (I get a little angry sometimes. Hell, I’m entitled. We all are.)

      Oh yeah! —Shame on you, Cornel West! (Voted for Stein.) I like you, but that was a mistake. Shame on you! That’s right, Cornel; we have a “neo-fascist” president now.

    • If the electoral system is so corrupt, broken, flawed and fraudulent that 5 million people who aren’t even registered to vote can somehow get past the officials, past the identity checks, into polling booths and place a vote then by Trump’s own metric the results of the election must be illegitimate by any reasonable definition of the word and he has no option but to resign until a “proper” election can be held. Over to you Mr Trump.

    • It might be informative for our American cousins to know just how easy it is to vote in the UK given the hoops that they are often forced to jump through by voter suppression and so called voter fraud prevention laws over there.

      Voting in the Uk is based on the Electoral Roll which is the list of every adult living at every known residential address. Once a year a form arrives in the post asking if the details held since last year have changed. You can fill that in and post it back or complete it online in a couple of minutes. For many households it just means ticking a single box saying “no changes”. If you buy a house in the UK that triggers a new form so the details can be updated. No ID is required to be shown to anyone but you may be asked for your National Insurance number which is the UK’s unique identifying number for tax, social security etc which every citizen is allocated.

      When an election is held then every house gets a voting reminder card a few weeks in advance telling you where your polling station is and what day and times to go and vote.

      Up until now you don’t need to even take any form of identity to the polling station (although this may change soon). You just tell an official who you are and they tick your name off their electoral list when they give you a voting form. You could pretend to be someone else and then when that person arrived they’d get told someone had already voted for them but if it was a any sort of a major problem we’d hear about it. We don’t.

      The voting forms are much the same format everywhere. A single sheet of paper with the names or organisations you can choose between and a box by each one to tick. You tick one box, fold the form in half and drop it through a slot in the voting box. No hanging chads, no electronic machines to be hacked. Simple, foolproof.

      That’s pretty much it. No voter suppression laws, no identity document nonsense to go through. No attempts to make it harder for some types of citizen to vote than others.

      The American system(s) are a disgrace and make a mockery of democracy. It isn’t a democracy, nevermind the “greatest” democracy in the world, when millions of people are actively discouraged from voting.

    • Stop Press. Trump says he “believes” moon is made of green cheese. He says “many many” people have told him this and he has evidence it’s true. Sean Spicer when quized by reporters says “look, it’s what he believes based on evidence he says he has”. When pressed to reveal this evidence Spicer starts to sweat profusely. When asked if there will be a congressional enquiry to get to the truth of this Spicer says he can’t confirm or deny but nothing is being taken off the table. Well other than sharp eating implements when Trump gets his boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast.

    • Fortunately, it’s not just dictators who can take advantage of social media.

      Here is a list of several Twitter accounts, along with their descriptions, that will be resisting the Trump clampdown on science and facts:

      @AltForestServe
      The unofficial, and unsanctioned, “Resistance” team of the U.S. Forest Service. Not an official Forest Service account, and not publicly funded!

      @alt_fda
      Uncensored FDA

      @RogueNASA
      The unofficial “Resistance” team of NASA. Not an official NASA account. Follow for science and climate news and facts. REAL NEWS, REAL FACTS.

      @AltHHS
      Stand Up for Science!

      @ActualEPAFacts
      He can take our official Twitter but he’ll never take our FREEDOM. Unofficially resisting at the @EPA

      @altusda
      Resisting the censorship of facts and science. Truth wins in the end.

      @AltNatParkSer
      The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised! Come for rugged scenery, fossil beds, 89 million acres of landscape.

    • Marco #266
      Jan 26, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Fortunately, it’s not just dictators who can take advantage of social media.

      Here is a list of several Twitter accounts, along with their descriptions, that will be resisting the Trump clampdown on science and facts:

      This does seem like a brilliant move!
      It could be further enhanced by making direct comparisons with official Trumplilated sites!

      There could be the alt-science site with ecological data and climate effects on National Parks, contrasted with the official Trumpilated official site, with its pretty pictures of mountains and animals – plus outline drawing print-outs for Trump and the Trumpettes to show off their “alternative facts” by colouring in brown Polar Bears and red Arctic Foxes with their crayons! 🙂

    • I think we are starting to see what Trump’s real plans for Mexico are. He’s reiterated they are going to pay for the wall, Pena says they aren’t so Trump tweets maybe it would be best if Pena didn’t bother coming to meet him on the 31st. The USA imports more from Mexico than it exports to them. About $295 billion imports and $240 billion exports. So if both countries get into a trade war, Trump slaps a 35% import tax on Mexican goods and Pena slaps a similar one on American goods then prices for American consumers are going to go up and inflation is going to rise.

      However the USA accounts for about 80% of all Mexican exports. A trade war with the USA would devastate their economy while barely hurting the USA’s. Trump is going to bully Mexico into being his bitch.

      The best thing anyone could do to counter this is for other countries to prioritise Mexican goods and trade agreements. So if you hate Trump then buy Mexican.

      What Mexico could do to help this is put up a website showing what they export to every country in the world so consumers can look out for specifically Mexican food and other products.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #268
      Jan 26, 2017 at 10:55 am

      The best thing anyone could do to counter this is for other countries to prioritise Mexican goods and trade agreements.
      So if you hate Trump then buy Mexican.

      Mexico is part of the TPP where Trump has just bailed the US out!

      Alan4discussion #235 – Jan 24, 2017 at 7:48 am

      President Donald Trump has fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

      Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and some South American countries are discussing TTP 12 minus 1.

      @#236 there is a link to a US Canadian and Mexican trade agreement Trump is demanding to renegotiate.

      The countries of the world need to get together to stand up to this self-centred clown!

    • Marco #266
      Jan 26, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Fortunately, it’s not just dictators who can take advantage of social media.

      Here is a list of several Twitter accounts, along with their descriptions, that will be resisting the Trump clampdown on science and facts:

      Great post Marco. Resistance is NOT futile. You will NOT be assimilated.

    • OMG. Trump is starting a war. Not a nuclear one or even one with conventional explosive weapons but he is creating a climate where every right thinking person is going to resist him, push back, fight, claw tooth and nail to overcome (overcomb) this hateful narcissistic dictator. I said a tipping point was coming and I think it’s come. I’m actually feeling a bit optimistic now because the tide is turning so fast. I think he’s going to crash and burn.

    • Alf

      So sad for you. I honestly don’t believe Trump & co. give two shits about veterans and their challenges. Nope. Not a shit. He hasn’t even got started with implementing the fundamentalist Christians’ agenda yet regarding their goals for reproductive rights and women’s issues. I expect they’ll get themselves a real frightening fundamentalist dinosaur into the Supreme Court and then dismantle Roe v Wade piece by piece. Our poor long suffering liberal Justices will suffer these defeats in front of us. Can’t bear to watch it happen.

      I hope you and everyone goes to these protests. I’m waiting to see when the science march on D.C. is scheduled for and I hope I can get there.

      We need to turn over the House of Reps and the Senate in the next election. I can’t think of any other way to cripple these fascists.

    • Laurie

      We need to turn over the House of Reps and the Senate in the next election. I can’t think of any other way to cripple these fascists.

      What scares the shit out of me is that we have become fascinated and frozen by the horror of a major psychopath in the White House who is gathering other psychopaths and intellectually unencumbered folk around him and we talk as if this might be solved by complaints and appeals to the electorate. But with his electorate Trump is pushing all the right buttons. They are punching the air right now. Too many others are thinking , maybe he has got something. The scary thing for me is we aren’t taking care of the knitting. The reason for change in this election cycle is this new cohort of the dispossessed, the folk who didn’t get a fair shake of the nation’s wealth, finally at breaking point (with a little push from Trump). They had little prospect of any change from Clinton especially given a superb smear campaign from Trump.

      Until plans are laid to repossess the dispossessed quickly, and before Trump smoke and mirrors an “improvement” for them, any mid term elections will be gutless.

      Putin works because he took a humiliated people and by playing the international bruiser in a great mix of high profile activities gave them some self esteem in place of actual improvements. Trump, I suspect, loves this trick. Creating a maximum amount of fuss which can be mistaken for worthwhile action. All the chaos of eggs broken is covered by the explanation that this is how omelettes are made and folk must be patient.

      There are too many stupid folk amongst the electorate to tackle this with appeals to grown up government. We must work on offering them fairness….and credibly so.

      We’ll need big news and mea culpas from the DNP soon…and plans.

      Blaming the electorate must now stop. Winning them back must start.

    • I listened to this program today on Russian influence/hacking, and Trump’s potential complicity.

      http://www.npr.org/2017/01/26/511786803/journalist-russias-interference-is-an-assault-on-the-western-liberal-order

    • Phil

      We’ll need big news and mea culpas from the DNP soon…and plans.

      The news and the plans…like what? What will it take?

    • intellectually unencumbered

      Phil, can I steal this one?

    • Alf, Phil, others

      I believe I used the word “unencumbered” first, several months ago. “Intellectually unencumbered” doesn’t mean anything. Unencumbered means free of burden.

      They [the voters for Trump] had little prospect of any change from Clinton especially given a superb smear campaign from Trump.

      That’s BS. (I am seething.) Let me say this again: I am feeling increasing resentment towards the people that said that Hillary Clinton was corrupt and that they were both bad candidates. I hate the halfwit losers, the blue collar and rural voters, that fell for fake news and the UNENCUMBERED Bernie-only fanatics and the non-voters. Bravo to these slobs that helped get him elected.

      Why keep defending the Trump voters as victims only? Have you ever listened to one of these morons? Have you? Stupid as all hell! Completely stupid. (Not all of them.)Yes, the needs of the blue collar voters have to be addressed, as Sanders says. But many of these people have their facts all wrong, because they choose to be stupid, have their heads up their asses. And they are unaware of the reality of rapid technological changes vis-a-vis labor, unaware of the pros and cons of trade, etc. And they want to produce coal; coal is bad for us. How do you deal with willful ignorance and self-seeking? They are contemptible as well as disenfranchised. So it will be hard to reach these voters. And we have to vote for a Democrats now no matter what, and the ones that have the best chance of winning.

    • Cont.

      These Trump voters are NOT all decent people, as Michael Moore says. Some are; many are the scum of the earth, are scapegoating bigots, filled with shame, fear, and self-loathing. It’s not just about reaching them; it’s about outnumbering them in upcoming elections too.

      In other news: The right wing neo nazis are now in bed with Israel. (The right-wing Parties and the Israeli regime work hand in hand.)

      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.767509

      Senior Official From Marine Le Pen’s Party Visits Israel, Meets With Ruling Party Member.

      Barak Ravid Jan 26, 2017 8:35 AM

      The secretary-general of France’s National Front party, Nicolas Bay, arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a visit, during which he will meet with members of the French community here and met with Young Likud chairman David Shayan.

      The visit by an official from the party headed by Marine Le Pen, less than three months before France’s presidential election, is highly unusual. The Israeli government officially boycotts the National Front, many of whose members hold anti-Semitic views.

    • Blaming the electorate must now stop. Winning them back must start. -Phil

      Yes and no. They must win themselves back as well. Educated people knew that Hillary was by far the better candidate. I do blame them (and will continue blaming them), and more than I blame the democrats. They were lied to and were stupid enough to believe the lies, and may have to learn the hard way. In the mean time, I say stop blaming the democrats all the time for Trump’s treachery, the malleability of the Trump voters, and for all the propaganda and media coverage that got an unhinged, corrupt, hypocritical, fascist dictator, who is reinforcing the interests of big banks and big corporations, elected!! (Big business is anti-labor, are against unions, but the blue collar voters haven’t yet learned this.)

      The democrats do need to be more aggressive. That’s their main problem.

    • Alan4discussion #275
      Jan 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38764079

      President Donald Trump will seek a tax on goods imported from Mexico and use the revenue to build a border wall, the White House spokesman has said….. He said that a 20% tax could generate approximately $10bn (£8bn) in tax revenue per year.

      So the insanity begins in earnest as predicted above, all of it fueled by Trump’s ego. Some time ago I posted a section on how Trump used to put ridiculous, unnecessary terms into contracts just to humiliate the other guy and assuage Trump’s inferiority complex. It may well be that the “build the wall” stuff was a planned part of the Trump campaign but I suspect that the “make Mexico pay for it” was an off the cuff Trump ego thing. Like any president could build a wall just by allocating enough money but only me, the greatest negotiator, can make Mexico pay for it too. So now this is the part that actually matters most to him because a reverse here would be a humiliating blow to his ego.

      Of course Pena was never going to just pony up a cheque for X billion dollars so Trump is left with the need to cost Mexico bigly so he can say to his base he made them pay in some form or other and the only way to do that is a trade war.

      The bit they miss though is what happens when Mexico also slaps a similar tax on American imports? They trade in similar amounts so Mexico gets straight back in tax whatever tax America gets. The people who get hurt are the businesses and staff who depend on this trade which will of course diminish and the consumers who now have to pay more for their goods. Trump will destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands for his petty self aggrandisment.

      Less than a week in now and he’s torching everything he can reach. I used to say George W Bush was the anti Midas because everything he touched turned to shit. I’m not sure where Trump fits into that analogy but everything he touches seems to wither and die or burst into flames. He leaves a trail of fear, despair and hopelessness in his wake.

      He said China was his greatest threat but he’s actually strengthened it by leaving TPP. An emboldened Israel is starting to build settlements again. Putin is laughing as he eyes up Ukraine, Georgia and various countries ending in Stan as he ponders again his ambition to reconstitute the Soviet Union. Assad is committing even more atrocities. The Middle East is on alert about anyone coming back to steal their oil.

      He’s already destroyed the trust of his own intelligence services and defunding organisations worldwide who give advice on abortion or provide abortions is going to have devastating consequences for millions.

      He needs to be taken to the vet and put down like a sick pet.

    • Big business is an enemy of the working class, is against organized labor, unions; but the blue collar voters haven’t yet learned this. –Dan

      http://www.alternet.org/economy/chomsky-business-elites-are-waging-brutal-class-war-america-0

      ….Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve their power and diminish opposition. Occasionally this is recognized….

      ….The case of labor is crucial, because it is the base of organization of any popular opposition to the rule of capital, and so it has to be dismantled. There’s a tax on labor all the time. During the 1920s, the labor movement was virtually smashed by Wilson’s Red Scare and other things. In the 1930s, it reconstituted and was the driving force of the New Deal, with the CIO organizing and so on. By the late 1930s, the business classes were organizing to try to react to this….

      ….We don’t use the term “working class” here because it’s a taboo term. You’re supposed to say “middle class,” because it helps diminish the understanding that there’s a class war going on….

      ….In the U.S., organized labor has been repeatedly and extensively crushed, and has endured a very violent history as compared with other countries….

      ….That’s why unions had the slogan, “solidarity,” even though they may not have lived up to it. And that’s what really counts: solidarity, mutual aid, care for one another and so on. And it’s really important for power systems to undermine that ideologically, so huge efforts go into it. Even trying to stimulate consumerism is an effort to undermine it….

      Blaming the electorate must now stop. Winning them back must start. –Phil

      Not so easy to win them back; they wouldn’t have known “fairness” if it it them in the face, I’m afraid. Easy to put all or much of the blame on Hillary’s campaign manager and the Democrats, however. I agree that the Democrats need to be more progressive and more aggressive, separate themselves out from the Republicans more, and make a concerted effort to try to appeal to the working class more effectively; but this failure on the part of the Democrats is no excuse for voting for Trump! So, yes, I blame the electorate, I blame propaganda and lies; in other words, I blame those who are taken in by propaganda and lies. Not everyone was. I didn’t vote for Trump.

      But lies and propaganda are very effective forms of deception; so while I blame I also understand that the Trump voters are, to a certain extent, victims.

    • Laurie

      What will it take?

      Convincing plans for real change in the way the state operates. Plans for actually draining the swamp. For properly tackling inequality. Demonstrating somehow (fuck knows….) that expertise of institutions are at the service of everyone and desperately needed by the poorest most.

      The DNP must see what they contrived to throw away with Bernie…and the mistrust it engendered with too many. They must drain their own swamp. Bernie’s tales of the lack lustre, time serving DNP folk makes depressing reading..

      Finally we must prepare folk for post Trump anyway. No band aid. A real fix.

      Dan

      Unencumbered means free of burden.

      There ya go. Intellectually etc.

      Why keep defending the Trump voters as victims only?

      I have defended no one, no one.

      Fairness breeds fairness. Iniquity, iniquity. All the time? No. Just a tendency. But that’s how it starts…that’s how it continues.

      The US is now toxically iniquitous, but, mixed with an unusual celebration of individualism and self reliance, becomes toxically, defensively, selfish also. It is the perfect breeding ground for parasitism. Pre-divided and needy.

    • Question: Is there going to be an independent investigation of Russian interference/hacking? If it’s done by the CIA or FBI nothing will get done. The people heading these agencies are working for Trump now, were hired by him, and in bed with him, so to speak. Who is going to investigate? Under whose leadership? Comey? Sessions? Pompeo? They’re all beholden to or allied with Trump!

      Phil, what in the hell is the DNP? Doctor of Nursing Practice? Another infernal acronym. I looked it up. Nothing.

      Post Trump? What does that mean? They’re in the process of destroying this country; and that ain’t no exaggeration.

      (Nice to see you again.)

    • what in the hell is the DNP?

      A brain fart, Dan.

      Elsewhere I’ve been writing about the DNC ‘n’ DP…. They just sorta slithered together here.

      Post Trump? What does that mean?

      He’s immortal? Fuuuuuck!

      Hitting the iceberg, you should be planning for amelioration of what follows.

      Sorry this is just a drive by. Hope you are well!

    • repossess the dispossessed #274

      As a confirmed collector of Rimmerisms this one stands out. So many levels of association here: the yearning of the DNC to reclaim rural America; the mortgage bubble, economic collapse and subsequent wave of repos of the last decade; along with what I believe to be a gentle nod to the New Deal and the Forgotten Man, all in three words. And it’s alliterative. Remember young people, the essence of poetry is compactness and economy of language.

    • @Phil #285

      It was refreshing to see career politicians like Sanders and Schumer make the effort to try and work within Trump’s campaign-promise parameters and come up with a plan that could benefit more people. I hope they keep it up. Not only are they staying focused on their jobs, they are showing us how to extend a hand across the aisle.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-set-to-unveil-a-trump-style-infrastructure-plan/2017/01/23/332be2dc-e1b3-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?utm_term=.d7a3ffa36e2d

    • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/john-cleese-letter-united-states-america-rob-perik

      To the citizens of the United States of America, in light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

      Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II resumes monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

      Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Theresa May, MP for the 97.8% of you who have, until now, been unaware there’s a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America. Congress and the Senate are disbanded. A questionnaire circulated next year will determine whether any of you noticed.

      To aid your transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

      Look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Check “aluminium” in the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you pronounce it. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’. Likewise you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary.” Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up “interspersed.” There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jerry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad language then you should not have chat shows.
      There is no such thing as “US English.” We’ll let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’.
      You should learn to distinguish English and Australian accents. It really isn’t that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). Scottish dramas such as ‘Taggart’ will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.You must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is “Devon.” If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become “shires” e.g. Texasshire Floridashire, Louisianashire.
      You should relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”, but only after fully carrying out task 1.
      You should stop playing American “football.” There’s only one kind of football. What you call American “football” is not a very good game. The 2.1% of you aware there is a world outside your borders may have noticed no one else plays “American” football. You should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every two seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies) You should stop playing baseball. It’s not reasonable to host event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played outside of America. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called “rounders,” which is baseball without fancy team stripe, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.
      You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns, or anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because you are not sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you need a permit to carry a vegetable peeler.
      July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday. It will be called “Indecisive Day.”
      All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left. At the same time, you will go metric without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
      Learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren’t French, they’re Belgian though 97.8% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Potato chips are properly called “crisps.” Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.
      The cold tasteless stuff you call beer is actually lager. Only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer.” Substances once known as “American Beer” will henceforth be referred to as “Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine,” except for the product of the American Budweiser company which will be called “Weak Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine.” This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.
      The UK will harmonise petrol prices (or “Gasoline,” as you will be permitted to keep calling it) for those of the former USA, adopting UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon, get used to it).
      Learn to resolve personal issues without guns, lawyers or therapists. That you need many lawyers and therapists shows you’re not adult enough to be independent. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.
      Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.
      Tax collectors from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

      Thank you for your co-operation.

      John Cleese [Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers, Sir Lancelot of Camelot (Monty Python & The Quest for the Holy Grail), Torquay, Devon, England] 🙂

    • peter.

      Most generous. Thank you. I do believe that aphoristic wisdom is the most easily retained and used. I suspect these nuggets are laid down in the subconscious brain somewhere, somehow and are used to triage our subconscious thoughts before consciousness is presented the best of them.

      New Deal? I have indeed been thinking about it much. It stood the Democrats in good stead for over thirty years. It created the America that I fell in love with when I was 15 in 1968.

      Vicki

      What I love about Sanders and Schumer is they are pragmatists and consumate politicians. Sanders I know has his heart right where it needs to be and Schumer can do enough smiling for both of them…

    • Vicki 289

      a hand across the aisle

      Hi, Vicki! I don’t want to be a Danny-Downer (as in Debby-Downer. Cute? Maybe not.)—But I must be honest.

      There’s no way they can work with Trump. Not as far as I can see. Let’s not delude ourselves. I think Bannon and Trump and Pence et al are totalitarian and authoritarian to the very core, are really sick people. They have zero interest in helping anyone but the big banks and the big corporations, and they are absolutely determined! Anything beneficial will be smoke and mirrors, as Phil said. They are liars and are ruthless and conniving. They are the worst of the worst. Believe me. I know I am right. They have shown what they are. Look who is picked to be ambassador to Israel! Look at what Bannon just said about the media, for God’s sake! The list of atrocious acts in word and deed is already endless and it’s only just begun. Don’t underestimate the gravity of what and who we are facing. The best we can hope for is fierce opposition and/or implosion.

      Infrastructure will be privately owned and any projects will be done with no EPA regulations. I don’t know what will happen with medicare and SS, but there is no way to work with them, in my opinion. Moreover….

      It’s a trap. Backing Trump’s plan is a mistake in policy and political judgment they will regret, as did their Democratic predecessors who voted for Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 and George W. Bush’s cuts in 2001.

      First, Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects.

      As others have noted, desperately needed infrastructure projects that are not attractive to private investors — municipal water-system overhauls, repairs of existing roads, replacement of bridges that do not charge tolls — get no help from Trump’s plan.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-big-infrastructure-plan-its-a-trap/2016/11/18/5b1d109c-adae-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html?utm_term=.0571b1e6829d

      I also read this, and may have already posted it:

      The Trump administration is pushing infrastructure privatization. But private, for-profit corporations are not good bets for managing municipal drinking water systems in the public interest.

      “Where I live in in downstate New York’s Rockland County, most of the water infrastructure is owned by Suez North America, a subsidiary of the $15 billion multinational Suez Environnement, which has a poor track record in the U.S. In Rockland its management has been marked by persistent complaints of deferred maintenance, understaffing, low water pressure, service interruptions, metallic tastes, bad smells, and brown, unusable water, to which the company has been less than responsive.”

    • Arkrid Sandwich #283
      Jan 27, 2017 at 3:03 am

      The bit they miss though is what happens when Mexico also slaps a similar tax on American imports? They trade in similar amounts so Mexico gets straight back in tax whatever tax America gets. The people who get hurt are the businesses and staff who depend on this trade which will of course diminish and the consumers who now have to pay more for their goods. Trump will destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands for his petty self aggrandisment.

      And now they finally get it and start walking it back.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-tax-mexican-imports-pay-for-border-wall-234239

      “Later, however, Spicer quickly walked back his comments. The a tax on imports, he said, was one possibility for raising revenue, not a specific policy proposal.

      “The idea was that there have been questions about how the president could pay for the wall,” Spicer said later Thursday. “One idea through comprehensive tax reform is that there could be this idea that [House] Speaker [Paul] Ryan and others have floated, but through tax reform you could actually look at imports from countries that we have a trade deficit with that could generate revenue.”

      Trying to clarify his original stance, Spicer added: “And the idea is to show that generating revenue for the wall is not as difficult as some might have suggested.”

      “It could be a multitude of things. Right? It could be, instead of 20 percent it could be 18 it could be 5,” he added. “We could go in another direction, we could talk about tariffs, we could talk about, y’know, other, custom-user fees, or a hundred other things.”

      “Spicer’s initial statement about a proposed import tax drew criticism on Twitter from two Republican Senators.

      “Tariffs are a tax on American families,” tweeted Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

      “Border security yes, tariffs no. Mexico is 3rd largest trading partner. Any tariff we can levy they can levy. Huge barrier to econ growth,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted.”

      Fucking idiots.

    • Olgun.

      Seems to be a reasonable plan. I’ll miss the baseball and won’t be able to muster admiration for a monarchy… but still, I have to say…sign me up!

      I was rather hoping for a massive French invasion and occupation here, you know, the cafe’s, the Enlightenment, the beaches on the South of France, Paris, universal health insurance, the bakery products…sigh, but I can definitely work with you Brits. Yes indeed, I definitely can.

      I also WON”T add superfluous vowels to our words. Won’t do it.

    • Good article. Sample quote from David Axelrod:

      “The appeal he had as a candidate is that people clearly want someone
      to snap their fingers and just make something happen, and he saw that
      desire and played to that desire,” Axelrod said. “Now comes the
      reality and he’s going to be snapping in the dark.”

      Axelrod added, “He campaigned as an autocrat and now he’s the
      president, and the president isn’t an autocrat — and he’s going to
      find that some of the things he wants to do are difficult.”

      http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/reality-check-many-of-trump%E2%80%99s-early-vows-will-never-actually-happen/ar-AAmiJF4?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=BHEA000

    • Dan

      I am often angry too. Can’t help it. My bad. You are right about trying to discuss reasonably with the Trump supporters. It can’t be done. I’ve given up trying. I’m very frustrated with my mom who didn’t vote at all because she was convinced that Hillary was not a good candidate. My brother is so excited about “the wall” that he can’t see beyond that to the domestic and international disasters that are looming. I can hardly say that these are stupid people when they both have the exact IQ that I have but it’s obvious that we all have two different sets of information in our brains! Maybe the three of us are stupid together, I guess that’s another option here. 🙁

      The only thing that is hopeful is all of the protest and the statements of our Democratic National Party leaders who are fierce on our behalf.

      Are you seeing the TV coverage of the abominable “right to life” rally in D.C.? Of course the reactionary control freak Pence is the headline speaker. I want to see the pictures of the crowd size for this.

      Something else that’s bugging me is the use of the word “ideologue” to describe Devos. Is this a correct description of her? Are they avoiding the use of other words that might insult the religious bunch? To me she is a Christian fundamentalist extremist. Am I overreacting?

    • This looks like another good link: http://www.weekly-resistance.online/

      They’re also on both Facebook and Twitter.

      “We provide strategic, urgent actions you can take every week to stand up to Trump and protect our democracy, our values and our friends and neighbors.”

    • @Dan #292

      There’s no way they can work with Trump.

      I am not optimistic. But there is still value in what the Dem senators are doing. When the reality of Trump’s plans hits the populace in their paychecks, the Democrats will be able to say, “Look. This is what we suggested, and this is how you could have benefited.” Also, any accusations of obstructionism will be based on sound constitutional principles, not knee-jerk hatred.

    • You’re right, Vicki. The members of Congress can certainly do things, react and act as things unfold; my point was that they can’t really “work with” the new Republican administration or their enemies (our enemies) across the aisle, the ones in lockstep with Trump / Bannon. Some Republicans have already distanced themselves from Trump a bit, and that is somewhat encouraging.

      Laurie, I have had several long, tedious discussions with Phil about the words “Ideologue and Ideology”. I think ideologies are not all bad, as Phil does (I think); there are good ideologies and bad; and, conversely, I agree with you that the former word is maybe too much of a euphemism in this instance. But it is not really incorrect. I haven’t been watching the right-to-life rally. Annoying! I’t’s quite possible that that was conceived and organized from the top down, by the Trump’s team! That’s what they do. The nazis did shit like that and worse; soldiers would dress up as civilians, beat people up, smash windows, etc. It would have the appearance of a civil uprising.

      Olgun, what was that, a joke? As much as I like Cleese I didn’t read it, am not in the mood to laugh. Maybe others are. I can’t even watch Bill Maher, who is on tonight! Maybe I’ll watch it later next week.

    • A fucking disgrace.

      “On Thursday, the White House ordered federal health officials to immediately halt all advertising and other outreach activities for the critical final days in which Americans can sign up for 2017 health coverage through Affordable Care Act marketplaces.”

    • Dan

      Watch Bill Maher. It was necessary validation for us. It’s ok to laugh sometimes no matter how bad it is. It felt like you know, if I wasn’t laughing I’d be crying. One of his guests tonight was Grover Norquist. That guy is a regular on the show from time to time. Usually he horrifies me with his thuggish demeanor and extremist views on taxes but this time he seemed to be relatively sane! See what’s happening here? Even Grover Norquist seemed disturbed and confused by the goings on at the White House this week. That’s really saying something! Bill Maher did a hell of a job calling the clowns out on their absurdities. Rachel Maddow is also doing a hell of a good job for us too.

      Did you see Maddow tonight? She pointed out several issues where Trump etc have backed down as a result of public pressure. This is important for us to know. Protest is getting results. The Mexican President has taken a stand against Trumps bullying. I hope Merkel reads him the riot act tomorrow on the phone. Also Maddow pointed out that these stupid executive orders that Trump is signing – half of them are not for implementation, just for blustering show. I hadn’t noticed that until she said it. Like the one about expanding our military. Just a lot of stuff and nonsense.

    • @Phil #302

      That is pretty chilling stuff.

      I’ve often found myself overwhelmed this past first week of Trump’s presidency. I have to step away, or it sucks me in.

    • Dan

      long, tedious discussions with Phil about the words “Ideologue and Ideology”.

      So I’ll be succinct.

      By my use of the words, Sanders isn’t an ideologue, but Corbyn, dangerously, is.

      Dogma is the core of an ideology. It is innately conservative even on the left.

      Political/moral aesthetics/heuristics are pretty much fixed for everyone placing them irredeemably if broadly to left or right per Haidt’s (and many other such) political/moral accounting systems.

      It is useful not to muddle these two.

      Dogmas may be good or bad for now, but the fact of being dogmatic is entirely sub-optimum to our daily task of checking if we are still on moral target.

      Thats it.

    • Laurie and Phil (In that order)

      Nice uplifting article, Phil. What a downer you are. (Kidding.)

      By my use of the words…

      Dogma is not at the core of all ideologies. One can have an ideology and not be dogmatic. You are applying one meaning and use to a word that includes a gamut of meanings. That is very dogmatic. An ideologue is an uncompromising dogmatist. The adherent of an ideology need not be. Cooperativism is an ideology. So is anarchism. Social democracy (Sanders), which has many forms, is an ideology.

      Ideology
      1. : visionary theorizing 2. a) a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture b) the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program

      Laurie! Hi! I will check out Maher’s show this week. Missed it. And yes, Maddow is very informative. She’s very good, although she repeats herself too much. I like O’Donnell too. Is ten pm too late for you?

      Trumps bullying

      Ah-ha! A typo. No apostrophe. A typo from Laurie. My idol has feet of clay.

      It’s ok to laugh sometimes no matter how bad it is.

      You’re right. I have to keep my (weird) sense of humor.

    • phil rimmer #303
      Jan 28, 2017 at 5:11 am

      By my use of the words, Sanders isn’t an ideologue, but Corbyn, dangerously, is.

      Dogma is the core of an ideology. It is innately conservative even on the left.

      Very much so! Trump and Farage are applauding the lunacy of brexit, but Corbyn’s loopy-left are still making determined ad-hom attacks attacks on members of their own party who resign posts in protest at their determined ignorance and ideological stupidity, while Corbyn continues to parrot, “We will respect RESPECT the conned vote for some vague Utopia, which bears no resemblance to what is being proposed in a “hard brexit”, – which will land the UK in working with World Trade Organisation Rules, and restricted access to the European markets.
      He is imposing a 3 line whip to vote for this nonsense which his party campaigned against, citing to some vague definition of “democracy” and “mandates” sold to the gullibles by the gutter press. They are also making ad-hom attacks on the Scottish and Northern Ireland politicians, who they should be recruiting as allies (along with dissenting Tory “Remain” campaigners), to block this: “Leap before you look” triggering of Article 50 set up forceful inertia towards leaving the EU.
      They are still chanting, ” We will hold the Tories accountable and fight for workers rights”, – actions which will be no more than token gestures, after they have surrendered to the brexiteers in the first place with support for article 50!

      They also keep chanting, “We will fight for the best deal for Britain”, while voting to throw away the existing deal, – which in all probability is the best deal the UK can reasonably expect to get!

      Unfortunately for Britain, the Tories are still prioritising maintaining a majority in parliament by keeping their 60 brexiteers on-side, to the detriment of the country, while the clueless loony-left will blindly keep the clueless Corbyn as leader, and follow him over the cliff.

      The UK has a government which is a puppet of right wing ideologues, while the clueless, ideological, far-left Corbynites, fight those informed politicians giving evidence based warnings, and totally fail to provide any effective opposition!

      Sadly, the consensus of popularist sheeple ignorance, based on gutter press repetitive assertions, is dominating the political parties, with loud-mouthed ideological mini-Trump clones:- such as Farage, Gove, Boris J., and Corbyn, dominating the politics!

    • Dan,

      Some religions have barely a single “super-empirical hypothesis” to call their own, yet they are termed religions. For UK Quakers say (and certainly for the half that are agnostic) their religion is mostly an aesthetic reaction to the world rather than a source of practical facts about it. Big collections of a la carte ideas start to lose their identity as ideologies and when described as such sound more than a trifle odd. This is the crossover into those moral heuristics of concerns for fairness to and harm of others. An ideology without some core dogma is no such thing in my view. A desire for fairness is not dogma. The sustained adoption of some aspect of social democracy, say, should not spring unsupported from an idea, but from evidence of its efficacy.

      The ideologist in pursuit of an ideal will go wrong soon enough. Ideologies exist. Identifying yourself by them is the risk. Successful ideologies self demonstrate and are supportable by evidence. But follow the evidence, not slavishly the idea. I am reasonably described as a social democrat first because my personal moral concerns for fairness and harms and second because evidence, Wilkinson and Pickett etc.. I am not an ideologist nor should anyone else be, else we can’t talk and find the necessary mutuality.

      Dan, we can’t talk because you confer ideological tags on folk (Haidt, Pinker etc.) and thereby impute their thoughts like thus and so.

    • LaurieB #301
      Jan 27, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      Did you see Maddow tonight?

      For the last month I’ve been watching all the MSNBC programmes for the first time to try and keep up with this flood of lunacy taking place. From the point of view of intellectual rigour I prefer Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell. Rachel often seems to do a good job of stretching 10 minutes of real news into 45 minutes of air time by repeating every sodding thing three times slowly and carefully like she’s talking to a class of 6 year olds. However she gets some good interviews and breaks some interesting stories like the Russian FSB officer arrested and disappeared last month by Putin.

    • “Passengers have been barred from flights into the US and visa holders refused entry after Donald Trump imposed strict new controls on travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

      The US President who had promised the measures – called “extreme vetting” – during last year’s election campaign, said he was making America safe from “radical Islamic terrorists” as he signed the executive order on Friday.

      The decree means no visas will be issued for 90 days to migrants or visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.”

      http://news.sky.com/story/travellers-turned-away-after-trump-visa-halt-10745854

      Note the country missing from the list. The only Islamic country whose nationals have actually ever committed a major act of terrorism in the USA. Some of you might even remember it. They crashed four planes. It was briefly newsworthy back in the day as I recall. Yep, good old Saudi Arabia. No problem with their nationals it seems. I wonder why? Oh yeah…they have lots of oil and have been bankrolling sections of American high society for decades, like the entire Bush family.

    • Thanks for refresher on “ideology”.

      Dan and Arkrid I do like L. O’Donnell’s work very much. Yes, it’s on a bit late for me (a morning person) but this made me realize that I ought to be watching it after the fact, the next day with on demand TV feature during times when I fulminate about the garbage offered on TV.

      Agree about the strange list of countries that are blocked from entry visas here. Every morning a new bizarre situation to parse. The new normal? 🙁

      Ah-ha! A typo.

      UGH! I make typos all the time! And worse than that, I make mistakes from pure ignorance as well! I feel much worse about the ignorance than I do about the occasional typo. It’s ideas that thrill me and take up 99% of my brain space. Grammar and punctuation bore me to tears and although I am capable of improvement in this area, I’ve devoted minimal time and effort to it in my whole adult life. It is what it is. :’-(

    • Its going to be the Buddists that Trump (pumpkinhead) bans next.
      Those damn Buddists.
      I’m not sure if I can take much more of this. Its like watching our country coming apart in slow motion.
      I really believe however, Trump will be gone shortly. I think the GOPS are sick of him already.
      I wonder if we can flee to Iraq?

    • This is getting insane. Which may eject Trump from the WH quicker.
      There will be a point where officials in the CIA and FBI could remove him.
      He will not be able to sit still next week either. I think it will come to a conclusion shortly.

      We can bet on his behaviour to be his downfall. All we have to do is wait. In my opinion, I believe a short time.
      Or else I’m eating crackers, sardines and peanut butter for four years.
      I say he will be gone in a month. Any one else?

    • <

      blockquote>
      It felt like you know, if I wasn’t laughing I’d be crying.
      Laurie, when a person does both at the same time, its time to get help.(I’m an expert).
      Luckly no body can see into my bunker.
      Except that groundhog that burrowed in last night.
      He WAS a good groundhog.

    • alf

      its time to get help

      No shit. What do you think I’m doing here?!

      Help me!!

      Help us!

      ~whimper~

    • Re: The ban

      I understand that a judge has just ordered a stay, which proves that protest, mass action, and opposition does work. Thank you, ACLU. Thank you, judge.

      (Phil, I don’t think you are using the word ideology entirely correctly; can you live with that? And I don’t like Pinker because he doesn’t speak to me; his statistics and his assertions strike me as meaningless. I don’t dismiss him as an ideologue; I dismiss him as someone whose writings are, to me, irrelevant. )

      President Trump’s ban on immigration by citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries ran into at least a temporary roadblock Saturday night, after a U.S. District judge in Brooklyn granted an emergency stay sought by immigrants’ rights lawyers.

      The judge’s ruling applies to those who have already arrived in the U.S. and those who are in transit who hold valid visas. The decision halts part of Trump’s executive order, which barred citizens from those seven countries for the next 90 days.

      The National Immigration Law Center sent out a celebratory tweet after the ruling: “Broad and important nationwide stay granted! This means folks will not be deported.”

      The ACLU, which had filed suit to block Trump’s ban, issued a one-word tweet after the decision: “Victory!!!!!!”

      Thanks for refresher on “ideology”.

      Who are you thanking, Laurie, and what does this infernal word mean anyway? I am not sure I know anymore. I posted a definition that I like (305); Phil thinks that it has to imply destructive dogmatism (303). So you have to choose: whose definition do you prefer?

    • There is room in my bunker for everybody. Bring your own rodents.

    • Article by the excellent Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine. Man this is looking bleak! So damned depressing.

      https://theintercept.com/2017/01/24/get-ready-for-the-first-shocks-of-trumps-disaster-capitalism/

      Excerpt:

      ….In Mississippi, a class-action lawsuit forced several companies to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages to immigrant workers. Some were not paid at all. On one Halliburton/KBR job site, undocumented immigrant workers reported being wakened in the middle of the night by their employer (a sub-subcontractor), who allegedly told them that immigration agents were on their way. Most workers fled to avoid arrest.

      This corruption and abuse is particularly relevant because of Trump’s stated plan to contract out much of his infrastructure spending to private players in so-called public-private partnerships.

      In the Katrina aftermath, the attacks on vulnerable people, carried out in the name of reconstruction and relief, did not stop there. In order to offset the tens of billions going to private companies in contracts and tax breaks, in November 2005 the Republican-controlled Congress announced that it needed to cut $40 billion from the federal budget. Among the programs that were slashed were student loans, Medicaid, and food stamps. In other words, the poorest people in the United States subsidized the contractor bonanza twice: first, when Katrina relief morphed into unregulated corporate handouts, providing neither decent jobs nor functional public services; and, second, when the few programs that directly assist the unemployed and working poor nationwide were gutted to pay those bloated bills….

    • One more. Watch this video from The Real News Network, I think you’ll find it interesting, very informative.

      http://therealnews.com/t2/story:18213:Visa-Ban-Excludes-Countries-with-Direct-Links-to-Terrorism-and-Where-Trump-Has-Commercial-Holdings

      Now, the other thing that these seven countries all have in common, besides being countries at which the U.S. is attacking, none of them have Trump Industry projects. None of them have Trump Hotels, for instance. If you look at other Muslim-majority countries where there has been a much more direct link to terrorism, ironically enough, such as either Egypt or Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia, as we know, has long been accused of funneling money in various forms to ISIS and to other terrorist organizations, and, of course, in Egypt, largely because of increasing government repression, you have significant acts of terror being committed on their soil – neither Egypt nor Saudi Arabia is included in the list, and, what a surprise, in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Trump has significant commercial holdings, hotels, et cetera.

      So, do we assume that that’s just a coincidence? No, clearly, this is somehow linked here.
      The order also violates international law which requires countries to provide refuge to desperate people that are fleeing persecution. This simply says we’re not going to do it because we don’t want to. And, indeed, there has not even been the illusion that this is designed for anything other than supposedly keeping Americans safe. It has nothing to do with the rights of desperate refugees coming from these countries.

    • Phil

      Successful ideologies self demonstrate and are supportable by evidence.

      There! You just used the word in a positive way, and contradicted yourself. (You can have an unsuccessful ideology as well; ideologies are good and bad – like fire.) An ideologue has a different connotation. You are so argumentative, have to be right all, or too much, of the time.

      Dan, we can’t talk because you confer ideological tags on folk (Haidt, Pinker etc.) and thereby impute their thoughts like thus and so.

      I am not always easy to talk to; but you’re more rigid than I am, especially when it comes to words. (And Islamophobe is an okay word too, by the way. Fine word.)

      (I knew you’d come back. You missed me, didn’t you? Yep.)

    • Phil,

      One more comment about Ideology.

      My late father considered Gramsci to be the greatest intellectual of the 20th Century. Bar none. (He was also the world’s foremost expert on Gramsci.) What is said here (below) about hegemony can apply to just about any ideology. (I looked up Gramsci and Ideology. There was so much I didn’t know where to begin or end.) (This quote is not my father’s. The article isn’t his either.)

      One of Gramsci’s ideas was the concept of “hegemony,” or ideological domination. When one ideology, or world view, dominates, it suppresses or stamps out, often cruelly, any other ways of explaining reality. Actually, hegemony can contain a variety of ideologies. Some are artificial — theoretical explanations created by academics or political activists or philosophers. Other ideologies are “organic,” which means they come from the common people’s lived experience.

      Ideology is not a simple matter.

      There is a lot in this article below that is highly relevant to the situation we are now facing. For example: This notion of social revolution brought about an ultimate implication for capitalist society, namely, the so-called “cataclysmic” interpretation of capitalist crisis: capitalist society would inevitably collapse as a result of its own economic laws and contradictions of increased proletarianization and pauperization.

      The Concepts of Ideology, Hegemony, and Organic Intellectuals in Gramsci’s Marxism

      https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/periodicals/theoretical-review/1982301.htm

      First Published: Theoretical Review No. 27, March-April 1982
      Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
      Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works.

    • Dan,

      It is not just the potential for a hegemony between ideologies, it is the hegemony (of sorts) within an ideology. When my daughter wanted to find out about religion, was there any merit in them, (she was eleven through twelve) I suggested she look at Buddhism and the Quakers, unsurprisingly. She got the moral core of the latter and saw the wrapping as quaint, but irrelevant, archaeology. With Buddhism she got herself into trouble because, whilst she understood the everyday wisdom it often dispensed, it led seamlessly into ideas of Karma and the more obvious nonsense of re-incarnation. It took a little while for her to disentangle the shear immorality of Karma and how it would twist perceptions of those who suffer. She, learned skepticism of ideologies, then. The nonsense and sense are not fenced off in these allegedly complete accounts of the world.

      The very problem is thinking in terms of ideologies, that not only is there always a dogmatic core but that the set of ideas contained are the set you are expected to choose from, that the solutions, if you are an Xist, have all been thought out for you and you can just crack on and use them.

      No! For me this is the essence of failed thinking and problem solving. It is the essence of the problem of religion, the fritzing of the hard work of moral deliberation. For me morality is a daily task of rebuilding my convictions.

      Ideologies exist Many have elements that have proved exceptionally useful in a number of contexts. But the idea that ideologies qua ideologies have virtue is poisonous. The brightest folk are the least ideological themselves though the bright gatekeepers of the “faith” must eat their own dogfood and walk the walk etc. The mind fritz of concern is for the masses. It is for religion, libertarianism etc. The simple minded modeling of the world and of folk that allows masses to align more easily. Such systems of thought, such ideologies, acknowledge implicitly or explicitly a polar ideal. But as we socially engineer ourselves we can’t know what our new needs will be. Happiness cannot increase without rather quickly shimmering out of existence.

      Thinking ideologically is an oxymoron.

    • Dan,

      You are so argumentative

      Betterism lies at the centre of my political and other thoughts. These things really matter. I ache for this site to become an innovator of thought again.

      Is the scientific method not simply an ideology? No! It is an self-demonstrating, evolving, self-correcting process. I want the same for political, social and moral thought.

      No biggie.

    • Phil #324

      I don’t think you’re wrong. I don’t think I’m wrong either; “ideology” is a highly complex concept.

      Your second comment (325) is very much appreciated.

    • Phil

      326 Cont.

      P.S.

      The very problem is thinking in terms of ideologies, that not only is there always a dogmatic core but that the set of ideas contained are the set you are expected to choose from, that the solutions, if you are an Xist, have all been thought out for you and you can just crack on and use them.

      Not true. Often true but not always. That is simplistic, a blanket statement, frankly. You have a fear of words, and suffixes, I’m afraid. That will continue to limit you. Many “Xists” are open to new ideas, and wouldn’t be true Xists if they weren’t. Case in point: Marxism. Marxists are not all fundamentalists, not all dogmatic. There are many approaches.

      Socialism, capitalism… They are ideologies and one may adhere to certain basic principles while at the same time understand the need to continuously adapt, reinterpret and rethink these principles. The ism does not necessarily imply or prohibit freedom to deviate from any existing dogma. The fear of being limited by a suffix or a word is a phobia and a self-fulfilling prophecy. The irony is that you yourself are a self-proclaimed capitalist (a nice one); and yet you are pliant, fair, adaptive (unlike most capitalists), not rigid or dogmatic.

      I have used this quote several times before. Once more, as it has not gotten through to you yet, and yet it is a perfect rebuttal. My father wrote this:

      “Marxism for Gramsci and James was not a closed, static system unaffected by change. They believed that Marxism, like all bodies of thought rooted in human experience, must constantly renew itself, must draw from other currents of thought in order to remain relevant and viable. As a result of this premise, they were able in large measure to avoid the dangers of sectarianism and dogmatism.”

    • No, Dan.

      I’ve already covered this with UK Quakerdom is hardly a religion and Social Democracy a very loose ideology (sharing very many “tenets” with other “ideologies”). I am not fixated with language here. Rather you are. Like with a core definer of a religion requiring at least one super-empirical hypothesis, so for me the essence of an ideology is to have at least a dogmatic core, else it has no reliable identity. Yet Quakerism is a religion and social democracy an ideology in common parlance.

      We’ve done Marxism before. It is a mode of historical/economic analysis with a broader scope, like thus and so, than went before. Many proper ideologies are flaccid things with little rigour. I’m not interested in those. But the essence of ideology as I’ve defined it is problematic.

    • Okay.

    • My daughter just sent me this article from PBS about the artist Shepard Fairey and his iconic art posters.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/shepard-fairey-launches-people-poster-campaign-trumps-inauguration/

      I just love these and love his message in the interview. This final paragraph is an important statement to our young adults:

      “As much as I appreciate social media and the way it democratizes things, with the physical side, there’s an impact that’s longer-lasting and more meaningful, which is why I continue to do things on the street, and make physical prints. When people get out there and they hold something, it’s different. The kind of bonds you form with other people are more meaningful, when there are actual bodies in close proximity and words being exchanged and molecules colliding.” S.F.

    • Alan4discussion #333

      I’ve been watching the numbers go up on that petition all day – so, so cheering!

      Some people don’t see the point of it, I know. They say it won’t make any difference, and the State visit will go ahead in any case. And on that specific point, I’m sure they’re right.

      But it is shameful that the UK should be the first country to rush to give Trump a welcome with full State honours. And there may be nothing we can do to stop it, but we can at least protest against it and let the government know that we find it absolutely unacceptable.

      Even if the outcome on this specific occasion is the same, there is a moral difference between a government that does the wrong thing with an acquiescent population, and a government that does the wrong thing with a protesting population. Protest on this scale sends a clear message. And while it may not change anything this time, it might make them think twice before planning their next cosying-up-to-Trump move.

      Or it might not. But it’s something we can DO, at least. That’s got to be better than sitting on our sofas and getting in a stew about it all.

      I’m hoping it’ll end up with more signatures than the number of people he claims attended his inauguration. And at this rate, it could yet happen! (Currently on 582,019!)

    • Awesome video of the Boston mayor, Marco. Thanks.

      At last, action.

      If civil disobedience can start and run at this level, then though the ride will be bumpy, this could be an opportunity like no other for the principled to rediscover their political mojo.

      But those dispossessed must start to see some hope also.

    • As an American, I feel a deep sense of guilt. This is like the feeling when a close friend dies.
      “If only I had done something different, if I had been there”.
      Its hard to watch the destruction of the very foundation of the country. Its harder to watch the effect on the rest of the world.
      I feel like shit.

    • Alf1200

      Today’s protests have brightened my day on the other side of the pond. Thank you to all right thinking Americans.

    • Olgun, thanks.

    • Alan4discussion #333
      Jan 29, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/petition-calling-for-ban-on-donald-trump-hits-100000-signatures-in-less-than-5-hours-a7551756.html

      I’ve just signed it at 11.30pm local and it stands at over 840,000 signatures now.

    • I’ve just watched video on CNN online of Chuck Schumer in tears trying to give a press conference about the travel ban and how he is going to fight it. When what is happening in a country is so awful it brings hardened politicians of his experience to tears it really brings things home to you somewhat.

      It’s hard to work out what even Trump’s own insane purpose for this travel ban is. Obviously it has no real purpose as the people of the countries involved have never committed any actual attacks on the USA. The countries who have committed such attacks are of course not on the banned list as Trump has properties and financial interests in them. I suppose it might appeal to those of his base stupid enough to not realise the 9/11 terrorists came primarily from Saudia Arabia and also Egypt, UAE and Lebanon rather than any of the countries on the banned list but then maybe that’s actually the description of his entire base.

      It could of course have no other purpose than to cause chaos. What he can sign in an instant takes a huge amount of effort and court time to overturn and that uses up Democrat resources. Then he can just find something else insane to sign. It’s known that he revels in chaos and causing it just out of spite.

      I’m thinking he has no aspirations to a second term and therefore has no concern about how much damage he does in this one. It will suffice to get him esconsed with Putin and Russian oil and after that I doubt he cares. The danger he represents to global stability and world peace is becoming horribly apparent though.

      But, and it’s a big BUT, he’s uniting the country against him and maybe that’s the best thing that could happen for Dems in the long term. Those who are young enough to be voters for a very long time are hopefully not soon going to forget all this.

    • Marco,
      You know who is a good man? Marty Walsh.

      That folks, is a LEADER. The EXCUSE for a human that we currently have in office brings shame to our country. I will echo a sentiment that makes me feel somehow at ease : he is galvanizing a force of GOOD. And, I gotta tell you, any other person would see the gathering horde and take notice. He will continue, oblivious, leaving a trail of damage and hate. And, he will be beaten. I thought it would be Putin that would fuck him publicly. It turns out, AMERICA is going to beat Putin to it.

    • There’s something extremely interesting going on here. There’s a White House.gov petition to make Trump release his tax returns which has been running for days. In a country of 320 million it has 430,000 signatures.

      The UK government website petition to stop Trump making an official state visit here has over 890,000 signatures in less than a day in a country of 65 million. Per thousand of population that’s over 10 times the voting rate in a fraction of the time. It seems we are more concerned about him in the UK than you are in the USA. If you lot can’t be bothered to vote online with a couple of mouse clicks why should we expect you’ll vote in person? Apathy is why Trump is in the White House. Get off your sorry arses and do something!

    • While I agree about the apathy (Akrid Sandwich #342) I cannot help thinking that one reason we are so active about Trump over here is because we have had a massive wake up call about the dangers of populism and xenophobia going almost unchecked as Trump’s buddy Farage and his rabble won a Brexit vote no one expected them to.

    • One thing that disturbs me is that the dept. of homeland security will not release any information about the number of people being detained. “Zero,” they said.

      Trump’s conflicts of interest are already interfering with “national security”, which he knows nothing about.

      There was a random quality to the list of countries: It excluded Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where the founders of Al Qaeda and many other jihadist groups have originated. Also excluded are Pakistan and Afghanistan, where persistent extremism and decades of war have produced militants who have occasionally reached the United States. Notably, perhaps, the list avoided Muslim countries where Mr. Trump has major business ventures.

      Utterly deplorable. These people are as inept as they are immoral. This is all part of some kind of sick capitalist/Christian/nationalist agenda. Trump’s remarks about giving safe haven to persecuted Christians is troublesome.

      While the order requires the Department of Homeland Security to issue a report within 180 days providing detailed statistics on foreign nationals who commit acts of violence, terrorism researchers have already produced rich and revealing data. For instance, since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, no one has been killed in the United States in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from or whose parents emigrated from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the seven countries targeted in the order’s 120-day visa ban, according to Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina.

      Read these remarks that Bannon made in 2014. He is always talking about the fucking Judeo-Christian West! That guy is a sicko.— And Mr. Khan, the gold-star father, was right when he asked what place his son would have had in Trump’s America.

      (Hey Phil, this guy Bannon is a real ideologue!)

      “I certainly think secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals, right?”

      “If you look back at the long history of the Judeo-Christian West struggle against Islam, I believe that our forefathers kept their stance, and I think they did the right thing. I think they kept it out of the world, whether it was at Vienna, or Tours, or other places … It bequeathed to use the great institution that is the church of the West.”

      On a brighter note, I too am heartened by the protests. (There was one right here in Manhattan yesterday. I didn’t know about it. I need to know about these events. Any suggestions about how to stay informed about these events?)

      Arkrid, he won’t release his taxes, period. And he is not under audit.

    • None of the Muslim majority countries that have Trump hotels are on the list. Jesus! Enough is enough!!

      I watched the Schumer clip on YouTube. I also read the comments. So many hate-filled, pathetic people out there. That’s one of the reasons Trump won, obviously.

      Fifty percent were a basket of deplorables. Absolutely right.

      “But those dispossessed must start to see some hope also.”

      I hope so.

      But this isn’t just about the dispossessed; some are possessed, some are confused, some are willfully ignorant. Many are hopeless bigots, assholes for life, and should be marginalized and outnumbered.

      (I kind of want the worst among them to lose their health coverage and their jobs and face another great recession, and have to deal with poisoned water. But that’ll teach them nothing; they will blame CNN and keep defending the führer.)

    • The petition to stop Trump making a state visit to the UK is now at 1,100,000 votes and rising at the rate of just over 1,000 votes per minute. I imagine many people are just finding out about it for the first time at work today after the weekend so it’s getting a bit of a spurt. At this rate it might hit 2 million before tomorrow.

      Arkrid, he won’t release his taxes, period. And he is not under audit.

      I think we’ve always known he never had any intention of doing so but more signatures = more pressure.

      What we might hope for is that California and New York bring in state laws that only candidates who have released their last X years tax returns can get on the ballot for high office. Not that I think he wants to run again in 4 years time but it would stop it ever happening again with anyone else.

    • I tried to sign last night but the conformation email never came. I just did it again just now and I was the 1,220,047th.

    • At the time of writing there have been a total of 25,567 petitions raised on the UK government website. Petitions stay open for 6 months and then the vote total determines the government response. The petition to stop Trump making an official state visit to the UK has already, after just one day, garnered more votes than all but one other previous petition which was about our own membership of the EU.

      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions?state=all

      At 1pm local time today the petition passed 1,200,000 votes and is still rising at 1,000 votes per minute. Given the population of the UK and the fact that Trump is not even a local matter this is an extraordinary repudiation of his thuggery, mendacity and incompetence.

      It is heartening to me that so many of my own countrymen take enough interest in world affairs to get involved in this. In here only a handful of regulars really post much and few of them from the UK. It often seems it is perhaps me preaching to a very small audience but I now get a feel for how many others watch Trump carefully, and fearfully.

    • Well I’ve signed, 1, 259, 415th to do so…..

    • Someone opened fire in a mosque in Quebec City, 6 dead. This never happens there. Trump is a true monster and needs to be (legally) stopped before it’s too late!! Same with Trump’s Canadian counterpart Kellie Leitch and all the other hate mongers.

    • I am america.

      And, well…..sheeeesh, I am…. well…. I just realized that I’ve walking around with my dick out. And, I don’t have a valid excuse. I just looked down and well…. But, I am not going to apologize because I am pot committed (poker term) to see through this kamikaze mission. And, what I fail to recognize (because of my dude-bro mentality) is that no one, NO ONE wants to see it. So, I’ll high five my frat brothers and laugh it off “dude-bro, dude-bro, i was like really hammered and I looked down and my dick was out”…..

      I am america.

      I’ve elected the belligerent drunk who sits at the corner of the bar and pseudo-snoozes and every once in a while erupts with violent gibberish. And, well, he’s in charge. At least until he fucks up so badly that he is thrown out by the bouncer (who is his cousin or some shit and gives him a long rope). He might piss himself and stink, but…… Well, the regulars like him because he was once a business man and buys them drinks when they sit across from him.

      I am america.

      I’ve also had the unfortunate “foresight” to stack a dude-bro frat boy smug twat as his second in charge, and I don’t know who’d be worse but have a feeling we are gonna find out. When he takes over, the real nasty shit will start. Hopefully, there isn’t a let down and he gets to walk the gauntlet like the garbage he supports.

      I am AMERICA.

      I mobilize and go sit vigil at airports fighting for the rights of people that I don’t know; people with different beliefs. Atheists standing vigil with Muslims. Christians shoulder to shoulder with Jewish folks. Cops and firefighters rushing into harms way. Mayors and REPUBLICAN politicians standing up and fighting against the tide. They are swimming upstream against a harsh current, but their strength has been on display and I think we are going to be alright.

      I AM AMERICA.
      I look at my neighbors and invite them to my table. I do not build walls; I extend my table. I have more than every other country. I bill myself as the greatest country on earth and I know that part of my greatness lies in my diversity and that some bit of my vulnerability to attacks is the cost of being FREE.

      I will make this right. WE will make this right.

      The Republican House and Senate need to humble this fucker and clean up the mess that they have allowed to evolve. ON THEIR WATCH. they are complicit in this. So are the Democrats, they need to join forces and demonstrate what checks and balances are and why our democracy is well thought out and why it works.

      Donald trump thinks like Idi Amin, postures like Kim Jon-Un, and has the potential to evolve into Pol Pot. But, we need the world to make him into the laughingstock that he is — Colonel Klink (Hogan’s Heroes reference).
      If this ends correctly, Donald can tuck his tiny pecker back in his pants and get back in his monster truck and drive away knowing that he was reviled and that history will remember him as a loser.

      Mr. Trump, “You’re fired.”

    • President of USA grabs British woman on White House tour. On a recent visit to the White House a British woman got more than she bargained for. Theresa May, 60, a housewife from London England was being shown round the White House recently when, as she said to reporters “I’d barely set foot in the White House when Mr Trump lunged at my groinal area. I tried to block him but his hands are so tiny it was hard to intercept them. I managed to get one of my own hands in the way and he grabbed onto that instead. Maybe he thought he’d got hold of my pussy but it was only my hand. I see he doesn’t hold his own wife’s hand much so maybe he doesn’t really know what a pussy is. I told him “NO Mr President, bad president, anyway you don’t want to go there, it’s getting wrinkly now and smells of haddock” but he seemed happy just holding my hand.”

      May, originally from Oxfordshire, said she’d be happy to meet Trump again but she’d wear two pairs of pants, just in case.

    • Trump bans Muslims from entering USA, emboldens hatred against Muslims, nutjob shoots Muslims in Canada. OK so no proof of correlation but hey, join the fucking dots. Actions have consequences.

    • Can this get any more surreal? What the fuck is an arranged press briefing with an unnamed official who cites vague department actions without specific names, after first laying down the ‘news’ briefing ground rules.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/01/29/unnamed-white-house-official-on-implementing-travel-ban-it-really-is-a-massive-success-story/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_pp-whbrief-1135pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.257a9a6079a3

    • Vicki #354
      Jan 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Can this get any more surreal? What the fuck is an arranged press briefing with an unnamed official who cites vague department actions without specific names, after first laying down the ‘news’ briefing ground rules.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/01/29/unnamed-white-house-official-on-implementing-travel-ban-it-really-is-a-massive-success-story/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_pp-whbrief-1135pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.257a9a6079a3

      Ok I thought I’d seen it all but anonymous White House press briefings? WTF?

    • Dan #350 and Akrid #353

      You both claim a link between Trump and the shooting at the mosque in Quebec. And, of course, that link is plausible and may well prove to be correct. But right now, it’s just speculation.

      Please bear in mind that every time there has been a multiple death in Europe recently, the Far Right have immediately “joined the dots” and claimed it must have been the work of an Islamist terrorist. Sometimes they have been right, quite often they have been wrong.

      And such unevidenced assertions are no better when “our” side makes them.

      Within a few days we will all know the truth of this specific case. Time enough then to point the finger of blame. America is currently being governed by Irrationality Personified. Resistance is going to require us to be MORE scrupulously rational, not less.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #355
      Jan 30, 2017 at 11:33 am

      Ok I thought I’d seen it all but anonymous White House press briefings? WTF?

      I’m guessing, but there are various possibilities.

      They could be having difficulty in finding White House professionals who are prepared to accept responsibility for parroting lies or making grossly incompetent statements.

      They may be loosely interpreting the term “senior official”

      They may be wishing to disguise the lower ranking stooges they were able to recruit to parrot lies, and do not wish the public to know which top rankers refused, or how low they needed to go.

      Threats to staff??

      What IS obvious, is that whoever took these decisions, was absolutely clueless about scrutinising programs, correcting errors and omissions, and arranging viable time scales for disseminating accurate information to widely dispersed airports, or dealing with the requirements for training staff!

      I would also expect we will be hearing feed-back from airports, about the quality and timing of information they received!
      This may not tally with White House Trumpery and will come from too many sources for denials to be credible!

    • crookedshoes #341

      Marty Walsh is exceptional. That speech he gave at his press briefing was the most inspirational thing I’ve heard in a very long time – I’d almost say “heroic”. That is real resistance. Bold. Determined. Calm. Resolute. Pragmatic. Totally admirable in every way.

      And I like your “I am America” comment at #351 too. Yes, America has an extraordinarily split personality. I’ll confess that, until now, as a European, I’ve been more aware of the crazy, selfish, childish, ignorant, bullying bit. But now – just when that side of America’s personality seems to have triumphed (albeit temporarily – we all have to cling to that hope, at least) – the other side is coming shining through. In the last ten days I have seen so many Americans speaking up for compassion and openness and tolerance and humanity. Eloquently, passionately. And in unprecedented numbers. Seeing them and hearing them; seeing all the real, practical steps being taken to oppose Trump every inch of the way, to keep getting censored information out, to help people trapped at airports, to set up mechanisms by which people can be alerted to campaigning actions they can take – it has all been tremendously encouraging: real light in the darkness.

      Just as with the person who wrote, “Excuse the length of this letter – I didn’t have time to write a short one”, the crisis facing America right now is far, far too serious for anyone to have the luxury of indulging in panic and hysteria. What is needed now is absolute clarity about what good Americans stand for, and clear, cool-headed, ice-cold determination to defend those values to the hilt. Ten days into this utter nightmare, I have more confidence now that there are enough of you who can and will do this than I have ever had before. And you couldn’t have a better role model than Marty Walsh!

    • I’m walking back my comment #331 re: the Shepard Fairey poster. A post on WEIT discusses this poster and my enthusiasm for it has dissolved. Jerry tells it better:

      Today’s takes on Trump and the “Muslim ban”

      My support for the hejabi poster is inconsistent with my views on garments of oppression.

    • Thousands and thousands of people demonstrating against Trump in London and across the UK tonight.

      And the petition to cancel his state visit has just passed the 1.5 million mark. That’s even more than he says attended his inauguration 😉

    • Psychologists are finally starting to publically comment on Trump’s mental illness “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/shrinks-break-silence-president-trump-exhibits-traits-m-article-1.2957688

      “Narcissism impairs his ability to see reality,” said Dr. Julie Futrell, a clinical psychologist, who, of course, added a standard disclaimer because she has never actually treated Trump. “So you can’t use logic to persuade someone like that. Three million women marching? Doesn’t move him. Advisers point out that a policy choice didn’t work? He won’t care. The maintenance of self-identity is the organizing principle of life for those who fall toward the pathological end of the narcissistic spectrum.”

      A top psychotherapist affiliated with the esteemed Johns Hopkins University Medical School said Trump “is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president.” The expert, John D. Gartner, went on to diagnose Trump with “malignant narcissism.”

    • For you Non-Us citizens out there, first ,,,,,,,sorry, second, ,,,,if you were an American citizen, how bad would you consider this situation to be.
      1 equals, I am not affected.
      10 equals, I should be leaving before I have to eat MRE’s for the rest of my life?

    • I just heard our town of three thousand had a protest. They (retired ladys) blocked the entrance to the city.
      This is funny. We know all the town police and they are known to be some of the nicest in the state.
      They are probably going to be talking about it at the senior center and making more sinister plans. These grannys can get fiesty.

    • Uh oh. Something else to scare the shit out of Americans……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E6TZipQcJI
      SHOCK: KGB Source for Trump Blackmail Dossier Found Dead

    • crookedshoes #341
      Jan 29, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Marco,
      You know who is a good man? Marty Walsh.

      That folks, is a LEADER. The EXCUSE for a human that we currently have in office brings shame to our country.

      100% agree. I saw Marty Walsh on MSNBC on one of the Friday night shows (which I don’t get to see until the next day here in the UK when they finally hit the torrent scene).

      His press speech moved me greatly, especially when he said that immigrants can stay in City Hall and even in his own office if they can’t find anywhere else to put them up. And when asked what would happen if Trump sent the feds in just a simple but resolute “We’ll See!”

      That’s a real man! That’s the sort of bloke you want at your back when the going gets tough. He’s got a police force of over 2,000 at his disposal and most of them are Irish and if there’s one thing the Irish don’t do it’s back down out of a good fight. (or a good bottle)

      The only battles Trump has ever fought is when he’s the one with the most money and the fanciest lawyers and the deck stacked in his favour. Now he’s about to find out what happens when he tries his pathetic BS on with people who can hit back.

    • Trump fires acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refused to support his travel ban which is clearly illegal under the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.

      http://us.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/white-house-statement-attorney-general/index.html

      White House statement on acting attorney general

      The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.

      Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.

      It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.
      Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as Acting Attorney General until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons.

      Look at the petulant language! This is not the language of serious political people.

    • Trump later commented “Sally Yates, she was so weak, so very weak. Overrated. Sad. But even worse she was only a 3. I mean I wouldn’t have.”

    • Phil, others

      you were right, Phil. I didn’t get it. Islamophobia is a word used to silence people like us, who want to promote reason and “betterment”, to use your own language. I saw this on some loathsome, misleading article about the killer in Quebec, who, for whatever reasons, said he liked this site on his Facebook page (now down).

      How dare they defame Dawkins and this site! Par for the course, I guess.

      He “liked” Richard Dawkins, a leading proponent of “new atheism,” which often veers into strident Islamophobia.

      I think Bannon is as dangerous as Trump. In a lengthy email, Bannon described Sessions as “the clearinghouse for policy and philosophy” in Trump’s administration, saying he and the senator are joined at the center of Trump’s “pro-America movement” and the global nationalist phenomenon.

      And he was just given a security role usually held for generals. I think Bannon is behind a lot of this. They are all starting to resemble fucking Nazis more and more.

      https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/us/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-national-security-council.html

    • Arkrid 366,

      That was funny, but this is frightening. He crushes all opposition.

      No peace with these people will be possible so long as any ideas or expressions of will other than their own are allowed to prevail. They are totalitarian. In twenty years, if they (their heirs) are still in power, many will have long forgotten what American Democracy once was.

      Hi Marco (347)

      You can’t prove a direct link between that killer and Trump. That’s virtually impossible. There needn’t be a *direct link. I think Trump is creating a climate that emboldens dehumanization hate, xenophobia and violence, in general. And the psychopaths are feeling like it’s their moment now.

      We’ve seen the vitriol in his campaign rallies. His travel ban is dehumanizing.

      I offer no incontrovertible proof.

      I can’t prove that if crime increases as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer that there is a direct link. I can’t prove that there is more gun violence when America engages in unjust wars. I can’t prove anything. All I can do is use my head and say that I think there is a link. Form your own conclusions about links; I will form mine. I hope theses conclusions will eventually coincide. They may not.

    • Trump sacks Attorney General Yates. He is learning well from Erdogan. Expect more fear and suspicion to close the country down. Anyone who doesn’t do as he wants becomes a traitor and the witch hunt will make all opposition fearful of their jobs and lives. A true tyrant.

    • I am now going back to thinking the ideology of Jeremy Corbyn is the only defence against madness. I would rather have the confusion over human rights in a ‘lefty’ sense than the double standards of May.

    • Noam Chomsky and Over 100 Intellectuals Denounce ‘Savage’ Media Treatment of Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn

      http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/noam_chomsky_denounce_savage_media_misrepresentation_jeremy_corbyn_20160710

      I’d prefer any “lefty” to Breibart’s alt-right propagandist Bannon (who I am convinced is running the country now).

      In a lengthy email, Bannon described Sessions as “the clearinghouse for policy and philosophy” in Trump’s administration, saying he and the senator are joined at the center of Trump’s “pro-America movement” and the global nationalist phenomenon.

      “In America and Europe, working people are reasserting their right to control their own destinies,” Bannon wrote. “Jeff Sessions has been at the forefront of this movement for years, developing populist nation-state policies that are supported by the vast and overwhelming majority of Americans, but are poorly understood by cosmopolitan elites in the media that live in a handful of our larger cities.”

      That’s fascist propaganda, if you ask me.

    • Corbyn is at the mercy of the mass media, and as such he is cannon-fodder! I don’t know the man personally, but I would guess that he is being miss-represented by the right-leaning tabloid press. The masses are led by their nose by the power of this propaganda. The same power put the enormous Trump in charge over the pond! The masses usually get what they deserve from simply just not thinking for themselves, this is how the mono-theistic religions thrive, down in the basement of pig-ignorance!

    • Dan

      Thanks for the link and it is true I am afraid. The long standing system needs a shake up and I would rather it be JC like than Trump like. Anyone else in the party will just give us more of the same an d that is frustrating. I am not presenting a conspiracy theory but we entrenched and afraid to move fast. Familiarity keeps us back. I will feel that I am jumping into the void when Jeremy gets my vote but don’t think it will throw up any major threats to world peace. In fact, just JC’s policy on talking sensibly to the world has my vote. It won’t be perfect from the start but I think has more of a chance of making things better and discarding some of the “ultra left’ rhetoric by talking. Common sense seems more likely than with the career politicians lining up to take on the job.

    • “I really am a pessimist. I’ve always felt that fascism is a more natural governmental condition than democracy. Democracy is a grace. It’s something essentially splendid because it’s not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory.”

      ― Norman Mailer

      @M27Holts #372

      Biased, sick, anti Hillary article published in Observer, which is owned by hard right Zionist Kushner, Trump’s son in law. Again, they are blaming her (unjustly) for their own “sins”!! Sociopaths do that – all the time. And Trump rails agains the media while using media propaganda as an arm of his own administration. Everything is distorted and out of context, as usual. That’s called propaganda. (So sick of this shit. Fuck Trump. Fuck them all.)
      Hillary Clinton Exploits Trump Outrage for Personal Gain

    • Dan, et all,
      Having read “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” – William L. Shirer – I can see quite a lot of similarities between Herr Hitler’s rise to Power and Mr Trumps. I am dismayed that some of my acquaintances , are seemingly right behind Trump’s overt fascism. The German people bought into Hitler’s 1000 Year Reich quite willingly in a lot of cases. Lets hope that it doesn’t get as dark as 1930 – 1945, but it could!!!

    • A good overview by Heather CoxRichardson that explains much of Trump’s administrative methods so far

      Historian Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s Muslim Ban: “It’s a Shock Event”

    • Dan #369
      Jan 30, 2017 at 11:51 pm

      Arkrid 366,

      That was funny, but this is frightening. He crushes all opposition.

      I assume you mean 367, which will make more sense if 366 actually does ever appear! It’s nearly lunchtime now and I posted the damn thing last night.

    • Akrid

      If it was just a link, it appeared and got deleted this morning (uk time).

      Dan 367

      I believe Phil is right also but only in the extreme. I also agree that RD borders on islamaphobia at times. Hitchens was more so and it did not/does not make sense to me. Having said that, call me an islamaphobe as well. I am effected, and will be effected more, more than them but it does not stop me saying what I want. I see it in full every day. People that have not read anything but still have a fear and an opinion. They can be accused of low level racism but are not bigots. This has turned into a discussion with example given that cannot be compared with one another.

    • There is speculation here that the Muslim ban is Steve Bannon deliberately trying to create a constitutional crisis by starting something which has to end up in court because it’s illegal and then ignoring any court orders that the administration doesn’t like.

      washingtonmonthly.com/2017/01/29/is-steve-bannon-trying-to-instigate-a-constitutional-crisis/

      If the administration just ignores the courts there’s very little the courts can do about it. The only remedy would be for Congress to impeach the President and appoint a new one.

    • This is a repost of #366 which is apparently not going to appear. It was simply to announce the firing of Sally Yates with a brief comment on the language used:

      From the White House: Statement on the Appointment of Dana Boente as Acting Attorney General

      The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.

      Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.

      It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.
      Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as Acting Attorney General until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons.

      Note the petulant language used here. It’s just a longer version of one of Trump’s schoolboy tweets. However multiple people must have been involved in the drafting and release of this. Surely someone there must realise how childish and amateur they all appear using words like “betrayed” and inserting pointless partisan comments about the Democrats.

    • Olgun #370
      Jan 31, 2017 at 2:28 am

      I am now going back to thinking the ideology of Jeremy Corbyn is the only defence against madness. I would rather have the confusion over human rights in a ‘lefty’ sense than the double standards of May.

      That would be a mistake!
      Corbyn is a sham champion of the workers!
      He is determined to use brexit, to throw away in bulk, the employment and citizens’ rights won and established in European legislation, so he can be seen as a “workers’ champion”, unsuccessfully fighting the Tories with a diminishing minority party, to try to win them back one scrap at a time.
      He will fail, but will impress the ignorant by trying, and blame his failures on those “nasty Tories”!

      M27Holts #372
      Jan 31, 2017 at 4:49 am

      Corbyn is at the mercy of the mass media, and as such he is cannon-fodder! I don’t know the man personally, but I would guess that he is being miss-represented by the right-leaning tabloid press.

      He may be being misrepresented by the gutter press, but I am on his party emailing list and the stuff HE sends out is just as loony as some of the quotes in the media.
      I also have personal discussions with some of his activists who swallow his delusional thinking hook, line, and sinker, – while making personal attacks on the MPs who are giving serious warnings about his ignorant stupid approaches to legislation.
      Like Trump – he is good at playing to the gallery – telling the uneducated what they like to hear, but he is easily sold brexiteer propaganda scapegoating the EU for the shortcomings of others, and is a useful idiot, serving the purposes of the right-wing media.
      He will mess up through ignorance and incompetence on all the big issue decisions, while championing odds and ends of small minded left wing objectives.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #379
      Jan 31, 2017 at 7:09 am

      This is a repost of #366 which is apparently not going to appear. It was simply to announce the firing of Sally Yates with a brief comment on the language used:

      From the White House: Statement on the Appointment of Dana Boente as Acting Attorney General

      The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.

      Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.

      Ah! The predictable rhetoric and bullying ad-hominem attack from those who do not wish to openly discuss the existing laws on immigration with experts!

      @#356 – https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/5-reasons-a-trump-administration-should-scare-the-sht-out-of-anyone-who-cares-about-the-environment/#li-comment-217982

      They could be having difficulty in finding White House professionals who are prepared to accept responsibility for parroting lies or making grossly incompetent statements.

      Strange how reading between the lines shows up predictable thought habits in the irrational!

    • Stories are breaking today that Bannon secretly used staffers from the House Judiciary Committee to help write the legal language of the muslim travel ban order but without telling any senior Republicans such as Paul Ryan who are bound to be furious they weren’t consulted.

      What we might be seeing the start of here is a White House enclave led by Bannon trying to run the country entirely by Executive Order, disregarding the courts if they rule against those and even bypassing their own Congress, Republicans too, to create in effect a dictatorship solely pursuing Bannon’s white male supremacist agenda.

      If so then the consequences could be more terrifying than we have so far assumed. Not just for immigrants but for existing citizens as well if they are not white or even not male. Bannon doesn’t appear to like women any more than he likes people of colour. We shall see if this “temporary” muslim ban gets extended indefinitely after the 120 days are up but I wouldn’t like to bet against it. The next logical targets are going to be all women’s rights, not just as regards abortion, muslims, latinos, blacks, voter suppression, registers and data collection on “undesirable” citizens.

      If Pence is smart he’ll stay as far under the radar as is humanly possible while the flak starts to fly because his chances of becoming president are looking better and better. He’ll just bow and scrape to Trump and Bannon on everything they want to do, keep his mouth shut and try not to fall out with the Republican leadership. If, when, the time comes for impeachment he’ll just say he had no part in any of it as the VP has next to no power at the best of times.

    • Alan4discussion #382
      Jan 31, 2017 at 7:26 am

      Arkrid Sandwich #379
      Jan 31, 2017 at 7:09 am

      It appears I’m now seeing comments differently numbered to everyone else. I see #365 then a gap where my #366 post from last night should be and then #367 onwards. The comment above that Alan quotes as #379 is #380 for me. Grrrrr.

    • So, let us assume that a number of suitably qualified observers are right, and we now find ourselves with an American President that is suffering from a combination of psychiatric disorders that prevent him from properly understanding the inter-related issues that the Nation faces, and a refusal to listen to, or take advice from, those who do.

      In this Trump presidency it appears we are already seeing the suspension and belittling of rational thought in favour of personal aggrandisement, and the relentless search for uncritical praise from those he has ill-advisedly promised a better life.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-berger/trump-profile-of-a-sociopath_b_11318128.html

      How do we deal with Trump? My initial thought was confrontation, but it appears that this could prompt even more extreme reactions from a man who, it now appears, is mentally ill.

      So I wonder if it would be possible to describe Trump’s psychiatric condition a little more thoroughly, and to refine the diagnosis by his subsequent comments and actions. It seems that what we have seen over the past ten days are not the actions of a sane or rational man.

    • Bill #386
      Jan 31, 2017 at 8:10 am
      So I wonder if it would be possible to describe Trump’s psychiatric condition a little more thoroughly

      DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

      Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
      Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
      Exaggerating your achievements and talents
      Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
      Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
      Requiring constant admiration
      Having a sense of entitlement
      Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
      Taking advantage of others to get what you want
      Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
      Being envious of others and believing others envy you
      Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

      If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement — and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.

      At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection.

    • Alan #383

      I am talking about the ideology as an equal counter. I don’t believe his ethics will allow him to go it alone and that results in a watered down version of what is happening now. Of course I am just speculating but I do believe we need a huge rethink of our “democratic” system. I also accept that some Trump supporters probably thought like me but he nowhere near a Trump.

    • Olgun.

      Find me an anti-Muslim bigotted quote for Hitchens. This was a man who had Muslim friends, was proud to be called Brother Kurd…

      Alan nails Corbyn for me. Corbyn is a protectionist/nationalist, like Trump. I never understood why my father was keen to proclaim that internationalism was a key ingredient of society’s end game. Only when looking at how the dirt poor of the Pacific Rim have been catapulted into decency in one or two generations of world trading and that morality flourishes with such fairness do we see the grander possibilities. Turning inwards by the politically self serving and catering to the unwittingly selfish at the cost of distant others and rather than sufficiently at the cost of your own fat cats, shows you how little, how parochial Corbyn is and how temporary his drawbridge “fixes” are.

      On the upside, he does care for the dispossessed and despite an unfortunate censoring of truths making him appear zionist, he is actually the most anti-zionist labour politician near the top.

    • Bill #388

      Look to Turkey if you want motivation to act now. Soon you might not be able to. Unless you think it can’t happen in America?

    • From what I’ve studied it is generally considered almost impossible to reason with people with NPD or convince them they are wrong. They just reject as lies anything that contradicts their own view of their own self importance and superiority. It is not a condition that is either easily treatable or even presents very often for treatment because people with NPD don’t think there is anything wrong with them. In fact they think they’re perfect so any problems must be someone else’s fault.

      Trump’s NPD appears to be compounded by severe sociopathy so he has no normal empathic emotions for other people and lies routinely and without remorse even about things that are indisputable such as on film or tape. He simply denies the reality of the evidence contradicting him. He also denies just as easily ever having had any previous positions or convictions he may have held if those now conflict with what he currently believes.

    • Olgun #390
      Jan 31, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Alan #383

      I am talking about the ideology as an equal counter. . . . .. . . Of course I am just speculating but I do believe we need a huge rethink of our “democratic” system.

      You may be, but I am not speculating.
      I am on Corbyn’s party email list and on first name terms with one of his cabinet!

    • Arkrid Sandwich #389
      Jan 31, 2017 at 8:21 am

      DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

      It looks like you could have identified the problem spot on!

    • Alan

      Where were these people when Blair was running the show?

    • Phil #391

      Depends how sensitive you are but here goes. Sharia? Jihad? All? I have always asked for clarity and always will. I have a black friend as well (lol) note: that does not mean I don’t respect Hitchens.

      All I am saying on Corbyn is, I will take the upside in your post and say that will self censor him to find a more middle ground. I think his ideology will silence some of the demons. Unless someone else comes along that speaks of bettering things, and not just for us in the UK, he is all I have. Of course I am keeping an eye on it.

    • Sorry Phil. My reply to you has been deleted??????

    • Dan #370

      I found far more to agree with in this comment!

      I don’t doubt for one moment that the Trump era will be accompanied by an increase in far right violence. History provides us with plenty of evidence of correlation between the climate engendered by political leaders and the rate and type of crime committed by citizens. The sudden escalation of racist, xenophobic attacks across much of the UK after the Brexit vote is a case in point: much of the Leave campaign had focused on and exploited anger and resentment towards immigrants, and once Leave had won the referendum, some haters clearly felt this had given them the right to express their hatred using violence and other forms of abuse. We know this because many of them stated it quite specifically.

      There’s no objection to pointing out patterns and correlations. Just in leaping to conclusions in specific cases! An English man assaulting a Pole on the streets of London in the week after the Brexit vote may well have been motivated by xenophobia – it would be my first suspicion too; but it would still need to be demonstrated before I could start using it as an example of Brexit-induced xenophobia – because he might turn out to have attacked him for other reasons – jealousy over a woman, perhaps, or revenge for some perceived slight, or maybe just to steal his mobile phone like any other common or garden mugger. And if that did turn out to be the case, then my credibility as someone trying to convince others that Brexit is harmful would be diminished.

      In the Quebec case, your assumption seems to have been correct: known as a follower of the Far Right, a hater of refugees, opposed to all immigration, a fan of Marine Le Pen and also of Trump: http://ow.ly/FGQT308wXBZ

      If you’d written something like, “It will be interesting to see whether there’s a connection between this and Trump’s rhetoric” or “It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if there were a connection …” or “Whatever the motivation in this specific case, I’m sure Trump is going to lead to a rise in violence of this kind now”, we wouldn’t be having this exchange now. It was the leap to assumption stated as fact in a specific, as yet uninvestigated case that made me want to challenge you.

      I know I keep saying this, but I can’t emphasize it enough: one of the reasons the world is in this mess right now is that, for too many people, feelings have replaced evidence as the basis on which they reach their conclusions. If they feel it … if it sounds right to them … if it fits their preconceptions … if it’s convenient … even if it’s simply what they would prefer to be true: then they treat it as true. If it challenges their assumptions … if it’s not what they want to hear … if it would entail having to think differently about something … if it would entail having to think at all: then they treat it as false. This is a problem in itself – not just when the other side does it.

      Without this phenomenon, fake news simply could not thrive, because people would wait to see if there was evidence that, say, Hillary Clinton had somehow been implicated in a paedophile ring rather than just rushing to believe it and spread it because they just didn’t like her so any bad thing they heard about her must be true.

      And with all the ludicrous “alternative fact” stuff emanating from the White House now, the problem has become even more acute: not just the unthinking transmission of untruths, but the deliberate stating of known lies, on the basis that the truth is now whatever Trump says it is.

      We have to be better than that! We need to keep our heads and scrutinise everything – whether our first impulse is to believe it or not. I’m not suggesting there’s any harm in guessing, surmising or assuming, by the way – just that we need to make it clear (to ourselves too!) that that’s what we’re doing.

      Sorry this turned into another essay 🙂

    • Olgun

      Sharia? Jihad? All?

      Islam, Islam and erm?

      You, Hitchens, any of us have no idea of the relationship a Muslim has to her faith. This is the crucial fact that must be asserted again and again. Islamists depend vitally on this not being so, that it is causally complete, and so too all seeking license for their bigotry. Both have vested interests in covering up this vital disconnect. Sadly, SJWs who would misguidedly put individuals in thrall to their communities too often join in with this misdirection also.

      Bigotry and a specific example, say, racism (race bigotry), come in degrees. A little to a lot. One’s amygdala, based on appearance and appearance of action twitches a little bit and sometimes a lot. It doesn’t twitch in relation to ideas. The causes and cures of the two types of antipathy are quite different.

    • Olgun,

      I caught the first half, at least.

      Sadly, the moderation seems flaky atm. We have all wondered a very long way from discussion of Trump and the environment, so I can’t see the motivation. A quick review shows most of this thread off topic. It might be technical issues?

      I hope your post re-appears.

      • The moderation isn’t flaky, Phil! We’re just a very long way into the thread, which means there has been plenty of opportunity for the OP to be discussed and, in keeping with long-established practice, we’re now allowing it to morph into a more general, though still related, discussion for as long as it remains thoughtful and broadly relevant.

        It is true, though, that the system seems to be putting more comments aside pending moderator approval at the moment. It’s not something the mods have any control over, unfortunately. We’ll try to look in more often while it’s happening, but please understand that we don’t have moderator cover 24 hours a day.

        Olgun – we haven’t removed any of your comments, so whatever caused your comment to disappear, it wasn’t us! There was one comment by you in our Pending section, which we have now approved.

        The mods

    • Olgun #397
      Jan 31, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Alan

      Where were these people when Blair was running the show?

      Before the left “Momentum” group, they used to exist as “Militant Tendency” which also tried to take over the Labour Party and use it as a front for the loony left.
      In the Blair years they were a background-noise minority.
      Prior to that Michael Foot and left wing shambolic policies, lost elections and gave the UK years of Thatcher!
      Corbyn seems set to repeat those errors of the past!

      Like the present Tories over brexit, Labour maintained a public united front, despite the serious in-fighting between the Blair and Brown factions.

      I know what Corbyn’s objectives are, because his supporters persistently try to persuade me to help them promote those campaigns!

    • Thanks Mods. Usually when the post goes to be moderated it does not show up on the thread. I made the mistake, when I first joined, of trying to post things twice thinking there was a problem at my end. This time however, I refreshed twice and it was still there. Not to worry. I got one deleted the other day from John Cleese that I thought was a bit too of fun but understand why it might have been offensive.

    • Phil

      The post is back up and I don’t want to comment further until I know you got my message?

    • Alan

      I get the point of the fear of losing the election but I don’t agree that should be the motivator. Strategy is a good thing and we should never rely on feelings but we need to break away from the politics that these people are clinging onto. Every time I see one of our women MPs dress in the ‘power’ suits they all seem to wear, I decide not to vote for them. To contradict part of Phil post to me, my amygdala and my thoughts/ideas have a negative response.

    • Thanks mods!

      Technical problems is a much better explanation. I hadn’t seen that happen quite like that though.

      Ollie, back with you in a couple of hours…..Back to the lab for me now….

    • This is from 10th January, but I’ve only just seen it.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-pope/the-most-dangerous-bill-y_b_14067390.html?

      The Most Dangerous Bill You’ve Never Heard Of Just Passed The House

      “Last, week, under the cover of a media bliss-out except among Koch funded right-wing channels, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would effectively repeal future standard setting under every important environmental, public health, consumer protection, labor standards, occupational safety and civil rights law on the books …”

    • Let’s hypothesize.

      Let’s assume this this unfit man continues to amass a record of clearly violating both the constitution, sitting laws, and the public’s trust. Let’s assume that something, some event, some overstepping of bounds drives the machine of the US gov’t to impeach him.

      Give me what YOU think the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” is going to be. Mine has already been reached, but obviously the senate and house are not there yet. Let’s put together a “suicide pool” (american football reference) for this administration.

      I think he will be gone in just about 1.5 years and he will bee caught filling his own interests (and pockets) through executive orders that favor his own business interests. Anyone who gets it right , i owe a Crown Royal Manhattan.

    • Arkrid,

      Hey, what’s up? I meant 368 was funny. In comment 368 you said that May was “a three”, according to Trump.

      Btw, is everyone aware that the word propaganda, according to my late father, comes from religion?—Catholics – I think – propagating the faith.

      “The masses are led by their nose by the power of this propaganda. The same power put the enormous Trump in charge over the pond! The masses usually get what they deserve from simply just not thinking for themselves, this is how the mono-theistic religions thrive, down in the basement of pig-ignorance!”—M27Holts

      I hate propaganda. But let us not forget how powerful and insidious propaganda is either. It deprives people of their mental freedom without them knowing it. It manipulates them. The lumpenproletariat have – and this makes things even worse – been given a false sense of their “destiny” and of being engaged in a “revolution” by Trump’s/Bannon’s propaganda.

    • Arkrid 385

      I am afraid (literally) that you may have just nailed it. Bannon is now a ministerial, dark figure in American life.

      Olgun 380,

      “Islamophobia” was used, in this instance (in connection with the killer, Dawkins and this site), as a way of mischaracterizing and defaming. So I am more appreciative now of Phil’s point about how insidious (effective) the misuse of this word can be. I see your point too, always have.

      Marco (400), yes. One must be careful. Now more than ever. By the way how is it that the Bill From Hell that you brought our attention to (410) was kept from the public? Of all the elements associated with this crisis, I think secretiveness is the most worrisome.

      Phil, how are you? Alf?

    • Olgun #407
      Jan 31, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Alan

      I get the point of the fear of losing the election but I don’t agree that should be the motivator. Strategy is a good thing and we should never rely on feelings but we need to break away from the politics that these people are clinging onto.

      As with many of his own MPs, the problem I have with Corbyn, is not so much about his abilities to recognise (fairly obvious) problems and abuses, but is with his lack of depth in understanding about how to fix these.
      It was pig-headed incompetence, which brought the majority of his party’s MPs to pass a vote of no confidence in his leadership, before he rallied the uneducated left-wing masses to re-elect him flying in the face of expert advice from those MPs with experience of government.

      Like Trump, his belief in his ideology makes him confident he “knows-it-all”, so expert advisors find it impossible to work with him, or persuade him to listen to reason!
      In the parliamentary debate on brexit, it is depressing to listen to some of his muppet left-wing MP supporters, who have absolutely no clue what they are talking about, simply parroting empty rhetoric they have copied from the right-wing gutter press!

    • Dan #414

      By the way how is it that the Bill From Hell that you brought our
      attention to (410) was kept from the public? Of all the elements
      associated with this crisis, I think secretiveness is the most
      worrisome.

      Yes, deeply worrying. I was just reading earlier today that apparently there’s a known tactic in the Dictators’ Handbook whereby you do something so appalling (such as the Muslim ban, for instance) that everyone gets into a mega-flap about that, leaving the dictator free to sneak something even worse through while everyone’s distracted. I don’t suppose that’ll come as a surprise to anyone, but I hadn’t realised it even its own name – though I can’t remember what it is right now: perhaps someone else will know.

      Some people use it as an excuse to try to dissuade other people from protesting – but I think the better response is to carry on protesting like mad, but to remember that there’s always likely to be more than one ball to keep an eye on. In this case it’s the news media that need to remember that. I can’t imagine the Washington Post, NY Times, CNN etc would have chosen not to report on the repeal bill if they’d heard about it.

    • Alan

      Are you talking of stuff like this?

      As a strategy, I would say Corbyn has it right. If they had gone for the obvious opposition to Brexit, they win the stays and lose the leaves at a stroke. By seemingly backing the leavers, you are in the mix with the government and in a better place to challenge each detail rather than be lost in direct opposition as expected. Maybe he has taken advise from other sources? Let the LibDems take that route of direct opposition so the word gets out but hat is not where the power is?

    • Ol, re Corbyn

      I will never stand on ideological principal and will vote, if I can’t vote for better, certainly for the least worst. If the current problem is one of racist policies I will vote accordingly.

      But the last two decades of my life have been increasingly dedicated to the looming eco iceberg ahead, the solution to which needed maximal market coordination, the worlds biggest techno market driving common sustainability standards then if parochial racism isn’t pressing, I would vote to reduce the effect of this apocalypse.

      Corbyn, like Trump would open a mine and roll back the clock if he could. One of his staunchest supporters and the current chair of the PLP was a good friend of the family. Our kids played at each others houses and I chatted to him for many hours whilst we waited for our kids to finish their music lessons. He is the MP son of two other Labour MPs. (His mother Anne is a hero of mine.) The sweetest kindest people but John has not the least insight into business, not a scrap. This is my apprehension of his boss also.

      Having read most of Bernie Sanders’ new book and found him a brilliant problem solving pragmatist with a passion for the welfare of all, I would swap him for Jeremy Corbyn in a flash.

    • Dan, I’m fine thanks. But really too busy for this. I must try not to get drawn in. A little taste now and then, perhaps.

      Cheers.

    • Thanks for the inside information Phil and Alan. As my post above suggests, there are ways to explain some of his moves. Having said that, I too would swap for Bernie but that isn’t going to happen. I wonder if Corbyn has read it. I might skip my long list of to read but I’ve got 45 years of catching up to do.

    • Further to my comment at #416

      The term I was looking for was “shock event”; and this is where I read it:

      http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/01/31/americans-can-turn-tables-steve-bannons-shock-event

    • Olgun #417
      Jan 31, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      As a strategy, I would say Corbyn has it right.

      He has it completely wrong as far as “getting the best deal for Britain and the majority of its people” is concerned! He is playing wish-thinking fudge and waffle. The best deal Britain is going to get is the one it already has!

      If they had gone for the obvious opposition to Brexit, they win the stays and lose the leaves at a stroke.

      That is probably so now, but we are in this position because Corbyn announced the surrender straight after the referendum vote, and though ignorance and incompetence, did NOTHING to expose the deceptions and fantasies on which the vote was based.
      If Labour had organised a credible campaign to show the people where they had been conned by the brexiteers, there is a good chance that a parliamentary Labour vote combined with the Welsh, Scots, Irish, and the Tory Remain MPs, could have binned this nonsense before it kicked off!

      Are you talking of stuff like this?

      This quote from your link sums it up!
      “It was nonsensical to welcome the approach as ruling out a hard Brexit.
      Theresa May has done the exact opposite.
      We risk making ourselves an irrelevance on the most important issue facing the country.”

      A former frontbencher added: “Labour MPs are feeling a sense of resignation more than frustration.
      Presented with an open goal, Corbyn always fails to hit the target.”

      There is no way the other 27 EU countries (any one of which can veto this) are going to give Britain a better deal than the membership deal already in existence!
      The ideological anti-regulation brexiteers, think that like Trump, they can exploit anyone, and do what they like, if they dump the European laws!
      The rest are indulging wish-thinking and can’t see hard-brexit coming, as they have no understanding of internation trade or laws, because only use rubbish newspaper reports for information.
      Corbyn has totally disabled his party as an effective opposition!

      The reality is that the UK will fall back on the (inferior) World Trade Organisation Trade Rules once the inertia from article 50 carries them out of the EU.
      It is also likely to be at a time, when Trump induced trade wars are encouraging the erection of tariff barriers on goods from outside organised groups.

      As I said earlier, Corbyn will pose as the workers’ champion, looking for personal support, fighting and losing futile battles, after he has thrown away the chance to do something effective about keeping the hard won EU laws other people have fought for!

      As with those who elected Trump – the Corbynites aren’t listening to the well informed people giving warnings, and will only wake up to reality after it bites them!

    • Marco #422
      Jan 31, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      The term I was looking for was “shock event”; and this is where I read it:

      There is a clear connection between your link on “divide and rule shock events”, and the criticism I have just made about Corbyn’s failure to seek unity in fighting the brexit shock event instigated by the Trump-like Farage!

    • Alan

      Sorry can’t do much with my iPhone, as usual. I am laying in a hospital bed trying to pass kidney stones. The last five days have been hell.

      Would the UK get a better deal being united or split on the issue? ‘We’ have made the decision and I agree Corbyn could have done a better job but he is not the only one who thought it was a given and we would stay. If we present a solid front then the wolves will be kept at bay instead of picking at our bones. Trump is different in that he has split his country and even then the world has no power against him. It just seems like the right thing to do regardless of past failures. I can see the Tory papers now using the weakening of the UK as a good tool against him. I wish we weren’t at this stage but we cannot bully the world like Trump will, as America has been doing for a while now.

    • Olgun #424
      Jan 31, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      Sorry to hear you are unwell! Get well soon.

      Would the UK get a better deal being united or split on the issue?

      For me, the future of the country and its people is more important than any short term split in political or public opinion.

      ‘We’ have made the decision and I agree Corbyn could have done a better job but he is not the only one who thought it was a given and we would stay.

      The referendum was an incompetent farce, but that was mainly Cameron’s fault for not setting a proper threshold majority and some basic rules of conduct. There was even a prime example to show him how to do it much better, in the form of earlier Scottish referendum!
      Brexit was always about patching the split in the Tory Party, rather than anything for the benefit of the country.

      If we present a solid front then the wolves will be kept at bay instead of picking at our bones.

      There will be little which can be done once inertia takes over.
      The others I blame, not so much for the initial mistake, but for their spineless about-face, knowing that they had campaigned for what was in the best interests of the country, but then posturing as politically correct, while doing nothing about fixing the problem which had been created by their own lack of scrutiny of the original parliamentary bill.

    • My comment about Trump’s new supreme court justice disappeared. Was this a result of the technical problem that others have mentioned or was it deleted? Hmm. Hard to say. Maybe I forgot to press “Post Comment”.

      Well, all I said basically is that he’s just another religious ass, a believer in “religious freedom” and the sanctity of life, and a staunch opponent of assisted suicide (euthanasia). That makes him dangerous. More bad news.

      • Dan, your comment has not been deleted. Nor has it been set aside by the system as spam or requiring mod approval. Forgetting to “Post comment” does seem the likeliest solution to the riddle!

        The mods

    • Olgun, sorry to hear you took my hospital bed. I had stones once and I thought I would rather be shot.
      Anyway I escaped from the Hospital on Saturday. Had a BP of 240/110.
      I can’t remember anything from the last year,,,,,,what the hell just happened?

    • My sympathies Olgun, I passed a stone when I was eighteen, I thought my kidneys had failed and ended up on intra-venous antibiotics as infection set in. The stone did damage to the nerves in the neck of my bladder, which has meant a lifetime of piss-poor flow when I urinate! Anyway, get well soon!
      I will look into the new candidate for the supreme court – has a PHD from Oxford apparently!

    • I add my sympathies for your illness as well Olgun, hope it all works out. Can’t pray for you but I sympathise for what it is worth.

    • Olgun, on respect to this site being Islamophobic? I would say that this site is basically, ignoranophobic? (for want of a better word). Islam, it would seem is at the forefront of religion-based atrocities in Europe, thus it’s adherents and it’s apologists do get a bit of stick on this site. But no more than all the other religions?
      When I approached, and asked a Muslim, who was handing out copies of the Quran on a university campus, why he thought that their “god” – doesn’t want us to eat Bacon butties, I was accused of blatant “Islamophobia”. Was my question Islamophobic? And if so, why?

    • Arkrid Sandwich #385
      Jan 31, 2017 at 7:49 am

      What we might be seeing the start of here is a White House enclave led by Bannon trying to run the country entirely by Executive Order, disregarding the courts if they rule against those and even bypassing their own Congress, Republicans too, to create in effect a dictatorship solely pursuing Bannon’s white male supremacist agenda.

      Today this piece was posted on CNN by a professor at NYU on the “coup” that is in progress.

      This strategy requires a two-pronged approach. First, the creation of a small group of loyal insiders, who take orders directly from the leader’s inner circle and are tasked with creating chains of authority that bypass those of the existing federal government and party bureaucracies.

      us.cnn.com/2017/02/01/opinions/bannon-trump-coup-opinion-ben-ghiat/index.html

    • M27Holtz

      Was my question Islamophobic? And if so, why?

      I know we’re off topic but I can’t resist…I’m always interested in what people consider to be “food” and how they come to that decision. Yesterday I read an article somewhere about cannibalism and this led to a discussion with my husband about – What would it take for a Muslim to eat pork? How hungry would you have to be to eat items that are not defined in the mind as food or that are defined as disgusting. He claimed that Muslims would get over their horror of pork pretty quickly as the stomach cries out for fuel. I disagreed. I think that the results would look like a continuum with the degree of religiosity and the willingness to munch on pork to correspond in a positive function. I’m guessing that extreme islamists would starve themselves to death rather than consume a pork chop – especially if they are in the company of their peers! Just a hypothesis that will never be tested I suppose.

      Of course, the word “islamophobia” is a new invention in our lexicons and in years previously, Muslims might be taken aback at the question you posed, but would launch into an explanation to the “ignorant” infidel of how the brilliant and all knowing prophet prohibited pork to the true believers because pork is dirty and causes diseases to those who eat it. Explained with an air of sanctimony as we expect of all true believers of all religions, even when presented with the strange fact that billions of nonbelievers worldwide partake of the pig meat with no apparent health issues in this modern day and age.

      Islamophobia is a convenient way to shut the interlocutor up and send an instant insult along with it. The conversation is ended before it even begins.

    • Olgun

      Thanks for posting that article above and hope you’re on the mend by now. There is very little press here in the US about the disaster that is facing the Palestinians due to the free pass extended to Israel by the Trump administration and its American extremist zionists. Leave it to Israel to wait for a shock effect (as described above) to steal more Palestinian land and I’m bracing for another rampage through Gaza as they’ve done before.

      Between the Muslim travel ban debacle here and the massive increase in settlements underway in the occupied territories, well, anyone who isn’t worried at this point has their head in the sand.

    • Hostility towards Islam, or aspects of Islam, or – even more – to Islamism – is one thing.

      Hostility to all Muslims is another.

      One is hostility to an ideology.

      The other is hostility to a set of people based on a label that has led us to make assumptions about specific attitudes and beliefs that, in reality, they may or may not hold.

      I would hope that anyone would be able to see that one of those can arguably be justified and that the other simply cannot.

      As for the bacon buttie question, there are ways of asking questions that show you’re genuinely interested in the answer (even if you then disagree with it and want to challenge it), and ways that come across as thinly veiled attacks that suggest you’re not really interested in engaging courteously or constructively at all. If you phrased it as you’ve written it here, M27, I’m not surprised he felt you were just having a go.

    • As for the bacon buttie question

      I was merely picking out an example of absurdity. Amongst the many thousands that I could have selected from the meaningless drivel he was dishing out. I would have though that eating pork was one of the less “controversial” absurdities that are forced upon the “pious”? So my challenge IS Islamophobic because I didn’t couch it in a way as to make it obvious that my eating of bacon makes me an enemy of his god? How should I have asked the question then, I’m intrigued!

    • Good Day to one and all.

      I have a serious question, and would be grateful if one or more of you could answer it. I have looked this up and I can only get vague answers about impeachment.

      From whom and by what means do American citizens get protection from their own president, if he or she breaks the law or violates the constitution? Now if the House and Senate are on his side, are they compelled to commence impeachment proceedings? compelled by what force? —And is there no other body, such as the CIA, that observes and, if necessary, restrains a US president if he represents a threat to national security or if he becomes a dictator or represents a threat in some other way? And if the president were to purge the CIA (and the FBI) in order to have, in effect, his own Intelligence, and were to control all Law Enforcement, and the military as well, and everyone was then “loyal” to him, under his control (which could happen), who then, or what entity, would oversee his actions? Where are these so-called checks, preventing a lapse into tyranny, to come from?

      (I am ashamed of my ignorance, and have never really thought about this before.)

      (Olgun, loved the video, as I said. And may those infernal stones be passed or pulverized out of existence.)

    • Come on, M27, I’m sure you know as well as I do that how you come across is determined as much by non-verbal clues as by verbal ones. Tone of voice. Facial expression. Body language.

      “Can I ask you a question? I’ve never understood why the Koran forbids the eating of pork. Can you explain it to me?” – spoken in a way that conveyed your genuine interest in hearing his answer, might have opened the way to a dialogue in which you could have continued to challenge his position if you’d wanted to.

      If you genuinely want to engage with people, especially on subjects that are close to their hearts and on which they are likely to feel sensitive, a little bit of common-or-garden courtesy can go a very long way. It doesn’t mean you have to leave their answers unchallenged.

    • Arkrid posted a link to this article. His link doesn’t work. Maybe this one will. Here it is again, with some additional excerpts. Frightening stuff, to say the least.

      Kellyanne Conway
      ✔@KellyannePolls

      Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact.
      Promises made, promises kept.
      Shock to the system.
      And he’s just getting started.

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/01/opinions/bannon-trump-coup-opinion-ben-ghiat/

      As Conway implies, these first days of the Trump administration could be considered a prologue to a bigger drama, and one that reflects the thinking of Trump and Bannon alike. From their actions and pronouncements, we cannot exclude an intention to carry out a type of coup.

      Many may raise their eyebrows at my use of this word, which brings to mind military juntas in faraway countries who use violence and the element of surprise to gain power. Our situation is different. Trump gained power legally but this week has provided many indications that his inner circle intends to shock or strike at the system, using the resulting spaces of chaos and flux to create a kind of government within the government: one beholden only to the chief executive.

      “Strike at the enemy at a time and place or in a manner for which he is unprepared,” reads one US Air Force formulation of the old military doctrine of surprise. Trump has long been an advocate of this tactic and complained various times during the campaign that our armed forces were far too transparent about their planned operations.

      Yet Bannon is the mastermind of this takeover strategy as it’s been adapted to the domestic realm. Well-versed in military tactics and the history of the radical left and right, Bannon has repeatedly talked about “destroying the state” in the name of securing power for “an insurgent, center-right populist movement that is virulently anti-establishment.”

    • Dan #438
      Feb 1, 2017 at 11:02 am

      I have a serious question, and would be grateful if one or more of you could answer it. I have looked this up and I can only get vague answers about impeachment.

      In practical terms it will be almost impossible to remove Trump unless he’s very careless. The House of Representatives have the sole power to initiate impeachment for Treason or high crimes by a simple majority vote and the Senate has the sole power to rule on the impeachment by a 2/3 majority vote. Not a chance of either at present.

      Under the 25th Amendment the Vice President and a majority of the principal officers of the executive departments can try and declare the President unfit for office but if the President does not concur then the matter is tried by both houses and needs a 2/3 majority in both to convict. Again no possible chance of this happening at present.

      If the Dems manage to get really good control of the House and Senate in 2 years time they might stand a better chance so the best thing the people can do is get out there and vote.

      Theoretically the police or federal authorities could try and charge a sitting president with a criminal offence, such as fraud re Trump University, but the power of the President to award pardons does not specifically appear to restrict the ability to just pardon himself! Even if such a prosecution were to succeed then the House and Senate would still need to go through the impeachment process to get rid of him.

      I’m sure Trump has gone through all this with the best lawyers possible during the campaign and knows he’s just about bulletproof if he refuses to resign regardless of what he does in office.

    • Dan #440
      Feb 1, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Arkrid posted a link to this article. His link doesn’t work.

      Because the system keeps holding back posts with full links in them I have taken to deleting just the https:// bit at the front but they will still work if you paste what remains into your browser rather than just clicking on them.

    • Thanks for all the well wishes guys. I came out of surgery about two hours ago to have a stent put in so hope I don’t sound too stoned.

      alf1200

      What did happen?

      Over the last twelve years I have had two stones in left kidney, passed after hours of pain we think? A stone in my gall bladder which over the eight hours waiting to be seen in A&E shrivelled up and died and had to be cut out and this time the right kidney with several attacks. I had a lipotripsy to break them up but they clumped together again in my tubes. Each time I asked to be put down!! The nurses wasted no time in saying to me “now you know what it’s like t give birth”. Since last thursday I have given birth to ten children of the kidney with only a few hours of rest in between. Anyway, enough of the self pity……for now 🙂

      M27Holts

      I might not have made it clear before but to me, a phobia is usually ignorance isn’t it? Otherwise we would not be able to snap out of it when treated. I watched a program the other night on people who had a fear of flying. Like the old (true) joke goes; it’s not the flying they were afraid of but the crashing. Well, these people were given a step by step guide to all the things and strange noises that happen before and during the flight with recordings in a classroom. Their heart beats went up just hearing about them but eventually got the courage to take their first flight. The crashing part is still there though but their irrational fear that every flight will crash has gone.

      Marco has basically said what I wanted to say on the issue including the comment on how the question was asked, which I was struggling on how to put it without sounding rude. Asking that question is NOT islamaphobic and the word/I should NOT get the blame for someone, who is obviously ignorant of it themselves, using it for the wrong reasons. Hostility to an ideology is the phobia, for me, and the manifestation is the hostility to ALL its adherents. Not all planes will crash and not all spiders are dangerous. If a person that refused to fly stated the reason as being, they just don’t like look of planes and preferred boats then that would be bigoted, if you see what I mean?

      I don’t get why people are giving this word such power. It is only as powerful as your reaction to it whoever utters it. I was accused of islamaphobia by an Erdogan supporter. He said I was only talking that was because Erdogan was a muslim. It did not shut me up. I pointed out that all the previous presidents were and had to be muslim. He soon disappeared. Would you have clammed up if he had just called you an idiot? The time it becomes a real problem is when they manage to get it into law in various counties like the anti-semitism word. That really has shut down the conversation as you will get arrested for it. I just can’t help thinking that it is something the Hitch once said and people are using it without really thinking it through. Call me an islamaphobe but you better be able to back it up. BTW, I am not lecturing here. Just trying to put my point across.

      Laurie

      My middle sister, who is the most like me, used to eat bacon. She looked after my younger sister and me while mum was at work, when she was just a teen herself, and would buy us bacon butties when out of the house because we could not have it at home. A few years ago she just suddenly stopped and said it just would not go down her throat. Guilt had caught up with her. She will cook it for her daughters does not judge them. Just hedging her bets I think. My born again muslim oldest sister always finds a way to excuse the accidental eating of pig as in, tins of stuff that uses pig fat or using those new £5 with the tiniest amount of pig tallow. It is not a sin if you didn’t know, she says. Hunger will bring about the excuses in most I think and sod the real dangers there might be.

    • Olgun, I have a hernia that gives me problems. They won’t operate, its too risky with my BP problems.
      I had a blockage that caused pain and the BP went up to 240 and off to the hospital I go.
      I’m ok now. Hope you get out soon. I can’t stand hospitals, they never let me sleep.

    • alf1200

      Good to hear you are ok but BP not good. Hope you can get it under control and get that hernia sorted. My wife being insured through work, I am in a private hospital and being looked after like a king. Would be boring without my iPhone though. Should be going home today to be pampered by my wife.

      All

      I made this point the other day.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/30/brexit-britain-trump-erdogan-turkey

    • My post #377 gives a good recap of strategic shock events, as well as a more inclusive way to deal with them.

      “If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln’s strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power. Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
      Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it.”

      Right now, the Dems are pushing back, but they don’t have the numbers to really carry any clout. Their better bet would be taking Trump’s plans and ‘democratizing’ them. It’s what Sanders did with Trump’s infrastructure plan, and in the long run I think it will pay off in the voting booths.

      The whole idea behind a shock event is to divide. If the Dems play that game too, they will only heighten the divisiveness, and I just don’t think it will play well with the electorate. OTOH, I’m no political strategist, so what the hell do I know?

    • While the Republicans are happily changing rules to remove Democrat obstructions, so they can rubber-stamp Trump nominations for senior government posts, some of them make wake up in a while to discover they have made themselves irrelevant and they country has been taken over by a dictator!
      The mentally void Trump cheerleaders, will of course, continue in their deluded bubble of ignorance – happily feeding on deceptions from the likes of Faux News and Trump Twitterings!

      I see the similar noddy rubber-stamp politicians in the UK, have just decided that doing serious damage to the economy is OK, providing that Europhobia and bigotry against immigrants can be accommodated by Article 50 and brexit!

    • Somewhat hidden under the radar yesterday because of all the noise about cabinet and Scotus nominations the Republicans passed two bills in the House that give an idea of where everything is headed.

      http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/01/politics/stream-protection-rule/index.html

      The House passed a resolution, 228-194, that would repeal the “Stream Protection Rule,” a measure issued recently that barred mining companies from putting any of their waste in local waterways.

      The Senate is expected to approve the resolution as early as Thursday and send it to the President’s desk.
      The House also approved another resolution on Wednesday that eliminates a rule that required oil and gas companies from disclosing payments to foreign governments for gaining access to their energy resources.

      So no more concern with toxic drinking water for you all over there. The problems in Flint, Michigan have clearly made little impact on how much Republicans care for children’s health, or anyone else’s.

      The second resolution now paves the way for Trump and Exxon to get into bed with Putin and his oil as quietly as possible. Expect sanctions on Russia to be lifted as soon as seems convenient followed rapidly by Tillerson and Trump’s two oldest sons, Uday and Qusay, to head over there on a semi permanent basis to get joint ventures set up.

      It’s also been at least two days since Trump had a major falling out with another country but then he’s running out of countries to piss off anyway. Nevertheless he managed to find another one by ending up in a stormy phone call with Australia’s Prime Minister about immigrants and supposedly slamming the phone down on him. So that’s most of Europe, the entire Middle East (apart from Saudia Arabia), Mexico, India, China and now Australia ticked off his list. Just South America and Africa left to fall out with now.

      Everything seems to be going exactly according to Bannon’s master plan. Destroy every international diplomatic and trade agreement as much as possible to weaken all centres of power (Middle East, EU and TPP) other than the USA and Russia to leave what I called a couple of months ago the “Russo-American Hegemony” which is inexorably heading our way.

    • Vicki 446, others

      “Right now, the Dems are pushing back, but they don’t have the numbers to really carry any clout. Their better bet would be taking Trump’s plans and ‘democratizing’ them. It’s what Sanders did with Trump’s infrastructure plan, and in the long run I think it will pay off in the voting booths.”

      “The whole idea behind a shock event is to divide. If the Dems play that game too, they will only heighten the divisiveness, and I just don’t think it will play well with the electorate.”

      As far as I can see (and I am no strategist either) this makes almost no sense. (What did Sanders do with Trump’s infrastructure plan? He said he might support one. So? That’s fine; but what plan? Tell me. I am confused by that statement.) If the Democrats do not “push back” (another catch phrase I hear all the time on TV) the people will no longer have any faith in the ability of their elected leaders to represent their interests. Bannon does not represent the interests of the majority of Americans, and will go down in history – if he succeeds – as one of the most evil men in our nation’s history. This is the time for all citizens and all of the Democrats in Congress to fight for what is right. That we are divided is a good and necessary thing, and we must remain divided until we are no longer divided. —But the division is also an illusion; those who supported Trump were lied to and exploited and they are ignorant. His all-important base, which he needs have been conned into thinking that climate change is a hoax and that tax breaks for the wealthy, and “infrastructure” will save them, and that the ACA is bad for them. And they bought it. So if we could somehow enlighten them, let them know that what is in our best interest is in their best interest, it would be very helpful. But that is where propaganda and fake news and bad press secretaries come in…. But this strategy of appeasement, of finding common ground when there isn’t any, is playing right into their hands. What common ground? Infrastructure? Infrastructure is a trap. Private contractors creating mote pollution. That’s good for big business. Education? Do you want religious schools?

      Bannon and Trump want to reinforce the interests of the big banks, the big corporations, weaken Church and State separation, to get rid of environmental and financial regulations. I said this before: these people are like Nazis. Trump wants total control. They have nothing but contempt for anyone who differs with them. So division and conflict, and above all, opposition in the form of mass action, and on the part of the Democrats, is essential now. Or we will become, finally, a white Christian Nation Under God. And everyone else will be tolerated- or worse. Why do you suppose Bannon and Trump describe the Media is the opposition party? That’s reverse propaganda! Bannon is a professional propagandist and is a ruthless and cunning man. Essentially, he’s a complete degenerate. They are using the media now as an arm, like never before, and at the same time, want their duped and angry followers to distrust the “Liberal elitist” media! Why do you suppose that Trump made such a big issue out of losing the popular vote by such a large number? That is their fear: the numbers are on our side. Spicer said yesterday that “the majority” supports the Muslim ban.” They will keep saying that. That is a message designed to weaken and demoralize the Democrats. And then the electorate, seeing that the Democrats have nothing left, have been paralyzed in the face of the so-called “Will of the People” will lose faith in their own ability to effect change. And Bannon’s agenda will flourish. We will have a new party. They will still be called Republicans and it will last for fifty years or more.

      Should the Democrats do nothing, say nothing, if the new administration tries to create huge tax breaks for the very wealthy or to get rid of the EPA or Medicaid? Should they stand by with arms folded as we step up our support for Israel? Should they say nothing if we start bombing Iranian boats? – and Flynn can’t wait to attack, as you can see. We are a divided nation and if that division is obliterated through lack of conviction, confusion, propaganda,cowardice or fear, we will be completely lost.

      Your historian Richardson (#377) says “We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.” How do you do that, by holding up a teacup to a tidal wave? Tell me what should be done!

    • Arkrid #448

      Thanks for that post. Helped link a lot of things together for me.

    • Arkrid #448

      Ditto.

    • Vicki #446
      Feb 1, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      The whole idea behind a shock event is to divide. If the Dems play that game too, they will only heighten the divisiveness, and I just don’t think it will play well with the electorate. OTOH, I’m no political strategist, so what the hell do I know?

      1) If there’s anything close to a cast iron certainty in American politics now it’s that there is absolutely no comeback for being obstructive, in fact the reverse. The Republicans have done it relentlessly for 8 years to limit what Obama could achieve and the electorate didn’t give a damn. All they see is the final results with barely a glance at why things were not achieved because this is a staggeringly low information electorate. They just want instant gratification.

      2) The message from the Dem protests being held at the moment is don’t vote for any of Trump’s picks, ever, under any circumstances.

      There is absolutely only one strategy the Dems should adopt and that is fight everything Trump wants to do tooth and nail. Fillibuster, obstruct, bombard the administration with law suits and never, ever vote for any of his picks.

      There is one more thing I believe they should do. All that drives Trump is ego and Bannon is really running the evil agenda. Trump is barely more than spokesman. It’s essential to drive a wedge between Trump and Bannon to limit Bannon’s power. If every time a senior Dem gets airtime he refers to President Bannon, the Bannon White House and The Bannon Presidency it will drive Trump insane. Don’t even mention Trump except as errand boy. Pretend he doesn’t exist.

      Even when Bannon tells Trump this is just classic “divide and conquer” it will make no difference. Trump’s narcissism controls him utterly. When he sees everyone talking about Bannon instead of him or accrediting Bannon instead of him he will explode.

      The trouble is the Dems are piss poor at this sort of infighting but they have to grow a pair and get down and dirty. They’ll whine that this sort of behaviour is “uncollegiate”. Well fuck that! Hit Trump in his ego. Demean him. Belittle him. Call him a mouthpiece. Tell him his inauguration crowd was so tiny he could hold even his own tiny hands up and block them all out of sight.

    • Olgun #450
      Feb 2, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Arkrid #448

      Thanks for that post. Helped link a lot of things together for me.

      Have another read of this thread where I first outlined my predictions for the Russo-American hegemony and what it would entail and then see how the congressional resolutions that are, and will soon, be passed are fitting into all this.

      By Yvette d’EntremontWhen you deeply want something to be true, that’s when you have to question it the most.I want chocolate-covered bacon to be a health food. Who doesn’t want to get in shape by eating foo […] [Read more]– Dan Dredger Dec 25, 2016

    • Arkrid #452

      All that drives Trump is ego and Bannon is really running the evil
      agenda. Trump is barely more than spokesman. It’s essential to drive a
      wedge between Trump and Bannon to limit Bannon’s power. If every time