Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

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  • steven crawford, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Attachment

    Grass roots, fighting the American dream.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    combined harvesting...

    Grass roots, fighting the American dream.

    Ride on!
    Brother!
    Ride on!

    We are the porina merica...
    oh yeah!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Trump used Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’

    Hiding in plain sight as it were. It’s not entirely surprising that the families might have taken umbrage at the establishment defiling the omertà, preferring to install their own button man: the Don.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I hope the left can out data them somehow.

    I still don't really know the clear definition of left, but big data might be a thing when 'Calexit' needs a constitutional change for a California secession if it gets to that. For the Calexit fans, maybe fake news the internet with story's about how California is bludging of the hard working mid west, and that they try to make Trump supporters look stupid with all there college educations, human rights and science.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4015 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    don’t really know the clear definition of left,

    It seems that definition depends on one's pov and where you come from.
    Some seem to regard a lefty as anyone who wont let you kill at will, but thats an extreme. There certainly is a spectrum when it comes to how the left is defined in the US

    make Trump supporters look stupid

    They can do that all on their own ;)) I give 'em the .|..

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1714 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I hope the left can out data them somehow.

    Requires lots of money.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19518 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Alfie,

    Here’s an excellent piece from Google engineer Yonatan Zunger asking if the muslim ban is effectively a trial run for a coup.

    He's not the only one thinking along those lines.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    A coup? I do not believe American democracy to be that weak. For all it's faults, it has stood for hundreds of years, riding through far greater challenges than a childish playboy making a mockery of it. Comparisons with the rise of fascism in the 1930s are very premature. These people are not nearly as organized or powerful as the Nazis, nor is America anywhere near as angry as the German people were during that time, nor is ANY country actually belligerent towards them. They have not been vanquished in war and crushed under decades of sanctions. Everything that's happened to them, they did to themselves.

    Of course it's concerning that the most powerful job in the world is held by a muppet. But it's not the first time it's happened. I think in many ways it is the very impossibility of a coup that has led to a president full of braggadocio. Some proportion of the population really wants the kind of change a fascist might be able to bring, but they won't get that, they'll get someone going through the motions of strongman leadership and accomplishing very little because ultimately it's not a country that will tolerate fascists.

    I don't really see how we can help Americans sort this out. Nor do I even think we should. Nations are already dealing with Trump's random silliness in ways that make sense to them and that's as far as we really need to go. The Trump supporters are just going to have to learn the hard way that no one is going to build their wall for them, and their economy is far more reliant on trade and immigration than they realize, and that you can't strong arm the whole world. No way is the USA that powerful. The world will simply turn away from it.

    Which ironically will probably be good for the world, but not America. But what will be good for America is the exercise of it's checks and balances, eventually. Maybe they'll even add some new ones.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10558 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to BenWilson,

    I reckon the coup already took place - it was a Wall Street coup. And what Trump's administration does about that will be the test of sincerity in terms of his campaign platform and the reason he won the critical swing states in the electoral college. So I'm watching what the progress is in terms of bringing back Glass-Steagall, and/or amending Dodd-Franks. And the force in favour of retaining the Clinton administration's repeal of Glass-Steagall is strong. Oddly enough, if he really does want to break the back of the Wall Street coup, then Elizabeth Warren is his best friend. Trump during the campaign was in favour of bringing Glass-Steagall back - Mike Pence was not - and hence one of the reasons why the GOP elite got more comfortable with their own candidate once he picked Pence as a running mate.

    So far, Wall Street is undisturbed and romping home in the interim;
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-04/wall-street-vs-main-street-trumplandia

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 786 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to BenWilson,

    Thanks for this Ben, I’ve been staggered by the number of threads Godwinned recently, it’s honestly felt like watching an induction ceremony at a Neo-Truthers Convention.

    You’d hope people genuinely serious about the rise of fascism might be a little more focused on things such as Josef Mengele style non-consented sex-change surgery on infants in order to preserve the gender purity of the master races.

    Or any other pertinent comparison, anything at all, occurring in our own damn country.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    So I'm watching what the progress is in terms of bringing back Glass-Steagall, and/or amending Dodd-Franks.

    Trump just said that he wants to repeal Dodd-Franks because lots of his friends can't get loans from the banks.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-dodd-frank-friends-cant-get-loans

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Stephen R,

    As I understand it - Dodd-Franks was a ruse in respect of addressing the Wall Street TBTF coup - and has had unintended consequences elsewhere in the economy - and having had no impact whatsoever on the root of the Wall Street coup - which according to many has to do with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, as Glass-Steagall prevented the merging of commercial and investment banks. Hence why Americans bailed out the bad bets of the investment side of those various commercial and investment banking entities.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 786 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Washington: Damn it – he thought he was king.
    In discovering late Friday that as president he's one of three intermeshed branches of government, Donald Trump belittled the jurist who had pulled him up quick-smart, as a "so-called judge" and his ruling that iced Trump's immigration crackdown as "ridiculous."
    But much to their amazement, Trump and the Bannon bunch keep running into this brick wall – it's called American democracy.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/when-donald-trump-hits-a-brick-wall-called-democracy-he-cant-get-no-satisfaction-20170204-gu5os0.html

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    What's so totally weird is that by the time the stay gets heard by the Supreme Court - the temporary ban would likely have ended. I wonder whether it's more about a struggle between a market globalist worldview - given the evidence of direct business harm as presented to the Judge by Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks seems to have been the basis of his decision to determine the order brought harm to the states) vs the imperialist globalist Trump administration's worldview;

    http://mams.rmit.edu.au/gs97wp2i82aj1.pdf

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 786 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    The white supremacist elephant in the room that you haven't addressed in your reply is Bannon. Trump is to a certain extent a sideshow clown, a magician's assistant to help with the misdirection. Bannon, and four or five others of a very tight inner circle, are the ones setting the policy and driving things. And they are far more focussed and ideologically nastier than Trump is.

    The much vaunted checks and balances are being put under quite a bit of pressure, and are to a certain extent looking a bit toothless when an entire government deprtment can simply shrug and ignore a federal court order if they don't like it much.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to mark taslov,

    I’ve been staggered by the number of threads Godwinned recently,

    Trump has an inner circle of advistors that, among others with (to put it mildly) somewhat dubious views, includes a literal white supremacist.

    Does that not cause you any concern at all? Or are you all 'she'll be right, mate. Long way away. Nothing to do with me'? It's The Kiwi Way, after all

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Does that not cause you any concern at all?

    Is there a middle option available? I see white supremacy everywhere I look.

    Average (median) wealth for Māori in 2010 was about $18,750, far less than the $125,500 for Pākehā. This reflects the historical alienation of Māori land and assets, as well as other factors. Average wealth for Pacific peoples was lower still, at $8,500.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you. They can harm no one, if no one listens to them. Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you. Believers are the liars’ enablers. Their votes give the demagogue his power. Their trust turns the charlatan into the president. Their credulity ensures that the propaganda of half-calculating and half-mad fanatics has the power to change the world.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/05/donald-trump-lies-belief-totalitarianism?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=211812&subid=7516316&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to mark taslov,

    I see white supremacy everywhere I look.

    Within the context of this particular thread, dealing as it is with:

    1) the current administation of the USA.

    2) the fact one of the President's closest advisors is a White Supremacist (a phrase that has a specific meaning completely separate from issues of systematic in-built inequalities and white privilege, especially as those relate to a small pacific island country 10,000 Km from the continental US).

    Your comment does rather beg the question: So fucking what?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I hope this might provide some perspective:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/16/politics/white-nationalists-trump-losing-faith/

    As the second paragraph of that Wikipedia entry you linked to clearly states:

    The term is also typically used to describe a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people (as evidenced by historical and contemporary sociopolitical structures such as the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow laws in the United States, and apartheid in South Africa).

    I may have misinterpreted, but is “So fucking what?” a response to this more palatable form of white supremacy? I’m not being facetious, it’s a serious question, because being genuinely concerned about card carrying white supremacists and yet nonplussed by actual white supremacy itself strikes me as a dangerous contradiction.

    Today we remember the signing of the treaty. That means as many things to as many people and is often a source of conflict for obvious reasons – none less so than this insidious form of white supremacy it ushered in. For those of us whose ancestors – both Maori and Pakeha – were on these islands before the signing of that treaty, it’s difficult to ignore that this idea – an idea latterly named “New Zealand” is essentially a white supremacist ideology, albeit a white supremacist ideology corralled not by self-proclaimed white supremacists but by representatives of the British Crown, people cut from the same fabric as those that enacted the genocide of 95,000,000 to 114,000,000 Native Americans, snipped from the same Hessian fibre as those that have enacted the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern civilians this century.

    Russell’s original post – which is awesome – wasn’t specifically dealing with The USA’s internal situation but also the impact that Trump’s administration might have globally. Of the 7 billion people currently on the planet, in almost any country you’d care to name, very few need reminding about white supremacy and the impact it continues to have on their lives.

    About 8 years ago you and I had a debate on the merits of democracy based on Winston “One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement.” Churchill’s quote:

    ’Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.’

    I thought you made a fairly compelling argument at the time and It informed my thinking to the extent that as long as their democratic checks appear to be functioning, it remains very difficult for me to split hairs between the gamut of racist ideologies on offer in the 21st century.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to mark taslov,

    “New Zealand” is essentially a white supremacist ideology, albeit a white supremacist ideology corralled not by self-proclaimed white supremacists but by representatives of the British Crown, people cut from the same fabric as those that enacted the genocide of 95,000,000 to 114,000,000 Native Americans, snipped from the same Hessian fibre as those that have enacted the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern civilians this century.

    There's a more colloquial term for them 'power and control freaks'. their arse-aholic religion helped/helps them. It a flaw in us all-not a design flaw- we werent designed, tho we have proclivities toward seeing events from our perspective first, and not seeing other perspectives very well or at all. And then to self justify. To not do that takes effort.
    But in this era, such deserve no leeway.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1714 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Bannon, and four or five others of a very tight inner circle, are the ones setting the policy and driving things.

    They are, and they're definitely dangerous, don't get me wrong. But they're not even near Nazi levels of organized bastardry. Of course we don't want them to get anywhere near that, but until the first credible political murder is conducted by their gang, I don't have grave fears for the collapse of the political order in the US. And of course that is a threshold that it will be incredibly hard to get away with.

    Hitler was organizing shit like that in the early 20s.

    This is more like a Berlusconi style despotism. Corrupt, nepotistic. But not really outright fascist. It's not a good place to be, admittedly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10558 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to mark taslov,

    I may have misinterpreted, but is “So fucking what?” a response to this more palatable form of white supremacy? I’m not being facetious, it’s a serious question, because being genuinely concerned about card carrying white supremacists and yet nonplussed by actual white supremacy itself strikes me as a dangerous contradiction.

    In my opinion, making the distinction is crucial.

    On one hand we have political and economic systems which inherently advantage one group (in this case, straight white males) over anyone else who isn't in that group, and which are generally (generally) that way for cultural/historical reasons rather than any in-built design.

    On the other, we have an ideology that literally believes that certain groups are less than human because of quirks of their DNA.

    One thing that comes across from interviews with Trump voters (such as for example mrs tattoed and employed from this article) is that they consider certain things to be settled: "[the womans march] was the stupidest thing ever because some were saying they’re being treated unequally. Women can stand up and go after what they want. Men aren’t standing in the way ”.

    This type of argument comes up repeatedly: 'why are black peple still protesting? We're all equal now. Why are women still protesting? They have the same opportunities as men. Why are gay people moaning about which bathroom they have to use? They can get married now'.

    The crucial point is that by and large, very few people in the general population are arguing that women shouldn't have the same opportunities, that black and hispanic people shouldn't have the same opportunities, etc. On a philosphical level, those battles have to a large extent been won. They aren't arguing that those things shouldn't exist, they think they're already there and they can't understand why people are still complaining. That makes them persuadable - there's a good chance they'd be relatively open to a decent argument and facts about inherent bias, privilege, patriachy, yadda yadda.

    On the other hand, how do you even start to talk to someone who is A-OK with genocide?

    It absolutely suits someone like Bannon to blur the distinction, because it keeps the people that could be swayed, from hearing the arguments that might change their minds (it's all just liberal lefty PC-gone-mad crap, innit? Why is this guy calling me a nazi? I'm not a nazi, you dumb libtard, some of my best friends are black, etc. I'll vote for mr straight-talker), and that allows people such as him who want to watch the world burn, to get their hands on gasoline and matches.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    This is more like a Berlusconi style despotism. Corrupt, nepotistic. But not really outright fascist. It's not a good place to be, admittedly.

    Well, history never plays out exactly the same way twice. I'm not, by and large, thinking that it's an inevitability, but I do think the system/checks and balances are less robust than people assume, and it would be easier to reach the tipping point than is generally thought.

    I read Richard J Evan's three-volume magnum opus a few years ago. One of the minor points that has stuck in my head was how, having come to power, the high officials of the Nazi Party essentially looted Germany to make themselves fantastically weathy, confiscating huge tracts of land and directing the economy towards further filling of their own personal coffers. This basically completely destroyed any recovery, and essentially put Germany in the position of having to go to war, in order to gain enough external resource to stop absolutely everything grinding to a halt.

    Obviously, taking a few steps down a certain path doesn't necessarily lead to an inevitable outcome, but the signs are, at the very least, extremely troubling.

    It's like a house of cards: it takes hours or days to painstakingly build it and make progress, but an out-of-control toddler can flatten it in seconds. It took decades to get to the (piss-weak) paris agreement. All Trump has to do is wake up one morning and go 'nah', and we're another decade or so away from making any meaningful progress whatsoever.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2727 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    Comparisons with the rise of fascism in the 1930s are very premature. These people are not nearly as organized or powerful as the Nazis, nor is America anywhere near as angry as the German people were during that time, nor is ANY country actually belligerent towards them. They have not been vanquished in war and crushed under decades of sanctions. Everything that's happened to them, they did to themselves.

    So far, American Rust Belt decline isn't the hyperinflation of Weimar Germany, and the Great Recession isn't the Great Depression... yet. At this stage, Trump's America is indeed more like Berlusconi's Italy, Erdogan's Turkey or even Putin's Russia at best. If Trump is comparable to any historical Fascist leader, it'd be either Mussolini or General Franco.

    And Richard J Evans has his 2c on the Brexitrump political tsunami.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5385 posts Report Reply

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