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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#9921 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-19, 12:21

View Posty66, on 2018-April-18, 08:54, said:

From A Brief History of How America Came to Love Small Wars by Max Fisher and Amanda Taub at NYT:

People who advocate for war rarely want to be on the frontlines to see how the sausage gets made. American media presents war theater in a very clinical, performance metric-oriented manner to assist government in selling war to the masses. We rarely see faces of death or dismembered children or burning flesh or maimed bodies when reporting war. This presentation lulls us into a false sense of security about the scale and scope of death involved, the exorbitant price of victory, and the obscene amount of destruction required for a chance at victory. We find the war effort more palatable because of well crafted propaganda that ignores its ugly, morally reprehensible and dehumanizing aspect.
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#9922 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-April-19, 14:19

View Posty66, on 2018-April-18, 08:54, said:

From A Brief History of How America Came to Love Small Wars by Max Fisher and Amanda Taub at NYT:


Given the title, I expected to see more about the war in Korea.

WW II started when I was a small child, that would not be anybody's idea of a small war. The Korean War began when I was 11. The approach was very different, as was the result. For one thing, no war was declared. It was a "police action". Nobody really knew what that meant. People were getting killed, it seemed like a war. After the North Korean army was pushed back to the 1950 boundary line, the 38th parallel, there was debate as to whether allied forces should then push into the north. In 1939-45, after the German army was pushed back into Germany, there might have been some debate somewhere about whether Allied forces should cross the border into Germany. But I don't think many were surprised that we continued on into Berlin.
Getting back to Korea, the Allied forces did go north. At first NK pilots and then later Chinese would fly in from China and then dart back to the Chinese side of the Yalu. Allied pilots were forbidden to follow them in. Don't cause trouble, keep it small.

At least that's the way I remember it. I am not an historian, I didn't look anything up, but this seems about right. I recall someone describing it as the first war in history that was fought in terms of pleasing the enemy.

So it seems to me that if we are going to talk historically about the shift from major all out war to small war, we need to start with Korea. A lot of people got killed there, so maybe "small" is not an adequately respectful phrase, but certainly the approach was different from WW II.

Somewhere along the way, the phrase "proportionate response" came into favor. I have never really understood just what it means. What would have been a proportionate response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor? But that's what we do now. We bomb here and there, this and that, now and then. Proportionately I guess. It doesn't seem to be working all that well.

I would like us not to be fighting wars at all. Who would argue with that? That option might not exist. But the way we are now going at things does not seem best.
Ken
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#9923 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-April-19, 14:59

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli etc. Gen. Smedley Butler had it right with "War is a racket".
Who invaded your country? The only instances I know of are the War of 1812 (you invaded us first) and 9-11.(Balfour declaration thru current oil $ machinations)
Who denies you your rights? Only your own security-state apparatus.
Who threatens your lives? Terrorists? Traffic deaths and medicine-related complications are deadlier.
The corporate culture is a logical extension of an elite extending their influence around a "multi-national" free trade world.
That is where the problem exists and the arms and "defense" industries are a result that promotes and promulgates the current belligerent foreign policy.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#9924 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-April-19, 15:33

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-April-19, 14:59, said:

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli etc. Gen. Smedley Butler had it right with "War is a racket".
Who invaded your country? The only instances I know of are the War of 1812 (you invaded us first) and 9-11.(Balfour declaration thru current oil $ machinations)
Who denies you your rights? Only your own security-state apparatus.
Who threatens your lives? Terrorists? Traffic deaths and medicine-related complications are deadlier.
The corporate culture is a logical extension of an elite extending their influence around a "multi-national" free trade world.
That is where the problem exists and the arms and "defense" industries are a result that promotes and promulgates the current belligerent foreign policy.



I have long experience with this general argument. Back in maybe 1951 I was arguing with my mother about the war in Korea.

My Mother: The war is about oil. All wars are about oil.
Me: Mom, I don't think there is any oil in Korea.
My Mother: We are fighting there, there is oil there.

Hand my mother known the expression, she would have finished with QED.

No doubt financial interests are involved. The Middle East would be a more peaceful place if there was no oil there. But I don't think it is the whole explanation.
Ken
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#9925 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-April-19, 15:54

Well, it certainly plays a role in oil-rich regions whereas the Korean "conflict" was more of a direct confrontation between the west's capitalist regimes and the communist presence so feared by the western elite (since 1917).
Having the red scare was an effective counterpoint to the exuberance and expectations of the general populace. Diversion and division still works well today.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#9926 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-19, 16:08

From A guide for the momentarily confused at FT:

Quote

Edward Luce:

Spare a thought for beleaguered Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s ambassador to the UN. She is the latest – and most egregious – victim of an administration that just can’t do “joined up government” (as Tony Blair used to say).

On Sunday, Haley said the US was about to levy fresh sanctions on Russian entities that helped Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with chemical weapons. On Monday, the White House insisted that Haley had been “momentarily confused”. No such sanctions had been agreed. Haley had been getting ahead of herself…“I don’t get confused,” Haley shot back. To which the entire rest of the planet replied: “The rest of us do!” As indeed we are.

Let me guide Swampians through the fog. The explanation is simple. Everyone in the Trump administration is really hawkish on Russia. Except the president. On most days the train simply keeps running without him. People such as Haley talk to Jim Mattis, the defence secretary, John Bolton, the national security advisor, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and so on, and agree on what ought to be done.

Mostly it is their deputies, and their deputies’ deputies, who do the real work, but you get the point. It is called the inter-agency process. If something big is agreed it goes through the Oval Office – sometimes at a full meeting of the cabinet. At which point, Trump either waves it through because he’s not listening, or because he doesn’t grasp what he’s agreeing to. In his world something only happens when he hears it discussed on a cable news show. Then he goes ballistic and strenuously tries to undo what he himself has already approved.

That is precisely what happened with Haley. Last Friday, she attended a White House cabinet meeting at which the fresh Russia sanctions were approved. They were to go into effect on Monday. Fortunately for Trump, he was watching Haley on TV when she made the announcement and managed to nip it in the bud. His long-suffering staff then started briefing everyone that Haley had been confused. In fact, it was the opposite. Trump is the one with attention deficit disorder. Haley is the one without any legs. Next time she unveils a US position at the UN, people will wonder: “Is she just freelancing? Does Trump know about this?”

Rana Foroohar responds:

Thanks Ed. This is indeed only my first week back from holiday, but given that I spent all yesterday in Washington, I actually feel like I need another vacation.

Before that, I was speaking to and visiting with a number of Fortune 500 CEOs in various parts of the country. I asked all of them how they were engaging (or not) with the administration, and what they were thinking about the chaos you sketch above, and in particular the policy decisions and statements — one coming after another in ever more rapid succession — that cancel each other out. How do they make decisions given that we have literally no idea where the White House stands from moment to moment on everything from foreign policy to trade? Here are a few things I learnt that will be of interest to Swampians.

1. Business is moving ahead with the shortest of short term plans — namely share buybacks — but isn’t doing much more in terms of investing the proceeds of the tax reform that they helped the administration pass through. A number of more thoughtful CEOs are increasingly concerned that we will get literally no productive investment into the Main Street economy from the tax boondoggle.

2. Business is desperate for education reform, and even calls it a national security issue. This is the biggest priority at the moment, and there’s huge frustration with utter lack of federal leadership on this front (several CEOs I spoke to commented on how egregious it was that Betsy DeVos was nowhere to be found in the midst of multi-state teacher strikes). Companies are starting to team up at the local level on this front, partnering with each other as well as desperate regional governments and non-profit organisations to develop new high school and even elementary school curriculums (the Fallows book, which you cite above, is spot on about local efforts being the bright spot).

3. Multinational CEOs are looking to Europe for guidance about the rules of the digital economy. As the Trump administration muses about rejoining TPP and stumbles into a trade war with China, and Congress holds the intellectual equivalent of a five hour help desk call with Mark Zuckerberg, many CEOs are thinking of adopting GDPR globally. Certainty is better than nothing. More on all this from me in columns soon. PS. Ed, love that you are bringing back the term “joined-up” government — Old Skool!


Quote

Finally, Jennifer Finney Boylan has a lovely take on Forrest Trump in the New York Times. Forrest Gump, of course, was the simple-minded but benign character who embodied the zeitgeist. Forrest Trump is in some ways similar but in others not so much: Life is like a box of subpoenas. You never know what you're gonna get.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9927 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-April-19, 17:12

View Posty66, on 2018-April-19, 16:08, said:



And much like Forrest Gump, for Forrest Trump things just seem to work out well. Who would have thought: robust economy, tax reductions, North Korea joining the rest of the world without nukes, ISIS defeated, withdrawing from Syria, gradually getting our southern border under control, etc. Trump is certainly a lucky boy! And so are we!
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#9928 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 07:09

View Postkenberg, on 2018-April-19, 14:19, said:

Given the title, I expected to see more about the war in Korea.

WW II started when I was a small child, that would not be anybody's idea of a small war. The Korean War began when I was 11. The approach was very different, as was the result. For one thing, no war was declared. It was a "police action". Nobody really knew what that meant. People were getting killed, it seemed like a war. After the North Korean army was pushed back to the 1950 boundary line, the 38th parallel, there was debate as to whether allied forces should then push into the north. In 1939-45, after the German army was pushed back into Germany, there might have been some debate somewhere about whether Allied forces should cross the border into Germany. But I don't think many were surprised that we continued on into Berlin.
Getting back to Korea, the Allied forces did go north. At first NK pilots and then later Chinese would fly in from China and then dart back to the Chinese side of the Yalu. Allied pilots were forbidden to follow them in. Don't cause trouble, keep it small.

At least that's the way I remember it. I am not an historian, I didn't look anything up, but this seems about right. I recall someone describing it as the first war in history that was fought in terms of pleasing the enemy.

So it seems to me that if we are going to talk historically about the shift from major all out war to small war, we need to start with Korea. A lot of people got killed there, so maybe "small" is not an adequately respectful phrase, but certainly the approach was different from WW II.

Somewhere along the way, the phrase "proportionate response" came into favor. I have never really understood just what it means. What would have been a proportionate response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor? But that's what we do now. We bomb here and there, this and that, now and then. Proportionately I guess. It doesn't seem to be working all that well.

I would like us not to be fighting wars at all. Who would argue with that? That option might not exist. But the way we are now going at things does not seem best.

With respect to the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor,
Source: http://www.ihr.org/j...19_Stolley.html

absolute power corrupts absolutely!
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#9929 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 07:48

AP reporting:

Quote

President Donald Trump says Russian President Vladimir Putin told him, “We have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.”

That’s according to a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey. The Associated Press obtained copies of Comey’s memos Thursday.

Comey says the comment came during a brief meeting with Trump at the White House in February 2017. Comey says Trump told him that the “hookers thing” was nonsense. The president was referring to allegations in a dossier about a possible encounter between Trump and Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.

Comey writes that Trump did not say when Putin had made the comment.


This is odd, as I remember Trump denying he had ever met Putin.

AP:

Quote

By 2016, Trump’s story had changed completely. At a July, 2016 press conference, at the height of the general election campaign, Trump denied ever having met the Russian leader.

“I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is,” he told reporters in Florida. “He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius. I said, ‘Thank you very much’ to the newspaper, and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.”

“Never spoken to him. I don’t know anything about him other than he will respect me,” Trump added.


That's the problem with a serial liar - after a while nothing he says can be taken as genuine and people begin to look elsewhere to find out the truth.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9930 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 08:26

From If the World Economy Is Looking So Great, Why Are Global Policymakers So Gloomy? by Niel Irwin at the NYT:

Quote

High Debt, Low Rates and the Next Recession

Another worry: While the major economies look relatively strong right now, they may also prove brittle when the next shock arises.

Rather than using this period of stability and prosperity to pay down debts, some major economies are moving in the other direction — including with rising public debt levels in the United States and high private debt levels in China.

“In the United States, the fiscal impulse is important, but that is something that at some point doesn’t give you any more mileage in terms of growth,” said Agustín Carstens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements and former governor of the Bank of Mexico, in an interview Wednesday. “And China need to continue improving the quality of growth from the point of view of the dependency on credit.”

That dependency on debt means that whenever the next economic downturn arrives, governments may have less leeway to deal with it by opening the floodgates of public spending.

And with interest rates still low across the entire advanced world, one of the normal tools for dealing with a recession still has limited power. For example, the Federal Reserve entered the last downturn with its short-term interest rate at 5.25 percent, before cutting to nearly zero by December 2008. Currently, that target rate is between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent.

The European Central Bank has even less room to maneuver, with its policy rates still near zero.

In effect, a decade after the financial crisis, if another recession were to arise, both central banks and fiscal authorities may find themselves short of ammunition to fight it.

People Who Tend to Fret

There is surely an anthropological dimension to the kind of worrying that is emerging from conference halls in Washington this week.

The people who end up as central bankers or finance ministers or I.M.F. officials tend to worry a lot about what could go wrong. They also tend to place greater value than most on the kinds of international institutions that underpin the global trade system, of which the Trump administration is deeply skeptical.

But there’s also no doubt that the largely good economic news of the moment comes with some warnings worth listening to. Even when enjoying sunny weather, it never hurts to know what you’ll do if it starts to rain.

Pay down debt in periods of prosperity? Who you gonna call?
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9931 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 09:26

View Postkenberg, on 2018-April-19, 14:19, said:

Given the title, I expected to see more about the war in Korea.

WW II started when I was a small child, that would not be anybody's idea of a small war. The Korean War began when I was 11.

I was in grade school during the Viet Nam War. I knew it was going on, but wasn't really aware of what it was really about. I don't think we were in any other big conflicts until the Gulf War. That made war look really easy -- TV was full of cockpit-cam video of precision missile strikes against specific targets. Yeah, we knew there was also infantry on the ground, but that wasn't the main theatrical piece on the news. Casualties on our side were infrequent enough that they were newsworthy -- a truck blown up by an IED here, a plane shot down there. And since then it's just gotten even neater, with remote-controlled drones handling more duties.

There was a Star Trek episode that was earily prescient: two planets had been at war for centuries, and as things became more automated they just stopped using actual weapons. Instead, they just had their computers simulate the attacks and figure out which citizens would have been killed, and those citizens just routinely walked into booths where they were put to death painlessly. As Kirk said, they made war neat and tidy, and just part of life, but it's supposed to be messy so you'll do whatever you can to avoid it. He destroyed the computer that does the simulations, so they'd have to either start waging war the old fashioned way or agree to peace talks.

#9932 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 09:37

View Postkenberg, on 2018-April-19, 15:33, said:

I have long experience with this general argument. Back in maybe 1951 I was arguing with my mother about the war in Korea.

My Mother: The war is about oil. All wars are about oil.
Me: Mom, I don't think there is any oil in Korea.
My Mother: We are fighting there, there is oil there.

Hand my mother known the expression, she would have finished with QED.

No doubt financial interests are involved. The Middle East would be a more peaceful place if there was no oil there. But I don't think it is the whole explanation.

This makes much more sense than anything I have seen from our own mass media.

http://www.middleeas...-wars-608245442

Quote

Fighting for oil: 21st century energy wars

On first glance, the fossil-fuel factor in the most recent outbreaks of tension and fighting in the Middle East may seem less evident. But look more closely and you’ll see that each of these conflicts is, at heart, an energy war.

Global Conflicts Are Increasingly Fuelled by the Desire for Oil and Natural Gas - and the Funds They Generate
Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ukraine, the East and South China Seas: wherever you look, the world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts. At first glance, these upheavals appear to be independent events, driven by their own unique and idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely and they share several key characteristics -- notably, a witch’s brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that have been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy.

In each of these conflicts, the fighting is driven in large part by the eruption of long-standing historic antagonisms among neighbouring (often intermingled) tribes, sects, and peoples. In Iraq and Syria, it is a clash among Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Turkmen, and others; in Nigeria, among Muslims, Christians, and assorted tribal groupings; in South Sudan, between the Dinka and Nuer; in Ukraine, between Ukrainian loyalists and Russian-speakers aligned with Moscow; in the East and South China Sea, among the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, and others. It would be easy to attribute all this to age-old hatreds, as suggested by many analysts; but while such hostilities do help drive these conflicts, they are fuelled by a most modern impulse as well: the desire to control valuable oil and natural gas assets. Make no mistake about it, these are twenty-first-century energy wars.

It should surprise no one that energy plays such a significant role in these conflicts. Oil and gas are, after all, the world’s most important and valuable commodities and constitute a major source of income for the governments and corporations that control their production and distribution. Indeed, the governments of Iraq, Nigeria, Russia, South Sudan, and Syria derive the great bulk of their revenues from oil sales, while the major energy firms (many state-owned) exercise immense power in these and the other countries involved. Whoever controls these states, or the oil- and gas-producing areas within them, also controls the collection and allocation of crucial revenues. Despite the patina of historical enmities, many of these conflicts, then, are really struggles for control over the principal source of national income.

Moreover, we live in an energy-centric world where control over oil and gas resources (and their means of delivery) translates into geopolitical clout for some and economic vulnerability for others. Because so many countries are dependent on energy imports, nations with surpluses to export -- including Iraq, Nigeria, Russia, and South Sudan -- often exercise disproportionate influence on the world stage. What happens in these countries sometimes matters as much to the rest of us as to the people living in them, and so the risk of external involvement in their conflicts -- whether in the form of direct intervention, arms transfers, the sending in of military advisers, or economic assistance -- is greater than almost anywhere else.

The struggle over energy resources has been a conspicuous factor in many recent conflicts, including the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, the Gulf War of 1990-1991, and the Sudanese Civil War of 1983-2005. On first glance, the fossil-fuel factor in the most recent outbreaks of tension and fighting may seem less evident. But look more closely and you’ll see that each of these conflicts is, at heart, an energy war.

Iraq, Syria, and IS
The Islamic State (IS), the Sunni extremist group that controls large chunks of western Syria and northern Iraq, is a well-armed militia intent on creating an Islamic caliphate in the areas it controls. In some respects, it is a fanatical, sectarian religious organization, seeking to reproduce the pure, uncorrupted piety of the early Islamic era. At the same time, it is engaged in a conventional nation-building project, seeking to create a fully functioning state with all its attributes.

As the United States learned to its dismay in Iraq and Afghanistan, nation-building is expensive: institutions must be created and financed, armies recruited and paid, weapons and fuel procured, and infrastructure maintained. Without oil (or some other lucrative source of income), IS could never hope to accomplish its ambitious goals. However, as it now occupies key oil-producing areas of Syria and oil-refining facilities in Iraq, it is in a unique position to do so. Oil, then, is absolutely essential to the organization’s grand strategy.

Syria was never a major oil producer, but its pre-war production of some 400,000 barrels per day did provide the regime of Bashar al-Assad with a major source of income. Now, most of the country’s oil fields are under the control of rebel groups, including IS, the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, and local Kurdish militias. Although production from the fields has dropped significantly, enough is being extracted and sold through various clandestine channels to provide the rebels with income and operating funds. “Syria is an oil country and has resources, but in the past they were all stolen by the regime,” said Abu Nizar, an anti-government activist. “Now they are being stolen by those who are profiting from the revolution.”

At first, many rebel groups were involved in these extractive activities, but since January, when it assumed control of Raqqa, the capital of the province of that name, IS has been the dominant player in the oil fields. In addition, it has seized fields in neighbouring Deir al-Zour Province along the Iraq border. Indeed, many of the US-supplied weapons it acquired from the fleeing Iraqi army after its recent drive into Mosul and other northern Iraqi cities have been moved into Deir al-Zour to help in the organization’s campaign to take full control of the region. In Iraq, IS is fighting to gain control over Iraq’s largest refinery at Baiji in the central part of the country.

It appears that IS sells oil from the fields it controls to shadowy middlemen who in turn arrange for its transport -- mostly by tanker trucks -- to buyers in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. These sales are said to provide the organization with the funds needed to pay its troops and acquire its vast stockpiles of arms and ammunition. Many observers also claim that IS is selling oil to the Assad regime in return for immunity from government air strikes of the sort being launched against other rebel groups. “Many locals in Raqqa accuse IS of collaborating with the Syrian regime,” a Kurdish journalist, Sirwan Kajjo, reported in early June. “Locals say that while other rebel groups in Raqqa have been under attack by regime air strikes on a regular basis, IS headquarters have not once been attacked.”

However the present fighting in northern Iraq plays out, it is obvious that there, too, oil is a central factor. IS seeks both to deny petroleum supplies and oil revenue to the Baghdad government and to bolster its own coffers, enhancing its capacity for nation-building and further military advances. At the same time, the Kurds and various Sunni tribes -- some allied with IS -- want control over oil fields located in the areas under their control and a greater share of the nation’s oil wealth.

Ukraine, the Crimea, and Russiabs.
The present crisis in Ukraine began in November 2013 when President Viktor Yanukovych repudiated an agreement for closer economic and political ties with the European Union (EU), opting instead for closer ties with Russia. That act touched off fierce anti-government protests in Kiev and eventually led to Yanukovych’s flight from the capital. With Moscow’s principal ally pushed from the scene and pro-EU forces in control of the capital, Russian President Vladimir Putin moved to seize control of the Crimea and foment a separatist drive in eastern Ukraine. For both sides, the resulting struggle has been about political legitimacy and national identity -- but as in other recent conflicts, it has also been about energy.

Ukraine is not itself a significant energy producer. It is, however, a major transit route for the delivery of Russian natural gas to Europe. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Europe obtained 30% of its gas from Russia in 2013 -- most of it from the state-controlled gas giant Gazprom -- and approximately half of this was transported by pipelines crossing Ukraine. As a result, that country plays a critical role in the complex energy relationship between Europe and Russia, one that has proved incredibly lucrative for the shadowy elites and oligarchs who control the flow of gas, while at the same time provoking intense controversy. Disputes over the price Ukraine pays for its own imports of Russian gas twice provoked a cut-off in deliveries by Gazprom, leading to diminished supplies in Europe as well.

Given this background, it is not surprising that a key objective of the “association agreement” between the EU and Ukraine that was repudiated by Yanukovych (and has now been signed by the new Ukrainian government) calls for the extension of EU energy rules to Ukraine’s energy system -- essentially eliminating the cosy deals between Ukrainian elites and Gazprom. By entering into the agreement, EU officials claim, Ukraine will begin “a process of approximating its energy legislation to the EU norms and standards, thus facilitating internal market reforms.”

Russian leaders have many reasons to despise the association agreement. For one thing, it will move Ukraine, a country on its border, into a closer political and economic embrace with the West. Of special concern, however, are the provisions about energy, given Russia’s economic reliance on gas sales to Europe -- not to mention the threat they pose to the personal fortunes of well-connected Russian elites. In late 2013 Yanukovych came under immense pressure from Vladimir Putin to turn his back on the EU and agree instead to an economic union with Russia and Belarus, an arrangement that would have protected the privileged status of elites in both countries. However, by moving in this direction, Yanukovych put a bright spotlight on the crony politics that had long plagued Ukraine’s energy system, thereby triggering protests in Kiev’s Independence Square (the Maidan) -- that led to his downfall.

Once the protests began, a cascade of events led to the current standoff, with the Crimea in Russian hands, large parts of the east under the control of pro-Russian separatists, and the rump western areas moving ever closer to the EU. In this ongoing struggle, identity politics has come to play a prominent role, with leaders on all sides appealing to national and ethnic loyalties. Energy, nevertheless, remains a major factor in the equation. Gazprom has repeatedly raised the price it charges Ukraine for its imports of natural gas, and on June 16th cut off its supply entirely, claiming non-payment for past deliveries. A day later, an explosion damaged one of the main pipelines carrying Russian gas to Ukraine -- an event still being investigated. Negotiations over the gas price remain a major issue in the ongoing negotiations between Ukraine’s newly elected president, Petro Poroshenko, and Vladimir Putin.

Energy also played a key role in Russia’s determination to take the Crimea by military means. By annexing that region, Russia virtually doubled the offshore territory it controls in the Black Sea, which is thought to house billions of barrels of oil and vast reserves of natural gas. Prior to the crisis, several Western oil firms, including ExxonMobil, were negotiating with Ukraine for access to those reserves. Now, they will be negotiating with Moscow. “It’s a big deal,” said Carol Saivetz, a Eurasian expert at MIT. “It deprives Ukraine of the possibility of developing these resources and gives them to Russia.”

Nigeria and South Sudan
The conflicts in South Sudan and Nigeria are distinctive in many respects, yet both share a key common factor: widespread anger and distrust towards government officials who have become wealthy, corrupt, and autocratic thanks to access to abundant oil revenues.

In Nigeria, the insurgent group Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow the existing political system and establish a puritanical, Muslim-ruled state. Although most Nigerians decry the group’s violent methods (including the kidnapping of hundreds of teenage girls from a state-run school), it has drawn strength from disgust in the poverty-stricken northern part of the country with the corruption-riddled central government in distant Abuja, the capital.

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa, pumping out some 2.5 million barrels per day. With oil selling at around $100 per barrel, this represents a potentially staggering source of wealth for the nation, even after the private companies involved in the day-to-day extractive operations take their share. Were these revenues -- estimated in the tens of billions of dollars per year -- used to spur development and improve the lot of the population, Nigeria could be a great beacon of hope for Africa. Instead, much of the money disappears into the pockets (and foreign bank accounts) of Nigeria’s well-connected elites.

In February, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, told a parliamentary investigating committee that the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to transfer some $20 billion in proceeds from oil sales to the national treasury, as required by law. It had all evidently been diverted to private accounts. “A substantial amount of money has gone,” he told the New York Times. “I wasn’t just talking about numbers. I showed it was a scam.”

For many Nigerians -- a majority of whom subsist on less than $2 per day -- the corruption in Abuja, when combined with the wanton brutality of the government’s security forces, is a source of abiding anger and resentment, generating recruits for insurgent groups like Boko Haram and winning them begrudging admiration. “They know well the frustration that would drive someone to take up arms against the state,” said National Geographic reporter James Verini of people he interviewed in battle-scarred areas of northern Nigeria. At this stage, the government has displayed zero capacity to overcome the insurgency, while its ineptitude and heavy-handed military tactics have only further alienated ordinary Nigerians.

The conflict in South Sudan has different roots, but shares a common link to energy. Indeed, the very formation of South Sudan is a product of oil politics. A civil war in Sudan that lasted from 1955 to 1972 only ended when the Muslim-dominated government in the north agreed to grant more autonomy to the peoples of the southern part of the country, largely practitioners of traditional African religions or Christianity. However, when oil was discovered in the south, the rulers of northern Sudan repudiated many of their earlier promises and sought to gain control over the oil fields, sparking a second civil war, which lasted from 1983 to 2005. An estimated two million people lost their lives in this round of fighting. In the end, the south was granted full autonomy and the right to vote on secession. Following a January 2011 referendum in which 98.8% of southerners voted to secede, the country became independent on that July 9th.

The new state had barely been established, however, when conflict with the north over its oil resumed. While South Sudan has a plethora of oil, the only pipeline allowing the country to export its energy stretches across North Sudan to the Red Sea. This ensured that the south would be dependent on the north for the major source of government revenues. Furious at the loss of the fields, the northerners charged excessively high rates for transporting the oil, precipitating a cut-off in oil deliveries by the south and sporadic violence along the two countries’ still-disputed border. Finally, in August 2012, the two sides agreed to a formula for sharing the wealth and the flow of oil resumed. Fighting has, however, continued in certain border areas controlled by the north but populated by groups linked to the south.

With the flow of oil income assured, the leader of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir, sought to consolidate his control over the country and all those oil revenues. Claiming an imminent coup attempt by his rivals, led by Vice President Riek Machar, he disbanded his multi-ethnic government on July 24, 2013, and began arresting allies of Machar. The resulting power struggle quickly turned into an ethnic civil war, with the kin of President Kiir, a Dinka, battling members of the Nuer group, of which Machar is a member. Despite several attempts to negotiate a cease-fire, fighting has been under way since December, with thousands of people killed and hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes.

As in Syria and Iraq, much of the fighting in South Sudan has centred around the vital oil fields, with both sides determined to control them and collect the revenues they generate. As of March, while still under government control, the Paloch field in Upper Nile State was producing some 150,000 barrels a day, worth about $15 million to the government and participating oil companies. The rebel forces, led by former Vice President Machar, are trying to seize those fields to deny this revenue to the government. “The presence of forces loyal to Salva Kiir in Paloch, to buy more arms to kill our people... is not acceptable to us,” Machar said in April. “We want to take control of the oil field. It’s our oil.” As of now, the field remains in government hands, with rebel forces reportedly making gains in the vicinity.

The South China Sea
In both the East China and South China seas, China and its neighbors claim assorted atolls and islands that sit astride vast undersea oil and gas reserves. The waters of both have been the site of recurring naval clashes over the past few years, with the South China Sea recently grabbing the spotlight.

An energy-rich offshoot of the western Pacific, that sea, long a focus of contention, is rimmed by China, Vietnam, the island of Borneo, and the Philippine Islands. Tensions peaked in May when the Chinese deployed their largest deepwater drilling rig, the HD-981, in waters claimed by Vietnam. Once in the drilling area, about 120 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam, the Chinese surrounded the HD-981 with a large flotilla of navy and coast guard ships. When Vietnamese coast guard vessels attempted to penetrate this defensive ring in an effort to drive off the rig, they were rammed by Chinese ships and pummelled by water cannon. No lives have yet been lost in these encounters, but anti-Chinese rioting in Vietnam in response to the sea-borne encroachment left several dead and the clashes at sea are expected to continue for several months until the Chinese move the rig to another (possibly equally contested) location.

The riots and clashes sparked by the deployment of HD-981 have been driven in large part by nationalism and resentment over past humiliations. The Chinese, insisting that various tiny islands in the South China Sea were once ruled by their country, still seek to overcome the territorial losses and humiliations they suffered at the hands the Western powers and Imperial Japan. The Vietnamese, long accustomed to Chinese invasions, seek to protect what they view as their sovereign territory. For common citizens in both countries, demonstrating resolve in the dispute is a matter of national pride.

But to view the Chinese drive in the South China Sea as a simple matter of nationalistic impulses would be a mistake. The owner of HD-981, the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), has conducted extensive seismic testing in the disputed area and evidently believes there is a large reservoir of energy there. “The South China Sea is estimated to have 23 billion tons to 30 billion tons of oil and 16 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, accounting for one-third of China's total oil and gas resources,” the Chinese news agency Xinhua noted. Moreover, China announced in June that it was deploying a second drilling rig to the contested waters of the South China Sea, this time at the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin.

As the world’s biggest consumer of energy, China is desperate to acquire fresh fossil fuel supplies wherever it can. Although its leaders are prepared to make increasingly large purchases of African, Russian, and Middle Eastern oil and gas to satisfy the nation’s growing energy requirements, they not surprisingly prefer to develop and exploit domestic supplies. For them, the South China Sea is not a “foreign” source of energy but a Chinese one, and they appear determined to use whatever means necessary to secure it. Because other countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines, also seek to exploit these oil and gas reserves, further clashes, at increasing levels of violence, seem almost inevitable.

No End to Fighting
As these conflicts and others like them suggest, fighting for control over key energy assets or the distribution of oil revenues is a critical factor in most contemporary warfare. While ethnic and religious divisions may provide the political and ideological fuel for these battles, it is the potential for mammoth oil profits that keeps the struggles alive. Without the promise of such resources, many of these conflicts would eventually die out for lack of funds to buy arms and pay troops. So long as the oil keeps flowing, however, the belligerents have both the means and incentive to keep fighting.

In a fossil-fuel world, control over oil and gas reserves is an essential component of national power. “Oil fuels more than automobiles and airplanes,” Robert Ebel of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies told a State Department audience in 2002. “Oil fuels military power, national treasuries, and international politics.” Far more than an ordinary trade commodity, “it is a determinant of well being, of national security, and international power for those who possess this vital resource, and the converse for those who do not.”

If anything, that’s even truer today, and as energy wars expand, the truth of this will only become more evident. Someday, perhaps, the development of renewable sources of energy may invalidate this dictum. But in our present world, if you see a conflict developing, look for the energy.

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#9933 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 10:09

From WaPo:

Quote

During the event, Trump’s longtime aide Keith Schiller testified last November, an unidentified Russian offered to send five prostitutes to Trump’s room at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton — where the allegations outlined in the dossier of reports compiled by British intelligence officer Christopher Steele purportedly occurred. (In the Comey memos, the former FBI director writes that Trump twice denied having stayed the night in Moscow, which Schiller’s testimony undercuts.)


One has to wonder why Trump is so adamant in his denials about even knowing that Russia exists. It reminds me of my friend Pete in Las Vegas, formerly a New York City cop, who gave me this sage advice: always deny everything, even if you're caught red-handed.
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#9934 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 12:24

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-20, 09:26, said:

There was a Star Trek episode that was earily prescient: two planets had been at war for centuries, and as things became more automated they just stopped using actual weapons. Instead, they just had their computers simulate the attacks and figure out which citizens would have been killed, and those citizens just routinely walked into booths where they were put to death painlessly. As Kirk said, they made war neat and tidy, and just part of life, but it's supposed to be messy so you'll do whatever you can to avoid it. He destroyed the computer that does the simulations, so they'd have to either start waging war the old fashioned way or agree to peace talks.

That sounds like a metaphor for the all volunteer army.
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#9935 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 15:31

https://www.cnn.com/...ssia/index.html

The Democratic National Committee and their grandiose conspiracy theories. .

Quote

The Democratic National Committee is suing the Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and several relatives and associates of President Donald Trump alleging a grand conspiracy that harmed Democrats through WikiLeaks' publication of internal party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The 66-page lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on Friday lays out how the Trumps allegedly curried favor in Russia through their family business, and then Russians allegedly used those connections before the presidential election to disseminate the spoils from a cyberattack on the DNC.
"In the Trump campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner in this effort" to disrupt the presidential election, the Democratic committee alleges.
Judge John G. Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, will preside over the case.

Trump's campaign called the lawsuit" frivolous" and characterized it as "a last-ditch effort to substantiate the baseless Russian collusion allegations" by a party "still trying to counter the will of the people in the 2016 presidential election."
"This is a sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional, and nearly insolvent Democratic Party," campaign manager Brad Parscale said. "With the Democrats' conspiracy theories against the President's campaign evaporating as quickly as the failing DNC's fundraising, they've sunk to a new low to raise money, especially among small donors who have abandoned them. "
Comey memos, Rudy and Russia: The latest jam-packed news day in Trump's presidency
Comey memos, Rudy and Russia: The latest jam-packed news day in Trump's presidency
A DNC official acknowledged Friday that the lawsuit alleges no new evidence of cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russians. But the filing strings the publicly available information about the Trump orbit's contact with Russians into a single narrative. The official said that hadn't been done yet, and time was running out for the party's ability to bring the suit.
The Democratic Party alleges the conspiracy and the hacking hurt their relationship with voters, chilled donations, disrupted their political convention and subjected their staffers to harassment. The lawsuit outlines nearly every known communication between Trump advisers and Russians.
In all, it alleges a dozen crimes, from racketeering and conspiracy to wiretapping and trade secrets violations.
DNC officials say they believe their lawsuit could recoup substantial monetary damages.
In addition to millions of dollars in damages related to the hack and other claims, the DNC is asking for an injunction that would stop any of the defendants from using material gained through the hack, and for a statement from the defendants admitting to the alleged conspiracy.
The party also could seek to interview some of the defendants under oath, as well as others with knowledge who aren't parties in the suit, and then make their findings public if the court allows it. Currently, two conspicuous names that aren't defendants in the suit are former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the President himself.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a nearly year-long cybersecurity strengthening effort which was the initial internal DNC response to the hack -- for fortifying their systems and processes.
"We are not going to just stand by and let Russia hack the DNC," said one official. "We are the victims."
In addition to the Russian Federation, the lawsuit names several top Trump advisers who attended the now-infamous June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower that aimed to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton, such as Donald Trump Jr., campaign chairman Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner; Azerbaijani-Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov and his pop-singer son Emin; Manafort deputy Rick Gates; the Russian operative called Guccifer 2.0 who hacked the DNC; longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone; former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos; a Russia-connected professor he communicated with named Joseph Mifsud; and Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
"Roger Stone did not conspire, collude, or do any action to subvert the electoral process," Robert Buschel, Stone's lawyer, said Friday. "Sadly, these meritless lawsuits against Roger Stone is not an effective form of therapy for loss the DNC suffered in 2016."
Papadopoulos' lawyers declined to comment on the lawsuit the DNC filed against Papadopoulos and others Friday regarding an alleged conspiracy with Russia, while hinting that special counsel Robert Mueller continues to unravel details related to Papadopoulos' involvement with Russians and the campaign and to rely on the former Trump adviser.
"Mr. Papadopoulos continues to cooperate in the special counsel's investigation," the statement said.
The Democrats' narrative in the filing begins with Trump's announcement that he would run for president in 2015, the same year the New York tycoon indicated an interest in developing property in Moscow.
"As Trump moved closer to securing the nomination, the ties between his campaign and Russia's government grew substantially," the lawsuit alleges. It notes a trip to Russia by Flynn, meetings Papadopoulos held that discussed "dirt" Russians allegedly had on Clinton, the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting organized on the promise that Russia could help Trump's campaign, private communications that Trump Jr. and Stone had with WikiLeaks, and Manafort's connections in Eastern Europe.
Giuliani says he is joining Trump's legal team to help bring Mueller probe to a conclusion
Giuliani says he is joining Trump's legal team to help bring Mueller probe to a conclusion
Parscale predicted the lawsuit would be dismissed. But if it goes forward, "the DNC has created an opportunity for us to take aggressive discovery into their claims of 'damages' and uncover their acts of corruption for the American people," he said.
In the summer of 2016, the Democratic National Committee went public with claims that Russian hackers had gained access to their computer systems, obtaining emails and opposition research against Trump.
Days before the Democratic National Convention, when Clinton was set to receive the party's presidential nomination, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of hacked DNC emails.
The release of the emails, which included messages disparaging Bernie Sanders, threw the Democratic Party into turmoil at a moment when the party was supposed to be coming together in support of a nominee, and intensified infighting between supporters of Clinton and Sanders.
"The Democratic National Committee was the first major target of the Russian attack on our democracy, and I strongly believe that every individual who helped carry it out -- foreign or domestic -- should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the DNC at the time of the hack, said in a statement Friday.
Probing the contours
Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last year to investigate the same contours that the Democrats allege. As part of that mandate, Mueller is empowered to investigate any links between the Russian government and Trump campaign associates and bring criminal prosecutions.

Mueller team says it has not gone rogue
So far, Papadopoulos and former national security adviser Flynn have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about their interactions with Russians. Manafort has pleaded not guilty in charges related to his lobbying work for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. Mueller's office has indicated they're interested in Manafort's links to Russians while he served on the campaign, though Manafort has not been charged for his actions in 2016.
Flynn, Papadopoulos and Gates have agreed to help the federal authorities with their investigation. Mueller has also charged 13 Russians for using fraudulent accounts on social media to influence the election. Mueller has not yet brought charges related to the DNC hack.
Papadopoulos' fiancée has done several interviews, including with CNN, since his plea. He is not yet scheduled for sentencing.
"Revealing details at this point in time or responding to allegations made today would not serve the administration of justice. It is our hope that when all the facts are known, the plaintiff will voluntarily dismiss Mr. Papadopoulos from the complaint," Chicago-based lawyers Thomas Breen and Robert Stanley wrote in their press release on Friday.
The US intelligence community has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 with the goal of undermining public confidence in the US democratic process and eroding Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the presidency.
Trump, however, has repeatedly insisted that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians, and has denounced the special counsel investigation as a "witch hunt."

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#9936 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 15:38

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-20, 09:26, said:

I was in grade school during the Viet Nam War. I knew it was going on, but wasn't really aware of what it was really about. I don't think we were in any other big conflicts until the Gulf War. That made war look really easy -- TV was full of cockpit-cam video of precision missile strikes against specific targets. Yeah, we knew there was also infantry on the ground, but that wasn't the main theatrical piece on the news. Casualties on our side were infrequent enough that they were newsworthy -- a truck blown up by an IED here, a plane shot down there. And since then it's just gotten even neater, with remote-controlled drones handling more duties.

There was a Star Trek episode that was earily prescient: two planets had been at war for centuries, and as things became more automated they just stopped using actual weapons. Instead, they just had their computers simulate the attacks and figure out which citizens would have been killed, and those citizens just routinely walked into booths where they were put to death painlessly. As Kirk said, they made war neat and tidy, and just part of life, but it's supposed to be messy so you'll do whatever you can to avoid it. He destroyed the computer that does the simulations, so they'd have to either start waging war the old fashioned way or agree to peace talks.

https://en.m.wikiped...e_of_Armageddon

Ah, the good old days...nice call barmar!
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#9937 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 16:02

From Engineers Are Leaving Trump’s America for the Canadian Dream by Karen Weise and Saritha Rai at Bloomberg:

Quote

Vikram Rangnekar grew up in Mumbai, studied computer science at the University of Delaware, and by the waning days of the Obama administration had been working in Silicon Valley for almost six years. Through his job as a software engineer at LinkedIn Corp., Rangnekar secured an H-1B, the temporary visa for high-skilled workers, and the company began the process of sponsoring his green card way back in 2012. But he had dozens of senior colleagues from India who’d been waiting a decade or more for their green cards and still didn’t have them. “Some said it’d take 20 years for my turn,” Rangnekar remembers. “Others calculated 50 years—which is basically never.” As a young man with a global sensibility and an in-demand set of skills, Rangnekar had no reason to let the uncertainty of a green card application define his family’s life. In the early fall of 2016, he, his wife, and their two young boys made the move north, to Canada.

Their first few months in Toronto were mostly spent settling in and scouting out decent tacos. Then Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. Rangnekar’s inbox blew up with messages from friends and colleagues in the U.S. on H-1Bs asking for advice on how to migrate. Rather than deal with each one individually, he registered a website, MOVNorth.com—a reference to MOV, a classic coding command for copying data from one location to another—and wrote everything down there. He shared the URL on LinkedIn—of course—hoping it would help a few people. Sitting in a light-filled coffee shop in his hip Toronto neighborhood less than a year later, Rangnekar pulls up the website on his MacBook. “That’s me,” he laughs, pointing to a selfie of him in a parka and wool beanie, both dusted with snow, smiling broadly and “freezing away.”

In its first two days online last July, MOVNorth.com got 20,000 views. He quickly set up a forum where people could ask and answer each other’s questions, and early last fall added a paywall to encourage people to commit to the community. Today, the site gets as many as 100,000 views per month—Rangnekar can track Trump’s rhetoric just by the spikes in traffic. Roughly 250 people pay $99 a year for access to the forum, almost all of whom are actively pursuing a move. He knows of at least a dozen other engineers who took his advice and have already arrived in Toronto.

Rangnekar still gets email queries daily, mostly from engineers with Indian surnames, all looking for the same information. Then there are the other emails, the ones Rangnekar calls “nastygrams.” He pulls up a sample with the subject line “Ignorant Idiot.” “You’re going to ruin your own country’s economy by making it harder for Canadians to find jobs, so for that reason we here in the US stopped foreign visas,” he reads. “We are becoming a proud independent nation again.”

There are anti-immigrant and so-called alt-right groups in Canada, but they haven’t gained the same traction as in the U.S. and Europe. The country has historically courted immigrants to propel economic growth. Now, at least 1 in 5 Canadian residents was born abroad; in Toronto, which has a thriving Indian community, more than half are foreign-born. “Canadians don’t send me any of this,” Rangnekar says, waving a hand at the screen. Sometimes Canadians—always polite—write wondering whether an invasion of engineers will hurt the country. He writes back explaining what to him is an obvious, pragmatic reality: that tech is growing in its importance to culture and economies, and the benefits in terms of jobs and wealth are increasingly concentrated in global cities like Toronto. In short, as he sees it, the influx of migrants to Canada helps everyone.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9938 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-20, 19:56

From The Atlantic: https://www.theatlan...vatives/558521/


Quote

It’s another familiar story that conservatives have built themselves a closed information system. The system generates and repeats agreed fictions, and people are rewarded according to their ability to internalize, repeat, and embellish these fictions.

The system has revved itself into hyper-activity in the Trump years. And no Trump-era fiction has been more profoundly internalized and repeated within the closed conservative information system than the fiction that Trump is the victim of a plot by the FBI. This particular fiction is exceedingly complicated. Its details shift from day to day. It is most often repeated not as a coherent statement of checkable facts, but as an outraged sequence of bullet points: Fusion GPS! Deep State! The Democrats are the real colluders!


Even on its own terms, the story does not make sense. Within the closed information system, it is simultaneously believed—for example—both that former FBI Director James Comey deserved to be fired for his unfairness to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and also that Comey cannot be trusted because of his flagrant bias in favor of the Clinton’s presidential campaign. But the whole point of a closed information system is that the things are not believed because they make sense. Things are believed because the closed information system has ratified and repeated them.

In some times and places, closed information systems are backed with coercive power. President Trump obviously hankers for that power. But as yet, that power is lacking within the American system. The closed conservative information system is binding only for those who agree to submit to it.

Which has created this problem for Trump and his political allies. Twice now their closed knowledge system has told them that secret memos would vindicate Trump of the Russia-collusion charge. The first time, it was the memo written by the Republican staff of the House Intelligence Committee; the second time—just these past few days—the notes James Comey wrote to memorialize his post-inauguration meetings with Trump. The inhabitants of the closed conservative knowledge system demanded the memos be released—only to suffer a shock when they got their wish. Nobody outside the closed knowledge system was even slightly impressed by either, and even inside the system the supposed secret weapon was quietly discarded as worthless. (Notice that not even The Wall Street Journal editorial page, which did so much to publicize it in advance, ever alludes to the Nunes memo now. It has popped like a soap bubble, leaving behind only a faint residue of scum.)


The Right-Wing information bubble is keeping them in the dark. The world and reality will move on without them.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9939 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-21, 11:20

Donald Trump is quoted by numerous news sources today as tweeting that Michael Cohen will not "flip" on him. This is a startling admission, as to "flip" one must be: A) in legal jeopardy oneself and B) able to provide incriminating evidence on a higher up. For someone who has done nothing illegal, there can be no threat of someone "flipping". The fact that Trump says Cohen won't flip must mean that there is the possibility that he could, which means that Cohen has knowledge of evidence incriminating Trump. By claiming Cohen will not flip, Don Presidente' has acknowledged that he has committed a crime that he needs to keep hidden.

Way to go, Fredo. You really are smart!
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9940 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2018-April-21, 11:54

View PostRedSpawn, on 2018-April-20, 15:31, said:

The Democratic National Committee and their grandiose conspiracy theories. .


I agree. This theory is almost as grandiose as when they sued Nixon's CREEP (reelection committee) for conspiring to plan the Watergate break-in, just days after the arrests and we all know how that turned out.
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