Monday, March 06, 2017

Promises, Promises...


I always really hated this song... so, listen to it, LISTEN TO IT AND SUFFER LIKE WE ALL HAD TO IN THE EIGHTIES!!!

So, back to Crazy Promises...

Crazy Promise #3:  Banning the Muslim Immigrants

On Dec 7, 2015, the anniversary of the "day which will live in infamy," then-candidate Donald Trump and his team pronounced a demand that was essentially a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, much to the delight of the his devotees and right-wing pundits, without much of a further thought on the subject, let alone that little anniversary thing, beyond digging the hole deeper.

By May of the following year, it was "merely an idea, not a proposal."

So then, on Jan 27 of this year, President Donald "Wow, didja' ever imagine that?" Trump signed Executive Order 13769, banning travel from seven mostly poor, troubled, war-torn (including war-torn by us!) and mostly Muslim countries.  It was done with people banned already in flight to the US.  Banned in mid-air.  The Trump people said it was intentionally done as such - wouldn't want to give a heads-up to the ter'ists, DUH!  Not that many ter'ists ever came here from any of those countries, as opposed to from say, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, or any of the more developed and "friendly" (with friends like that...) nations we have over there.  It included people who had risked theirs and their families lives to collaborate with the US on our completely failed "Mission Accomplished" in the Middle East.  Lawsuits followed quickly, Trump had to fire the acting-AG and others as they couldn't comply on ethical and legal grounds, and the courts found the ban violated the Establishment Clause, harmed the States, and had to be re-written in a competent and Constitutional way.

So, today, March 6th, we have a new Executive Order.  It's certainly more polished than the Cuneiform  product we got last time, so we'll see how it stands up.  But it's the same idea.

It doesn't "ban all Muslims," folks.  Just one's from some really poor, screwed-up places.  At least he had the decency to remove Iraqis from the list.  That was just horrible on soooo many levels.  But the name of the order, "PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES," is a crazy promise that is not here kept.  Expect the courts to be swept into this again shortly.

JMJ

84 comments:

  1. Six months. You can't suspend immigration for six months while they train-up a better vetting system for refugee's? Wow...

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    1. My bad 120 days (4 months). Just... WOW!

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    2. They can do what they like, as long as they can write it at a Constitution-101 level. So, we'll see. May well stand up just fine. The last order was apparently written in crayon in the verbiage of a sign on the Little Rascals "No Gurls Alowwed" clubhouse.

      Word's out now that Trump is completely furious with his team of loons and idiots. What did he expect? He hires Flynn, a man who lost his job to incompetence and then blamed it on his bosses, and played the "victim of liberal bias" card, though at the time no one even knew he was a right wing nut, as he seemed to discover it just upon being outed as incompetent. He hires Bannon, (http://www.dailywire.com/news/8441/i-know-trumps-new-campaign-chairman-steve-bannon-ben-shapiro), a man who... well... just read the link.

      Then he hires Charles Kushner's son, and not to put the sins on the father but, wow, what a lineage! (http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8293534/who-is-jared-jushner-trump-administration/) Better not cross a Kushner! But he married Ivanka, and has become Trump's "Jew in the family," in case anyone points out the anti-Semitic strain in the administration - like Bannon.

      Then he hires Priebus, the consummate GOP establishment guy who I believe would gladly see Trump impeached so they can get one of their guys in there, like that bunny-eyed true-believer Pence, who makes GWB look like William F Buckley.

      If Trump wants to succeed he needs to do two things: First, shake the hell out of this silly administration and get some competent people for whom "America First" is more than just another slogan. Second, pivot. He can do it whenever he likes. His supporters, and most Americans in general, don't give a rat's ass about political ideology beyond the name of it, call it "conservative" and they're for it. It could be anything. They don't know. They just want jobs and to feel like "men" again. I can respect that. A good job, even a decent one, is all they really want. With guys like Bannon, Kushner, Cohn, Priebus, all he'll get is schizophrenic right-wing packaging of bad ideas.

      JMJ

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    3. First Trump would have to be competent Jersey. That ain't gonna happen, and, I think we both know it.

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    4. Yeah, but he's pliable, and he wants to be loved. That means there's hope for this disaster. But we need someone to stand up and get in his ear. That someone has to be out there... please, God, be out there!

      JMJ

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    5. He wants to be loved? Is THAT "why" he TWEETS insults at 3 am? I'm very sure he's read "The Prince". Just be thankful that he doesn't TWEET about you...

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    6. He does. He's just not doing a good job of it. He's not well-read (I highly doubt he's read Machiavelli), he's not erudite, he's not a good judge of character, so, he's just struggling to find a way. If he finds it, who knows? Maybe he will get that love after all. But he's got to get better people around him.

      JMJ

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    7. Not a good judge of character? Then why surround himself with generals? I attended a military college. Trump understand "character". Liberals do NOT.

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    8. I do not automatically equate "general" with character, but it is usually a good indicator. Flynn was a little scumbag though, and most people knew it already before Trump picked him. He's the perfect example of Trump not understanding character. Flynn's career ended because of his own incompetency, after that, he then suddenly decided he was a right wing nut and blamed his departure on politics. Colin Powell, a man with pretty solid character, warned Trump about this, but Trump was picking people he thought his kinda dumb base would like, and Flynn was a rising star with the FOX News/Rush Limbaugh set. That's why he kept calling Gen Mattis "Mad Dog" even though Mattis himself finds the name dopey and doesn't like it. Trump knows nicknames like "Mad Dog" play well with the dopey redneck set. And though Bannon and Conway were great picks for helping him get elected, they were terrible choices for keeping around the White House. And Priebus? Does Trump think for one minute that ol' Reince wouldn't throw him under the bus in a heartbeat? It's been suggested by more than a few insiders they believe Priebus is the main leaker the WH has been springing of late. Then there's Ben "Proof Retarded People Can Perform Surgery" Carson, Betsy "I Have No Idea What a Public School Even Is" DeVos, and on and on. How many folks, including you're automatically beloved generals, have turned down positions in this White House? Maybe, it's because they do have character and they don't want to be associated with those who so obviously lack it?

      JMJ

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    9. Character is sticking to and acting in accordance with your beliefs despite their "unpopularity". Don't like Ben Carson because his last name isn't "Cuomo"? Andy was less of a "housing hobbyist" than Betsy DeVos was an Educational one... but please, make him Clinton's head of HUD. Former "NY asst district attorneys" are "qualified" to do "anything".

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    10. "Character is sticking to and acting in accordance with your beliefs despite their "unpopularity"."

      Not if your beliefs are stupid to begin with. Then, character is recognizing you were wrong. Do you think Trump is a man of character, Thersites?

      I think Ben Carson is a stupid sack of shit. I think he's dumb. His very popularity stemmed from an episode at the National Prayer Breakfast where he decided was a good place to denigrate the President on national TV. This is not good character. This is dumb slob character. I won't even get into the list of his insipid quotes. And that retarded "immigrant" comment he made the day! OMG! What a moron! Character? You really think that stupid Uncle Tom has character??? Wow.

      And DeVos? Do you anything her and her family? You think these are people of character? I've heard if Third-World Warlords who had more character than ANYONE in that family. That stupid bitch would set America behind every developed country on the planet when it comes to education, if she had her way. AT least Cuomo cared. DeVos is just a sick bitch. And when questioned by the Senate about her opinions on the subject, knew little to nothing about any of it. A total neophyte. But this woman of character, who had no clue about education issues in America, wants to run that federal department (only to discover that it doesn't any of the things she thought it did in the first place). She's a stupid bitch.

      Character, my ass.

      JMJ

      JMJ

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    11. Not if your beliefs are stupid to begin with

      Don Quixote de la Mancha had no character? Who knew?

      Isaiah Berlin letter to George Kennan, What else horrifies us about unscrupulousness if not this? Why is the thought of someone twisting someone else round his little finger, even in innocent contexts, so beastly (for instance in Dostoevsky's Dyadyushkin son [Uncle's Dream, a novella published in 1859], which the Moscow Arts Theatre used to act so well and so cruelly)? After all, the victim may prefer to have no responsibility; the slave be happier in his slavery. Certainly we do not detest this kind of destruction of liberty merely because it denies liberty of action; there is a far greater horror in depriving men of the very capacity for freedom--that is the real sin against the Holy Ghost. Everything else is bearable so long as the possibility of goodness--of a state of affairs in which men freely choose, disinterestedly seek ends for their own sake--is still open, however much suffering they may have gone through. Their souls are destroyed only when this is no longer possible. It is when the desire for choice is broken that what men do thereby loses all moral value, and actions lose all significance (in terms of good and evil) in their own eyes; that is what is meant by destroying people's self-respect, by turning them, in your words, into rags. This is the ultimate horror because in such a situation there are no worthwhile motives left: nothing is worth doing or avoiding, the reasons for existing are gone. We admire Don Quixote, if we do, because he has a pure-hearted desire to do what is good, and he is pathetic because he is mad and his attempts are ludicrous.

      For Hegel and for Marx (and possibly for Bentham, although he would have been horrified by the juxtaposition) Don Quixote is not merely absurd but immoral. Morality consists in doing what is good. Goodness is that which will satisfy one's nature. Only that will satisfy one's nature which is part of the historical stream along which one is carried willy-nilly, i.e. that which "the future" in any case holds in store. In some ultimate sense, failure is proof of a misunderstanding of history, of having chosen what is doomed to destruction, in preference to that which is destined to succeed. But to choose the former is "irrational," and since morality is rational choice, to seek that which will not come off is immoral. This doctrine that the moral and the good is the successful, and that failure is not only unfortunate but wicked, is at the heart of all that is most horrifying both in utilitarianism and in "historicism" of the Hegelian, Marxist type. For if only that were best which made one happiest in the long run, or that which accorded with some mysterious plan of history, there really would be no reason to "return the ticket." Provided that there was a reasonable probability that the new Soviet man might either be happier, even in some very long run, than his predecessors, or that history would be bound sooner or later to produce someone like him whether we liked it or not, to protest against him would be mere silly romanticism, "subjective," "idealistic," ultimately irresponsible. At most we would argue that the Russians were factually wrong and the Soviet method not the best for producing this desirable or inevitable type of man. But of course what we violently reject is not these questions of fact, but the very idea that there are any circumstances in which one has a right to get at, and shape, the characters and souls of other men for purposes which these men, if they realised what we were doing, might reject.

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    12. Well, if character is just the measure of a mans willingness to carry out good intentions, it's a pretty wide definition. For me, for instance, character would include making the effort to ensure that said intentions are good in first place. I think of the scene from Monty Python's Holy Grail, when John Cleese as Lancelot storms a keep during a wedding, kills and maims everyone in his path (including a flower arrangement on a wall) to ostensibly rescue a maiden in distress who turns out to be an effeminate silly man who just didn't want to get married. We tend to assign character without much question to people because they are "brave" or "consistent" or "obediant" but these are just as easily assignable as "nuts" or "dumb" or "craven," respectively. For me, character is more than just standing up for your beliefs. It is having reasoned and good beliefs in the first place.

      JMJ

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    13. So you've eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil and know, eh, Jersey?

      When he was forty, there came a curious but crucial episode which changed Socrates' whole life. What happened shall be told in the words which, by Plato's account, he himself used at his trial [by which time Socrates was 70 years old (Apology 17d)]. "Everyone here, I think, knows Chaerephon," he said, "he has been a friend of mine since we were boys together; and he is a friend of many of you too. So you know the eager impetuous fellow he is. Well, one day he went to Delphi, and there he had the impudence to put this question -- do not jeer, gentlemen, at what I am going to say -- he asked, "Is anyone wiser than Socrates?" And the Pythian priestess answered, "No one." Well, I was fully aware that I knew absolutely nothing. So what could the god mean? for gods cannot tell lies. For some time I was frankly puzzled to get at his meaning; but at last I embarked on my quest. I went to a man with a high reputation for wisdom -- I would rather not mention his name; he was one of the politicians -- and after some talk together it began to dawn on me that, wise as everyone thought him and wise as he thought himself, he was not really wise at all. I tried to point this out to him, but then he turned nasty, and so did others who were listening; so I went away, but with this reflection that anyhow I was wiser than this man; for, though in all probability neither of us knows anything, he thought he did when he did not, whereas I neither knew anything nor imagined I did." (C.E. Robinson, Zito Hellas (1946) (Hellas (1955), ix, 1, p. 136))

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    14. I doubt it would have occurred to Socrates to seek the kind of council Trump keeps around him in the first place.

      If you want to dive into endless subjective reduction to assuage your conscious, and a conscious of an obviously worldly and educated man, enjoy. Whatever helps you feel better.

      Flynn?

      DeVos?

      Pai?

      Bannon?

      Priebus?

      Carson?

      Perry?

      Socrates would have thought these people utter buffoons (in one case, a miscast wonder savant).

      JMJ

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    15. Your problem, Jersey, is that you resent the "rest of Americans" their "turn" in power.

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    16. Obama surrounded himself with "academics" (Susan Rice, et al)... people with theories that don't survive actual practice. That was his right. Foolish is as foolish does.

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    17. Let Quixote tilt his windmills. You'll get your chance to tilt at your own in four years.

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    18. I don't see any trial of generals going around, I do not resent regular working folks for being lied to, and for you, of all people, a constant practitioner of the philosophic arts, to be bashing academics, is more than a little ironic!

      It's not about turns. People like me haven't had a President to look up to since FDR, and he died 24 years before I was born! I have no idea what it's like to even have a turn! Born in the wrong time and place, I suppose. ;)

      JMJ

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    19. You didn't vote Obama? He didn't sell out? Please.

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    20. I voted for Obama for a variety of reasons, none of them were "he'll be the next FDR!" I'm not stupid. I'm aware of reality. I don't know what you mean by "sell out." He did what he could and what he thought was right when he thought he could. There was only so much he could do. I think he did a pretty good job, though I wish he'd been a better parliamentarian. More seasoning in the Senate would have helped him, he always seemed to cultivate good relationships given the chance, but in today's political climate, the longer you serve, the longer you're voting record, the more the complexities of the votes, the easier to bash you on TV with cheap-shot sound-bites like "I voted for it before I voted against it" sort of fodder for the lowest common denominator. The last three Presidents all had meager national political records. That's 24 years of that!

      JMJ

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    21. So you "bought" the last eight years. I "bought" these four. I haven't had my turn with a president I voted for since 1988.

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  2. Trump's baby step towards FreeThinke's dream of DIDIDIN.

    DIDIDIN, equal to IFB. Irrational Fear an Bullshit. Trump continues to play to and encourage fear. Either Trump fails in his xenophobic bid or he will have redefined the Promise of America and the freedom inherent in that promise.

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    1. I think it's a generational thing. FT is from a generation that grew up after WWII, with the Red Scare and the Yellow Menace, and a real fear that the world was incessantly on the verge of self-annihilation. Coming from the NYC area, these fears were particularly potent, as they all knew if the worst happened, NYC would certainly be a top target (sure enough, later...). My mom used to tell me the stories of the kids hiding under their desks in these nuke alarms (you are a little closer to that age range and may remember all that), of the real fear of WWIII during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After the Soviet Union fell, the MIC needed a new raison d'etre, and so it was the Muslims and terrorism and all that. For people FT's age, this hit right to the bone. It's the same zeitgeist he's known his entire life - East v West, Christian v non-Christians, Freedom v totalitarianism, etc. Ask a person my age, I'm 48 now, and the zeitgeist is completely different. By the time I was age, the USSR was a failing state, MAD had shown itself to be a pretty solid deterrent (no one wants to rule a world of nothing but scorched radioactive Earth), and the troubles of the Middle East were seen as something to avoid after the debacle of Vietnam. My age group doesn't see the military as the great saviors of the world, the way FT's generation does. We see it as a ridiculous waste of money looking for a cause and in the process making things only worse. I understand where he's coming from. I blame those who perpetuate that zeitgeist, like that piece of shit scumbag Satanic Dick Cheney, not those who grew up inundated in it.

      JMJ

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    2. I was one of those crawling under my desk in grade school, I remember vividly the Cuban missile crisis. These experiences are hard wired in my memory Jersey.

      I am only 7 or 8 years younger than FreeThinke. My wife only 2 or 3 years younger and she is from NY. Neither of us share FreeThinke's irrational fear or his xenophobia.

      For the Trumpanzees and those like FreeThinke we are the irrational ones. So be it.

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    3. Ever read Xeno? Xenophobia isn't an irrational fear of foreigners. It's a recognition of their "true potentiala". In fact, Alexander the Great must of loved his Anabasis.

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    4. erratum - Xenophon. He was an Athenian who had been a student of Socrates and wrote many dialogues similar to Plato's, but slightly different. After the Anabasis, Xenophon moved to Sparta and was given "honourary citizenship".

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    5. And Sparta had the Helots, much as we do now the "illegal immigrants." Spartan culture died. Athenian culture became the backbone of Western Civilization.

      JMJ

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    6. Well, Les, my folks are the same as us when it comes to this stuff. My mom's early 70's but my dad is 86. He was way ahead of his time (and place) in many ways, though. To be honest, I think religion plays the biggest difference here. My folks were not religious and neither am I. I think that makes a big difference here. The one thing in common the Cold War had with the GWOT are religious themes - communist atheism v religion, Islam v Christianity...

      JMJ

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    7. My mom was quietly spiritual and believed in God. She never pushed it on her children. My father was, if anything, an agnostic who in his latter years grew more spiritual in the conventional sense. He said for many years he belonged to The Church of Universal Understanding.

      Both had a profound influence on my on beliefs. I am not at all religious. In other words beyond exposing me to religion at an early age they then allowed me to search and then believe as I chose. I am forever grateful for their wisdom.

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    8. Nice to have had open-minded parents. We're lucky guys.

      JMJ

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    9. Spartan culture was the purest form of socialism ever attempted. You want government school's "agoge's"? You want universal health care? Then sign up for the syssition, as "diet" was healthcare in the 5th century BC. You Leftists haven't a f'ing CLUE about the true nature of socialism.

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    10. Members of the agoge routinely beat and killed helots, especially if they strayed from their houses at night. They are nothing like America's illegal immigrants. Nothing.

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    11. FJ, you shouldn't go around assuming what other people know and don't know. Aside from being pretty well-read, I spent a large part of my life working for the Chinese and have known and worked with many Cubans and and people from parts of the old Soviet Bloc as well. They lived in very different worlds. I don't know of anyone on the Left in America today who wants America to be anything like those places. And it is just plain, on the face of it, obviously, proven by obvious and clear facts, that things like universal education and healthcare do not necessitate living in a totalitarian communist state. It's just silly and ridiculous to assert otherwise.

      The comparison I was making with the Helots was that, like today's "illegal immigrants," they are treated like s#it, they lived here for years and yet can not become citizens, they are used for cheap labor, in our military, etc. Certainly you see the comparisons. There are huge differences, too, but the point is that it is unwise to keep a non-citizen class of people among us. Eventually it will come back to bite us. Best to treat people right - always. That's just being a decent human being.

      JMJ

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    12. The helot's didn't leave their homelands and travel to Sparta in order to be exploited by the Spartans. They are Magnesia's "metics", not subject to the rights and duties of citizens and required to leave the country after twenty years. They are also homo sacer.

      And it is just plain, on the face of it, obviously, proven by obvious and clear facts, that things like universal education and healthcare do not necessitate living in a totalitarian communist state.

      Yes, it does. America was founded upon the principle of NEGATIVE liberty, that there are LIMITS to what the government can and cannot do. Universal education and healthcare are indications of an imposition of POSITIVE LIBERTY, someone else imposing THEIR good upon you without your say-so. Please read Isaiah Berlin's "Four Essays on Liberty". Because you are "obviously" wrong.

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    13. Thersites, you're parsing moot. Let's stick with the original analogy, Athens and Sparta. The Spartans had a weird, closed society. They used the Helots and treated them as others, apart from them. The Athenians enjoyed a much more open culture, and though practiced many similar social distinctions, in the end, Spartan culture died, and Athenian culture became the foundation of Western Civilization. I would rather be more like Athens than Sparta.

      I have read enough philosophy (bullshit). The FACT is that you CAN have universal healthcare and education and NOT be like Stalin's motherfucking Russia. We know that because it's real. It really exists in real life. Whereas philosophy is just bullshit.

      And you seem to fall for the notion that there is only one way to do something. All those states and nations out there who have universal healthcare and education, accomplish it with a wide array of different approaches, usually with plenty of private sector involvement and participation. Again, this is not philosophy, this is real life, in-action, how things get done. And little to no Stalinism running amok.

      JMJ

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    14. Fines, let's stick with Athens and Sparta. Athens spent all their time trading with and colonizing the rest of the world. There were only 100,000,000 people in the ENTIRE world at the time, yet it was all war, war, war, and the Greeks all made slaves out the "barbarians". Sparta was the only society that enslaved fellow Hellenes. There are 7 BILLION people in the world now. How much more trading/ colonizing can we afford to do. Trade (with Mut) encourages a war "guardian" (house of Montu). We need something different now. AN infinite and indefinite war on terror (those disadvantaged by our trading relationships) cannot be the answer.

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    15. The "moral hazard" of paying on the people you put out of work off with your "ever more efficient" capitalist society is that you end up with more and more non-contributing members. We already have millions of inner city residents are are not fit for any form of employment whatsoever. I'm for wringing some of that "corporate efficiency" out of society and thereby forcing a greater proportion of the population to perform "productive" work. And I want those "jobs" to open up in America, not "China".

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    16. In other words, the Athenian global trade model is "unsustainable" and ultimately self-defeating.

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    17. Evidence that it's "unsustainable"? THE NATIONAL DEBT.

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    18. The relationship between MUT and Montu from outside the House of Amun Ra (within the Temple of Kamutef). ;)

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    19. You know someone has no good argument when they parse the living shit out of a simple and direct analogy. Had Sparta been a more open society and treated the Helots better, history may have taken a very different turn for them. But this ridiculously parsed analogy aside, it should be clear to any decent and good person that keeping millions of people in state-limbo is bad for all concerned.

      JMJ

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    20. Nobody is "keeping" the illegals IN, Jersey.

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    21. Sure about that? https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/trump-wall-migrants-immigration/516000/

      JMJ

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    22. Awww. They're discouraged. How sad for them!

      They are homo sacer. Who cares? America was not placed on this earth to "fix the world". As in Voltaire's "Candide", we must all "tend our OWN gardens." And Peter Rabbit better keep his *ss out of Mr McGreggor's garden!

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    23. The Athenian policy of making all of their allies "tear down their walls, whilst they built their own "long walls" to Pireus has been declared "dead". Everyone can now erect whatever walls they wish. The Iron Throne is dead. All the world need fear now are our dragons. The Progressive Era is "over".

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    24. Progressive Era? Do you mean 80 years ago? WTH? The Wall is stupid and everyone who likes the idea needs to grow up. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It's just stupid. Intensely stupid.

      JMJ

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    25. FJ - Also, the national debt is not unsustainable. It's not all due right now. And our economy can easily accommodate it. Numbers are relative statements, not "Oh, look, a big number!" Even a tiny little ant has trillions of cells. But it's still just an ant. We could borrow less, we could tax a little more, and actually pay some of the debt down. It's the deficit that is the problem. Debt is a relative thing. Our economy is huge, and so, such is our debt. That doesn't mean it's unsustainable.

      JMJ

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    26. It's unsustainable. You can't rely on helicopter money to keep the deficits down forever. Eventually interest rates goes up and you have to refinance $20 trillion at 5% instead of 1%. Oooops, the not a problem deficit just went up by a 5 factor.

      And Soro's open society is kaput. Walls are going up all over Europe.

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    27. Just because something is big and complicated, that doesn't mean it's "unsustainable." This is the sort of logic that leads to "intelligent design" and other such silly thought. I don't even know what you mean by "walls" in Europe, unless you mean they're getting more ethno-nationalistic, which is always something to be wary of, but is regional, not all over Europe. The last time Europe got the hyper-nationalisms things got exceedingly ugly. Nothing to be applauding.

      JMJ

      JMJ

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    28. The debt DOUBLED over the past eight years. It's "past" unsustainable.

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    29. vis "healthcare" - DO you think it wise to allow government to regulate all heterotopias of deviation when they construct the environments that lead to disease in the first place?

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    30. Well, first, FJ, that's what happens when you borrow and borrow and deregulate and deregulate and lower taxes and lower taxes, and then go to war! Just trace the steps back, and you can see how to fix that sort of reckless stupidity.

      Thersites, I'm not sure what all you're saying there, but I do think we should have one pool that we use for paying for medical expenses. It's just the nature of health and insurance. The private sector certainly has a major role there. I don't want to see state hospital-farms for all or whatever. We should have better mental health care. But the liabilities are such that no one, not even the government, wants in on that, so we have these horrific heterotopias of deviation called PRISONS, which are far more nightmarish than anything else the government constructs!

      JMJ

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    31. Remember leeches? Bloodletting? Lobotomies? Shock "therapy"?

      How do you like radiation and chemotherapy? My treatments became the "standard" in the 1950s.

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    32. You still sure you want "universal" health care, where the DSM for treatment applies to ALL w/o exceptions?

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  3. The philosopher and student of Permenides, Xeno (of Elea), WAS a foreigner to the Athenians). Xenophon was an Athenian who only "sounds foreign." ;)

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  4. When it relates to Trump I'll go with the following:

    xen·o·pho·bi·a
    [ˌzenəˈfōbēə, ˌzēnəˈfōbēə]
    NOUN
    intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

    But thanks for short lesson in ancient history Speedy G.

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    1. When it comes to Trump, foreigners are people who take jobs away from Americans, and the government has a responsibility to contribute to the prosperity of American (not global) workers.

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    2. Xenophobia is the irrational fear that Donald Trump conspired with Russians to win the presidency.

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    3. The question isn't whether the Russians helped Trump win the election, but whether there the Russians have some kind of sway over our current President and his administration. When Trump was warned about Flynn, the warning was specifically that Flynn may have been vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. Russia is now ruled by a crooked oligarchy, and should be viewed with a very cautious eye. It would be stupidly irresponsible to ignore any potential for trouble with them.

      JMJ

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    4. What is stupidly irresponsible is forcing a confrontation with the Russians with absolutely NO evidence to back up your assertions.

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    5. Thersites, this sounds like that whole silly conspiracy theory about Hillary & Co wanting a shooting war with Russia. And it's just a silly conspiracy theory. It doesn't make the least bit of sense, it was belied by our lack of intervention in Crimea, there's no credible evidence to suggest it, it's just silly.

      Serious, responsible people are concerned with Trump & Co and Putin & Co, and have some reason to be concerned. And I one million percent guarantee that if Obama & Co had the same baggage, you'd be on it faster than OJ at the airport on his way Hertz.

      JMJ

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    6. Let the intelligence agencies reveal what they know. The veil of "sources and methods" leads no where.

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    7. Like the birthers... just because you want something to be true don't make it so.

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    8. http://www.salon.com/2017/03/10/roger-stone-doesnt-like-russian-dressing-says-chatted-with-guccifer-was-innocuous/

      JMJ

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  5. Did any say we should force a confrontation?

    Maybe I missed something?

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    1. Didn't Obama ratchet up "sanctions" after the Podesta leak? Aren't Lindsey Graham and John McCain screaming for MORE sanctions?

      All this "Russia, Russia, Russia" talk leads to no good ends.

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    2. Where were you during the Cold War? LOL!

      JMJ

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    3. Where were you during the Cold War?

      I was "on the wall" manning a post.

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    4. Well, that's interesting! And that's where you developed this open-armed trust in the Russians???

      JMJ

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    5. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

      ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      I have studied the enemy. Have you?

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    6. There is an ancient Sufi parable about coffee: "He who tastes, knows; he who tastes not, knows not."

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    7. Well, you know I'm not big on anecdotes, but enough of them do add up... I did a lot of business with Russians when I was with the Chinese. I remember this one fella weeping on a conference call with myself and his agent, as he told us he was going to have to go back to Russia, with a failed business debt problem, and was worried about the fate of him and his family - as in, would they survive it. I remember another threatening to shoot and kill me and his agent because he was so worried about his Russian creditors. I heard all sorts of horror stories about doing business over there. This isn't the Soviet Union we're talking about. This is what Russia is today - a mafia-like oligarchy. And Trump's son in law, just 7-8 years ago, and things haven't changed over there since from what I understand, said he was concerned with the high-level of Russian investment money coming the family business' way. I am very concerned with this. I know a little something about mobsters as well, and I'm usually the most open guy around when it comes to international relations, but I'd be very leery of the Russians. I like them. They're nice people. They remind me a lot of us, Americans! In fact, of all the people around the world I did business with, the Russians reminded me the most of us, but their government? It reminds me of something else I'm quite familiar with, and take my word for it, we want no part of that. The Mob sounds really cool, like on that stupid HBO show a few years ago. They're glamorized and idolized. People want to talk like them and dress like them, and eat at fancy restaurants like them, but they don't see the real world there behind the screen. It's not nice.

      JMJ

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    8. Only 'weak' bankers need 'muscle' to collect. Strong ones just "up" their interest 'rates'. Which type do you think we are? The Russians could have films of Trump having sex with goats. It wouldn't lower their borrowing rates or up the price we'll pay for their oil.

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    9. If the Russians wanted to blackmail us, they'd need something on our ENTIRE divided government.

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    10. I'm not worried about any particular blackmail or anything like that. And banks in Russia are not like the ones we have here. Different beasts. I just don't want to see us getting cozy with Russia. Not until they clean up their act.

      JMJ

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  6. I have studied the enemy. Have you?

    Yes. And it is us.

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