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Total number of comments: 2151 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


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  • Armed White Shooters Scarier than Syria Refugees: Dallas Mayor
    • The problem is, white conservatives define order as the protection of their asses at the expense of all others. They deny being on the same side as white supremacists, but they know they're safe from them while even a one in a million chance of being killed by a salafi justifies the American Inquisition.

  • Why did Turkey dare shoot down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria
    • My worst-case scenario was outright war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. We're now over 50% of the way there. Someone needs to derail these converging trains.

    • Erdogan doesn't have zero allies; he has Saudi Arabia and the Arab monarchies as an ally - the ally no one who consumes oil can say no to. That gives him leverage with the US to offset the Israelis.

  • Trump's call for Spying on US Muslims recalls FBI bugging of MLK, Black Churches
    • New developments:

      "After his supporters beat up a Black Lives Matter protester on video, Donald Trump suggested that they may have done the right thing.

      The protester, a black man, reportedly started chanting Black Lives Matter at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday. In a video captured by CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond, rally attendees swarm around the man, kicking and punching him as he curls up on the ground

      Trump was asked to weigh in on his supporters’ actions on Fox & Friends Sunday morning. “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said. “It was disgusting what he was doing.”"

      Any questions?

    • Trump's bombast is the conversion of that activity from a secret of professionals, to a crusade by the entire "loyal" population, like those assailants in Birmingham.

  • "For Paris" on Russian Missiles hitting Syria as ISIL Oil Facilities Targeted
    • It did not take a generation or two for Pol Pot to show the worst that a revolution by nostalgic lunatics can do. It took four years.

      I'm not saying that will happen here. I am saying that the tyrants of the Gulf monarchies CHOSE to create the ideological parameters under which ISIS must be so insanely brutal to prove its worthiness. No matter the size of the mess the US made, those monarchs and their Wahhabi agents deliberately embraced irrational faith against empirical, secular problem-solving as a way to fix that mess, because said problem-solving would eventually have condemned those monarchs to overthrow as it did in the entire rest of the world. Those monarchs chose to spend their infinite funds to NOT improve people's lives in a sustainable way. How can you trust things to ever get better until these US-propped anachronisms are all decapitated?

  • If Trump can track Muslims, close Mosques, what can he do to You?
    • There's another thing going on here. You point out that it's easier for government to collect everything on everybody due to the nature of technology. However, what is really being fought over is the idea that discrimination and double standards represent a moral good. Collecting data ONLY on Moslems is a form of stigmatization; that's exactly what movement conservatives want, a restoration of America's real tradition of caste and racial oppression. You see different issues where the Right mobilizes frenzied opposition, like Hobby Lobby, police brutality, even how people are searched at airports. But I see that all of these cases are part of a relentless crusade to create precedents to restore the right of "real" Americans to discriminate against inferiors, with the knowledge that one victory against Moslems can be twisted into precedent used against blacks, atheists, etc. Hobby Lobby was all about the right of the religious to discriminate, a right that I guarantee will be interpreted so that only the Christian Right gets to use it. Stand Your Ground says that you are reasonable in shooting anyone you consider a threat, so a fearful bigot - indoctrinated to be so by right-wing media - has more license to shoot blacks than blacks do to shoot whites.

      So to the Right, universal data collection is offensive, because it dares imply that "real" Americans have to be held to the same standard of threat as the subhuman Other. The legal recognition of inequality, once attained, will be widened and deepened all the way back to Dred Scott. This is NOT about practical enforcement or actual crime prevention at all, it is about the idea that America is the property of the rich, by the whites, for the Christians.

      The government, ironically, shares your observation and thus wants to view everyone as a threat to its administrative imperatives. Pick your poison.

    • The difference between a president and a dictator is merely what exists to stop him. Now if President Trump decides to use our incompetent military to attack a country and as usual it doesn't work, will he walk away, or will he bring out the nukes, since he proudly rejects all norms of international conduct on the grounds that only "babies" support them?

    • You act as though America was still One-Man-One-Vote. The electoral system is so perverted that Democratic votes are simply worth less than Republicans', fulfilling the latter's beliefs that they are the only real Americans. The ones who most openly and successfully assault democracy are the ones with the most say in the primaries. Now we will see if decades of extremist indoctrination have hollowed out Americans' fundamental loyalty to democratic norms, and made them frenzied enthusiasts of whichever candidate most brazenly promises to restore the "good old days" of white patriarchal monopoly by holy decree. If it's not Trump, it will be someone who promises to be worse.

      Also, if you look at the archive, you will notice that Cole has published one complimentary article after another about Sanders, whom I also support, but has little good to say about Clinton.

    • You should consider that so many suicide bombers have been followers of right-wing reactionary movements financed by billionaires. Then consider our homegrown terrorists and abortion clinic bombers, who have basically won their 40-year war to drag America far enough to the Right to make the current GOP candidates acceptable. Now, do you think the people running the Right have ruled out the option of inciting more Christian, neo-Confederate, militia sociopaths to carry out assassinations to supplement their police state? The GOP libels Planned Parenthood, and in days the arsons begin at Planned Parenthood clinics. Will it be gays next, or Moslems, or Mexican-Americans? Just as in the Jim Crow South, the police state will look the other way as the secret state of untraceable true believers enforces unwritten laws by terror.

    • Yet every time he makes a new, more fascistic statement, his approval ratings rise. If he loses, it will be because someone else won delegates from him by being even more horrible. Those Republicans will still be a danger to us and the world for the rest of their lives. At least we are being given a moment of clarity as to how numerous and powerful this barbarian horde has become, along with its analogs in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Japan, and every other place where people are angry that the "system" fails to give their lives value by sufficiently persecuting those who are different.

  • Is Daesh/ ISIL a modern Raiding Pirate state?
    • I guess as right-wingers, ISIS has no problem with private property and inequality. So it appeals to the young not as progressive, but romantic and reactionary. Sort of like the Society for Creative Anachronism for kids who aren't bourgeois whites, where everyone is somehow a nobleman and the peasants aren't acknowledged.

      What likely happens is exactly what you'd expect of something like that: they don't understand economics. People too stupid to figure out how to make goods of value in legal markets usually turn to narcotics. Narcostates are the modern equivalent of the pirate states of old, and we've done very badly battling them. But even the Taliban had to pretend to be anti-opium when it was allied with al-Qaeda and trying to bring in devout Moslem boys from around the world. A narcostate in Syria sounds like an easy drone target to me. Absent that, their economy will fall into the squalor typical of failed communes of the '70s.

  • Paris at Midnight: Attempt to push France out of anti ISIL coalition in Syria?
    • In support of your analysis, al-Qaeda is now a rival of ISIS in Syria and has a motive for a false-flag attack. If that's true, then it is NOT ISIS retaliating for Western intervention, but al-Qaeda trying to provoke Western intervention to get rid of the competition so it can take over. Note that Putin has been accused of only bombing groups like al-Qaeda and leaving ISIS alone - perhaps so that he can keep them around as an excuse for his general goal of saving Assad?

      So please, folks, let's not think that any of our options here are easy.

  • Trump's “Deportation Force” Too Nuts For Even Bill O’Reilly
    • This is why I don't get people who think that Trump is less likely to start a war as President than one of the candidates who has more experience in government. He has based his entire appeal on being the opposite of diplomatic. For a country, the alternative to negotiation is not ignoring a problem, the alternative is war.

  • Kurdish Fighters cut Road between ISIL centers of Raqqa and Mosul
    • Quite the opposite. The more you are like a real nation-state, the more vulnerable you become to conventional weapons, because states are all about machinery, infrastructure and organization, preferably competent, to meet the demands of their constituents. Guerrilla and terrorist groups evade all that tedious responsibility, and thus are invisible to tanks and airstrikes.

  • Climate Change to throw 100 mn. People into Poverty
    • Wall Street and Washington have done several things already that have thrown over 100 million people into poverty. It's easy to do. Climate change is going to throw a billion people into poverty just for starters.

  • Why EU Labeling of Israeli Squatter Goods could Affect Israeli Economy
    • India has the largest Moslem population in the world.
      Indonesia and Malaysia are also large Moslem countries.
      The Philippines has a restive Moslem minority.
      The anti-colonial narrative has power in S. Korea.
      China has huge plans underway in Moslem Central Asia, which may surge into Iran, Pakistan, and the Arab world.

  • Jeb Bush Wants A Time Machine To murder a Baby -- Hitler
    • I would go back in time and save Rosa Luxemburg and give her Communists a chance instead, creating an alternative to Lenin. The Weimar Republic and the interwar order were such a mess that I think revolution was necessary.

    • I always thought the likely alternative was Ernst Rohm, the leader of the Brownshirts and along with Hitler one of the founders of the NSDAP. His ideology was a sort of racist populism in which the bosses would be overthrown and the workers would move to communes in the countryside, while the Brownshirts would replace the Army. So kind of like a KKK Pol Pot.

      The world would have been better off with that. Such stupidity would either deindustrialized Germany into impotence, or it would have fallen to the German Communists instead.

  • GOP Candidates' Clown Car hides Deadly intent to Enrich the Rich
    • You are expecting facts to mean the same to them as to other people. If your entire identity and reason for living is based on your "race", "faith" or some other dog-whistle identity being the only ones fit to rule and judge the value of everything in existence, then all facts must be made to support that. In that case, those in your identity group who have the most money and power are seen not as your exploiters, but as your natural tribal chieftains, using their power to lead your people in a war against all the other kinds of people on Earth. The value you place on that war is greater than your short-term well-being, because you are certain that only by dominating others (by whatever mechanism your ideology worships) will you survive in the long term. You will tell yourself that everyone else is out to eradicate your culture and even your bloodline. This is a big deal with right-wingers.

  • Putin's Dilemma: How To Respond If A Bomb Caused Sinai Air Crash
    • I think it's pretty depressing that the Russian people have more power to hold their tyrant responsible for provoking a costly war with terrorists absent proper precautions - while the people of the United States never held G. W. Bush or past US policy responsible for 9/11 at all.

  • Netanyahu taps Squatter who called Obama Muslim hate sympathizer, as he demands $5 bn./yr. from U.S.
    • Besides, the US now depends on Israel for lots of military technology, so we don't even do that great with arms sales anymore. They used our past aid money to develop creepy killer robots and Orwell-ware, and that's now the hot "military" technology that all the governments of the world buy to use against their own citizens.

  • #ExxonKnew Escalates as NY Att'y Gen. Subpoenas Oil Giant Over Climate Crimes
    • The right wing is formulating their ideological attack to justify what Exxon did, or formulated it years ago. We should fear it, because it will work the same way all their ideological attacks do; by signalling to their followers that they are the only real men and everyone else on Earth is inferior, mandated by God to slave for the profits of the Patriarchs and then starve to death. What Exxon did, they all must do, it is their sacred birthright. Bit by bit they have been conditioned to wage open war against the world. However, all that is needed is for them to conquer the United States and hold us in terror.

  • Bush Sr. Blames Neocons for Ruining W.'s Presidency: Is he Warning Jeb?
    • As for saving his son Jeb's campaign, sorry, the barn door's open, the horse has fled, and then was attacked by bees, sunk in quicksand, and then chopped up for dog food.

  • Shimon Peres doubts Israel can win Permanent war or Survive Annexation of West Bank
    • What is missing from Peres' account of events is that Israel always planned for ethnic cleansing; he just now realizes that it can't be done without consequences, which the Likud ignores. Terminating democracy and creating an apartheid state is a perfectly acceptable fallback for the Likud in case its plans fail.

  • Bernie Sanders Hugs Muslim Student And Vows To Fight Racism
    • Well, I guess that will probably cost Bernie Sanders more support than all the "socialist" ideas he might propose. Since people are so ignorant about what socialism actually is, his opponents have to painstakingly frame each of his policy positions and reindoctrinate us as to why they are evil. But physically touching the Other will cause a visceral disgust that will flush out a lot of fake liberals and populists who secretly hate Moslems far more than they hate criminal banks. Of course, those people would eventually have figured it out and switched to Clinton or (if they were really confused) to Trump down the road, but we need the moment of clarity.

      This probably was the bravest act of this entire 2016 campaign.

  • From Canada as Hawk to Canada as Peacemaker in Mideast
    • And yet Harper's Americanized far-right party ruled for 9 years, because 40% of Canadians always supported him, and the rest of Canadians refused to unite their four left-leaning parties to put a stop to him. The Liberals got their landslide with 40% as well, meaning it could unravel very quickly.

      The monolithic unity of right-wingers in America and Canada forged by theocrats and corporate media exposes the degree of projection in right-wing claims that liberals are intolerant, narrow-minded, and all part of one giant monolithic conspiracy against everyone different than themselves. We "liberal bigots" are in fact defined by the fact that we can't agree on anything, which is the best argument for protecting liberty but the worst vehicle for actually doing so.

  • But are they effective? Elite US Forces Deploy to a Record-Shattering 147 Countries in 2015
    • "Effort, as measured by operations conducted, bomb tonnage dropped, or bodies counted, is taken as evidence of progress made."

      That nicely sums up both the fundamental doctrine of industrialized warfare, and the United States Army. Which is why our Army did very well in big conventional wars. Firepower delivered tends to correlate to enemy units eliminated, territory conquered, and enemy war production ground to a halt.

      So what changed about war? Here are but a few things:

      Conventional war assumes discrete, sovereign entities are attacking other discrete, sovereign entities. These entities, when battling for the highest stakes, have plans in place to mobilize their entire population, transportation network, and economic resources. However, that makes all of those known targets in advance, so each side knows what it's trying to destroy, and the supposed consequences.

      War was not always this way. In fact, it has gone in cycles of absoluteness, meaning the willingness of sovereigns to wage war to eliminate other sovereigns and their states. This is not surprising because the sovereigns had little legitimacy and ability to raise armies.

      We seem to live in a hybrid time, when organized states have little appetite to directly govern alien populations and do not give their citizens existential demands to fight for. This has created a world of opportunity for non-sovereign entities to create small armies of committed followers. It's not just happening in the Fourth World of failed states.

  • The Intifada, Viral Death, and the Facebook Fallacy
    • Why does Israel seem to want ISIS to win in Syria? Will this be the next "proof" that Arabs, and thus Palestinians, are monsters who must be eliminated? But Israel surely understands that mass-deporting Palestinians means sending them to ISIS-controlled regions where they will be far more dangerous.

      I wonder if Netanyahu has convinced himself that he's finally found a way to use his nuclear arsenal in a first strike to exterminate the Palestinians? Send them all to The Caliphate, intentionally build it up as a threat, then unleash the nukes to the world's applause?

    • This linked article was very alarming. The timing of Hitler's decision to switch to organized extermination is well known.

      1. Though he had previously concentrated on ethnic cleansing, many of those fleeing him moved to the very countries he later invaded. Jews in invaded countries were increasingly dealt with by Einsatzgruppen, mobile SS troops who sped into vast areas untouched by battle with death lists and rounded up victims before they even understood what was happening. However, the logistics of this practice bogged down; the whole point of Blitzkreig was a relatively cheap war for a resource-strapped Reich. Even Einsatzgruppen were too costly to support in the field. His officials were complaining about this in Russia during 1941, before the Mufti's visit with Hitler.

      2. Hitler had violated his own doctrine of not having a 2-front war, and by unilaterally declaring war on the US after Pearl Harbor, he now guaranteed that both fronts would be much stronger. He couldn't accept that he made an error, as usual, so he specifically blamed Franklin Roosevelt, and the Jews he had convinced himself were running the USA, for tricking him into a disastrous decision. His embrace of genocide was his idea of revenge against the Jewish conspiracy that kept outsmarting him.

  • Top Five Things Congress Should investigate instead of Benghazi
    • That's no secret. Drones don't do what the military says they will, just as smart bombs don't. The public knows that by now, but has embraced the lie because it wants our country to have power untrammeled by the regard for civilian life that we claim to profess. Our citizenry is kept scared, it believes all the Mud Races out there are plotting against its supply of goodies, it wants a tribal warlord President to crush them, and it doesn't want to pay said President the cost of a conventional world war or bring back the draft. We all privately agree that the drone deaths are regrettable but necessary, thus so is lying to cover them up.

  • Hillary Clinton finally let Benghazi Committee Have It
  • Yes, George W. Bush bears some Responsibility for US Vulnerability on 9/11
    • "The Bush group-think holds that asymmetrical organizations are not a threat in themselves, that the threat comes from the states that allegedly harbor them."

      Which was our entire premise in suddenly holding the Taliban responsible for al-Qaeda as though they were one and the same, and overthrowing it. We might as well have held Pakistan's military regime fully responsible for creating and molding the Taliban to rule Afghanistan, but that would have meant war with a nuclear power.

      This also explains why Washington pays unsuccessful lip service to nation-building, but ultimately it doesn't mind destroying governments and creating power vacuums. It believes that only governments create terrorism, not power vacuums. I think that both of them can create terrorism, but popular will also plays a role and the US has really created a vast amount of ill will over the years.

    • What happened is that before 9/11, Brzezinski told a French radio interviewer that in '79 he discussed with Carter the latter's interest in helping the CIA make trouble for the then independent but pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. He told Carter that IF he intervened, the Soviets would find out and retaliate there. But he told the interviewer that he personally desired that outcome. So he was honest with Carter, but diabolical with the rights of Afghans to be spared his desire for revenge against the USSR. Moreover, the interviewer asked him if he regretted what resulted in Afghanistan and he derided the Taliban regime's ability to make us pay for it. So in my opinion Zbiggy was also a fool who didn't get the threat of asymmetrical warfare and proxy movements to the USA.

  • Syrian Army advances under Russian air Support, al-Qaeda no. 2 Killed
    • But that wasn't a Civil War inside Britain. Going back further in history, Britain's attempts to establish Home Rule in Ireland were wrecked by the coming of WW1, the militarization of the Troubles as partisans on both sides came home from the trenches, and surplus weapons poured in. That's closer to Syria than Churchill's Britain, which was at least internally a nation of laws.

  • Al-Qaeda in Syria Leader: Kill Alawite Minority, Russians; Christians fear West Backs Him
    • I disagree. It is more logical that it is Israel that wants the entire Moslem world in chaos, since it doesn't get any oil from it anyway while Wall Street oversees a global economy that must have that oil. Have you forgotten Dick Cheney's Project for a New American Century was full of Zionist operatives, some of whom officially worked for the Likud Party on its Clean Break document before Bush was elected? That paper called for the overthrow of all the unfriendly governments in the region in the interest of Israel. Saudi Arabia also has chosen to make Iran an enemy because of its fear of its own Shia population, and perhaps a larger fear of the Arab world turning on it because of its refusal to confront Israel. Saudi Arabia and Israel may both looking to a regional war to justify the elimination of their own hostile ethnicities - knowing the US lacks the will to object. The US has actually tried to fight ISIS; Saudi Arabia and Israel both seem to feel that ISIS serves some terrifying purpose.

  • Thanks to Sanders, Democratic Party Just Debated Capitalism
    • All private property systems tend towards wealth polarization and oligarchic tyranny. You can go through history and find farmers becoming divided between unlucky ones who must borrow to survive bad years, and lucky ones who lend to them for vast interest or even in exchange for their fundamental liberties. Polarization would continue until collapse, invaders, or a new regime of redistribution. The Greeks of the Classical era were just a bunch of olive farmers, but in hundreds of city-states wealthy oligarchies became so intolerable that they were overthrown by revolutions, whose first order of business was mandated redistribution. It worked for a few centuries, but the oligarchs grew back.

      So small business capitalism is simply a few generations away from becoming oligarchy. The redistributive mechanisms to combat this are always complex, aggravating and under threat by oligarchic propaganda.

  • Bernie Sanders: Why I'm sick of Clinton's email
    • The partisan witchhunt is an essential characteristic of the Republican Party. It is too provocative to demonize the hundred million supporters of the Democratic Party directly, so their leaders must be demonized instead. From Clinton to Swiftboating to Gore-paranoia to Birtherism, the intent is to wall off an entire universe of political possibilities that working Americans need to know about by indoctrinating them with the idea that those possibilities are only a front by a conspiracy of evil socialists, scheming non-whites, Satanic gays, etc, whose leaders must be traitors: the leaders of the Democratic Party, no matter how centrist they actually are. Manichean dualism, us vs them in God's war. This murderous fantasy keeps the GOP base voting to screw themselves to make their own leaders richer and more powerful to save them all from the Devil.

      Sanders is correct in understanding the e-mail issue is simply trivial compared to the issues he's talking about, and as long as tabloid politics are the order of the day, he has no chance of changing anything about America. He can't win unless he teaches American voters a lesson about what matters, and he has to start early. It's not about personages, it's about the fundamental ends of democratic policy.

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