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

#14361 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 12:09

View Postdiana_eva, on 2019-November-29, 04:51, said:

No I'm just trying to tell you to stop doing that. I don't care why you feel compelled to do this sort of post tracking but it's not interesting and not constructive and in the end how many times do you really need to express that "chas said he wont post but he did".

I actually agree that the comments are pointless and have pointed this out myself before now. That said, I think you and Barry have to understand that in choosing Chas_P as a Yellow you are implicitly accepting certain positions that I personally think should make both of you extremely uncomfortable. In particular I have been forced to come to the conclusion that he is overtly and consciously racist, which is just not a combination of traits that I find acceptable in people that I have dealings with.

It is also clear that he uses obvious trolling techniques on BBF. There are many examples like the one mentioned above of dressing up abuse or racism within a false veneer of respectability, such as:

View PostChas_P, on 2019-July-23, 18:01, said:

I'm going to leave it with you boys for awhile. I think I'll head up into the mountains and enjoy the cooler air for awhile, then maybe over to Bermuda in the early Fall for awhile to enjoy the beauty of the ocean and the friendliness of the Bermudian people. But you guys, please do keep up your good work. With your superior intellect, dogged determination, and leadership from mental giants Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and "The Squad" I am confident you will have "the motherf***er" out of the White House no later than January 14, 2025.

Fare thee well.


and

View PostChas_P, on 2017-August-23, 18:45, said:

I understand all that. But my original question remains: How will the lives of black Americans be improved by tearing down Confederate monuments...or any other monument for that matter? I've read that The Reverend Al Sharpton considers the Jefferson Memorial "an insult to my family". If we take them all down will blacks instantaneously be free to stop murdering each other in Chicago? Will they be free to stop making babies they can't support? Will they be free to have households that include both a mother and a father? Will they be free to graduate from high school or trade school and find a decent job? Or will they just be free to start another hysterical "movement" and raise hell about that? And please note.......I am not condemning just blacks here. There are plenty of whites with the same shortcomings. I don't have much use for them either.


(and many, many more)

I find it extremely disappointed that words such as these should be given extra weight by the Yellow status, which genuinely means something within the BBO community. It is the second time that BBF has severely disappointed me regarding extreme right-wing trolls. I really hope it is the last.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#14362 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 15:48

Quote

In particular I have been forced to come to the conclusion that he is overtly and consciously racist, which is just not a combination of traits that I find acceptable in people that I have dealings with.


I spent my adult life working in careers in which I had to "go along" with these kinds of racist people. Once retired, I will not tolerate them in my life because I no longer have to.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14363 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 16:55

View Postdiana_eva, on 2019-November-29, 04:51, said:

No I'm just trying to tell you to stop doing that. I don't care why you feel compelled to do this sort of post tracking but it's not interesting and not constructive and in the end how many times do you really need to express that "chas said he wont post but he did".

As a moderator, maybe you can help Chas keep some semblance of dignity and suspend his account in this thread to help him keep his word to stop posting in this thread, and as a byproduct, stop him from trolling the thread. As the forum moderators frequently note in cheating and abuse cases, you can't prevent people from creating new ID's so maybe it will barely slow him down. Still, I'm guessing that your lack of action is seen as explicit approval to continue his trolling.
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#14364 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 17:15

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-December-02, 12:09, said:

I actually agree that the comments are pointless and have pointed this out myself before now. That said, I think you and Barry have to understand that in choosing Chas_P as a Yellow you are implicitly accepting certain positions that I personally think should make both of you extremely uncomfortable. In particular I have been forced to come to the conclusion that he is overtly and consciously racist, which is just not a combination of traits that I find acceptable in people that I have dealings with.

It is also clear that he uses obvious trolling techniques on BBF (snip)

I find it extremely disappointed that words such as these should be given extra weight by the Yellow status, which genuinely means something within the BBO community. It is the second time that BBF has severely disappointed me regarding extreme right-wing trolls. I really hope it is the last.


When you present the situation as if BBO knowing that Chas was a racist troll has chosen to give him yellow status indeed this makes us look like morons.

However the reality is this: For some 10+ years, Chas has been a yellow in BBO. When he was given yellow status he was not interviewed on his political and racial views or other delicate stuff. He has not behaved in a discriminatory fashion with the numerous BBOers he has interacted with on BBO, and he had no incidents of racist or political or otherwise controversial nature.

Now, after these 10 years he posts what he really thinks in the water cooler and goes ahead to post patronizing stuff and make fun of the other posters in a Water Cooler thread that nobody is particularly proud of.

His online behaviour on BBO has not changed, he still doesn't shoot people and doesn't ban muslims and doesn't ask "are you white" before helping someone.

Should we un-yellow him for trolling in the WC, despite no reason related to his actual behaviour with people he is helping? Or should we simply ask him to cut it out with the water cooler stuff because he's a yellow and leave it at that?

#14365 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 17:15

View Postjohnu, on 2019-December-02, 16:55, said:

As a moderator, maybe you can help Chas keep some semblance of dignity and suspend his account in this thread to help him keep his word to stop posting in this thread, and as a byproduct, stop him from trolling the thread. As the forum moderators frequently note in cheating and abuse cases, you can't prevent people from creating new ID's so maybe it will barely slow him down. Still, I'm guessing that your lack of action is seen as explicit approval to continue his trolling.


I will note in passing that when Chas "left" the thread last time, he moved on to sending me harassing private messages.

I asked Barmar and Diane to have him stop...
Alderaan delenda est
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#14366 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 18:07

I thought that "witch hunt" was simply Trump hyperbole but we'be capture so many real witches I have to rethink my position. The latest witchery is Duncan Hunter magically turning his not-guilty plea to guilty for magically turning campaign contributions into his checking account balance:

Quote

GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter will plead guilty in federal court on Tuesday after denying for more than a year that he illegally misused campaign funds.

Hunter told TV station KUSI in San Diego that "Tomorrow, on Tuesday, I'm going to change my plea to guilty."


As for the other controversy, ignore works.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#14367 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 22:14

View Postdiana_eva, on 2019-December-02, 17:15, said:

When you present the situation as if BBO knowing that Chas was a racist troll has chosen to give him yellow status indeed this makes us look like morons.

However the reality is this: For some 10+ years, Chas has been a yellow in BBO. When he was given yellow status he was not interviewed on his political and racial views or other delicate stuff. He has not behaved in a discriminatory fashion with the numerous BBOers he has interacted with on BBO, and he had no incidents of racist or political or otherwise controversial nature.

Now, after these 10 years he posts what he really thinks in the water cooler and goes ahead to post patronizing stuff and make fun of the other posters in a Water Cooler thread that nobody is particularly proud of.

His online behaviour on BBO has not changed, he still doesn't shoot people and doesn't ban muslims and doesn't ask "are you white" before helping someone.

Should we un-yellow him for trolling in the WC, despite no reason related to his actual behaviour with people he is helping? Or should we simply ask him to cut it out with the water cooler stuff because he's a yellow and leave it at that?


It is my strong wish that no one lose a job, paid or unpaid, at BBO, or at the local grocery, based on social, political, religious or other views that she or he expresses on an opinion website.


I do not envy you for having to make such choices, I wish you the very best.

I said earlier that I thought this discussion is a trap. I later deleted that post because I didn't want even that much of a part in the discussion. But now here I am. Young people are told not to put their views up on social media, it could harm their career. I am sure that is good advice. I also regret that it is good advice.



You will make the choice you think best. Good luck.
Ken
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#14368 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-December-02, 22:35

View Postdiana_eva, on 2019-December-02, 17:15, said:


Should we un-yellow him for trolling in the WC, despite no reason related to his actual behaviour with people he is helping?


Yes

FWIW, back in the early days of BBO Inquiry and Fred asked me if I wanted to be a Yellow.

I politely declined explaining that, in the long run, I was a lot more trouble that I was worth...
I think that you have the same thing here.

Here in the US, we have a company called Chik-Fil-A. They make quite good fast food. However, I refuse to eat their sandwiches. They're really quite good, however, the company has a political history that is highly problematic and I can't do business with them without signaling that this is acceptable to me.

Now, Chik-Fil-A recently announced that they were walking back a bunch of these policies. And, I'm going to sit back and watch what happens. In a couple years, I might be able to eat some of of those sandwiches once again.
Alderaan delenda est
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#14369 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 02:03

Moving on, as Winstonm notes, another subject of a witch hunt is about to be convicted of federal crimes.

Rep. Duncan Hunter to abandon 'not guilty' plea in campaign finance scandal

Quote

After years of denials and claims he was the target of a political witch hunt, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, is scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday morning to change his plea of not guilty to charges stemming from a sweeping campaign finance investigation.

Quote

According to the indictment, the Hunters relied for years on campaign contributions to pay routine family expenses such as dental bills, home repairs and fast-food meals. They also used the donations to pay for exotic vacations, private-school tuition, video games and plane tickets for Margaret's mother to travel to and from Poland.

The Hunters used more than $500 in campaign funds to fly the family's pet rabbit, Eggburt, across the country with them, Margaret Hunter admitted in her plea agreement.

The initial indictment also alluded to several unnamed "individuals" who appeared to have more than professional relationships with Duncan Hunter.

Earlier this year, as the congressman continued to deny his guilt and prosecutors disclosed more of their evidence in public court filings, it became clear that Hunter had extramarital affairs with at least five different women over many years -- and paid for them with campaign funds.

Though never identified publicly, three of the women were noted to be lobbyists and two others were reported to be congressional staffers.

Surely this would have been more acceptable if Hunter had set up a charitable trust and made payments from the trust B-)

Just for the record, IMO, when somebody claims they are the victim of a witch hunt rather than refute the individual counts in a potential indictment, they are invariably 1000% guilty. OK, that sounds like somebody else in the news whose name escapes me who constantly complains to be the innocent victim of multiple witch hunts.
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#14370 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 05:34

View Postjohnu, on 2019-December-03, 02:03, said:

Just for the record, IMO, when somebody claims they are the victim of a witch hunt rather than refute the individual counts in a potential indictment, they are invariably 1000% guilty. OK, that sounds like somebody else in the news whose name escapes me who constantly complains to be the innocent victim of multiple witch hunts.

Hillary perhaps? Sorry John but you are being much too general here. I agree absolutely with the general legal principle that if you cannot attack the case you attack the process. But that is different from lumping in all of those that declare a witch hunt as being guilty. People do so for many reasons, not the least of which is that they really are the target of a political investigation. Such investigations are commonplace in corrupt countries such as Russia, Ukraine and, increasingly, the USA.
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#14371 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 06:57

View Postdiana_eva, on 2019-December-02, 17:15, said:

Should we un-yellow him for trolling in the WC, despite no reason related to his actual behaviour with people he is helping? Or should we simply ask him to cut it out with the water cooler stuff because he's a yellow and leave it at that?

That is a decision only you and the other managers of BBO can make Diana. What I am saying is that the posts of a Yellow carry additional weight on BBF and that there is an implicit acceptance of those views in having that status.

Now the truth is that almost all organisations with a certain number of workers have at least one employee that could be described in some way as undesirable. That is particularly problematic for companies that rely on volunteers. In the end, every company has to decide for itself where it draws the line of acceptability. For most that comes down primarily to economic considerations rather than moral ones. If it were me in charge of BBO I would have a social media policy in place for all workers, including volunteers, and stick to that. A warning early on, when Chas_P first started making overtly racist and trolling posts, would probably have taken care of the situation or, if not, at least put you in a firmer position at this point to make the decision.

After a warning, the explicitly racist post I quoted from the "confederate statues" thread would be an obvious stripping of Yellow status. When the previous content has been tolerated, giving the impression that BBO management do not care about racist posts, it is much more difficult. I think at that point the proper response from management should have been to comment publicly that racism from staff is unacceptable and that a warning had been issued. It would have been a clear message. Issuing a warning now carries a different message, that racist posts are acceptable until another poster makes such a fuss that it becomes an issue. That would be a success for John's posting strategy that I think is also inappropriate.

Finally, you stated that "he has not behaved in a discriminatory fashion" but I question whether that can really be discerned. You surely were not monitoring his activities throughout those 10 years. Can you really be certain that he provided the same level of support to Americans by the name of "Ling" or "Sadid" as to "Mary" and "Chuck"? If I were a BBF reader called Mohammed I would probably be most reluctant to contact Chas_P and would wait and message someone else instead. People who live with prejudice all of their lives know that it is usually easier to work around it rather than fight it head on.

The bottom line here is that you have dug this position for yourselves from the previous actions. The line between racist-inspired policies and explicit racism is one that even professional politicians sometimes struggle to navigate so I absolutely understand a cautious approach from BBF moderators in this area. Just because the majority of posters are liberal does not mean that conservative voices should not be heard. That said, when staff cross the line I think you need to be willing to take action to make sure that the BBO brand image is not damaged. Where to draw that line, and whether to use the same line for Yellows as for normal users, is a matter of management strategy. You have to decide now which side of the line Chas_P falls and what the reaction is for BBF.
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Happy New Year everyone!
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#14372 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 08:31

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-December-03, 06:57, said:

That is a decision only you and the other managers of BBO can make Diana. What I am saying is that the posts of a Yellow carry additional weight on BBF and that there is an implicit acceptance of those views in having that status.

Now the truth is that almost all organisations with a certain number of workers have at least one employee that could be described in some way as undesirable. That is particularly problematic for companies that rely on volunteers. In the end, every company has to decide for itself where it draws the line of acceptability. For most that comes down primarily to economic considerations rather than moral ones. If it were me in charge of BBO I would have a social media policy in place for all workers, including volunteers, and stick to that. A warning early on, when Chas_P first started making overtly racist and trolling posts, would probably have taken care of the situation or, if not, at least put you in a firmer position at this point to make the decision.

After a warning, the explicitly racist post I quoted from the "confederate statues" thread would be an obvious stripping of Yellow status. When the previous content has been tolerated, giving the impression that BBO management do not care about racist posts, it is much more difficult. I think at that point the proper response from management should have been to comment publicly that racism from staff is unacceptable and that a warning had been issued. It would have been a clear message. Issuing a warning now carries a different message, that racist posts are acceptable until another poster makes such a fuss that it becomes an issue. That would be a success for John's posting strategy that I think is also inappropriate.

Finally, you stated that "he has not behaved in a discriminatory fashion" but I question whether that can really be discerned. You surely were not monitoring his activities throughout those 10 years. Can you really be certain that he provided the same level of support to Americans by the name of "Ling" or "Sadid" as to "Mary" and "Chuck"? If I were a BBF reader called Mohammed I would probably be most reluctant to contact Chas_P and would wait and message someone else instead. People who live with prejudice all of their lives know that it is usually easier to work around it rather than fight it head on.

The bottom line here is that you have dug this position for yourselves from the previous actions. The line between racist-inspired policies and explicit racism is one that even professional politicians sometimes struggle to navigate so I absolutely understand a cautious approach from BBF moderators in this area. Just because the majority of posters are liberal does not mean that conservative voices should not be heard. That said, when staff cross the line I think you need to be willing to take action to make sure that the BBO brand image is not damaged. Where to draw that line, and whether to use the same line for Yellows as for normal users, is a matter of management strategy. You have to decide now which side of the line Chas_P falls and what the reaction is for BBF.


True, and yellows are held at much higher standards normally. We just haven't followed closely what goes on in the Water Cooler. Not too late to remind yellows to be careful what they post. But in the end this is just the water cooler. If any of this happened over at the bridge forums then yes there would be immediate consequences.Either the water cooler is not serious and anything goes, or it is serious and we start doing active moderation and then probably 90% of the threads would be completely gone (or the entire WC forum is shut down). It can't be both ways IMO.

#14373 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 08:44

From Trump, Obama and their battle with the ‘blob’ by Gideon Rachman at FT:

Quote

Both men would detest the thought. But, in crucial respects, the foreign policies of Donald Trump and Barack Obama are looking strikingly similar.

The wildly different styles of the two presidents have disguised the underlying continuities between their approaches to the world. But look at substance, rather than style, and the similarities are impressive.

Both Mr Obama and Mr Trump have sought to disengage the US from the Middle East — a policy that has caused much tut-tutting in the Washington establishment, the group derisively labelled “the blob” in the Obama White House. As they pulled back from the Middle East, both presidents focused on Asia instead. Mr Obama strove to make a “pivot” to Asia the signature foreign-policy of his period in office. And Mr Trump has also made his two biggest foreign policy plays in Asia — through a trade war with China and nuclear talks with North Korea. Increasing suspicion of China and growing concern about the Korean nuclear programme were also themes of the late Obama years.

The two presidents have both had to appeal to an electorate that is profoundly war-weary. As a result, both Mr Obama and Mr Trump tried to cut back on America’s global military commitments in ways that have alarmed not just the blob, but America’s allies too.

That concern underpins the uneasy atmosphere as the Nato alliance gathers for a summit in the UK this week. Mr Trump’s vocal discontent with Nato is often portrayed as a stark departure from the American norm. But it was actually Mr Obama’s defence secretary, Robert Gates, who warned in 2011 that the future of the alliance would be “dismal” if Europeans continued to rely on the Americans for their security.

The similarities between the two presidents’ instincts has become clearer since Mr Trump sacked the bellicose John Bolton as his national security adviser in September. The crucial disagreements between Mr Trump and Mr Bolton concerned the president’s eagerness to pursue negotiations with Iran, North Korea and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The hawkish Mr Bolton was appalled. But Mr Trump is determined to press ahead. The result is that, after his warlike “fire and fury” phase, Mr Trump is now pursuing a diplomacy-first strategy that is strongly reminiscent of Mr Obama.

Foreign policy caution inevitably leads to clashes with the blob — Mr Obama was attacked for “weakness” and Mr Trump has been lambasted for “isolationism”. The debate over Afghanistan illustrates the point. Both Mr Obama and Mr Trump came to office very sceptical of the case for continued military involvement. Both presidents were then persuaded to send more troops — only to start pulling them out again, later in their presidencies.

The story of two cancelled air strikes underlines their joint caution. Mr Obama’s last-minute decision in 2013 to cancel a bombing raid on Syria, intended to punish President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons, was widely denounced by the Washington establishment. When Mr Trump ordered some air strikes on Assad regime targets in 2018, in response to another chemical attack, he got bipartisan praise in Washington for correcting Mr Obama’s “error”.

But these raids were just one-off gestures that did nothing to change the trajectory of the war in Syria. More recently, Mr Trump also made a last-minute decision to ignore his advisers and cancel an air strike, this time on Iran, after balking at the likely level of casualties.

Mr Trump’s reluctance to attack Iran was significant. It underlines the fact that his tough-guy rhetoric disguises a strong preference for diplomacy over force. The fact that Mr Trump and Mr Obama arrived at similar policies of pullback from the Middle East is crucial — given that the region has long dominated US foreign policy.

On other issues, however, there are important differences between the two presidents. Mr Obama believed in the importance of international agreements, while Mr Trump is highly sceptical of them. He has pulled the US out of the Paris climate treaty and a host of other international accords.

The Trump administration’s ardent protectionism also represents a break not just with Mr Obama, but with every other US presidency since 1945. However, Mr Trump seems to be in tune with the spirit of the times. The leading candidates for the Democratic nomination are now also embracing protectionism and a more hostile attitude to China.

This bipartisan embrace of protectionism is the economic equivalent of the Obama-Trump convergence on pulling back from the Middle East. Both policies are products of a declining confidence in America’s ability to emerge triumphant in economic or military competition with foreign rivals. The result is the adoption of more defensive and inward-looking policies.

Since the Trump and Obama camps revile each other, it remains a political and psychological necessity for both sides to ignore any convergence between their foreign policies. But when historians look back at the two presidencies, they will surely notice the underlying continuities. In their very different ways, both Mr Obama and Mr Trump have reduced America’s global commitments — and adjusted the US to a more modest international role.

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#14374 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 10:22

From David Enrich at NYT:

Quote

A federal appeals court said Tuesday that Deutsche Bank must turn over detailed documents about President Trump’s finances to two congressional committees, a ruling that is almost certain to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The decision was a victory for House Democrats as they investigate Mr. Trump and his businesses. It means that extensive information about Mr. Trump’s personal and business finances — which the president has spent years fighting to keep secret — has moved a step closer to becoming public.

Democratic-controlled congressional committees issued subpoenas to two banks — Deutsche Bank, long Mr. Trump’s biggest lender, and Capital One — this year for financial records related to the president, his companies and his family. Mr. Trump sued the banks to block them from complying.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The court’s ruling gave Mr. Trump seven days to appeal the decision.

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#14375 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 12:20

From Ivan Kratsev at NYT:

Mr. Krastev is a contributing opinion writer, the chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies, a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and the author, most recently, of “The Light That Failed: A Reckoning,” with Stephen Holmes.

Quote

VIENNA — In 1991, I arrived in Detroit for my first-ever visit to the United States. My hosts, from the now-defunct United States Information Agency, were determined to show me and the other Bulgarians in my group not only the American dream but also America’s underbelly. Before we could tour the city, we received instructions on how to comport ourselves in supposedly dangerous places. Our American hosts were clear that if we didn’t want to become victims, we shouldn’t behave like one. Walking in the middle of the street and looking around nervously in the hope of spotting a police officer would only increase the likelihood of getting mugged. Keep your bearings, they stressed.

Ever since President Trump’s election in 2016, we Europeans have been following that same advice when it comes to international politics. We are preoccupied with not allowing ourselves to look like a victim, in the hope that this will prevent us from being mugged in a world abandoned by its once-trusted sheriff.

As Mr. Trump has insulted international institutions and abandoned allies from Syria to the Korean Peninsula, policymakers on this side of the Atlantic have found themselves trying to walk a fine line: On the one hand, they want to hedge against Washington turning its back on Europe; on the other, they want to ensure that their hedging doesn’t push the Trump administration even farther away.

Consequently, European policies toward the United States have been oscillating between grandstanding about our ability to do everything on our own and panicked pretending that everything is as it used to be. See, for example, when President Emmanuel Macron of France recently proclaimed that NATO was experiencing “brain death” and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany quickly responded by insisting that “NATO remains vital to our security.”

As the leaders of NATO countries meet this week in London, much attention will focus on the disagreements between Mr. Macron and Ms. Merkel. But beneath the surface, a new European consensus on trans-Atlantic relations is emerging and it represents a huge change. Until recently, most European leaders’ hopes were bound up with the outcome of America’s presidential elections. If Mr. Trump were to lose in 2020, they believed, the world would somehow return to normalcy.

All of that has changed. While Trump-friendly governments in Europe, like Poland’s and Hungary’s, still follow the polls and cross their fingers that Mr. Trump will get four more years in office, European liberals are giving up hope. It is not that they are no longer passionate about American politics. On the contrary, they religiously follow Congress’s impeachment hearings and pray for Mr. Trump’s defeat. But they have finally started to realize that a proper European Union foreign policy cannot be based on who is in the White House.

What explains this shift? It is plausible that European liberals are unconvinced by the foreign policy visions of Democratic hopefuls and detect isolationist tendencies in the party as well. Europeans are still struggling to understand how it was that Barack Obama — probably the most European-minded American president and one most loved by Europeans — was also the one least interested in Europe. (At least until Mr. Trump came along.)

Europeans are also scared by the prospect of a Cold War-style clash between the United States and China. A recent poll by the European Council on Foreign Relations found that in conflicts between the United States and China, a majority of European voters want to remain neutral, finding a middle way between the superpowers. There’s good reason for this: Europe remains economically tied to China in ways that Washington doesn’t seem to appreciate, as evidenced by the recent spat over the Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s plans to build 5G networks across the Continent.

But putting that aside, I believe there is a more fundamental change: European liberals have come to understand that American democracy no longer produces a consensual politics with a predictable foreign policy. The change of the president means not only a new figure in the White House but also, in fact, a new regime. Were the Democrats to triumph in 2020 and a Europe-friendly president to take the helm, there is no guarantee that in 2024 Americans will not elect a president who, like Mr. Trump, will see the European Union as an enemy and will actively try to destabilize relations with Europe.

The self-destruction of the American foreign policy consensus was powerfully demonstrated not only during the recent impeachment hearings, which have seen the politicization of policy toward Ukraine, but also by the fact that the specter of Russian subversion did not provoke a bipartisan allergic reaction. When Trump voters were told that President Vladimir Putin of Russia supported their candidate, they started admiring Mr. Putin rather than abandoning Mr. Trump.

For the past 70 years, Europeans have known that no matter who occupies the White House, America’s foreign policy and strategic priorities will be consistent. Today, all bets are off. Although most European leaders were appalled by Mr. Macron’s derisive comments about NATO and the United States, many still agree with him that Europe needs more foreign policy independence. They want Europe to develop its own technological capabilities and to develop the capacity for military operations outside of NATO.

Could this week’s NATO summit change Europe’s current state of mind when it comes to the future of trans-Atlantic relations? It is easier to hope for than to bet on. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Vice President Dan Quayle promised Europeans that “the future will be better tomorrow.” He was wrong. And Europe’s leaders are coming to realize that the future was actually better yesterday.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14376 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 18:52

View Postdiana_eva, on 2019-December-03, 08:31, said:

True, and yellows are held at much higher standards normally. We just haven't followed closely what goes on in the Water Cooler. Not too late to remind yellows to be careful what they post. But in the end this is just the water cooler. If any of this happened over at the bridge forums then yes there would be immediate consequences.Either the water cooler is not serious and anything goes, or it is serious and we start doing active moderation and then probably 90% of the threads would be completely gone (or the entire WC forum is shut down). It can't be both ways IMO.

Diana, you can see the original post from Chas_P here. It was replying directly to Barry and he replied to the post using an abbreviated quote. You yourself wrote in the thread a few posts further down. I do not think it was necessary for the mods to have done anything special or unusual to have seen this as problematic and taken some appropriate action. It is clear that you cannot be everywhere and if something is posted in a thread you do not read and noone reports then it would be difficult to blame you for not taking action. That was not the case here.

Instead I took a moment to look up the BBF ToS sure that discrimination would be mentioned there in some form. Instead the main rule talks about "material that is defamatory, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of ANY law." Are racist posts covered? They could be described under several of those terms but it is not clear to me that any are meant to. Combined with the lack of action it tends to suggest that open racism is at least tolerated here. How about open misogyny, misandry, anti-semitism, homophobia, ableism or other forms of discrimination? Which of these are against the ToS and which would trigger a mod response? How about mother****er and the various forms of ****head that have been posted here recently? Or is it really a case of anything goes in the WC, in which case Rain's post needs to be un-stickied and a note made in the main ToS thread.

Perhaps that goes back somewhat to the point I was making about having a company social media policy. It should be clear which of these things are acceptable, both for users and for employees. I had always assumed they would not be, even in the WC; now I am not so sure.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#14377 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 21:04

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes' phone calls with Giuliani and one of his indicted Ukraine associates showed up in the House's impeachment report

Those who watched Trump Puppet Nunes beclown himself during the recent impeachment hearings by trying to belittle the entire process, usually without even asking questions of the witnesses, may remember that Rep Eric Swalwell made some news on the last day of hearings by suggesting that Nunes may actually be part of the extortion and bribery scheme to get Ukraine involved in the 2020 elections.

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Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California was on multiple phone calls with several key figures implicated in the impeachment inquiry not long before Marie Yovanovitch was recalled as the US's ambassador to Ukraine.

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The report said that "phone records show contacts" in April between Nunes, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the businessman Lev Parnas, and the investigative reporter John Solomon.

In retrospect, it was an amazingly brazen unrepentant coverup by a US Congressman who is up to his eyeballs in the Ukraine extortion scheme. I am looking forward to Nunes denounce this report as a witch hunt.
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#14378 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 21:16

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-December-03, 05:34, said:

Hillary perhaps? Sorry John but you are being much too general here. I agree absolutely with the general legal principle that if you cannot attack the case you attack the process. But that is different from lumping in all of those that declare a witch hunt as being guilty. People do so for many reasons, not the least of which is that they really are the target of a political investigation. Such investigations are commonplace in corrupt countries such as Russia, Ukraine and, increasingly, the USA.

The quote I remember is

If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.

If all you can do is call an investigation a witch hunt, then that is pounding the table. I would like to say in Hunter's defense that he did suggest a positive defense by blaming his wife for much of the misuse of campaign funds. I'm not sure whether he suggests his wife was the one who used campaign funds to pay for expenses that arose during his extramarital affairs.
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#14379 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2019-December-03, 21:27

The Washington DC swamp is now 25 feet over flood stage with fetid water now overflowing into the suburbs.

Did the Pentagon Really Just Award a $400 Million Contract to a Guy Trump Liked on Fox News?

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Trump has repeatedly pushed for Fisher to get a wall-building contract, urging officials with the Army Corps of Engineers to pick the firm—only to be told that Fisher’s bids did not meet standards. Trump’s entreaties on behalf of the company have concerned some officials who are unaccustomed to a president getting personally involved in the intricacies of government contracting.


In other news, another Trump crony is the favorite to win a billion dollar contract to drain the swamp. B-)
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#14380 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-December-04, 08:25

The brownshirts are here and in power, having been appointed by this president and confirmed by this Senate.

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Attorney General William Barr has warned that “communities” that protest against police could lose the right to law-enforcment protection. Barr made the remarks at a Justice Department ceremony Tuesday to honor police officers, The Washington Post reports. “[Americans] have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves,” Barr said. The attorney general added that “if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.” Barr didn’t specify which “communities” he meant, but civil-rights activists condemned his remarks as a dog-whistle attack on minorities who have protested against police brutality. “Barr’s words are as revealing as they are disturbing—flagrantly dismissive of the rights of Americans of color, disrespectful to countless law enforcement officers who work hard to serve their communities,” Jeb Fain, a spokesperson for liberal super PAC American Bridge, told HuffPost.


Sorry, but this attitude and belief is unacceptable. He needs to be removed from office ASAP.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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