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President Trump News and Discussions

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#4301
caltrek

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Trump won’t rule out shutting down the federal government if Democrats refuse to end impeachment inquiry

 

https://www.alternet...chment-inquiry/

 

Introduction:

 

 

(Alternet) President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters from the South Lawn of the White House Sunday afternoon, refused to rule out shutting down the Federal government if Democrats don’t end the impeachment inquiry.

 

The president took time to erroneously frame the impeachment inquiry, falsely claiming it is over just his July 25 phone call during which he attempted to extort the president of Ukraine.

Asked if he would “commit to no government shutdown,” President Trump refused.

 

“It depends on the negotiation — I wouldn’t commit to anything,” Trump replied, after taking several swipes at Democrats.

 

Democrats appear to be focusing on abuse of power, corruption, and cover ups as they move ahead with the impeachment inquiry.

 

 

There is something we need to understand. Something about the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. Republicans seem to no longer give a damn about the rule of law. They are perfectly content to march us lockstep toward fascism.  While neo-liberalism may have its faults, its proponents avoid this overt march toward democracy's doom. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4302
starspawn0

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Good thing Trump is too old for a third term, else we'd probably have a constitutional crisis on our hands in 5 years or so. 

 

Republicans only care about making sure the wealthy don't pay more taxes, and that they keep getting elected.  All else is negotiable.  At bottom, it's a very nihilistic worldview.  I like nihilism, actually; but it doesn't mix well with politics.



#4303
Jessica

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House Intelligence Committee will begin public hearings next week per nbcnews:

https://www.nbcnews....schiff-n1077371

Witnesses include Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent -- they'll testify on Wednesday.   Marie Yovanovitch will testify on Friday.



#4304
Jessica

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Trump hit with another loss in legal battle over financial records -- from a judge he appointed
https://www.rawstory...e-he-appointed/

3:20 pm Nov 6, 2019

A federal judge has signaled that he will allow House Democrats to move forward with a lawsuit that seeks to obtain President Trump’s tax returns, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, said this Wednesday that “Congress has been subpoenaing for a long time and the executive has been complying for a long time.”

“There is a pretty strong line of cases there suggesting the House would have standing to bring this kind of case,” he added.

The House Ways and Means Committee is seeking six years-worth of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. In July, the House sued the Treasury Department to turn over the returns. The Treasury Department asked McFadden to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that House Democrats’ reasons for wanting the returns weren’t valid and that there was no precedent for turning them over.

 

 



#4305
caltrek

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While Jessica, Starspawn and others have been doing a tremendous job of helping us follow the impeachment story on a day to day basis, Vox has come up with a great idea.  Why not a Q&A formatted resource for folks to use to answer their basic questions?

 

Below is a link to that resource.  I haven't read most of the entries, but I like the idea of setting up such a data base.

 

https://www.vox.com/...trump-explained


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4306
starspawn0

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One problem with news media's near constant obsession with every little detail about the Ukraine scandal (and the Russia investigation) is that the public can easily lose track of what the core issues are; and so making it simpler for people -- e.g. with a Q&A site -- is a must.

Any little misdeed is blown up as the crime to end all crimes; and then a few days later, another one tops it. The news media needs to find a way to keep most of these in the background, and only use big, block-letter headlines for the most egregious stuff.

Or maybe they can save it up, and summarize in a weekly post all the bad stuff.

I had the same problem with the Syrian Civil War: there are just so many details that it's hard to figure out the core issues, unless you are willing to spend several hours on it. It's like a conversation with a historian. They all are very detail-oriented, and love to rattle off lots of facts and causal chains -- but it all blurs together, at least one the first hearing. Scientists talk and think differently: we seek convergence towards a single, overarching theory that we mention first, and then mention the supporting evidence and deductive chains.

#4307
Jessica

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Democrats discussing multiple articles of impeachment against Trump
By benjamin siegel and katherine faulders
Nov 7, 2019, 2:20 PM ET
 


House Democrats have considered drafting as many as three articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, as they prepare to take their Ukraine impeachment inquiry public next week after a month of closed-door depositions, according to multiple sources familiar with the deliberations.

No decisions have been made, and what happens will ultimately be shaped by the conclusions and findings of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. In the last two modern impeachment proceedings against Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, the House Judiciary Committee sent three and four articles of impeachment, respectively, to the full chamber for consideration, including articles charging abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas.

Democrats have floated the possibility of charging Trump with abuse of power for efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s family and the 2016 election, as well as obstruction of Congress for the administration’s refusal to comply with subpoenas for records and witness testimony.

They have also weighed an obstruction of justice charge centered on the president’s efforts to obstruct former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Mueller’s findings in the second volume of his report, focused on obstruction, are repeatedly referenced in the report accompanying their resolution laying out the impeachment inquiry.

 

more...

https://abcnews.go.c...ORgawF0UdToXMnA



#4308
Jessica

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House committees subpoena Mick Mulvaney
Source: Axios


The House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine issued a subpoena Thursday night for acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify at 9 am on Friday as part of their impeachment inquiry, two sources familiar tell Axios.

Why it matters: Mulvaney is the highest-ranking White House official to be subpoenaed yet, and the midnight-hour move suggests the committees are reaching into the final phase of their private investigation as they prepare to take their inquiry public next week.

The committees first subpoenaed Mulvaney to turn over documents in October, but subpoenaing him to appear for a hearing is a further escalation, and signals the committees are determined to hear him describe firsthand his role in the Ukraine saga.

Background: Several current and former Trump administration officials have told House investigators that Mulvaney carried out Trump’s directive to suspend $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine.

The bottom line: It’s likely that Trump will exert executive privilege over his conversations with Mulvaney and argue that he has absolute immunity from complying with Congress’ requests — as he has done with other White House officials, such as Mulvaney aide Rob Blair and former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman.

 



Read more: https://www.axios.co...75ecd4a883.html


#4309
Jessica

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Bolton's lawyer says he has information on Ukraine that hasn't been disclosed

Former national security adviser John Bolton has "personal knowledge" of relevant meetings and conversations "that have not yet been discussed in testimonies thus far" as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but he is still refusing to testify until a federal judge rules in an ongoing legal fight between House committees and the White House, according to his lawyer.

Bolton's lawyer, Charles Cooper, wrote a letter to lawmakers Friday in which he teased the idea that his client could offer new details related to the impeachment probe, as well as additional context about events that have been described in other witness testimony.

Bolton "was personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which you have already received testimony, as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far," the letter reads.

 



https://us.cnn.com/2...tion/index.html


#4310
Jessica

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Giuliani: Ukraine quid pro quo intended to benefit Trump personally

Quote
Trump's only option at this point is to throw Giuliani and his back-channel under the bus.

It's evident that Burisma only hired Hunter Biden for access to his father, even though it's unclear that the vice president ever allowed the oil company or his son to exploit that connection. Furthermore, we know for a fact that Ukraine favored Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. But we have diplomatic channels and strategies to combat legitimate corruption and investigate malfeasance. Furthermore, Trump's personal legal defense should not involve using the powers of the presidency — potentially without the property security clearances — to gain exculpatory evidence.

For a personal attorney to use congressionally approved aid to advance a president's personal interests over national interests is unconscionable. If Trump signed off on that, then yes, it's clearly an impeachable abuse of power that proves he's willing to illicitly interfere with the 2020 election.

 

 



#4311
Jessica

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Newly Released Testimony Implicates Mulvaney Deeper In Ukraine Scandal

Source: TPM


By Tierney Sneed November 8, 2019 5:18 p.m.




White House aides who raised concerns about President Trump’s Ukraine pressure campaign told House investigators that Mick Mulvaney was more deeply involved than previously known, according to deposition transcripts released this week.

“Nobody knew” what two U.S. diplomats running point on the campaign were doing in mid-July, “beyond chief of staff Mulvaney,” former White House aide Fiona Hill testified.
....................................

She and others described several indications that Mulvaney had a direct role in the effort, from how often he met with the key players to his involvement in an invitation to Ukraine for a White House visit that was later used as leverage.

Mulvaney himself was subpoenaed for testimony, but blew off the deposition on Friday. As House Democrats move towards the public phase of the impeachment inquiry, they’ve signaled that they believe they already have enough to make their case to the American people — with or without any more cooperating witnesses. The investigation is focused on the efforts by Trump and his allies to secure public announcements from Ukraine of investigations into Joe Biden’s family and conspiracy theories about the 2016 hack of Democratic emails.

From those who have testified, a picture emerges of a White House chief of staff who both sanctioned the investigation request to Ukraine and who more broadly helped to facilitate the implementation of the scheme.......................

 


Read more: https://talkingpoint...raine-testimony



#4312
caltrek

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Trump's personal legal defense should not involve using the powers of the presidency — potentially without the property security clearances — to gain exculpatory evidence.

 

 

Otherwise known as a "conflict of interest."  Not that Republicans ever seem to care about such things, especially when it comes to their fearful leader.

 

Pages and pages ago I made a point about Trump's reliance on the "attorney-client" privilege.  That point is that it does not apply when both the attorney and the client are planning to break the law.  The purpose of the attorney client privilege is to protect a client who may innocently propose doing something that is in fact against the law.  At that point, it is the ethical duty of the attorney to advise his (or her) client that the proposed action is a violation of the law.  If an unethical attorney decides he wants in on the conspiracy, that vitiates the attorney client privilege, uness said attorney fails to properly advise his (or her) client in order to further the conspiracy.  Trump may have a defense that he did not know that such and such actions were illegal.  Yet, if he was advised that they were illegal and he proceeded anyway, and his attorney colluded with him in breaking the law, then both are guilty of a "conspiracy."   

 

This all helps explains the remarks recently of a certain Senator, who invoked the incompetency defense:  there could not have been a conspiracy because Trump is too stupid to actually plan a conspiracy.  Ironic that the Senator in question is therefore unwilling to vote for the removal of said president - or is he? 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4313
caltrek

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So, Republican voters have just got to now acknowledge how exceptionally corrupt Trump is, right?

 

Unfortunately, 

 

Most Republicans Think Pressuring Foreign Countries to Investigate Political Rivals is Normal

 

https://www.motherjo...vals-is-normal/

 

Introduction:

 

 

(Mother Jones) A new poll on how Americans feel about impeachment shows that most of those surveyed—of all political stripes—think impeachment is a necessary tool, and presidential abuse of power is a legitimate reason for using it. But a majority of Republicans say they think that a president trying to use the full weight of America’s international power to attack a domestic political opponent is normal. 

 

Another example of why the "well they are all corrupt" mentality is so dangerous. Notice that there is no credible evidence before the public that Democrats do this sort of thing.  Just an assumption of guilt before proven innocent, despite the impossibility of proving a negative.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4314
Jessica

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John Bolton went around Mick Mulvaney -- and released aid to Ukraine before resigning

From Bloomberg News:



Congressional appropriators were frustrated when their inquiry on Aug. 29 about the status of the State Department funds was greeted by silence. Days passed and on Sept. 9, when they asked again, the State Department’s Legislative Affairs office told them there was no hold on the $141 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

What they didn’t know, according to one of the people, was that shortly before Sept. 9, Bolton had relayed a message to the State Department that the funding could go ahead. It’s not clear whether Bolton, who resigned from the job a week later, did so with Trump’s approval.

Bolton’s handling of the funding struck officials in the White House as violating protocol and caught Mulvaney by surprise, according to another person familiar with the matter.

That may explain a cryptic letter that Bolton’s lawyer sent to Congress on Friday saying the former national security adviser has “new details” about the Ukraine matter that they don’t know about, without elaborating. Bolton has declined to testify against White House orders unless a judge rules he should and didn’t respond to multiple emails seeking comment.

 


MORE:
https://www.bloomber...id?srnd=premium



#4315
Erowind

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Trump won’t rule out shutting down the federal government if Democrats refuse to end impeachment inquiry
 
https://www.alternet...chment-inquiry/
 
Introduction:

 

 
 
There is something we need to understand. Something about the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. Republicans seem to no longer give a damn about the rule of law. They are perfectly content to march us lockstep toward fascism.  While neo-liberalism may have its faults, its proponents avoid this overt march toward democracy's doom.

 

 
I know I haven't gotten around to replying to your response above yet but I need to briefly point this out regardless. Democrats do not believe in rule of law. They consistently violate anti-trust regulations to approve monopolistic and oligopolic mergers, expropriate private property for corporate profit, violate constitutional rights to throw people in private prisons to be used as slave labour and constantly ignore systemic police brutality and civil rights abuses. These are a few of many examples. Not following congressional and executive procedure like the Republicans do is only one form of violating rule of law. The Democrats are guilty of other forms as are Republicans. If our current laws, especially many constitutional ones, were actually enforced near every politician in Washington would be in prison.
 
There's no painting one of these parties as somehow above or below the other. They are both thoroughly enemies of the American people and choosing the lesser evil has been a losing game since day one. If it were a winning game my classes economic condition would not consistently have worsened for decades where this is only one metric. I refuse to play a losing game. There's no point in playing, it never helps, my people will still get poorer and the biosphere will still die and we will still point nukes at each other ready to commit species-wide suicide at a moments notice. This recognition of a failed system is why young people casually say things like "I want to die" and brush it off as a meme.
 
I might as well try to do something that might work rather than futilely engage with something that will never work.  
 
Actually, I've got the energy. Let's make this a double feature :) 
 
\/ The date for this quote is actually 28 October 2019 - 7:56 AM 
 

Winston Churchill once quipped something to the effect that democracy is the worse possible form of government, except for all the others.
 
If you can replace it with something of superior quality, then please be my guest.  Still, it seems a peculiar way to go about doing so by trashing folks that are trying to place some limits on on a narcissist like Trump who apparently wishes to be declared emperor to carry out God's plan here on earth. If you cannot find any basis of solidarity with such elements of the opposition, then who can you align yourself with?  
 
Edit:  I just now noticed that you "liked" my earlier post, so I am glad that you found something of value in my observation and/or the article that I linked.  I suppose that can count as some sort of expression of solidarity.

 
I liked your post because it's important to encourage free discussion and acknowledge opposing viewpoints. I value and respect you as a person Caltrek and your voice is welcome. My hostility is rarely meant for any given person on this forum. Instead it is directed at the ideas themselves and the consequences of those ideas. 
 
I'm trashing people like Holder because they don't care. When I use the word care I'm using it in a consequential sense. It doesn't matter what he thinks, says or feels. The fact is he's a high ranking politician of an empire guilty of countless crimes of which he is complicit. One should not hold solidarity with tyrants, they should kill them. Holder is a tyrant just as much as Trump is, there's no point in picking favorites. To quote myself, "As Attorney General of the United States Holder is just as complicit in mass political corruption, mass incarceration, systemic racism, systemic sexism, ecocide, war crimes, human exploitation, animal exploitation, chattel slavery, wage slavery and abuses of civil liberty. "
 
Since my last post I've done some research. Turns out--no surprise here really--that Holder isn't just complicit in all the horrible things just mentioned, he directly profits from them! Here's an article showing Holder's multi-million dollar "partnership" on wall street. The revolving door is real. Honestly I don't think Holder cares about Trump either from a character point of view for whatever that's worth. His material motive points to him virtue signalling for the sake of maintaining the hegemony of his own circle of economic elites. Had he joined the Republican party earlier in his monied career he'd likely be a Trump supporter. 
 
https://www.rollings...the-cold-49262/

Winston Churchill is either profoundly ignorant or lying. The "democracy" holds as the best form of government resembles oligarchy not democracy. This is demonstrated by the consistent hand of money in politics since his time straight through into our own. Churchill himself was a lobbyist for Burmah Oil which later became British Petroleum. 
 
https://en.wikipedia..._United_Kingdom
 
"In 1923, acted as a highly paid lobbyist for Burmah Oil to persuade the British government to allow Burmah to have exclusive rights to Persian oil resources, which were successfully granted."
 
Any government where money can buy elections or write laws is not democratic by definition. Democracies have referendums callable by their citizens, anti-corruption laws (lobbying,) committees wherever possible and recallable representatives where not. Among many other established and historically practiced and proven democratic traditions. These practices existed in many cases for centuries if not millennia. A fair amount of societies that practiced real democracy were stamped out by capitalist empires and historians are still regularly astounded by how complex, functional and democratic they were. The Haudenosaunee confederacy is an example of this. I'm not saying all non-capitalist peoples were democratic, they weren't, and in many cases just as brutal as everyone else. 
 
My comments on America specifically being an oligarchy are not baseless. Leftists have been saying this for a long time and some political scientists are finally catching on. 
 
https://scholar.prin...olitics.doc.pdf
 
Democracy is not the end all be all though. History shows countless examples of anarchic people and arguably prior to the invention of the institution of police most people governed themselves in anarchic ways, especially in rural areas. It's ahistorical to suggest that we shouldn't strive for a better condition and confront the glaring flaws within our own government head on, considering that in every period of history there has always been something beyond to strive for, and there are already historical examples of societies better than our own on the metric of egalitarianism and liberty, let alone future societies yet to materialize.

 

To simply sit down and say, "this is it, it's the end of history, it doesn't get any better" is fatalistic, meaningless and at risk of obscuring this discussion even more postmodernist. I'm not interested in fatalism for obvious reasons. I desire meaning for obvious reasons and if this were the end of history what would be the point? Postmodernism is a failed project which is evident by the constant state of crisis neoliberalism finds itself in. Many philosophers define liberalism as a modernist ideology but I think this is only partially true. The initial classical industrial liberalism is certainly modernist but its product being neoliberalism is postmodernist because it aims to reduce all political action to market forces and considers itself the end of history. 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: This post is a monster. It's late, I should have gone to bed instead of writing it all now. I've done 3 editing passes already and thank all who put up with whatever mistakes and wordiness are present. 

 

Edit: On my kill them comment in relation to tyrants. I don't mean every politician should get the gulag. I mean that should revolution be made and these people violently resist change that killing them to enact that change would be self-defense given the crimes they've committed and would be defending. We bombed Nazis for a reason, same concept. 



#4316
caltrek

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@ Erowind,

 

This is a very good post in that you make a lot of good and valid comments.

 

I suppose my initial reaction has a lot to do with my own personal history.  I remember being a political activist working for George McGovern, partly because of my convictions that the U.S. had no business fighting a war in Vietnam. I remember my anger at Nixon for not just involvement in the Watergate break-in, but in the cover-up that followed.  I remember finally seeing a right-wing congressman in our congressional district go down to defeat by a centrist Democrat. A Democrat who called for a revolution at the ballot box. I did not always agree with his subsequent political stances, but I still preferred him to the man he succeeded.

 

I remember becoming employed in an anti-poverty agency where my energies were soon channeled to securing grants to improve the lives of farmworkers and other poor in our area. I remember the life threatening contamination of the drinking water of several communities and how the grants we secured helped us to drill deeper wells and construct wastewater collection and or treatment facilities for those communities. The effect of those deeper wells being potable water available for those communities. We didn't eliminate poverty in our area, but I like to think we made a dent in that problem.

 

To me, that is the nature of such problems.  One cannot simply just wave a magic wand and expect all problems to magically be gone in a single moment. Stil, I applaud your energy and commitment to find a better way.  Without that energy and commitment, nothing can be accomplished.

 

I also remember some of the really dumb mistakes I made along the way.  I look back and see the real collective failure of my generation to avoid the kind of climate change that is becoming such a huge problem on this globe. I know that at a personal level I consumed more than my share (speaking in a global context) of fossil fuel resources. In that sense, democracy in the U.S. (such as it was) turned out to be a real failure.  So I agree that we need to be clear in our thinking about what steps do we take next.  Surely, one of those steps is removing Trump from office.

 

We both agree that the media spends far too much time focusing on Trump as a personality and far too little time looking at the systemic problems that gave rise to Trumpism in the first place.  Yet, what is one of the most popular threads in this forum as measured by available metrics?

 

Yes, the thread you folks are presently reading. A theme that keeps cropping up in this thread is "well Trump is no worse than the other politicians."  That is a very different statement from "the other politicians are perfect."  It is possible to be imperfect, and still be better than Trump.

 

More lesser-of-two-evilism. I suppose. I also suppose that I don't have the luxury of having most of my professional adult life ahead of me.  Rather, I have an imperfect life to look back upon in which I am all too painfully aware of my shortcomings.   

 

I remember my father lecturing to me about how he did not expect me to be as good as he was, rather he expected me to be better.  In that sense, I applaud the sentiment that we all need to be better.  Still, I feel the need to avoid hypocrisy, to avoid the supposition that I am perfect, or that only my ideas should be adopted.  So I agree with the need for dialogue, even if there is a lot of repetition involved in that dialogue.  Even if that involves long rambling essays that should be more concise. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4317
Jessica

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Kenneth P. VogelVerified account @kenvogel

 
 
 
 

NEW: LEV PARNAS (thru his atty) says @RudyGiuliani told him to warn ZELENSKY's team in May that unless they committed to a BIDEN probe, they would lose aid & a @MIKE_PENCE inauguration visit. *Rudy denies this, suggesting Parnas has turned on Rudy, TRUMP.

 

 



#4318
caltrek

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Oh shoot, Jessica. I am afraid too many bread crumbs are missing.  Can somebody decode post #4317?

 

 

 

Edit: Minor grammatical corrections made involving plural versus singular and use of a question mark.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4319
Erowind

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@ Caltrek,

 

Likewise. I really enjoyed reading your post and you make good points too. 

 

Your work as an activist in the 70s and onward is valid and I respect it. Had I been born at that time and in a different context I could see myself acting just as you did. I applaud your anti-poverty work and within the context of this system reacting to the endless mill of crisis is more than needed. But that work also takes energy away from activism that could aim to target the root of the issue. I'm much more interested in questions like, why were those communities water supplies contaminated to begin with? Why did activists have to step in, shouldn't the government in whatever form it takes been able to react accordingly? Why do these same problems still happen with Flint Michigan being the hot one on my mind? In targeting the solution we can find substantive solutions to make sure bad things like this don't happen, or if they must because your right in that perfection is impossible, they are exceedingly rare and responded to efficiently and humanely. 

 

For example. The road I live on is falling apart. Down the street there is an indentation in the road the size of the whole right lane that's been creeping into the left lane for months now. At some point a large truck is going to drive over that spot and the road is going to collapse off the hillside. The initial response would be that the municipality should have fixed the road months ago instead of letting this go on since the early summer. When I examined this problem I found out that people at city council had already been talking about it alongside many other damaged roads in the community. The municipality keeps responding to inquiries by saying that the road crews are taxed and they're working on problems based on how dangerous they are and how much traffic the road gets. Okay, fair enough, but why are the road crews taxed? So I follow that chain information and learn that the United States has a road density nearly 3 times as large as averaged developed nations. I also learn that suburbs specifically spend on average 60% of their budgets on roads and in my community specifically even what I assume is a large allocation isn't enough. So that either means we as a society actually can't afford all these roads, or that our government models are too inefficient to maintain them.

 

Either way, major change is needed to solve this issue. So what are the options? As I've been able to identify. We could start tearing up roads in whatever way city planners figure out will cause the least harm. Except that even in the most conservative circumstances this will cause more traffic congestion and make life worse for everyone. So that means we need to start talking about whether we as a society actually need all these cars, and the conversation starts spiraling into public transit. Which starts begging  questions about environmental costs and whether suburbs are even a good idea at all. All because we can't fix the roads. 

 

The second option is to have a conversation about how to make my municipality more efficient so we can afford the roads. But again, just like the first solution this quickly expands into a very large complex discussion that has broader implications. But what is the alternative? Collapse of the road networks? Currently we can't pay for them, systemic change isn't happening so we can afford them and it's not happening so we don't need them either. Currently the municipality, and as I've learned most suburbs and consequentially many Americans, seem to have chosen collapse. One could argue that my municipality specifically just sucks and I should move or we should fix ourselves, but if that were a workable solution this wouldn't be happening all over the country. Now this is only one issue but the same reasoning applies to many issues and I've become very dismayed over the past few months at how many problems my society answers by ignoring to let collapse come. 

 

The activist work you were discussing never confronts collapse head on, it only ever offers patchwork in response as things deteriorate. Liberal methodologies made sense under post-war industrial capitalism and arguably liberal oligarchy may have too. In that sense your work was the right work at the time and even circumstantially is today. The material conditions have changed though and I don't think the same logic works anymore because the economy actually isn't getting better and growth will not last through the century with the climate crisis afoot. Even without the crisis if the oligarchs decide to return to gilded age economics and politics as they seem to be than class conflict is a real issue again because the condition of the lower classes can only deteriorate under gilded age politics due to breaking the keynesian bargain with workers. 

 

And that's were our methodologies encounter friction. I respect your work and understand it I think, it's just that it's not enough and I don't understand how it ever could be given our circumstance. I'm not aiming to be negative, this is a realistic take given the state of the world. Organizations that have influence and activists that have experience need to start approaching these issues differently. The patchwork needs to happen too while we figure things out and that's where your anti-poverty work is useful and needed. But if we don't have a plan to actually try to eliminate poverty there's not much point in alleviating it either. In conclusion we need to tackle both ends of the problem, the source and the consequence, and I fear most activism today only confronts the consequences. 

 

One could say that something like abolishing poverty isn't possible. History is my friend there because egalitarian societies have existed. And just because we haven't figured egalitarianism out on an industrial scale doesn't mean we can't. The alternative from a working class person's perspective given that poverty is unaccountable would be to reject civilization which doesn't work for other philosophical reasons I could explain if anyone wants. 

 

I agree with you that removing Trump from office is a step. But I'd argue that putting a democrat in office is no progress. The whole office needs to go because the office itself is the problem. The green new deal even if it were enacted would fail. The world cannot be saved by creating a fortress America that intends to save itself by using everyone else's natural resources to shield itself from environmental collapse. The deal in essence makes no attempt to actually stop global warming but only to save America from it, which won't work because the world is more than America and without the world there is no America. We cannot afford to be incrementalists here either because there's no time to remove Trump, than replace the democrats with greens, then replace the greens with some group radical enough to make real systemic change. More than that our blueprint for what incrementalism gets us is our present condition. If an incremental approach were able to respond effectively to systemic problems than why is our society still facing so many of the same problems that it did 100 years ago? I'm not saying everything would have been solved, but the conversation should have evolved and the material conditions should have changed for the better assuming incrementalism worked. Yet here I am in fear of cops more corrupt and militarized than they were when my mother was young. 

 

I agree with you that one's ideas are not perfect. But this dialogue isn't happening outside of niche circles and the minds of those directly affected by its absence. Hell, I started thinking about these things because none of the structures in my life worked with me and the world around me looks incredibly dysfunctional. I believe that anyone affected by decisions has the right to be part of the process making those decisions in some binding form. Otherwise dictatorships just get created on smaller scales even if the broader society itself isn't one. That's also why I'm so energized to bring this all up in the Trump thread. Trump sucks up so much darn energy he doesn't deserve to as you agree with me on. This thread doesn't deserve the popularity it has in my opinion and we'd probably do better to put our political energy into other topics in dire need of more discussion. With that said I don't intend on derailing it and will leave things be or move to a different thread should this discussion  continue to grow. 

 

This post is really repetitive in some respects and I'm sure you already understood the vast majority of what I'm saying if not all of it. For the sake of others who may not be familiar with the concepts I'm talking about I'm not going to pair this down. This post also feels less disjointed and fervorous than the last one so maybe it's valuable there too. With all that said I want to address this line because I think it's vital. "More lesser-of-two-evilism. I suppose. I also suppose that I don't have the luxury of having most of my professional adult life ahead of me.  Rather, I have an imperfect life to look back upon in which I am all too painfully aware of my shortcomings."

 

I don't intend to be disrespectful with my following words but by the nature of their meaning they will have to be a little blunt. No one's life is perfect and we shouldn't dwell on lack of the impossible. You still have life ahead of you and the legacy you leave can still be improved by whatever actions you take today. Future generations will look kindly on the older folks who spend some of their later years working on bettering a future they themselves will not see. Heck, I even feel this, albeit, not as strongly as you I'm sure. I'm not convinced I'll live to see anti-aging technology come to fruition within my lifetime but here I am still donating to the SENS Foundation. The same concept applies.

 

I'm sure you already do more than the average older person given all our talks on this forum. But older people, especially retired older people who don't have to work anymore, have more time than the vast majority of the population for activism. Assuming their minds and bodies are able I still think there is some onus of responsibility there. Not saying older folks should work full time 40 hours activist jobs unless they want to, but a few hours a week couldn't hurt. Outside of the responsibility community building is very fulfilling, often unpayed worked, and I know a very many retired older people who are bored that choose to work at a diner or some other such business to alleviate that boredom even though their labour could be saving the world. 

 

I don't like our cultures conception that activism is something people do when they're young and full of energy. Older people are people just as much as I am and their ideas are just as valuable. As are middle aged people and everyone else. If one is able there's no excuse in my opinion and if we're ever going to fix this world we all need to part of that process. In fact, I don't like the word activist either! Activists are simply specialists that have the labour of fixing the world offloaded on them so others can slack off! We should all be working for a better world and if we we all were there would be no need for activists. Moreover I'd be able to tow my fair share and get on with my life a bit easier instead of worrying about the state of the world so much, and that would be much appreciated :)

My next post will not be this large I promise. I don't have the energy for it even if I wanted too xD



#4320
Jessica

Jessica

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Oh shoot, Jessica. I am afraid too many bread crumbs are missing.  Can somebody decode posts #4317.

 

 

Pretty much backs up what has been released by the house during the past week or two. LEV PARNAS is pretty much saying that rudy aimed to force the president of another country to investigate Trumps political opponents and they used $400 million dollars in military aid to push the issue. This also draws in Pence as he played a role in this mess. 







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