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Progressive Watch Thread

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#21
Yuli Ban

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#22
starspawn0

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far-Left Aaron Mate tweets:

https://mobile.twitt...726562875920385
 

Remember when it was fashionable to blame Russia for Brexit? NYT even said Russian-tied social media activity "could raise questions about the legitimacy of the referendum" itself. Now a UK inquiry has "found no evidence that the Russian state interfered."


And what does the article say?:

https://www.buzzfeed...rference-brexit
 

The UK’s intelligence agencies have found no evidence that the Russian state interfered in the outcome of the Brexit referendum and the 2017 general election, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the findings in an as-yet-unpublished report from Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.


And why did I quote that? Because Mate denies every article he comes across that quotes "anonymous sources" that generate news he doesn't like. But when anonymous sources say things that he does like, he has no trouble accepting them uncritically.

....

The second reason to mention this is that it's not clear what this Buzzfeed news source is actually saying, and whether that contradicts what the New York Times said. In fact, the part that Mate cited from The Nation, that quotes the New York Times, isn't in conflict with the Buzzfeed article. "Russian-linked social-media activity around the Brexit vote" could mean a non-state actor sent his troll-farm to influence the Brexit vote.

And, "interfered in the outcome of the Brexit referendum and the 2017 general election" could mean "direct attempts to hack voting machines". It's also not clear if the report acknowledges if there was at least some influence, but that the influence was drowned-out by the large support for Brexit coming from rural senior voters.

But, that's all well and good to Mate's fan-base, that don't look at things as skeptically as he does against news he doesn't like.

#23
starspawn0

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Far-Leftist Matt Taibni tweets:
 
https://mobile.twitt...347767995772933
 

Clapper, for example, said, “Russians, who typically are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever”:


Surely Taibbi's audience isn't stupid enough to fall for it?...

Clearly, "genetically driven" here is used as hyperbole, metaphor, or idiom. It's like when somebody says a group of people are "like a religious cult". They don't mean they are literally like a religious cult. They mean they show a fawning devotion to an idea or a person, that rinds one, superficially, of a brainwashed religious cult.

 

What Clapper probably means here is:  Russian agents (not the Russian people) are masterful at co-opting, infiltrating, etc.,and do so with great zeal and energy.  



#24
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Far-Leftist Michael Tracey tweets:

https://mobile.twitt...712814939758592
 

They keep repeating the meaningless cliche that "Ukraine is important to America's national security" as if it should be self-evident that sending Javelin missiles into the Donbass keeps the residents of Pennsylvania safe


I don't know about the javelins, but if I remember correctly, the U.S. and other countries make a promise to Ukraine, back when it broke away from the Soviet Union, that if they (Ukraine) gave up their nuclear weapons and materials, they would be assured protection by the U.S. military.

Maybe I'm wrong about the details of this -- would have to look it up.

Assuming I'm right, it would set a dangerous precedent that America doesn't honor its deals with nuclear powers, if we turned our backs on Ukraine. I would hope Tracey realizes how dangerous nuclear weapons are to human life. One big 'ole hydrogen bomb would make an awful mess of Pennsylvania -- turning it to glass. (Though, if you wanted to make a bigger mess, it's be more effective to use a daisy-wheel pattern of several smaller H-bombs -- say 10 megatons each.)

#25
caltrek

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I kind of expected this line of argument to eventually emerge.  The important thing is to separate the issue a bit.

 

Should the U.S. have been sending Javelin missiles into Donbass?

 

Should Trump have conditioned the sale (gift?) of the missiles to Ukraine upon that government participating in an effort to smear Biden?

 

One can say "no" to the first, and still say "no" to the second.

 

If Trump truly opposed sending missiles to Ukraine, there were other legitimate paths he could have taken.

 

Just like if he truly wanted Ukraine to investigate Biden, there are other legitimate paths he could have taken.

 

The way he mixed them together was fundamentally corrupt.


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


#26
starspawn0

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Perhaps so, but there still remains the issue of whether "Ukraine is important to America's national security". Tracey makes fun of it, but it isn't just a cliched line bandied about without consideration.

I didn't remember the details of the nuclear diarmament treaty, so had to look it up:

https://en.wikipedia...rity_Assurances

Even this wikipedia site doesn't go into details of exactly what was promised, and also what was implied, if not explicitly written down. So, I went searching the web, and found this:

https://www.brooking...tinues-to-rise/
 

Russia’s transgression sends a message to countries like North Korea and Iran that they have less reason to trust security assurances or the involvement of Russia in future nonproliferation negotiations or commitments. Perhaps these countries might also wonder why they should trust the United States or Europe, when each has refrained from extending harsher penalties to Russia.

To reinforce a commitment to nonproliferation, Washington must do more for Ukraine. That means maintaining tight sanctions and escalating pressure on our European partners to expand sanctions on Russia. (The European Union recently voted not to impose additional sanctions on Russia over Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov.)


A complete cynic like Matt Taibbi would probably say, "Uh huh hah! Gimme a break! This is all about increasing sales to defense contractors -- just more corruption, no worse than anything coming from Russia." And Tracey, Greenwald, and Mate would try to lawyer it ten different ways -- e.g. would anybody ever accuse those countries of trusting the U.S. to begin with?

I doubt any of these guys know much about foreign policy, when it comes to "security". They're better at stuff like ferreting-out financial corruption. It would be wise for them to think more carefully about this before dashing off a Tweet.

Also, they like to remind us that the Intelligence Community was responsible for the Iraq WMD lies. I don't think that was the case. That was Cheney and his people, who corrupted and twisted the Defense Department into agreeing with his "one percent doctrine"; and then they lied to Colin Powell, who then told their lies.

(The Greenmald-Tracey-Mate-Taibbi criticism regarding torture of terror suspects is another matter. Though, it's hard to say how much that was due to Cheney and his people, and how much was due to the CIA. The rank-and-file in the CIA were probably appalled by it; some maybe even left.)

#27
caltrek

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^^^I tend to pass these issues through two filters: one pacifist and the other more pragmatic. So even within my own mind I am a house divided:

 

Pacifist: Arms should not be sent.

 

Pragmatic:  Arms should be provided for the reasons as indicated in Starspawn0's post.


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


#28
zEVerzan

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Without arms, how can revolution take place? America was forged in the violent fires of revolution, and revolution will be its undoing. Without revolution, no progress. No progress, stagnation. Stagnation, destruction. Disgusting


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#29
caltrek

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Without arms, how can revolution take place?

 

 

  1. The ballot box.
  2. Civil disobedience. Also known as not cooperating with evil.

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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


#30
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That's kinda naive. There will likely come a time where these things won't work.


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
Attention is currency in the "free marketplace of ideas".
I do other stuff besides gripe about the future! Twitter Youtube DeviantArt +-PATREON-+

#31
caltrek

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   3. Shifting paradigms.

 

Naive?

 

As if relying on force of arms was sophisticated. 


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


#32
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Don't try to highroad me. If your opponents (the American right, in this case) are loudly boasting their intent to use firearms on you in the event things don't go their way, it's only pragmatic to account for the failure of civil discourse. Sophistication is only something that can be achieved by those with the luxury of a more peaceful existence.


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
Attention is currency in the "free marketplace of ideas".
I do other stuff besides gripe about the future! Twitter Youtube DeviantArt +-PATREON-+

#33
Outlook

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You two over-estimate a mob's ability to think. Going both ways through either peace or violence they'll fail themselves, it should be a natural law by this point.


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Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#34
Erowind

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/\ This is why molemen are so important. Building counter-institutions, community and class consciousness are the best methods to stem counterrevolution. Russia did not transform overnight and there were multiple failed revolutions and insurrections before the big one. 1905 comes to mind. I think the same could be said for the Arab Spring, The Pink Tide and The Movement of Squares. These are preludes not the main event. It takes generations of tunnel diggers to make a new world. I'd also argue that reform fails in our modern world because there is always pressure from capital outside the reform since our problems are truly global when put into perspective, and capital itself is global. I'd suspect that reform will be more effective post-world revolution. The alternative is collapse and I'm not looking to embrace it. Capital has shown itself a broken and irrational mediator, it will eat itself alive one way or another and it is not invincible.  


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#35
caltrek

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You two over-estimate a mob's ability to think. Going both ways through either peace or violence they'll fail themselves, it should be a natural law by this point.

 

 

I was answering the question of how a revolution can take place.  After I made my posts above, it did occur to me that perhaps I should have questioned the premise that a "revolution" was even possible or even desirable. There is the problem of defining what exactly is meant by a "revolution".  So, yes, I am entirely aware of the problems posed by the irrational.  Trump's election has certainly brought that problem to the forefront, although it certainly would not have disappeared had Hillary Clinton won the election. 

 

As a pragmatist and a pacifist, I think there is something to be said about being a reformist as opposed to being a revolutionary.  


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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


#36
caltrek

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 I'd also argue that reform fails in our modern world because there is always pressure from capital outside the reform since our problems are truly global when put into perspective, and capital itself is global. 

 

 

Capitalism has proven to be very resilient. Stil, there is the problem of a crisis or two or three that the system has to navigate.

 

  1. Environmental, most prominent global climate change.
  2. Growing inequality of income.
  3. Legitimacy, which is related to inequality but also involves the popularity of populists like Trump  who seem to have nothing but disdain for democratic principles. This is more a crisis of democracy, but is related to economic underpinnings.   

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


#37
caltrek

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Shifting paradigms.

 

No comments, reactions, or "likes" to this comment?  

 

I should point out that shifting paradigms often involves generational differences.  Younger folk are often more willing to accept the new paradigm, whereas older folk are often more resistant. 

 

At any rate, by way of background, I am thinking of Thomas Kuhn and his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

 

The link below is a study guide that I have not read. I have read the book to which the guide refers. 

 

https://www.uky.edu/...jares/Kuhn.html

 

I should  add that such "revolutions" are confined to, or at least start within, scientific communities.


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


#38
caltrek

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Don't try to highroad me. 

 

I don't quite understand.  I am supposed to take the low road with you instead?

 

 

 

If your opponents (the American right, in this case) are loudly boasting their intent to use firearms on you in the event things don't go their way, it's only pragmatic to account for the failure of civil discourse. 

 

In regards to that tiny minority, I suppose.

 

 

Sophistication is only something that can be achieved by those with the luxury of a more peaceful existence....

 

With all due respect, I don't think you understand my point about non-cooperation with evil.  I would acknowledge that it does not always go well for those who make the choice to follow that path.  That is what martyrdom is all about.  Martyrdom has worked well for the Catholic church and its Protestant offspring, although by definition not for those being martyred.  At least not in the sense of their personal survival. 


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


#39
caltrek

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Erowind: It takes generations of tunnel diggers to make a new world.

 

Yes, that is often the case.


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


#40
zEVerzan

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Just say Vanguard. You need a vanguard for a successful revolution. One could say.


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
Attention is currency in the "free marketplace of ideas".
I do other stuff besides gripe about the future! Twitter Youtube DeviantArt +-PATREON-+





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