TRUMP is seriously dangerous

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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby Agent Orange Cooper » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:05 pm

82_28 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:07 pm wrote:While I don't condone anything of this nature ever. I am beginning to see people saying in various places wanting him to be "offed". I certainly wouldn't care and would probably laugh but people at least online are beginning to call for it. Again the most disgusting human whoever plied the Earth. I still think Russia wants to put a cap in his ass. :shrug:


"I don't condone outright calls for someone to be assassinated, but I wouldn't care and would laugh if it happened"

unbelievable
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby 82_28 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:12 pm

Believable. Were it to happen, no, I would not care. Do I hope for it to happen? No. If it did, I wouldn't give a shit. That's basically it. Can't a boy tell the truth? Since I will never own any sort of weapon, you can count me out. Maybe the only thing I will miss would be Alec Baldwin's impersonations.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:33 pm

Congress Should Investigate Russia Along With Donald Trump’s Finances
Daniel Benjamin 8:00 AM ET

Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, reacts during the Japan-Russia Business Dialogue in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Putin said Friday that his nation's tussle with Japan over the sovereignty of disputed islands must come to an end, and agreed with Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, to start talks on a special system for economic cooperation in the area. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Benjamin was Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department and is director of The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College
It should be made illegal for presidents to hide their business dealings

Donald Trump’s refusal to take seriously Russian interference in the presidential election is darkening the clouds that already hang over the legitimacy of his victory. Without question, a special select Congressional committee is required to investigate the Kremlin’s work to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign and secure the White House for her opponent. Senator Mitch McConnell’s effort to bury the investigation in the usual committees is a recipe for slow-rolling an urgent inquiry.

But the inquiry can’t stop at Russia’s actions. It must also ascertain whether the Trump camp colluded in any way with Vladimir Putin. Equally important, it must further ensure that Trump’s financial entanglements do not threaten U.S. national security. Each of these points is connected.


Congress can start by enacting legislation that requires Trump and all future presidents to disclose all financial documents necessary to establish the full scope of their business dealings, including their tax returns. That there isn’t already such a requirement can be chalked up to the fact that there has never been a need for such legislation. Previous—and poorer, less avaricious—presidents approached such matters like Caesar’s wife, so they would be beyond reproach on issues of conflict of interest. Trump has spurned these concerns with the nonsensical remark that “the president can’t have a conflict of interest.” That line, which recalls his idol Richard Nixon’s “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal,” suggests that for Trump, there can be no distinction between his interests and the nation’s.

Which is exactly why legislation is necessary—and Republicans should support it.

So much should be obvious. But Republican glee at capturing the White House seems to have smothered what should have been an instinctive horror at the Russian hacking. Republicans, who have spent decades portraying Democrats as soft on national security and themselves as hardheaded realists, are exposed on the issue of Putin and Trump. Moreover, there is nothing guaranteeing that future outside interference in our elections will benefit only the GOP. Yet to date, only a few Republican senators, led by John McCain and Lindsay Graham, have been prepared to call the Kremlin’s meddling the outrage that it is. (Though more GOP officials are reportedly wondering how they became the party of Putin.)

Russia—and the Soviet Union before 1991—has been employing “information operations” for decades to undermine ideological opponents in elections outside their borders and to turn the tide in national debates over strategic issues. The advent of the Internet—and with it the ability to gain access to years of confidential email correspondence and deploy thousands of fake news stories—has given Russia and other hostile powers an advantage unlike any they had ever dreamed of. That’s why in this year’s presidential race, the Kremlin saw its wishes come true on an unprecedented scale. Our elections are more integral to our sovereignty than our rule over any patch of territory. Right now, one would have to judge we are not in control of them.

No one can provide forensic proof that the release of the Democratic National Committee’s and Hillary Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta’s emails (the latter of which were released just hours after the Access Hollywood tape of Trump bragging about his sexual predations surfaced) and the deluge of fake news, which got more than 225 million views, made the difference on November 8 because no one can establish with certainty what impelled voters to pull the lever for Trump. But given the incredible amount of press attention to such minor scandals as Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s scheming against Democratic contender Bernie Sanders or the pullulating stories about Clinton’s health, no serious observer could think otherwise. To repeat the facts: Trump’s margin of victory was a mere 80,000 votes out of 14 million cast in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—a little more than a half of one percent, an electoral whisker. Of course the Russian intervention made that difference—along with some independent assistance in driving down Clinton’s support by FBI Director James Comey.

As the wide disparity in polls about the issue suggest, the American public is bewildered by the hack and unable to assess its importance, in part because the leaked material was treated as fair game by the press and because we don’t have a lexicon for grading cyber events the way we do acts involving the use of force. But as a longtime national security official, this covert operation qualifies for me as unmistakably hostile and too close on the continuum to an act of war to let pass. My former colleague and former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell went even further and called it “the political equivalent of 9/11.” It is staggering that Republicans, who from the Russian Revolution until their party’s last national convention, prided themselves on being the steel in American resolve against Russian expansionism, are so slow to bestir themselves.

So why tie this to Trump’s finances? Because Trump’s reaction to the hack and his unrelenting admiration of Vladimir Putin are so out of line with prevailing views about Russia and reasonable expectations that everyone should wonder what is going on. Any half-thoughtful response from Trump would have at least noted the gravity of the charge and that our electoral process is a vital U.S. interest. Instead, Trump rejected the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Russian involvement and accused it of politicization. (That alone strengthens the argument that the man is fatally cavalier about American national security.) Shooting wildly like this only feeds the suspicion that Trump and Vladimir Putin are in cahoots.

My hunch is not necessarily that money is flowing one way or the other between these two, but that Trump’s financial exposure—in the form of Russian investment in the Trump Organization or debts that Trump has to Russian oligarchs close to Putin—has conditioned his thinking about Russia. I’m hardly the only one wondering about this bizarre relationship. From former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who called the real estate mogul Putin’s “useful idiot” just before the election, to New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, who called him the Russian strongman’s poodle this week, the astonishment is spreading.

I don’t know if I’m right about Trump and the Russians. But I do know we shouldn’t leave this in the realm of the conspiracy theory. During the campaign, Trump tweeted, “I have nothing to do with Russia,” and “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.” But his son Donald Trump Jr. observed in 2008 that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” adding, “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Whatever became of all that cascading money? These are questions we should not need to ask. But we do, because Trump, despite winning the presidency, has shown himself unable to walk away from his business through divestiture. With the increasing dominance of the rich in politics—and in both parties—this is a problem that won’t end with him. So Congress must act to ensure that U.S. national security isn’t a secondary concern of American leaders.
http://time.com/4616927/donald-trump-russia-finances/


THURSDAY, DEC 22, 2016 07:00 PM CST
Jilted by Garth Brooks: Donald Trump’s inaugural pathos gets worse
Kid Rock and Ted Nugent are good to go! Trump's star-free inaugural may mark a new low in celebrity culture


Jilted by Garth Brooks: Donald Trump's inaugural pathos gets worse
Garth Brooks, Andrea Bocelli (Credit: AP/Evan Agostini)
He has not yet taken office, but Donald Trump’s administration are already facing its first major crisis: Finding performers for next month’s inaugural festivities.

The Wrap has the details:

Donald Trump is so displeased with his team’s inability to lock in A-list talent for his inauguration events next month that he’s ordered a “Hail Mary” shakeup of his recruiters to try to book performers.[…]

The Trump transition has been struggling for weeks to secure A-list talent for the inauguration celebration. […]

Performers who are known to have rejected requests include Elton John, country singer Garth Brooks and opera star Andrea Bocelli.

Other outlets have reported that officials have taken to dangling ambassadorships in front of talent bookers if they can deliver A-listers to perform at the inauguration. For all of that, as of Thursday the list of talent scheduled read like a who’s-who of angry, washed-up wingnut musicians (Ted Nugent and Kid Rock) and acts last seen performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Rockettes, a runner-up from Season 5 of “America’s Got Talent”).

The Trump team has taken to spinning this story by either denying it or claiming that Trump himself doesn’t care. That’s about as believable as his plan for replacing Obamacare with something better. Trump loves a spectacle. Even before he wrapped up the Republican nomination, he was trashing the party’s “boring” 2012 convention to the media and promising to give this year’s a real “showbiz” feel. With his immense ego and bottomless need for validation, we can be certain he’d like his inauguration to be the yuuugest, glitziest celebration Washington has ever seen.

Trump has spent most of his adult life pushing his own brand of celebrity while seeking the favor and approval of other famous people. Trump-watchers have long reported that it burns him up that the old-money elite of Manhattan have always looked down on the flashy, garish outer-borough goombah who plasters his name on everything. Or that New York banks long ago stopped lending him money. In some ways, he is still the thin-skinned kid who left Queens to expand his family’s real-estate empire into the glitzy world of Manhattan, only to have that world continue to sniff at him.

In fact, President Obama’s humiliation of Trump in front of a room full of A-list Hollywood stars at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner is reportedly a big reason he sought the presidency in the first place. Which brings us to the second bit of Washington-Hollywood-related news from Thursday: This report that a couple of board members of the WHCD are worried about the event’s viability under the new president.

Does Trump even come? After all, he should associate the affair with public humiliation. In 2011, he sat red-faced and uncomfortable, front and center, as both President Obama and comic Seth Meyers skewered him. […]

Or does a man well-attuned to ratings, circulation and media revenue decide to come precisely because the ratings and coverage would overwhelm any previous dinner?

There has long been a symbiosis between Washington and Hollywood that lent the former a veneer of glitz and the latter a measure of seriousness that it would otherwise be hard-pressed to show. It is an arrangement that has earned a fair share of criticism for the self-important displays, like the WHCD, that are often the result.

Trump is the apotheosis of the interaction between the two most visible areas of American culture – a reality-TV star who has made a ton of money off of Hollywood, mostly through “The Apprentice,” who now will set foreign and domestic policy while representing the nation to the rest of the planet.

And yet, for the moment most of Hollywood wants nothing to do with him. Those people who have long looked on him as the loudest clown in the circus still don’t respect him, and in some cases have actively spoken out against him. It must gall him that the one thing he has ever been genuinely good at – being a celebrity – is the most visible asset to abandon him now that he has won the presidency.

Perhaps those A-list stars who are boycotting his inauguration will also boycott the WHCD, turning it back to its origins as a quiet evening that no one outside the Beltway cared about. More broadly, if the biggest celebrity ever to become president finds himself utterly deserted by other celebrities, it might finally reveal that Washington-Hollywood axis for the empty spectacle it has long been, and in the process kill it for at least the next four years. That at least would be a worthy, if ironic, legacy for Trump to leave behind.
http://www.salon.com/2016/12/23/jilted- ... ets-worse/
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby Searcher08 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:57 pm

Agent Orange Cooper » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:05 pm wrote:
82_28 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:07 pm wrote:While I don't condone anything of this nature ever. I am beginning to see people saying in various places wanting him to be "offed". I certainly wouldn't care and would probably laugh but people at least online are beginning to call for it. Again the most disgusting human whoever plied the Earth. I still think Russia wants to put a cap in his ass. :shrug:


"I don't condone outright calls for someone to be assassinated, but I wouldn't care and would laugh if it happened"

unbelievable


I find it very believable.

Humanity and compassion are very precious and need to be rationed to people we find worthy.
If we don't (perhaps by not being vouched for by a person from RI in real life), well, fuck 'em, eh? The most disgusting human who ever walked the Earth. Yeah spot on - we can see his racist homophobic misogynist animal-torturing hate speech attacks in this hideous clip.

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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:13 pm

OMFG

A PHOTO OP WASHES AWAY HE HATEFUL HOMOPHOBIC SEXIST RACIST CAMPAIGN!!!

AN ALL HIS PICS FOR THE TEAM!!!

The work of Breitbart/Bannon for sure!!

Give me a fucking break

Try to keep up he is an asshole no photo op is going to change that..and there's 231 pages here to prove that

Did you see who is pic for ambassador to Israel is?
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:38 pm

LOOK I'M PUSHING A VACCUM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE!

YEA for the bottom feeders :yay

Trump loves the little guy

All the while he is pushing this gal

The Anti-Worker History of Trump's Small Business Administration Pick
Friday, December 23, 2016
By Branko Marcetic, In These Times | Report
Image
Linda McMahon campaigns during the second of her two Republican senatorial bids, in Danbury, Conn., Aug. 10, 2012. McMahon, the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment and an early supporter of Donald Trump, is the president-elect’s choice to head up the Small Business Administration. (Photo: Andrew Sullivan / The New York Times)


This month, President-elect Donald Trump continued his trend of appointing wealthy businessmen and women with little government experience to government posts by nominating former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) chief executive Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Most news reports on her appointment have focused on her net worth and the fact that she donated $7 million to Trump's campaign. Few have talked about the WWE's questionable labor record under McMahon.

Under the stewardship of McMahon and her husband, Vince, the WWE racked up a long list of controversies when it comes to its handling of the business' lifeblood -- the wrestlers themselves. From longtime allegations of encouragement of drug abuse and unsafe work practices to the WWE's refusal to treat wrestlers as proper full-time workers, McMahon's record on workers' rights is spotty at best.

With McMahon now likely to head a government department responsible for training and educating small businesses and entrepreneurs, her nomination raises questions about whether she will encourage or impart some of these dubious practices to employers at the expense of workers.

Rock Bottom Labor Standards

Wrestlers contracted to the McMahon's WWE have a habit of dying young. To some extent, this is a product of their chosen profession. Professional wrestling is an incredibly hazardous spectacle that requires both the willingness and athletic precision to carry out perilous stunts, as well as the physical strength to withstand enormous stress and pressure on the body.

The WWE's particular policies do not help matters, however. The company makes its athletes abide by a grueling schedule that sees them wrestling as much as four to five nights a week, traveling from city to city, with no off-season.

"There's no schedule like the WWE's," wrestler Sami Zayn told the BBC this year. "Year-round, forever, no, like, light at the end of the tunnel."

The top brass at the WWE have been accused previously of pressuring wrestlers to ignore injuries. In a tell-all interview, former WWE superstar CM Punk recounted how he was repeatedly pressured to wrestle through multiple injuries, including what later turned out to be an undiagnosed staph infection. (WWE denies Punk's version of events and the doctor involved is suing him for defamation).

In 2015, two former wrestlers sued the company, claiming it had encouraged dangerous stunts like steel chair shots to the head, leaving wrestlers with concussions and long-term neurological damage, while discouraging them from getting medical help for injuries. This year, a group of some 60 former wrestlers, including a number of the company's bigger names from the 1980s, sued the WWE for similar reasons, alleging a link between their wrestling injuries and a degenerative brain disease. (The company has called the suit "another ridiculous attempt by the same attorney who has previously filed class-action lawsuits against WWE, both of which have been dismissed.") The company only outright banned chair shots to the head in 2010, when the problem reared its head midway through McMahon's first Senate campaign.

Konstantine Kyros, an attorney representing the group of wrestlers, told In These Times that that the WWE has led a "systematic effort … to deprive the wrestlers of their rights through an improper workplace structure and unregulated working conditions."

"There is a clear nexus between [McMahon's] proposed cabinet role and the role she had as CEO of the WWE," says Kyros.

The physical pressures McMahon's former company places on wrestlers are coupled with drug-related hazards. There's no doubt that some WWE wrestlers develop drug addictions due to the hard-partying, rockstar-like lifestyle that accompanies the job. McMahon herself claimed that the high death rate among wrestlers could be simply chalked up to their "personal habits."

Contrary to her claims, however, some wrestlers, have developed substance abuse issues to deal with the pain of injuries and the mental stress of a never-ending schedule. Others ravaged their bodies through steroid abuse, pervasive throughout the industry particularly in its early years, and a necessity for the creation of the hyper-muscled physiques the industry has long favored.

For years, the WWE (then the WWF) employed Dr. George Zahorian, who in 1991 was convicted of drug trafficking. His lawyer at the time defended him, explaining that steroids were "used throughout the WWF. Wrestlers either use them or they don't participate."

In 2007, Linda McMahon testified to Henry Waxman's House Oversight Committee that the company suspended its random steroid-testing program in 1996 after five years, because so few positive results were being found. The company later reinstituted a drug-testing policy in 2005 after the death of wrestler Eddie Guerrero from heart failure, linked to steroids, yet even after it did so, Waxman reported that 40 percent of wrestlers were testing positive for steroids and other drugs even when warned in advance.

By all indications, McMahon was heavily involved. She told Waxman that as CEO her responsibilities included "working day-to-day" with her husband, the "driving force behind WWE." Most damningly, a 1989 memo written by McMahon that surfaced years later featured her asking another executive to tell Zahorian to stop coming to the company's events and to "clue him in on any action that the Justice Department is thinking of taking," after being tipped off that an investigation into Zahorian was about to be launched.

Shortly after the memo was sent, an executive did just that, and Zahorian shipped all his files on wrestlers to his attorney's office, though the WWE lawyer said the files were not destroyed. Nearly two decades later, McMahon told Waxman that Zahorian had "distributed steroids unbeknownst to us."

The result of all this has not been pretty. One study found that wrestlers aged between 45 and 54 had a mortality rate 2.9 times greater than that of the general American male population. Another study found that more than 46 percent of deceased male wrestlers who worked for the WWE between 1977 and 2012 died because of heart complications, versus some 26 percent of men who died of heart disease between 2000 and 2008 in the general male population.

At least a part of this can be chalked up to the lack of regulations on the WWE. In the late 1980s, McMahon personally and successfully persuaded the Pennsylvania state legislature that wrestling was simply entertainment, rather than a sport, which negated the need for athletic regulation. She then followed this up with a years-long lobbying campaign in the federal and state governments, which involved the WWE spending more than $1 million.

The money was worth it: Wrestling is now deregulated in more than half the states, and the company beat back several state efforts to mandate drug-testing.

Union Busting and "Death Clauses"

The health problems faced by wrestlers at McMahon's former company are compounded by what have been alleged to be exploitative labor conditions.

Despite mandating a non-stop schedule for their wrestlers that gives the company a large amount of say over virtually every aspect of its talent's daily lives, the WWE insists that its performers are not employees, but independent contractors. This means that the company, which recorded a total revenue of $659 million in 2015 and whose chairman and CEO is a billionaire, can save money on paying out contributions to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance.

As contractors, wrestlers could theoretically go to another company. But the WWE essentially owns a virtual monopoly in the industry. What's more, the company tends to own the rights to the wrestler's ring name, character and more, hobbling them from continuing their career outside of the company.

More seriously for workers whose paycheck is based on physical fitness and extremely dangerous work, the WWE doesn't cover its wrestlers' health insurance. As of 2016, the company forces wrestlers to buy health insurance, setting them up to pay sky high premiums, given their riskiness to insurers.

McMahon's company has also been known to slip so-called death clauses into contracts, releasing the WWE from liability for a wrestler's death whether in the ring, due to any injuries arising from the work or even because of the company's negligence. When McMahon was challenged on this during her 2010 Senate campaign, a spokesperson said the company has "never exercised that option." Except it had, some 10 years earlier, after the family of Owen Hart -- who died after a botched entrance resulted in a 78-foot fall -- sued the company. (The WWE ultimately settled the case for $18 million).

Some of these issues could have been avoided with the help of a union. But in the hands of the McMahons, the WWE has been virulently anti-union, quashing an early organizing effort by wrestler (and former Minnesota Governor) Jesse Ventura in the 1980s.

In These Times reached out multiple times to the WWE via email to comment on the various allegations against it. No one responded.

Two Failed Campaigns

McMahon's two US Senate runs in Connecticut -- one in 2010 and again in 2012 -- also offer little reassurance for workers.

McMahon spent an estimated $100 million on her two failed campaigns. During the course of her campaign, it emerged that the McMahons, who had gone bankrupt early on in their marriage -- a fact McMahon had used to shore up her relatability to working people -- had never paid back some of their creditors, despite becoming fabulously wealthy later in life. They owed almost $1 million to 26 creditors in 1976, or about $3.9 million in 2012 dollars. Under pressure during her second campaign, McMahon reportedly said that she and her husband would repay private creditors involved in their bankruptcy.

In 2010, when asked if the minimum wage should be reduced to help struggling small businesses, McMahon replied that "we ought to look at all of those issues in terms of what mandates are being placed on businesses and can they afford them." (She later said she had misheard the question and did not support decreasing the minimum wage). Upon further questioning, McMahon revealed that she didn't even know what the Connecticut minimum wage was, nor whether employees at the WWE earned it.

McMahon's final campaign closed out with accusations by some of her campaign's former part-time workers that she had failed to pay them after the election was over. The checks the campaign subsequently sent the workers following their complaints bounced, which the campaign claimed was a mistake. However, another worker was handed an envelope with a check (that eventually bounced) and a condom inside it, and told he was "screwed" after talking to a news station.

All of this, coupled with McMahon's inexperience in the public sector, doesn't bode well for the future workers of small businesses in America. Since 1953, the SBA's mission has been to "preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation."

But McMahon's history -- running a near monopoly that has been accused for decades of disregarding its employees' health, safety and fair treatment -- risks turning its mission into one that sacrifices workers for profits.
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3884 ... ation-pick
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby Cordelia » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:20 pm

Oh yes, please do care about assassination and continuing the cycle of killing. Giving a thumbs-up to the premeditated death of another being costs dearly imo.

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The greatest sin is to be unconscious. ~ Carl Jung

We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content. ~ Dag Hammarskjold 'Waymarks'
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby SonicG » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:37 pm

We must reject the death culture...but such heavy fractures culturally...When it invades one's personal life, it seems to become more than palpable...An uncertain future, I mean...In some sense, the world has not done enough against "terror" writ large...all of it of course, not the least of which has been the terror of the state. I am a proud ex-pat of two locations in Asia. One of which was subject to the first A-bomb, and the other was subject to carpet bombing, agent orange...I worry about the black juju of Internet memes-cum-sigils that seem to be spinning wildly out of control, or perhaps they are instructing the "Machine" in how to use them to their benefit...such dark thoughts clouding this grey holi Daze season...More Status Quo and free-flow brunch...for now...

But to the matter at hand, there are valid fears, with the unstable political atmosphere, undeniably, and things like vague Twitter threats - not only to companies (Trump is moving stocks) but all the way up to the UN and to the whole world by reminding everyone of that tenuous nuclear arms "balance"...Trump can shuttle off to Florida and sit it out if he'd like. It would only make me happy because then we could get a closer look at the wolves currently baring their fangs behind the Orange coif...On another more trad. liberal forum, I have seen comments, none gleeful, pointing to the target that Trump properties abroad have now become. A Trump boycott is probably easy enough for those here and most of those you know, but maybe gently remind people to be safe...
"a poiminint tidal wave in a notion of dynamite"
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby Searcher08 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:52 am

Cordelia » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:20 pm wrote:Oh yes, please do care about assassination and continuing the cycle of killing. Giving a thumbs-up to the premeditated death of another being costs dearly imo.

Image


Thank you. Cordelia.

Ive seen first hand what assassinating a father can do to a mother and son.
Image

Some celtic mother's son


A 55-year-old man was yesterday arrested by police investigating a murder carried out in 1978. Read more... The man was arrested in Glenariff, Co Antrim, by officers from the PSNI's Historical Enquiries Team (HET). The detectives are probing the killing of 29-year-old Noel McKay who was shot dead at his home in the Ardmore Drive area on Belfast's Finaghy Road North. The man arrested by police is being held at Antrim police station where he is being questioned. Mr McKay was a Catholic postal worker killed by two gunmen thought to be republicans in what police at the time said may have been a case of mistaken identity. The married man was gunned down by two men armed with a shotgun and a pistol who fired around 10 shots at close range. In the aftermath of his death police said they believed Mr McKay was an innocent victim with no links to any organisation.


His wife was 7 months pregnant and say it all. She lost her mind with grief. His parents were crushed, his brothers and sisters never the same, his son, fatherless.

It fucks up people's lives, even the ones who do it.
http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-15/man-used-hunt-belfast-catholics-357-magnum-here-s-his-story

Compassion for humans that doesnt include those you dislike intensely is just bullshit.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby Burnt Hill » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:06 am

Compassion for humans that doesnt include those you dislike intensely is just bullshit.

Dehumanizing the elite is a mistake that also dehumanizes us.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:32 am

the elites do not think of us as human beings

they think of us as useless eaters....

they take and they take and they take until we are used up

what I am supposed to say thank you sir for shooting me while I bleed to death?



Fookin grifters

Image

“I’ve never heard so much bullshit in all my life,” he says, defeat etched into his face

“I see Donald Trump lying in the road there pointing to a ripe mound of horse shit occupying the pavement"
Scottish farmer Michael Forbes


Meet a 92-Year-Old Woman Whose Life Was Ruined by Donald Trump

Image
The documentary ‘You’ve Been Trumped, Too’ chronicles the damage the Trump empire’s inflicted on a quaint Scottish town—and one scrappy Scottish family’s efforts to fight back.
Jen Yamato
JEN YAMATO

10.26.16 2:26 AM ET
“I see Donald Trump lying in the road there,” grins Scottish farmer Michael Forbes, pointing to a ripe mound of horse shit occupying the pavement outside the 2016 Republican National Convention, in the new documentary sequel You’ve Been Trumped, Too. Pointedly rushed into release to be seen by American audiences before Nov. 8, the Election Day urgency is obvious, and even the laughs are edged with a bittersweet dread and panic.
It’s one of few wryly jovial moments in British journalist Anthony Baxter’s timely follow-up to 2012’s You’ve Been Trumped, which documented one Scottish town’s battle against the invading Trump business empire. But a few moments later in Baxter’s just-finished sequel, watching the businessman-turned-politician accept the GOP’s presidential nomination to resounding cheers in Cleveland, Forbes falls quiet.
Trump’s tinny voice rings out from a TV monitor, promising to “Make America Great Again” from the RNC stage. Forbes, a blue-collar Scotsman who’s spent the last five years being insulted and called “a pig” by the contentious Republican nominee, has face intimidation and been urged to sell his land to Trump’s real-estate empire, and has seen his access to clean water destroyed by Trump’s operations in a tiny coastal town across the Atlantic. He shakes his head in disbelief.
“I’ve never heard so much bullshit in all my life,” he says, defeat etched into his face.
Forbes is one of the residents of Balmedie, Scotland, who’s been waging a David vs. Goliath battle for years against Trump over a luxury golf course that opened in 2012 right down the road. The development of the new Trump International Golf Links ruined protected natural sand dunes, failing spectacularly to deliver on a plethora of lofty promises Trump had personally made to local citizens and politicians—namely, economic growth and thousands of new jobs.
More impressively, the debacle managed to turn most of Scotland against the GOP nominee, who was stripped of various honorary Scottish accolades over the course of his presidential campaign. A petition to have him banned from the U.K. racked up half a million signatures. Even Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to condemn Trump on the floor of Parliament over his anti-Muslim comments. In Aberdeen, Trump was greeted upon his arrival to the course’s grand opening with a display of Mexican flags flying defiantly over the homes of his pissed-off neighbors.

But it’s Forbes and his mother, Molly, who live on adjacent farms near the golf course, who have suffered most greatly from tangling with the presidential hopeful—and are ill-equipped to give him the kind of legal fight that would cost a fortune to wage. The problem stems from the damage made when Trump’s workers broke a crucial pipe that connected their homes to the only nearby water source.
The faucets began pouring sludge, their only drinkable water poisoned. Despite their pleas and increasing scrutiny from local media and officials, Trump and his people refused to repair the contaminated water line, forcing the 92-year-old Molly Forbes to collect water from a stream she carted back to her home in a wheelbarrow. For four years.
Even Andy Wightman, a member of the Scottish Parliament, confirms that it’s Trump who is legally accountable for fixing his neighbors’ access to water that lies on his land—and is violating Scottish law by refusing to do so.
Trump “seems to have no respect, not only for Molly Forbes and his neighbors, but he has no respect for the legal framework,” says Wightman, as Baxter intercuts images of Trump smirking for the cameras, a golf club in hand, ordering bagpipe players around to find the perfect photo op to promote his Scottish investment. “And he’s quite content to preside over a situation whereby he is in effect denying a neighboring landowner of their legitimate supply of fresh water.”
You’ve Been Trumped, Too is Baxter’s third documentary on the subject, and it folds in material gathered in his previous two films. Like You’ve Been Trumped and A Dangerous Game, the new film is a scathing chronicle of the destructive impact Trump has wrought upon those with far fewer resources who’ve stood in the way of his financial interests. But You’ve Been Trumped, Too has a more urgent objective: to point out the alarming parallels between how Trump treated the people of Balmedie and how the American people might suffer in kind should he be elected president of the United States.
“He promises the world. It never happens. Never trust Trump,” says the soft-spoken Mrs. Forbes, a former WWII dairywoman whose gentle ideals the film effectively juxtaposes against the cutthroat, controlling, money-hungry, and disingenuous actions of Trump’s camp. “I pity America if he’s president.”
The film makes its most salient point by comparing her four-year water nightmare with the Flint water crisis, a much larger but eerily similar health and public-safety catastrophe that Trump similarly ignored as long as he could. Stateside, Baxter and his camera crew stop in on Flint as they follow Trump on his campaign trail, attempting to ask the politician what’s being done about the Forbes’ water line.
You've Been Trumped Too' On the new doc about Trump screwing people in Scotland with his golf course

He doesn’t get very far past Trump’s handlers, but weaves in footage from interviews granted for his second film, in which Trump himself sat for a seated interview and Donald Trump, Jr. agreed to discuss the Forbes’ water situation—before calling local police, who arrested Baxter and his producer on site as the cameras rolled.

Donald Jr., the second most prominent public face of the Trump International Golf Links at Aberdeenshire, inherits a particularly unflattering spotlight in Baxter’s film, which makes good use of the notorious image of the Trump scion proudly holding up a severed elephant tail, hunting knife in hand. Interviewing Donald Jr. as he sits at the wheel of a golf cart, Baxter elicits the type of nonsensically evasive blustering synonymous with the Trump school of obfuscation.
Addressing his controversial penchant for big-game hunting, the younger Donald bizarrely praises hunters as lovers of animals (“Hunters are conservationists at heart as well”) and argues that his hunting trips are actually charitable humanitarian endeavors. “We always donate shoes and boots and everything like that because these are parts of the world where, as sad as it sounds, owning one shoe is a luxury. Two is almost unheard of.”
You’ve Been Trumped, Too reins in its focus by reiterating how Trump’s foray into the presidential race begs greater examination of his dealings in Scotland, accompanying Michael Forbes and his wife as they take their first trip to America to attend the RNC. There, the impassioned but patient Forbes shares his story with various Trump supporters and delegates, seeking to inform them of the actions of their chosen nominee and to understand why it is anybody would vote for Trump.
He tells them of the broken pipe, the contaminated drinking water, and the Trump camp’s refusal to fix what they’ve done to him and his mother. He tells them how Trump tried to force him to sell his land, how he bullied him in the press—like he’s attacked women, minorities, immigrants, the disabled, the media, Samuel L. Jackson’s golf game, his political rivals, and his haters—by calling him a “pig” and his farm a pigsty that the people of Scotland should be “embarrassed” of.
Even Alex Salmond, a former Scottish First Minister who once supported Trump’s dealings in Scotland, admits Trump only delivered a fraction of what he promised. Of the 6,000 new jobs Trump promised to create for the region with his golf course, he employs what locals guesstimate to be a few dozen staffers, “and fewer than 100 are on the payroll,” says Baxter.
“He doesn’t regard these as lies, he regards these as claims which he wants you to believe in,” says Wightman. “But they’re not true.”
Baxter, who was filming as recently as September, speedily includes the stories of other locals who crossed Trump and opposed the golf course development plans only to find the police force slowly being used to protect his interests and intimidate those who criticized his operations. One of Trump International’s officers plainly tells Baxter that the organization deals with their enemies “very harshly—and we will continue to be strong to anybody that stands in our way.”
In a statement to the BBC regarding You’ve Been Trumped, Too, a spokeswoman—likely Sarah Malone, the Katrina Pierson of Trump’s Scottish operations, who receives some rare scrutiny of her own in the doc—denounced Baxter and the film, which she said the Trump Organization has not seen.
“We have not seen the so-called film and have no interest in it. Anthony Baxter is not a credible journalist or filmmaker,” read the statement. “He has no interest in the facts or the people of North East Scotland. He has propagated lies and nonsense about the company for years in an attempt to make a name for himself off the back of Trump. We operate a highly acclaimed, five-star golf resort and enjoy a great relationship with the local community and all of our neighbours with the exception of a few who have fought the project since its inception.”
Seeing the quiet lives of these modest Scottish farmers upended in the name of one billionaire’s financial ambitions should be enough to give many voters pause in the coming final weeks as Baxter opens his film in New York on Oct. 28, with a hopeful eye on widening his distribution. But take it from Michael Forbes, who’s since become a folk hero for standing up to Trump and hopes Americans will learn from his story—even as a troubling epilogue notes that the Forbes’ and their fellow resistors may yet be forced to give up their homes if Trump attempts to expand his property holdings around that golf course.
“When he first came to Scotland it was a bit like America here—half was for Trump, the other half wasn’t,” Forbes says, his warnings falling on deaf ears at the RNC. “But now you’ll find that nothing’s happened with what he said so 90 percent of Scotland hates him. I can see the same thing happening here.”
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby Searcher08 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:10 pm

Burnt Hill » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:06 pm wrote:
Compassion for humans that doesn't include those you dislike intensely is just bullshit.

Dehumanizing the elite is a mistake that also dehumanizes us.


Thank you, Burnt Hill

That is so true - dehumanising any person is so much easier than thinking "This is also a person"
Like the story of the gunmen, de-humanising ultimately turns on people who do it.

Calling a ten year old boy and his Mum "Fookin Grifters"?
Last edited by Searcher08 on Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:16 pm

For Last-Minute Stocking-Stuffers: Michael Flynn’s Reading List

by Jim Lobe

For those of you who are looking for books to buy at the last minute for friends and family for Christmas or Hanukah (or both, in light of the incoming administration’s celebration of “Judeo-Christian”–as opposed, one supposes, to Islamic–values), here’s the list of books that Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) recommends as “Suggested Reading” in his book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, published last July. Of course, Flynn has been the subject of a number of recent posts on LobeLog.

You’ll note that, of the 22 books listed, no less than four are by Michael Ledeen, Flynn’s co-author, and all of them are about Iran, whose regime Ledeen has always put at the center of what he calls “The Terror Masters.” While the list includes works by serious scholars, historians and regional experts, such as Yitzhak Nakash and Ahmed Rashid, there’s a pretty heavy presence of well-established Islamophobes, such as Glenn Beck, Brigitte Gabriel, as well as Ledeen himself. Particularly intriguing is the inclusion of Bill Gertz’s The China Threat, if for no other reason than that Flynn’s book barely mentions China, other than to accuse it of being part of “The Enemy Alliance” along with Bolivia, Nicaragua, Russia, etc. Gertz was a charter member of the so-called “Blue Team,” a group of writers, pundits, and Capitol Hill staffers who tried to persuade public opinion in the late 1990’s and early in the Bush administration that military conflict with Beijing was inevitable, and that henceforward China should be considered “Public Enemy Number One.” The fact that Gertz is cited suggests that China is right up there on Flynn’s “enemy list,” presumably after ISIS and Iran.

In any event, the list should offer another insight into the worldview of the man who may have the last word in advising the Donald Trump on foreign affairs.

Ansary, Tamim, Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes. New York: Public Affairs, 2010.

Bar, Shumel, Warrant for Terror, the Fatwas of Radical Islam and the Duty to Jihad. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.

Beck, Glenn, It is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate. New York: Threshold, 2015.

Cleary, Thomas, The Art of War: Sun Tzu. Boulder, Co.: Shambhala, 1988.

Finkel, Caroline, Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire. New York: Basic Books, 20007.

Gabriel, Brigitte, They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008.

Gertz, Bill, The China Threat: How the People’s Republic Targets America. Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2002.

Gorka, Sebastian, Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War. Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2016.

Hamid, Tawfik, Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works; Why It Should Terrify Us; How to Defeat It. Moutain Lake Park, MD: Mountain Lake Press, 2015.

Hopkirk, Peter, The Great Game. New York: Kodansha International, 1992.

Ledeen, Michael, Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War Against the West. New York: Truman Talley Books, 2009.

—-, The Iranian Time Bomb: The Mullah Zealots’ Quest for Destruction. New York: Truman Talley Books, 2007.

—-, The War Against the Terror Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How We’ll Win. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003.

—-, and W. H. Lewis, Debacle: The American Failure in Iran. New York: Knopf, 1981.

Murawiec, Laurent, The Mind of Jihad. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Nakash, Yitzhak, The Shi’is of Iraq. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Naylor, Sean, Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2015.

Patai, Raphael, The Arab Mind. Tucson: Recovery Resources Press, 2010.

Quataert, Donald, The Ottoman Empire: 1700-1922. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Rashid, Ahmed, Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. New York: Penguin, 2009.

Weiss, Micahel and Hassan, Hassan, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. New York: Regan Arts, 2015.

Zakaria, Fareed, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. New York: Norton, 2003.
http://lobelog.com/for-last-minute-stoc ... ding-list/
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:18 pm

THE RIGHT WING
A Deeper Look at the Trump Team: More Scary and Depressing Every Day
The Trump team: billionaires and generals.
By Vijay Prashad / FRONTLINE December 24, 2016


Money and the military define the Cabinet of Donald Trump’s presidency. For a man who ran to help the “forgotten Americans,” there are few “forgotten” people in his team. Most of the Cabinet appointees have experiences far from the crises that wrack rural and industrial America. Amongst the billionaires are mostly people who inherited their money. They do not have the spark of entrepreneurism that is one of the core values of American society. The ex-military men are all generals, people who have long looked at war from the control room and not from the battlefield. Their sensibility is not that of the retired warrior who worries about war. These are men of great braggadocio; for them the battlefield is not a place of great pain but one of honour. For them, battle is worthy. For the billionaires, free-market capitalism is good. Neither the world of money nor the world of the military is prepared to address the actual grievances of the population or the transformation of America’s place in the world. This is a government of fables. It is appropriate that it is led by Trump, a man made more by the world of entertainment than by the world of governance. Glitz is the order of the day. Rhetoric will stand in for policy. Drama is guaranteed.

Civilian control over the military is a fundamental aspect of the United States government’s culture. When President Dwight Eisenhower—a former general—chose General George C. Marshall to be his Secretary of Defence in 1950, the U.S. Congress worried about undue military influence on policy. The National Security Act of 1947 had prohibited military officers from being in charge of the Defence Department. Eisenhower, a war hero, asked Congress for a waiver, which it provided. But in the waiver, Congress said that this was an exception and that it hoped never to have to provide such leeway again.

A decade later, in his farewell speech, Eisenhower bemoaned the increased power of the military and of military industry over the U.S. government. He called this the “military-industrial complex”, which was the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.”

“The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the federal government,” the old military hero said plaintively. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Matters are graver now. The military-industrial complex is larger and more firmly rooted in the economy, politics and the culture of the country. Patriotism is now defined largely as fealty to the military and is reflected in virtual worship of the national flag.

Generals

In this context, Trump has chosen three generals to be in his Cabinet, giving all the major departments in charge of security to men of the armed forces. General James “Mad Dog” Mattis of the Marines will take charge of the Defence Department, Army Lt General Michael Flynn will be Trump’s National Security Adviser and General John Kelly of the Marines will be at the helm of Homeland Security. It is likely that others will join them in the Cabinet, such as Admiral Michael Rogers for Director of National Intelligence and General David Petraeus at the State Department. It appears as if Trump is not assembling a Cabinet so much as a junta.

Senator Chris Murphy of the Foreign Relations Committee admits to being concerned about this number of military men in the Cabinet. They are men of merit, he concedes, but one of the lessons learned over the past 15 years is that “when we view problems in the world through a military lens, we make big mistakes”. If a hammer is the instrument held by the government, it will go in search of a nail. Other tools are needed to solve problems. These are not in hand. Hammers are everywhere. But even Murphy’s statement about their merit is questionable. Flynn and Mattis hold strong views against Islam, while Flynn is prone to the wildest conspiracy theories. This does not bode well for the man who is tasked with separating the wheat from the chaff that comes to the President’s desk. If Trump is unpredictable, so too is Flynn. Military men will surround Trump but not those of the most rational disposition.

Billionaires

Trump’s campaign rhetoric was plainly oppositional. It sparked a sense that this billionaire had heard the pain of the “forgotten American”. Trump suggested that he would use his business savvy to bring back work for Americans and to turn around a sagging U.S. economy. To help him, Trump has turned to the business class. Amongst his major picks are some of the richest people in the U.S. The total net worth of the first half of Trump’s Cabinet is over $14.5 billion—30 times more than the net worth of the men and women in George W. Bush’s Cabinet. In other words, half of Trump’s Cabinet is worth 30 times the entirety of Bush’s Cabinet. Plutocracy, not democracy, is the order of the day.

The men who will manage the U.S. economy are all from amongst the wealthiest families. The Commerce Department will be led by Wilbur Ross, the “king of bankruptcy” (worth $2.9 billion), and assisted by Todd Ricketts, heir to the discount brokerage fortune of his father (worth $5.3 billion). The Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin (worth $46 million), worked at Goldman Sachs and then invested in two of Trump’s projects at his own boutique investment firm. Neera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank Centre for American Progress, said that these appointments were “a betrayal of his [Trump’s] message to working-class voters. Trump claimed he would fight the global elite billionaire class”, but instead he has filled his Cabinet with the wealthy.

Behind the scenes, in Trump’s transition team, are even more wealthy men and women. Leading the pack is Stephen Schwarzman of the private equity firm Blackstone. His net worth is $9.9 billion. Schwarzman leads a group that includes the CEOs of JP Morgan Chase, BlackRock, Disney, Walmart, IBM and General Motors. It is this group that has pushed for deregulation and for a tax regime that advantages corporations and the very rich. The stock market has had several record days in anticipation of greater corporate earnings during the upcoming Trump years.

Even in the human services section, Trump has chosen very wealthy people who have little understanding of or sympathy for the “forgotten Americans”. Betsy DeVos, heir to the Amway fortune (worth $5.1 billion), is to head the Education Department. She is against public education and wants more private initiative. This is not going to be favourable for the working class and the working poor. Ben Carson (worth $26 million), who ran for President, will head the Housing and Urban Development Department. He believes that social welfare programmes, including housing programmes for the poor, create dependency and should be curtailed. Neither Betsy DeVos nor Carson is in line with the mission of the departments that each will run. The “forgotten Americans” will not be at the top of their agenda. Their task will be cost-cutting.

Trump’s form of nationalism is incoherent. Hope for the “forgotten Americans” comes more in the unsustainable claims made by Trump. Promises of jobs, good infrastructure and decent public services are easy to make and hard to deliver upon. His team is averse to major public expenditure to produce the kind of society he said he would produce. They are keener on tax cuts and less regulation, the very policies that will sharpen the social divide in the U.S. Trump’s nationalism is not rooted in social and economic policy. If it were, Trump would be forced to reconsider the tax cuts to the wealthy and the deregulation of the economy. Greater stress on working people is hardly the medicine for social inequality. Trump’s nationalism emerges out of cultural claims about who is an American. It is the reason why there is so much hateful rhetoric against immigrants and Muslims, people who are said not to be Americans.

Stephen Bannon, Trump’s adviser, gave a speech to the Vatican in 2014 where he bemoaned the excesses of free-market capitalism and of crony capitalism. Profit and corruption, he said, should not define the economy. Other values need to be promoted, values of nation and religion. Bannon argued that the antidote to free-market and crony capitalism is “Judeo-Christian capitalism”. “People are looked at as commodities,” Bannon complained of the current order. He wants “Judeo-Christian” values to constrain the profit motive. The road to this kind of “Judeo-Christian” capitalism, Bannon said, was to be through the production of a “church militant”, which would be strengthened by a war against Islam. The leap from the problems of free-market and crony capitalism to a war against Islam is confounding. It is what anchors Bannon’s views. To bring the wealthy and the generals into the Cabinet goes along the grain of this kind of approach. Problems of the “forgotten Americans” will not be solved by compassionate social policy. They are to be solved by more social inequality and more wars.
http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/deep ... -every-day
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: TRUMP is seriously dangerous

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:24 pm

Tomgram: William Astore, All the President's Generals
Posted by William Astore at 7:39am, December 20, 2016.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.

In a sense, human history could be seen as an endless tale of the rise and fall of empires. In the last century alone, from the Hapsburgs and Imperial Japan to Great Britain and the Soviet Union, the stage was crowded with such entities heading for the nearest exit. By 1991, with the implosion of the USSR, it seemed as if Earth’s imperial history was more or less over. After all, only one great imperial power was left. The Russians were, by then, a shadow of their former Soviet self (despite their nuclear arsenal) and, though on the rise, the Chinese were, in military terms at least, no more than a growing regional power. Left essentially unchallenged was the United States, the last empire standing. Even though its people rejected the word “imperial” as a descriptive term for their “exceptional” country -- just as, until oh-so-recently, they rejected the word “nationalist” for themselves -- the world’s “sole superpower” was visibly the only game in town.

Its military, which already garrisoned much of the planet, was funded at levels no other country or even groups of them combined could touch and had destructive capabilities beyond compare. And yet, with the mightiest military on the planet, the United States would never again win a significant war or conflict. Though its forces would be quite capable of taking the island of Grenada or briefly invading Panama, in the conflicts that mattered -- Korea and Vietnam -- victory would never come into sight. And it only got worse in the twenty-first century as that military fought an endless series of conflicts (under the rubric of “the war on terror”) across the Greater Middle East and Africa. In those years, it left in its wake a series of brutal sectarian struggles, ascendant terror movements, and failed or failing states and yet, despite its stunning destructive power and its modestly armed enemies, it was nowhere victorious. Never perhaps had an empire at its seeming height attempted to control more while winning less. (The power of its economy was, of course, another matter.)

Now, its losing generals -- under the circumstances, there could be no other kind -- are, as TomDispatch regular retired Lieutenant Colonel William Astore points out today, being elevated to positions of power. The man doing so only recently derided their skills, claiming that American generalship had been “reduced to rubble” and was “embarrassing for our country.” At the moment, his chosen generals are preparing themselves to take over key civilian positions in the country’s ever more powerful national security state, now essentially its fourth branch of government.

And let’s add to this one more curious aspect of the coming age of Trump: a phenomenon until now restricted to the military and its distant wars seems about to spread to what’s left of the civilian part of our government. By the look of things, Trump's cabinet is being assembled along eerily familiar lines. Its members are unlikely to have the power to “win” (despite the president-elect’s deification of that concept), but they will indeed have an unprecedented power to destroy.

They seem, in fact, to have been chosen largely for their desire to dismantle whatever agency or department will be in their care or to undermine the major tasks it is to carry out. Former Texas governor Rick Perry, recently picked to head the Energy Department, an agency he previously wanted to eliminate (and whose name he infamously forgot in a televised presidential debate), is typical. See also Scott Pruitt, prospective head of the Environmental Protection Agency; Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education; and Tom Price, Health and Human Services. The question, of course, is: Will the civilian part of our future government, in the end, add another country to the count of failed states the U.S. military has already chalked up?

As our first declinist candidate, Donald Trump seems determined to ensure that the once sole superpower will join that endless human tale of felled empires. He’s already working hard to make certain that its government will be hollowed out or simply dynamited in the coming years, while his covey of retired generals will undoubtedly do their damnedest to create further havoc on planet Earth, as they give new meaning to the latest American "principle" being put in place (see Astore): military control over the military (and much else). Tom

Too Many Generals Spoil the Democracy
Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America
By William J. Astore

America has always had a love affair with its generals. It started at the founding of the republic with George Washington and continued with (among others) Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. These military men shared something in common: they were winning generals. Washington in the Revolution; Jackson in the War of 1812; Taylor in the Mexican-American War; Grant in the Civil War; and Ike, of course, in World War II. Americans have always loved a hero in uniform -- when he wins.

Yet twenty-first-century America is witnessing a new and revolutionary moment: the elevation of losing generals to the highest offices in the land. Retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, known as a tough-talking “warrior-monk,” will soon be the nation’s secretary of defense. He’ll be joined by a real mad dog, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Leading the Department of Homeland Security will be recently retired General John Kelly, another no-nonsense Marine. And even though he wasn’t selected, retired Army General David Petraeus was seriously considered for secretary of state, further proof of Trump’s starry-eyed fascination with the brass of our losing wars. Generals who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to anything but victory -- pyrrhic ones don’t count -- are again being empowered. This time, it’s as “civilian” advisers to Trump, a business tycoon whose military knowledge begins and ends with his invocation of two World War II generals, George S. Patton and Douglas MacArthur, as his all-time favorite military leaders.

Let’s pause for a moment to consider those choices. Patton was a skilled commander of armored forces at the divisional and corps level, but lacked the political acumen and temperament to succeed at higher levels of command during World War II. MacArthur, notoriously vainglorious and -- does this ring a bell? -- completely narcissistic, was fired by President Harry Truman for insubordination during the Korean War. And yet these are the generals Trump professes to admire most. Not Omar Bradley, known as the GI’s general; not Dwight Eisenhower, the man who led the D-Day invasion in 1944; and not, most of all, George C. Marshall, a giant of a man and the architect of military victory in World War II, who did indeed make a remarkably smooth transition to civilian service both as secretary of state and defense after the war.

If Truman appointed Marshall, what’s wrong, one might ask, with Trump surrounding himself with retired generals? Consider two obvious problems. First, the president already has a team of uniformed generals to advise him: the Joint Chiefs of Staff. By selecting career military men like Mattis and Flynn as his senior civilian advisers on military matters, Trump is in essence creating a rival Joint Chiefs, his own tight circle of generals trained and acculturated to think about the world as primarily a realm of conflict and to favor military solutions to geopolitical problems. Second, though it’s getting ever harder to remember in increasingly militarized America, this nation was founded on the fundamental principle of civilian control over the military, a principle that will be seriously eroded if the president’s senior civilian advisers on defense-related matters are men who self-identify as warriors and warfighters.

Having taken off the uniform only a short time ago, career military men like Mattis, Flynn, and Kelly are not truly civilians. In fact, when they served, they weren’t even citizen-soldiers; quite the opposite, those in America’s post-Vietnam military self-identify as professional warriors. For Mattis and Kelly, it’s once a Marine, always a Marine (especially since each served 40-plus years in the Corps). Flynn occupies a spot all his own, since he specifically fancies himself as a warrior-crusader against Islam. These are the men who will soon occupy the highest civilian offices in America’s colossal national security state.

The bottom line is this: a republic -- or should I say, former republic? -- founded on civilian control of the military needs true civilians as a counterweight to militarism as well as military adventurism. Recently retired generals are anything but that; they’re not even speed bumps on the road to the next set of misbegotten military “adventures.” They are likely to be only one thing: enablers of and accelerants to military action. Their presence in the highest civilian positions represents nothing short of a de facto military coup in Washington, a coup that required no violence since the president-elect simply anointed and exalted them as America’s security saviors.

But here’s a question for you: If these men and their three- and four-star colleagues couldn’t win decisive military victories while in uniform, what makes Trump and the Washington establishment think they’ll do any better while wearing mufti?

Of Highly Groomed (and Flawed) Generals

Americans, who strongly admire their military, like to think that its most senior leaders rise on merit. This is not, however, the way the military promotion system actually works. Officers who reach the rank of general have usually been identified and sponsored at a young age, often when they are still company-grade officers in their mid-twenties. They are, in a word, groomed. Their careers are carefully “curated,” as a friend of mine (and colonel in the Air Force) reminded me recently. They’re placed on a fast track for early promotion and often given jobs in Washington at the Pentagon or as liaisons to Congress. Their sponsors and patrons, flying “top cover” for them, have found them worthy and they may indeed be talented and hard-charging. They are also judged to be “safe” -- in the sense of being true believers in the professional military way of life.

As my colonel-friend put it, “There’s little room for innovation [in today’s military] because the next generation of GOs [general officers] has been incubating for ten years, learning all the talking points and preparing to venerate the sacred cows. It’s why when a truly innovative idea breaks through and the colonel behind it is publicly commended, there’s no answer to ‘Wow, he’s great. I wonder why he’s retiring as a colonel?’”

True mavericks in the military often stall out at that rank. By disrupting the status quo, they make powerful enemies. A sterling example is Colonel John Boyd. Arguably the finest strategist the U.S. Air Force has produced in the last half-century, Boyd originated the OODA loop concept and fought hard against the brass for more maneuverable and affordable fighter jets like the F-16. Stymied within the ranks, he only gained influence after retirement as a Pentagon consultant.

General officers, by the way, have come to resemble a self-replicating organism. The grooming process, favoring homogeneity as it does, is partly to blame. Disruptive creativity and a reputation for outspokenness can mark one as not being a “team player.” Political skills and conformity are valued more highly. It’s a mistake, then, to assume that America’s generals are the best and the brightest. “The curated and the calculating” is perhaps a more accurate description.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at Trump’s chosen threesome, starting with General Mattis. He has his virtues: a distinguished career in the Marine Corps, a sensible stance against torture, a dedication to all ranks within the military. Yet like so many high-ranking military retirees -- take General Mark Welsh of the Air Force, for example -- Mattis quickly cashed in on his career, reputation, and continuing influence via the military-industrial complex. Despite a six-figure pension, he joined corporate boards, notably that of military-industrial powerhouse General Dynamics where he quickly earned or acquired nearly $1.5 million in salary and stock options. Mattis is also on the board at Theranos, a deeply troubled company that failed to deliver on promises to develop effective blood-testing technologies for the military.

And then, of course, there was his long military career, itself a distinctly mixed bag. As head of U.S. Central Command under President Obama, for instance, his hawkish stance toward Iran led to his removal and forced retirement in 2013. Almost a decade earlier in 2004, the aggressive tactics he oversaw in Iraq as commanding general of the 1st Marine Division during the Battle of Fallujah have been characterized by some as war crimes. For Trump, however, none of this matters. Mattis, much like General Patton (in the president-elect’s view), is a man who “plays no games.”

And Mattis seems like the voice of reason and moderation compared to Flynn, whose hatred of Islam is as virulent as it is transparent. Like Trump, Flynn is a fan of tweeting, perhaps his most infamous being “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” A brusque man convinced of his own rectitude, who has a reputation for not playing well with others, Flynn was forced from his position as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, after which he became a harsh critic of the Obama administration.

In his brief retirement, Flynn served as a paid lobbyist to a Turkish businessman with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, while running a business consultancy that is due to profit by providing surveillance drones to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border. Rising to prominence during the Trump campaign, he led the chant against Hillary Clinton (“Lock her up!”) at the Republican National Convention in July. (His son recently helped spread the false rumor that Clinton was involved in a child sex trafficking ring involving a Washington, D.C., pizzeria.) Flynn, who sees Islam as a political conspiracy rather than a legitimate religion, is an angry warrior, a dyed-in-the-wool crusader. That Trump sees such a figure as qualified to serve as the nation’s senior civilian security adviser speaks volumes about the president-elect and the crusading militarism that is likely to be forthcoming from his administration.

Serving in a supporting capacity to Flynn as chief of staff of the National Security Council (NSC) is yet another high-ranking military man (and early supporter of Trump's presidential run), Army retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg. Almost a generation older than Flynn, Kellogg served as chief operations officer for the ill-fated Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, which badly mismanaged the U.S. military’s occupation of the country after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. Like most retired generals, Kellogg has profited from close links to defense-related industries, including CACI International, Oracle Corporation (Homeland Security Division), and Cubic, where he was senior vice president for ground combat programs. It’s hard to see fresh ideas coming from the NSC with long-serving military diehards like Flynn and Kellogg ruling the roost.

General John Kelly, the last of the quartet and soon to be head of the Department of Homeland Security, is yet another long-serving Marine with a reputation for bluntness. He opposed efforts by the Obama administration to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, claiming that the remaining detainees were “all bad boys,” both guilty and dangerous. He also ran afoul of the administration by criticizing efforts to open combat positions to qualified servicewomen, claiming such efforts were “agenda-driven” and would lead to lower standards and decreased military combat effectiveness. Despite these views, or perhaps because of them, Kelly, who served as senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and has been well vetted by the system, is likely to be confirmed with little real debate.

Of Coups and Crusades

Collectively, the team of Mattis, Flynn, and Kelly could not be more symbolic of the ongoing process of subversion of civilian control of the military. With Trump holding their reins, these self-styled warriors will soon take charge of the highest civilian positions overseeing the military of the world’s sole superpower. Don’t think of this, however, as a "Seven Days in May" scenario in which a hard-headed general mounts a coup against an allegedly soft-hearted president. It’s far worse. Who needs a coup when generals are essentially to be given free rein by a president-elect who fancies himself a military expert because, as a teenager, he spent a few years at a military-themed boarding school?

In all of this, Trump represents just the next (giant) step in an ongoing process. His warrior-steeds, his “dream team” of generals, highlight America’s striking twenty-first-century embrace of militarism. At the same time, the future of U.S. foreign policy seems increasingly clear: more violent interventionism against what these men see as the existential threat of radical Islam. In the process, one radical idea will be pitted against another: American exceptionalism, armed to the teeth and empowered by war-lovers (some deeply involved in an evangelizing Christianity) against Islamic jihadist extremism. Rather than a "clash of civilizations," it's a clash of warring creeds, of what should essentially be seen as fundamentalist cults. Both embrace their own exceptionalism, both see themselves as righteous warriors, both represent ways of thinking steeped in patriarchy and saturated with violence, and both are remarkably resistant to any thought of compromise.

Put another way, under Trump’s team of “civilian” warrior-generals, it looks like the crusades may be back -- with a vengeance. Yet for all the president-elect’s tough talk about winning, count on the next four years, like the last 15, being filled to the brim with military frustrations rather than victory. And fear a second possibility as well. Whatever else they do, Trump and his generals are likely to produce one historically stunning result: the withering away of what’s left of the American democratic experiment.

William J. Astore, a TomDispatch regular, is a historian and retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). His personal blog is Bracing Views.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176224/ ... _generals/
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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