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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:08 pm 
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I didn't call it a Muslim travel ban. I called it a "mostly-Muslim travel ban. Which is exactly what it is. Even the conservative justices don't contest that. They just claim Trump has the authority to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Anyone wondering where Trump would like to take the US needs to follow current news from Moscow.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 8:54 pm 
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Or you referring to Putin's latest coronation (err, I mean swearing in), or something else?

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 8:57 pm 
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I can't even begin to express how foolish and short-sighted I think President Trump's action today pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal is, so I'll let his immediate predecessor, the person who brokered the deal, say it:

President Obama wrote:
There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That's why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America's interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran's nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.

That is why today's announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America's closest allies, and an agreement that our country's leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America's credibility, and puts us at odds with the world's major powers.

Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it's important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran's nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran's nuclear program and achieved real results.

Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran's nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran's entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.

Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won't happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.

Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors. But that's precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran's destabilizing behavior – and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it.
Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America's own security; and trigger an arms race in the world's most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran's nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.

In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:04 pm 
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A well-thought, articulate, reason-based response.

And all these words will simply go into a black hole.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Along with virtually all of the accomplishments of the Obama administration. Although at least the ACA is at least still partially intact.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 10:50 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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I am very far from an expert on the subject but this one seems particularly baffling because there seems to be next to no reason for backing out of it. Except that it is "bad", whatever that means.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 11:46 pm 
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Well. A couple facts that may or may not be relevant.

NPR
Quote:
He said the U.S. will re-impose economic sanctions that were lifted as part of the U.S. commitments made in the deal.The U.S. has been repeatedly waiving sanctions that curtail Iran's oil sales, but those sanctions waivers face a Saturday deadline, prompting Trump's move.

The U.S. has been repeatedly waiving sanctions that curtail Iran's oil sales, but those sanctions waivers face a Saturday deadline, prompting Trump's move.
https://t.co/KxWLIKNYt4


Meanwhile in Russia, the newly reelected Putin made a number of promises for shiny economic future.

http://www.tampabay.com/putin-vows-to-b ... c98f4140ef

Quote:
In the decree, he foresaw Russia becoming one of the world's top five economies by the end of his term in 2024. That would require boosting GDP by some 50 percent; Russia currently places about 12th in rankings of world economies.


Russian economy is heavily dependent on oil prices staying high.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 4:25 pm 
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https://twitter.com/dpatrikarakos/statu ... 9969355776

Here's an interesting thread on the Iran deal fallout. The part that gave me pause was this:

Quote:
4/ US now looks like it doesn’t keep its word. This is music to the ears of US enemies across the world– from Putin to North Korea to the hardliners in Iran. Kim Jon-Un can now cynically ask “how can we trust the US on a nuclear deal?” A question much harder to answer.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Trump's America
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 8:09 pm 
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I subscribe to the “Interpreter” newsletter (and absolutely love it). It really explained this issue well, highlighting 5 ramifications of this decision.

https://static.nytimes.com/email-content/INT_1878.html?nlid=62367705

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 8:23 pm 
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That's an excellent summary of the situation, Inanna!

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:33 am 
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The most notable part of that article for me:

Quote:
Neither Mr. Trump nor other administration officials have articulated what comes next or described concrete benefits of exiting this agreement.

There is no stated argument for how withdrawing from the agreement will more effectively contain Iranian behavior, either on nuclear issues or on other fronts such as Iran’s role in the Syrian war. Nor is there a stated policy for accomplishing these goals.

....
In other words, though it is certainly possible that withdrawing from the agreement will bring the United States something that is worth all these risks, Mr. Trump has yet to articulate what those are or how they will be achieved.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:44 am 
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Saw this on Facebook in a Babylon 5 group.

Attachment:
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B5.jpg [ 57.06 KiB | Viewed 717 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Yes. A big part of the political subtext of Babylon 5 over the course of several years was Earth's descent into authoritarian government, with the echoes that had for the Babylon 5 station—the fascist loyalist "Night Watch" beginning to appear there, etc.

I need to watch that show again.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:18 pm 
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The untold pain and divisiveness Russian meddling has caused within my extended family is horrific. Many have bought into the birtherism, 'Jade Helm' and other conspiracies. The hate & anger pumped out on FAUX news during the Obama years did an incredible amount of damage. I don't think people realize how much it influenced their thinking and behavior. One would like to think propaganda isn't something that happens here, not something *we* would be taken in by, but it seems to have worked remarkably well. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Quote:
I broke down the photo for BuzzFeed: This Incredible Photo Of Trump Surrounded By G7 Leaders Is Like A Renaissance Painting https://t.co/r3TtGNdRVs
Attachment:
IMG_20180609_114624.jpg
IMG_20180609_114624.jpg [ 96.42 KiB | Viewed 175 times ]

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:03 pm 
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I wonder just what was going on in the photo. Trump is certainly looking to be under attack!

Edit: I just realize you left a live link above that better explains what was happening: https://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/trump-g7-photo-world-leaders-merkel-macron?utm_term=.jpKK3QY6b#.xky0gLaA2

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Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
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Last edited by Sunsilver on Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:06 pm 
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Here's what Angela Merkel had to say when Trump came to power. She is obviously not a fan...


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doomed-to-repeat-it-40-689.jpeg [ 165.48 KiB | Viewed 171 times ]

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Hopefully now that he's threatened the rich people the propaganda machine will turn against him.

This is just embarrassing. And terrifying. What happens to people who work for multinationals when trade agreements are blow to hell? Or to people whose livelihoods depend on moving goods across borders? Or companies that manufacture with parts that are imported because there's no domestic equivalent? Whether you like globalization or not, it's here. It's been here for decades. The train has left the station. If we put it in reverse all we do is run over the stuff that was already crushed.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:56 pm 
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And even if you could reverse it, the alternative to globalization is automation. We aren't going back to a. time, if it ever existed, when a blue color job could feed a family of four.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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