153 COMMENTS

  1. This! Shocking, absolutely shocking. The positive desire for an idiocracy is blatant.

    Republicans now hate the idea of higher education.

    http://www.people-press.org/2017/07/10/sharp-partisan-divisions-in-views-of-national-institutions/

    By 2016, Republicans’ ratings of colleges and universities were mixed (43% positive, 45% negative). Today, for the first time on a question asked since 2010, a majority (58%) of Republicans say colleges and universities are having a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while 36% say they have a positive effect.

  2. Is it all about a massive inferiority complex, do you suppose?

    I have long suspected that that’s what underlies the EU-phobia of the Brexiteers. That, as a country, the UK doesn’t have the innate sense of self-confidence that would enable us to interact as equals with the EU27; and that this finds expression in brash arrogance and demands that we should be in charge (but as a right: not as something we negotiate and agree). It’s very, very apparent to me whenever I travel in mainland Europe that people there generally come across with a calm, polite assurance that is far from commonplace here.

    And I’ve also long suspected that the Trumpeteers and the Brexiteers are driven largely by the same kind of issues and fears. It’s not unusual for a chronic lack of self-confidence to be turned outwards into fear and hatred of others.

    I can’t think of any other reason to object to higher education. Isn’t it a tacit admission that they fear the educated will look down on them?

  3. Phil (#2)

    Shocked? Why? How do you expect these Plutocrats to stay in power? They have top keep people dumbed down. They do that two ways: they make higher education unaffordable, and that creates a wall. But they build a wall around the wall too by propagating the idea that higher education is somehow something undesirable, to be looked down upon, as “elitist”. Remember how they denigrated Obama for being well educated? They called him an elitist. They alway say the liberal elites… The same with the press. They want their base to look upon the press as elitist and, above all, dishonest. These are very dangerous, sick people. And they cannot allow people to get too smart and they can’t let the truth be exposed. So they do everything they can to keep people confused and dumb.

    The stupid majority. Sounds pejorative, but I didn’t coin the phrase; Norman Mailer did. That is what the Republicans need in order to stay in power. This is not about an “idiocracy”; it is not a government comprised of idiots or incompetents; but they want to perpetuate idiocy and incompetency as much as they can and for as long as they can. Hell you’ve seen Fox News, haven’t you? Do you think Fox News was created for the purpose of informing and educating?

    Those in power now are not idiots; but idiots will vote for them. Those in power are skilled manipulators, propagandists, and they are maniacs.

    Surprised? Look who was assigned to be Secretary of Education? Devos. A billionaire, a religious screw-ball, and reactionary to the core – determined like her co-conspirators to destroy the remnants of our system of publicly funded education, and to undermine the tradition of higher education itself. An agent of destruction like the others. Nothing less than that. And part of Trump’s oligarchy.

  4. Marco

    Isn’t it a tacit admission that they fear the educated will look down on them?

    I suspect that also. But doesn’t this, perhaps, also suggests they fear they may be wrong… especially on this occasion? They just don’t know. Better that nobody does.

    I think the reversal in two years is the nearest sign we have that they know they have fucked up.

    I’ve always felt that Europeans seem more comfortable in their own skin, too. But sometimes I rather like our lack of confidence that we lampoon our own pretensions and failures…..

    Dan,

    How do you contrive (in a people) such a sudden turn around? Two years and a pretty thoroughgoing switch.

    Trump is cunning, very cunning, but not smart…. not even close.

  5. Marco #3
    Jul 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Is it all about a massive inferiority complex, do you suppose?

    In an increasingly technical world, educated teens and twenty-somethings, are a serious threat to the work prospects of older know-it-all innumerate, irrational, science illiterates, who are proud of their ignorance, and trying to hang on to positions of power and authority! !
    In their eyes, somebody else must be to blame for the consequences of their ignorance, stupidity and refusal to learn modern skills!

    I have long suspected that that’s what underlies the EU-phobia of the Brexiteers.

    The brexiteers are arrogant and stupid enough, to think that just because the uneducated gullible buy their “Emperor’s New Clothes” Utopian fairy stories sold by the gutter press, that European negotiators are going to buy their double talk and let them have their cake and eat it!

    The brexiteers are NOT going to get a better deal out of Europe than the one the UK already has inside it!
    Reality started to kick in when Europe dictated the terms under which negotiations would take place, – but as the brexiteers had no idea about the reality of negotiations or likely outcomes in the first place, the fantasies are still strong in some of them!
    They still have not cottoned on to the fact that the UK can say NO to a deal – AND so can ANY ONE of the 27 other countries in the EU, or the 29 states of the Customs Union.

    Contrary to brexiteer blitherings, about negotiating “brilliant trade deals” elsewhere, – “No deal with Europe”, is likely to much WORSE than a bad deal with Europe, and any deal outside is going to be worse than remaining a member!
    But apparently – according to the brexiteers, (some very stupid fence sitting politicians, and the junk media) “THE People have spoken” and are demanding this is inflicted on them, – even if they had no idea what they were voting about it at the time!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40520218

    The European Union and Japan have formally agreed an outline free-trade deal.

    The agreement paves the way for trading in goods without tariff barriers between two of the world’s biggest economic areas.

    However, few specific details are known and a full, workable agreement may take some time.

    Two of the most important sectors are Japanese cars and, for Europe, EU farming goods into Japan.

    Analysis: Damian Grammaticas, BBC News

    The EU and Japan have done two deals for the price of one: a trade deal and a complementary “Strategic Partnership”. One will create a major free-trading economic bloc, the second will see them co-operate in other areas like combating climate change.

    If the brexiteers mess up on this some very silly pro-brexit voters who at present work in areas with major car manufacturers, will lose out big-time!

  6. Phil

    “How do you contrive (in a people) such a sudden turn around?”

    Good question, Phil. I thought about that after I posted my comment. It does seem a bit farfetched; how could Trump have changed people’s minds about the benefits of education in just two years? I think he may have, a little. The recent increase of negative opinion about the press, however, among Republican voters is definitely Trump.

    One thing I do know: the Republicans, and Trump’s administration in particular, like what that survey said. And what I said has general validity. Maybe this mindset is just starting to metastasize now, really infiltrate the rank and file. Things change when they change. Just like cancer cells themselves.

    But you’re right. Good question.

    It’s not just the Republicans; it’s a culture. I don’t think TV and smart-phones are apt to make people yearn to cultivate their minds. Yes, I know that banal. Still true, however.

    Moreover, many democrats are losing interest too, according to an article I read. College degrees are no longer completely necessary to become a success in the new internet era; colleges sell people on the need for college but if you’re smart and entrepreneurial you can do quite well without college.

  7. “Republicans see college as negative”

    If a conservative speaker shows up on campus he is either shouted down or attacked. Is it any wonder Republicans would feel less than warm about colleges? The whole concept of open debate on campus is dead.

    Republicans don’t “hate the idea of higher education,” they hate its current implementation.

  8. …If a conservative speaker shows up on campus he is either shouted down or attacked. Is it any wonder Republicans would feel less than warm about colleges? The whole concept of open debate on campus is dead…

    Crass overgeneralization.

    In most US state campuses people are free to say what they want.

    Conversely, in many conservative/religious colleges there are restrictions on freedom of thought (e.g., see Liberty “University”).

    …Republicans don’t “hate the idea of higher education,” they hate its current implementation…

    What they really hate is that real Universities produce evidence that is incompatible with their worldview, making it look outdated, to say the least.

  9. Fox news has been working on the demonization of the elitist liberal college Professors for some years now. Profs have been presented as evil brainwashers of innocent young students. The word liberal is spoken with a tone and facial expression that most people would use with the word pedophile. I’m not surprised at those numbers in comment 2.

    I don’t think that conservatives ever got over the campus activism of the sixties and seventies. It’s all mashed together in their minds – protestors, radicals, riots, demonstrators, Berkeley, liberal Professors…

  10. Phil,

    I hate when I cause confusion.

    Two years and a pretty thoroughgoing switch.

    I forgot. Trump’s only been in office seven months. But I wasn’t talking about just Trump. And I don’t think you were asking me about Trump, necessarily. You were asking how I would explain the sudden shift. Sorry. I got a little mixed up. (It happens.)

    Sour grapes and the resentment of shame? They can’t afford college and are too clueless to value it.

    The sudden switch? Beats me. I think it’s just the way people feel now as opposed to two years ago. Who could possibly say?

  11. skepticj 10

    That is what Fox News says. Give some examples of “conservative” speakers who are bona fide scholars, like Justice Kennedy, being shouted down. The right is always playing the hurt feelings card. And they always talk about protesters who vandalize and how intolerant these liberal students are. Well that’s just their opportunistic way of delegitimizing dissent and opposition. “These liberals all so intolerant and violent and unfair. Whatever happened to free speech?” Bla bla bla.

    Are “liberal” students unfair and intolerant at times? Sure. But you mustn’t generalize or cherry-pick in order to demonize these institutions.

    Anne Coulter and that American Nazi guy and people like them are not really conservatives; they are moral monsters, and should be shouted down. People are angry. They’ve had enough of the pernicious filth that comes out of these assholes’ mouths. I think a fair amount of leftists and progressives have been shouted down too over the years, don’t you think? And I think a few have even been physically hurt and killed – on the campus, off the campus, while marching, protesting, etc. – and by the very same types of people who support the Ann Coulters and Milo Yiannopouloses of the world, and complain that these eminent thinkers are being “shouted down.” Don’t play the poor conservative victim card.

    By the way, a college campus that is a “safe space” is not worthy of being called a college campus.

  12. Re: why the sudden flip in Republican attitudes to tertiary education?

    Of course they don’t feel guilty about their choices but they do feel vulnerable. They have been closing off primary and secondary education where they can for many decades, whilst the US tertiary education has remained world class.

    To Marco’s point I think it at least an inferiority complex but more rather a vulnerability. Cleverness has traction over dogma with the rich (clever) movers and shakers. Cleverness is ungovernable. It needs taming.

    I share Dan’s flummoxedness over whatever suddenly flipped the switch and I’m going to suggest something I have never ever done before. I’m going to moot a modest conspiracy, perhaps through social media and seeded via the Bannons of the world.

    I wonder if a study of social media traffic fed from particular sources could be identified as feeding such an agenda?

    I think scepticj is wrong in fact about universities (which are mostly robustly rational) but maybe has a clue in the cultivation of the image of universities. The Hyper Pro Social vocal few become cast as the new nature of the entire left and the universities are the factories producing this threat.

    So essentially Cantaz’s points then Dan’s and Laurie’s just above with a little extra paranoia thrown in to explain the suddenness of change, perhaps?

  13. skepticj #10
    Jul 11, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    If a conservative speaker shows up on campus he is either shouted down or attacked.

    If a conservative speaker shows up on campus, preaching pseudo-science, ideological science denial, and fundamentalist religious nonsense, his fallacious arguments, “alternative facts”, and confused religious assumptions, are either shouted down or critically objectively attacked – as they should be in a rational institution working on evidence-based education!

    Is it any wonder Republicans would feel less than warm about colleges?

    Given the standard of reporting in the Republican press, they are likely to find any level of objective intellectual presentation, in place of right wing propagandist opinion, challenging!

    The whole concept of open debate on campus is dead.

    The concept that science deniers, YECs, ideological fantacists, hired propagandists, and backward red-necks, have anything to contribute to modern objective education, is deeply flawed.
    Most of them are not even qualified to have a seat at the table in an honest and competent evidence-based debate of serious issues, because they have nothing of value to contribute!

    Republicans don’t “hate the idea of higher education,” they hate its current implementation.

    Yep! That real science, real history, mathematical evaluation, and expectation of numeracy and literacy, boggles their closed minds and exposes their ignorance!
    If the village idiot turns up to give lectures in a university, they can expect a rough ride -and considerable ridicule! – Just as if for reasons of “political correctness”, the team from weight-watchers turns up to represent the country in World Olympic athletic events!

    You only need look as far as Trump’s cabinet to see the problem of the Republican uneducated, posing as know-it-all experts on subjects they know nothing about!

  14. New posts to older threads (say those not immediately clickable from the home page) get lost almost immediately as only a tiny window’s worth of recent posts is visible.

    I wonder if a very brief note or link here might draw more views for these and bring some life back to them?

    The risk is clutter but it might be worth a try. Alan very often adds useful updates to old threads and I think we often miss them when absent for a day or two.

  15. phil rimmer #17
    Jul 12, 2017 at 5:18 am
    New posts to older threads (say those not immediately clickable from the home page) get lost almost immediately as only a tiny window’s worth of recent posts is visible.

    As with the button on the discussions and tweets on the Home Page, a button on the recent posts list would be helpful!

    Alan very often adds useful updates to old threads and I think we often miss them when absent for a day or two.

    https://richarddawkins.net/2017/05/how-damaging-is-comey-memo-for-trump/#li-comment-223747

    Timeline of denials by Trump team of campaign talks with Russia

  16. @#6 – The brexiteers are NOT going to get a better deal out of Europe than the one the UK already has inside it!
    Reality started to kick in when Europe dictated the terms under which negotiations would take place, –
    but as the brexiteers had no idea about the reality of negotiations or likely outcomes in the first place,
    the fantasies are still strong in some of them!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40579769

    The EU’s top Brexit negotiator has said there are still major differences between the EU and UK on the rights of EU citizens living in Britain.

    “The British position does not allow those persons concerned to continue to live their lives as they do today,” Michael Barnier said.

    Mr Barnier said the European Court of Justice (ECJ) must have jurisdiction to guarantee citizen’s rights.

    He also said it was essential that the UK recognise its financial obligations.

    “We want EU citizens in Britain to have the same rights as British citizens who live in the EU,” he told a news conference.

    That would require the ECJ to be the ultimate guarantor” of those rights, he said – because Britain could simply change its laws later, creating uncertainty.

    Damn it!! 🙂 The Brexteers had hoped he would not spot that dodge!

    UK law also imposes restrictions in areas such as reuniting families across borders, he said – something which is not applied to UK citizens living in Spain, for example.

    Mr Barnier also said that those rights – along with the so-called “divorce payment” and border issues – must be dealt with before future UK-EU trade could be discussed.

    The financial payment the EU claims will be owed to cover the UK’s commitments is also a key point for Mr Barnier. Some estimates have put the amount at up to €100bn (£89bn).

    Asked about UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s comment that the EU could “go whistle” over the demand, Mr Barnier replied: “I’m not hearing any whistling. Just the clock ticking.

    He denied that the EU was holding the UK government to ransom.

    “It is not an exit bill, it is not a ransom – we won’t ask for anything else than what the UK has committed to as a member,” he said.

    Boris is still in brexiteer fantasy land, while Mr Barnier, is complaining about a lack of paperwork giving details of the UK objectives and intended outcomes in negotiations!

    The UK brexiteers after months to put together a coherent plan, are still wandering down the short two-year timetable, with their fantasy fairy-tales, still being presented in place of properly planned, evaluated, potential outcomes!

    Brexiteers still seem to hold the delusion that EU negotiators are going to accept vague waffle and double-talk, in place of detailed proposals and guarantees, – but the splits in brexiteer ranks are already showing – and will do more so, as the Tory sponsors from industries, work out the damage THEIR businesses are likely to suffer, as a result of the antics of brexiteering buffoons!

  17. .. and while the Trump Team is disabling US education, setting up “America First” – splendid isolation, – and cutting US financial support for overseas medical charities etc., – others are developing new sustainable technologies and investing in stability and trade in third-world countries!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-40578106

    Ships carrying Chinese troops are heading to Djibouti to set up Beijing’s first overseas military base, reports state media.

    China says the support base will be used for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and West Asia.

    It will also be used for military co-operation, naval exercises and rescue missions, Xinhua said.

    China has ramped up investment in Africa, as well as rapidly modernised its military in recent years.

    The Xinhua report said the ships departed from the port city of Zhanjiang in China’s southern Guangdong province on Tuesday.

    It did not specify the number of troops or ships that departed for Djibouti, nor when the base would start operations.

    The report said the Djibouti base came after “friendly negotiations” between the two countries. Previous reports said construction began last year.

    The base is widely seen as a move by China to stake its military presence in the region.

    But an editorial (in Chinese) on Wednesday in the state-run Global Times said that the “essential purpose of China’s development of its military might is to protect ‘China’s safety’, and is not about seeking to control the world”.

    The newspaper pointed out that the US, Japan and France also have military bases in Djibouti.

    Djibouti, a tiny country at the Horn of Africa, is favoured for its location as it sits near a busy shipping route.
    It is also seen as a stable country in an otherwise volatile region.

    In 2015, at a major summit with African nations, China pledged to invest $60bn (then £40bn) in Africa’s development.

    Besides becoming the continent’s largest trading partner, it has also poured in funds and manpower for infrastructure projects.

    Many of them are railways linking up African countries, including one that connects Djibouti with the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as well as railways in Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.

    In return, Africa supplies China with natural resources, minerals and energy.

    China also embarked on its first foreign peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2015.

  18. There is also an interesting development about Trump’s use of twitter for presidential statements!
    As usual, he tries to mix personal and business interests with state responsibilities, to play it both ways to suit himself!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40577858

    President Trump sued for blocking people on Twitter

    President Donald Trump has been party to an eye-watering 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years, US media say.

    And now the mogul turned commander-in-chief has attracted one more, after seven people sued him for blocking them on Twitter.

    Mr Trump is an avid user of the social media forum, which he deploys to praise allies and lambast critics.

    The lawsuit was filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute, a free speech group at Columbia University.

    The seven Twitter users involved claim their accounts were blocked by the president, or his aides, after they replied to his tweets with mocking or critical comments.

    People on Twitter are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them.

    The legal complaint argues that by blocking these individuals, Mr Trump has barred them from joining the online conversation.

    It calls the move an attempt to “suppress dissent” in a public forum – and a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and the president’s social media director Daniel Scavino are also named in the lawsuit.

    Last month, Mr Spicer said Mr Trump’s tweets were considered “official statements by the president of the United States”.

    The president’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter account has 33.7m followers, while the official @POTUS account has 19.3m.

    Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, said the president’s love of Twitter means it has become “an important source of news and information about the government”.

    “The First Amendment applies to this digital forum in the same way it applies to town halls and open school board meetings,” he said.

    “The White House acts unlawfully when it excludes people from this forum simply because they’ve disagreed with the president.”

    According to the institute, the account’s blocking habit should be a concern for everyone.

    Why? Because even if they can read the president’s tweets, what they see has been consciously cleansed of criticism.

  19. @#19 – The UK brexiteers after months to put together a coherent plan, are still wandering down the short two-year timetable, with their fantasy fairy-tales, still being presented in place of properly planned, evaluated, potential outcomes!

    I see some of the experts are confirming this view!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40585744

    The government’s “vague” Brexit plan has been compared to a “chocolate orange” by the boss of the UK’s public spending watchdog.

    Sir Amyas Morse said ministers had to be more “united” or the project would fall apart “at the first tap” like the segments of the chocolate treat.

    “It needs to be coming through as uniform, a little bit more like a cricket ball,” he added.

    Sir Amyas waded into the Brexit debate over concerns the UK would not have a new customs system in place by the time it left the EU.

    The National Audit Office head said it would be a “horror show” if officials were forced to manually process imports and exports,

    He told reporters at a briefing in London there was “very little flexibility” in current plans and not enough support for officials trying to put a back-up plan in place.

    He said “active energetic” support for government departments dealing with the consequences of Brexit was needed.

    But he suggested they were being left to their own devices to see how they got on.

    In brexiteer speak, this lack of planning, is known as: “TAKING BACK CONTROL”!

    Brexit was the biggest peacetime challenge to government but that was “only just beginning to click into people’s awareness in government”, he added.

    “It needs to act as far as possible in a unified way and we have an issue there because of departmental government.

    “What we don’t want to find is that at the first tap, this falls apart like a chocolate orange. It needs to be coming through as uniform, a little bit more like a cricket ball.”

    Sir Amyas said he had “expressed interest” to Brexit Secretary David Davis and officials at the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) in seeing a report on the overall preparedness across government but the response had been “vague”.

    Brexit Minister Steve Baker rejected his “vivid” analogy.

    @#19 – but the splits in brexiteer ranks are already showing

    Showing the minister is still in denial, – and laughably calling for THE OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT to be “UNITED” in support of the vague proposals of the divided shambolic shuffling fantasist brexiteers!

    Meanwhile the European negotiators have made it plain they are not buying into Tory double talk about “protecting the rights” of EU nationals in the UK, with non-parity proposals!

    Of course the stupidity of brexit was always – from day one, an effort to patch together the divisions in the Tory Party, rather than providing anything of value to the country!
    It appears to be failing on both counts, but has also split the opposition, hence making the problem of removing the time wasting stupidity and political posturing, more difficult!

  20. Alan – there is NO stupidity in Brexit!

    It is result of the majority of the British population’s desire to take control of its affairs and control its borders. There is already the prospect of massive emigration from Africa to Europe which Italy is currently bearing the burden of because of the EU’s pathetic mismanagement of the illegal migration from Libya. It makes sense for an island state such as the UK to control its borders under these circumstances.

    The jury is still out as to how the Brexit negotiations will proceed and what its conclusions will be for the UK as a whole. And no amount of gloom from the doom merchants can change that.

  21. Erol #23
    Jul 13, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Alan – there is NO stupidity in Brexit!

    Perhaps you should look a little more deeply! “Leap before you look”, never was a good strategy!

    The present system arises from Cameron’s attempts to stop the nutty Tory right wing MPs defecting to UKIP, while the split in the Labour Party, is the result of Corbyn’s priority of winning votes from UKIP so as to make himself prime minister.

    Neither of them, nor Theresa May, have any plan as to how this will affect the country, although numerous academic organisations and businesses have pointed out negative effects on our trading position and economy!
    The pound has already massively dropped in value putting up food and import prices, just on the prospects of brexit!

    It is result of the majority of the British population’s desire to take control of its affairs and control its borders.

    Not quite! It is the result people who had no idea what they were being asked to comment on, being fed brexiteer Utopian fairy-tales about taking control of UK borders to distract from the real causes of illegal immigration: Namely, the cuts in staff and resources to the UK Border Agency, and the pathetic attempt to make three patrol boats do the job of twelve around thousands of miles of UK coastline, as a government cost cutting exercise!

    There is already the prospect of massive emigration from Africa to Europe which Italy is currently bearing the burden of because of the EU’s pathetic mismanagement of the illegal migration from Libya.

    The mass immigration from Libya is the direct result of the destabilisation of African countries by foreign powers, greedy corporations, and arms from the trade of weapons merchants to foreign sponsored terrorist groups.
    The route through Libya is the direct result of the stupid military adventure attempting regime change in Libya, for which the UK had a major responsibility, – and is now recognised as a disastrously incompetent intervention!

    The US, UK, and European unnecessary attacks on Iraq on the basis of false claims about “weapons of mass destruction”, are the primary causes of the Syrian refugee exoduses, which are causing vastly more problems for southern and eastern Europe than in the UK.

    @#22 – Sir Amyas said he had “expressed interest” to Brexit Secretary David Davis and officials at the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) in seeing a report on the overall preparedness across government but the response had been “vague”.

    The jury is still out as to how the Brexit negotiations will proceed and what its conclusions will be for the UK as a whole.

    “The jury” which should have been in place BEFORE the referendum, has not yet even been recruited to make a report on likely outcomes, but the vagueness and shuffling, is because the brexiteers don’t want the public to know they have been talking crap since before the referendum, and for the last several months!

    It is pure fantasy to suggest there are no predictable outcomes, as I point out @#19 and #22.

    And no amount of gloom from the doom merchants can change that.

    The doom and gloom is coming from people who have studied the negative impacts on their specialist business activities and the UK economy as a whole. They also know that brexiteer claims are worthless because they still have no evaluation, report or plan!

    The fantasy fairy-stories are coming from political brexiteers, who months down the line, still have no coherent plan – apart from “Keep reading junk in the Daily Express” and make up whimsical nonsense about immigration, and reneging on previously agreed debts, like barmy Boris does!

  22. At Just under three quarters of a billion people the EU is the biggest single duty-free technology market with common standards and also has a propensity to innovate on ecological and sustainability matters. Our strongest performance as a country is in this market. Its growth drives inward investment like no other sector and brings in the talent we can’t supply sufficiently rapidly ourselves. We were the high perch from which to attack this sumptuous market.

    62% of UK technology product goes to the EU, but with an expected 5% duty coming straight off the profit reducing it by 33% to 50%, our ability to compete in selling to this immediate huge market is critically damaged. And worse, profitable access to the tech manufacturing of Eastern European countries now cheaper than China, will probably be penalised, in tit for tat duty.

    (I’m too disgusted to talk about the opportunity with Japan that we will now miss out on.)

    The EU is waking up to its own border integrity issues and they’ll get fixed by and by.

    Erol, what is your expectation of average import duty into the EU? What figure did you weigh against a notional improvement in immigration control? Where can I get more Polish Phds to plug the gap?

    Is your business not affected by all this?

    And finally, where do you live? North, midlands, south, Wales, Scotland, NI, city, town, country? What problems did you actually experience there to make you think Brexit the most pressing problem?

  23. Alan #24

    Neither of them, nor Theresa May, have any plan as to how this will
    affect the country, although numerous academic organizations and
    businesses have pointed out negative effects on our trading position
    and economy! The pound has already massively dropped in value putting
    up food and import prices, just on the prospects of brexit!

    There cannot be a ‘plan’ because there is now a chess game in progress between the UK and the EU to determine what is and what is not possible for securing free trade agreements that will benefit BOTH parties. The red line for the UK is that there cannot be ‘free’ movement of persons from the EU into the UK. The drop in the pound has boosted British exports and – as usual, such currency fluctuations will have both +ve and -ve effects for the UK in general.

    Not quite! It is the result people who had no idea what they were
    being asked to comment on, being fed brexiteer Utopian fairy-tales
    about taking control of UK borders to distract from the real causes of
    illegal immigration

    Sorry – I simply don’t agree. The 52% who voted for Brexit knew exactly what they wanted which is as stated in my post #23.

    The route through Libya is the direct result of the stupid military
    adventure attempting regime change in Libya, for which the UK had a
    major responsibility, – and is now recognised as a disastrously
    incompetent intervention!

    That may well be. There clearly was a great deal of naivety by western powers to believe that by getting rid of the dictator Ghadafi it would lead to a fairer and more ‘democratic’ Libya that would be beneficial for the country. Unfortunately it seems that because of the malign influence of Islamist fanatics this wasn’t to be. This influence appears to be the main reason why a good proportion of middle eastern nations end up being ruled by dictators instead.

    But this in itself doesn’t excuse the mass emigration now arising from Libya which now needs to be halted.

    They also know that brexiteer claims are worthless because they still
    have no evaluation, report or plan!

    As I said, what will eventually transpire is the outcome of a grand chess game now being played out between the two parties. The notion of having an ‘evaluation’ or ‘plan’ is itself meaningless because the UK cannot foretell what the EU’s moves are going to be in this game.

  24. what will eventually transpire is the outcome of a grand chess game now being played out between the two parties. The notion of having an ‘evaluation’ or ‘plan’ is itself meaningless because the UK cannot foretell what the EU’s moves are going to be in this game.

    And you voted for this!!!???

    Because of the certainty that…???

  25. I’d love to talk about Captain Fantastic. But I don’t want to spoil it. My favourite reviewer Peter Bradshaw hated it. My poor second favourite reviewer Mark Kermode loved it. I liked it but was annoyed by it and now I have totally changed my mind.

    I suspect only a few have seen it. Its currently on UK Netflix or Amazon atm. I think its worth seeing. It is all about cults and living morally and well.

  26. @Phil – #28

    I saw it Phil. I liked it. It was a bit heavy handed at times, as well as being a bit fantastical (hence the title), but it was a good hearted film that was heavier hitting than the phrase “good hearted” would let on. The juxtaposition of survival skills and left wing politics (uneasy natural bedfellows) was interesting to me. But it’s hard for most of the people who post here to push back much against the message of thinking critically, much less celebrating Noam Chomsky day in place of Xmas!

  27. Laurie,

    Amazon? I’ll go check later.

    Steven 007

    Survivalism seemed a weird choice and it seemed very heavy handed. Then something clicked for me. Quarantining your kids from a sick society makes ideological sense. But such Ideology makes you blind to whole humanness (all that entails) and moral existence in the world. And yes its a fantasy but look at its market. It needs vivid brushstrokes.

  28. Phil:

    I support what I strongly believe is in the interests of the UK. I do not subscribe to the ridiculous notion of a European super state that wields power over individual nation states – I never have and I never will. It will not work. The Greeks already know this and now the Italian public are realizing it as well. I view JC Juncker as a kind of EU Blatter whose main purpose is a huge ego trip while also enriching himself.

    I am London-based but am not a business person. I have an R&D background. However if someone of the calibre of John Longworth can be pro-Brexit then that makes it all the more credible:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35741715

    Clearly, if Brexit leads to significant changes to the business environment between the UK and the EU that may impact upon the viability of some businesses. The target for the negotiations would/should be to minimize any such impact for both sides. Let’s hope they do so.

  29. LaurieB ,

    It was na economist that developed Obama Care and Hillary Clinton visited European countries (included Portugal) to know how each system worked (it was mentioned by my professor of economics at the time in a class.

    https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/wzYZdeKR7lA

    So, you would vote for Bernie Sanders because of Heath Care Services, I see Hillary Clinton just said in her campaign there are things to improve in Obamacare, but the creation of it is really something.

    Don´t Forget to see the answer
    https://twitter.com/GOP/status/882623989662830592

  30. Laurie,

    Beat you to it, Phil. It’s available on Amazon Prime.

    Since we’re on movies, here’s a sci-fi film that I’d strongly recommend; but it is not for the faint-hearted. THX-1138.

    Young George Lucas’s masterpiece and ten times better than Star Wars.

  31. Maria,

    And Obama originally wanted a public option. The uncompromising Republicans wouldn’t allow it. The Republicans made the healthcare bill as bad as it could be so that they could do what they are doing now. But it was still a vast improvement compared to what it was like before.

    I even heard a politician say (and someone that sounded like she was telling the truth) that the Republicans wouldn’t allow a provision that would have let premiums be controlled! Now they use that to attack “Obamacare”.

    Stevo, I saw that: you said “believe.” This is a reason site. What – knowledge isn’t good enough for you? I researched and verified! 😉

  32. Erol #26
    Jul 13, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Alan #24 – Neither of them, nor Theresa May, have any plan as to how this will
    affect the country, although numerous academic organizations and
    businesses have pointed out negative effects on our trading position
    and economy! The pound has already massively dropped in value putting up food and import prices, just on the prospects of brexit!

    There cannot be a ‘plan’ because there is now a chess game in progress

    “Chess games have rules” and those know the rules and the players can make certain predictions about outcomes.

    between the UK and the EU to determine what is and what is not possible for securing free trade agreements that will benefit BOTH parties.

    You talk as if this was a negotiation between equal parties who have equal weight of “chess pieces”, and player of equal capabilities!

    We don’t! It to 27 to one against, coupled with the fact that the Wallies who proposed the the referendum, had not even noticed that the UK needed abou400 professional trade negotiators just to replace existing EU trade deals with other countries, and had NONE at all! It also reflects on their depth of planning and research in seeking professional advice on the subject! Zilch!!

    Bumbling buffoons like Boris don’t even know the rules of the game, let alone predictable scenarios – and laughably quote “red lines” as if THEY were in a position to dictate terms!
    Despite brexiteer fantasies and fairy-stories about their supposedly “brilliant negotiating skills”, they are rank amateurs who cannot even put a coherent plan together, have no idea about the scale of the task they are setting the country, and delude themselves into thinking THEY are going to dictate terms to the other 27, demanding better terms as non-members than we have as full members!

    The red line for the UK is that there cannot be ‘free’ movement of persons from the EU into the UK.

    The red-line is that Europe has made it perfectly clear that the questions of borders, “divorce payments”, and the rights of EU citizens working in the UK, need to be settled, BEFORE ANY talks can even start about new trade agreements or UK access to the EU free trade area!

    The other red-line is that if there is not a fairly free exchange of immigrants and workers between the EU and the UK, half the NHS will close down for lack of staff, and masses of joint university projects which can generate high-tech jobs will go down the pan!

    The drop in the pound has boosted British exports and – as usual, such currency fluctuations will have both +ve and -ve effects for the UK in general.

    If it drops to £10 pounds to the Euro, we could export even more – and all work for peanuts! That is not a rational argument for anyone who does not want to work in a sweat shop!

    Not quite! It is the result people who had no idea what they were
    being asked to comment on, being fed brexiteer Utopian fairy-tales
    about taking control of UK borders to distract from the real causes of
    illegal immigration

    Sorry – I simply don’t agree. The 52% who voted for Brexit knew exactly what they wanted which is as stated in my post #23.

    Hyped Europhobia, based on the false-news junk media!?? Hardly an informed position!

    Really? They knew all about the European Union? the European Courts?
    The customs union? the police co-operation against terrorists, joint international research projects?
    Most did not even know which countries were members of the EU!

    That’s not what the survey evidence shows even at a basic level:

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2015/nov/27/brits-least-knowledgeable-european-union-basic-questions

    Averaged across two measures – the proportion who gave three correct answers, and who gave at least one correct answer – the data suggests British people are among the least knowledgeable about the EU Only 27% of British respondents answered all three questions correctly (only Latvia was lower on this measure), and 84% answered at least one correctly (only Spain was lower on this measure).

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/01/poll-european-eu-rights-brexit
    Six out of 10 Britons want to keep their European Union citizenship after Brexit – including the rights to live, work, study and travel in the EU – and many would be prepared to pay large sums to do so, according to research led by the London School of Economics.

    Support for retaining the rights is particularly strong among 18- to 24-year-olds, 85% of whom want to retain their EU citizenship in addition to their British citizenship. Around 80% of people living in London also want to maintain the same rights.

    The findings come as pressure on Theresa May mounts from UK business groups, led by the CBI and Remain politicians in both houses of parliament, as well as cultural figures from across Europe, to pull back from her plans for a “hard Brexit” in favour of a deal that maintains the strongest possible trade and other links with the EU after the UK leaves in 2019.

    The reality is, that Theresa may plays silly sods with red lines, the Uk will be out of the EU with no deal at all! and precious little prospect of deals approaching anywhere near the volume of EU trade with anyone else! ( Most countries apart from those led by clowns like Trump and May, are getting themselves organised into trading groups, and penalising isolationist “outsiders”! – see #6 on EU – Japan deal).

  33. Erol #26
    Jul 13, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    As I said, what will eventually transpire is the outcome of a grand chess game now being played out between the two parties. The notion of having an ‘evaluation’ or ‘plan’ is itself meaningless because the UK cannot foretell what the EU’s moves are going to be in this game.

    That is utter nonsense!
    The EU negotiators have already set out priorities and terms, for the structure of the negotiations. If the UK acts pig-headed stupid over boundaries access and debts! – NO DEAL!! = UK up the Hard Brexit creek with no paddle, and has a huge loss of free access to our traditional European markets!

    Erol #33
    Jul 13, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Clearly, if Brexit leads to significant changes to the business environment between the UK and the EU that may impact upon the viability of some businesses.

    There is no doubt that a NO-DEAL scenario will have a massive negative impact on numerous UK businesses and public services!

    Even the uncertainty from the threat of brexit is already damaging British industries!

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jun/26/skilled-labour-shortage-fuelled-by-uncertainty-for-eu-workers

    Skilled labour shortage fuelled by uncertainty for EU workers

    Survey by Lloyds finds more than half of British companies are struggling to recruit the staff they need – up from almost a third in January

    British businesses face their biggest challenge in recruiting skilled labour in a decade, as high employment combines with a fall in the value of the pound and uncertainty about the future for EU nationals in the UK.

    A net balance of 52% of 1,500 UK companies questioned in May said they had experienced difficulty in recruiting skilled labour during the past six months, compared with 31% in January.

    The balance of companies facing challenges in recruiting unskilled labour also rose to 26% from 14%, according to the predominantly small and medium-sized businesses surveyed for Lloyds bank’s regular Business in Britain report.

    Lloyds’ findings come after the National Farmers’ Union warned that the number of seasonal workers coming to the UK this year had dropped by 17%, because the lack of clarity on the future for EU workers in post-Brexit Britain and a drop in the value of sterling had hit recruitment.

    The target for the negotiations would/should be to minimize any such impact for both sides. Let’s hope they do so.

    Wishful “hope”, is no substitute for a coherent plan and proper professional economic evaluation!

    Of course brexiteers do not want a coherent plan and proper professional economic evaluation, because this is likely to show that the best UK option is to bin brexit, and get on with joint projects of dealing with the problems of immigration from outside the EU and modernising industries and services.

    However if someone of the calibre of John Longworth can be pro-Brexit then that makes it all the more credible:

    Not really!
    One maverick expressing a personal view, contradicting the consensus in the organisations he represents and then resigning over a year ago, is just cherry-picking anecdotal opinions!

  34. Erol.

    If I thought the EU was headed to Federalism I’d join you in the march against it, as would the bulk of the EU. Junckers is a temporary servant of the EU not to my taste. He will be gone soon enough. He was brought in to stiffen the sinews of the organisation and brought exactly the wrong psychology. You can see there is no taste for a USE amongst the members, can’t you?

    There is no existential threat to the UK. There never was.

    So you had no cost benefit analysis in your voting brexit? It was entirely ideological?

  35. Maria

    So, you would vote for Bernie Sanders because of Heath Care Services, I see Hillary Clinton just said in her campaign there are things to improve in Obamacare, but the creation of it is really something.

    Yes, Maria, I would vote for Sanders because he wants universal single payer health care. This is the only program that will solve our massive health insurance failure in the US. Obamacare was, as I see it, a great step in the right direction. It’s true that it isn’t quite right as it stands, this based on the opinions of plenty of Democrats but it was a significant improvement over the predatory system that was before it. I hope that Obamacare stands and that Dems go on to improve it, when they have the majority back in place and after that I hope that medicaid (low income government subsidized health insurance) is granted to higher and higher income people until at some point then we’ll have universal coverage.

    It’s not just the health coverage that has me sold on Sanders, it’s plenty of other issues too. I have his book here on my Kindle and now have it opened to remind me about the other issues that he speaks for.

    Ok, here’s another one; Ending Voter Suppression at 41% point in the book. That voter suppression still exists in this country is an abomination. Here’s what Bernie says about this problem from his book Our Revolution:

    We need to encourage voter registration, not make it a burden for voters. We should join other countries in making certain that every person is automatically registered to vote when he/she turns eighteen. Every person who moves to a new state should be automatically registered to vote as soon as he/she has a new postal address. The burden of registering voters should be on the state, not the individual voter….We should make election day a federal holiday, or spread Election Day over a two-day weekend, to increase voters’ ability to participate.

    Huh??!! This is incredible! You see, until someone gets out there and comes up with ideas and communicates them in a simple way then everyone just goes along day to day with the current stupid system. Most Americans would be shocked to hear these ideas for the first time.

    Here’s another issue that Bernie is way out in front on: Making Public Colleges and Universities Tuition-Free at 74%

    …This plan, the College for All Act, would allow all Americans, if they had the ability and the desire, to go to college regardless of the income of their families. It would also prevent them from going deeply into debt as a result of their education.

    All of the chapters of his book deal with our worst daunting issues here and give solid ideas on how to make changes. He deals with campaign finance reform, combating climate change, criminal justice system reform, immigration reform, corporate media, income/wealth disparity between classes.

    I want all of this. I hope he runs in the next Presidential election.

  36. Captain Fantastic is available on DVD at my public library. Tomorrow morning I’ll grab my coffee and trot on over there (across the street) and sign it out.

    Problem solved!

    I’ll also get a Grateful Dead CD while I’m at it.

    Dan
    THX-1138 is not available on Netflix and there’s only one copy of DVD in my whole library system. It’s listed as longterm overdue. That means it’s stolen. Will keep searching because I do like sci fi, especially dystopias.

  37. Laurie,

    I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the Sanders basket. He’s just one man. And there is as yet no revolution. There are some rumblings but that’s it.

    Yes, all those ideas are good ideas. But Sanders didn’t invent them and doesn’t own those ideas; they are very basic ideas, shared by all or most progressives, and, presumably, by most democrats in Congress, and by Hillary. Voter suppression has been going on for years. We’ve had ample time to correct it under Obama. It isn’t so easy. You don’t think Obama tried? (Maybe he didn’t. Not sure.) Let’s see what Sanders does if he is elected in 2020 with a Republican House or Senate and/or the Koch brothers et al. working hard to undermine his efforts.

    Obama said he liked the idea of single payer. The public option was struck down, so how could single payer have been created? You remember those awful town hall meetings when that crazy tea party was going strong? Do you know that that tea party was not a grass roots movement but was created by the Koch brothers and some other groups that share that right-wing agenda? Do you know how hard it was to get passed what Obama got passed with all that intense public opposition? Don’t you remember that? Obamacare was, as a result of all that, a deeply compromised piece of legislation.

    Do you think Sanders is a better negotiator, a more skilled politician, than Obama? More progressive on healthcare? I think he is more progressive than Obama in general. I like Obama but he does not have a revolutionary or radical bone in his body. (The fact that Obama is hated by the right so much just shows you how twisted and sick the right has become.)

    And it’s not just about getting people to register. People are uneducated or cynical or too busy being apolitical, brainwashed, dulled by the media, tranquilized, self-absorbed. This a culture we’re talking about. This revolution will take years, decades, to succeed, if it succeeds or even partially succeeds. Sanders has no quick fix. Don’t kid yourself.

    “We disempower ourselves all the time. You can’t tell me that all those folks who don’t vote are doing so because somebody’s turned them away or somebody’s intimidated them. No. It’s because they decided they had something better to do.” –Obama 2016

    Sanders talks the talk, but can he walk the walk? I hope so.

    THX-1138. If you like dystopian movies you’ll love it. Scared the shit out of me. (Robert Duvall’s in it. One of the greatest actors of all times.) Keep trying. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. $3.99 on Amazon, to rent.

  38. P.S. I am expressing skepticism and perhaps a bit of cynicism, but I am not an oracle; nor do I wish to be a downer. I hope, for all our sakes, that Sanders runs and wins in 2020 and is able to achieve progress in the areas you mentioned: campaign finance reform, combating climate change, criminal justice system reform, immigration reform, corporate media, income/wealth disparity between classes.

    But remember: all presidential candidates – the democratic ones – have excited us with their promises: Bill Clinton, Obama, Carter, etc. They all did some good things, but have also disappointed in a profound way. People like FDR don’t come along too often, and that was also a different time.

    I am very skeptical, but you don’t have to be – obviously.

  39. Dan, first things first — stay focused on what the sane in the USA need to do next. You need to get a majority of worthy Democrats in both houses of Congress in the upcoming mid-term elections. Then, at the next presidential election, you need to elect a worthy president (Bernie Sanders, if he runs again for office, would certainly be a good choice). If that can be accomplished, most of the problems you have been airing and re-airing here will evaporate, as president and congress work together again for the people they are in fact duty-bound to serve, namely all citizens of the USA.

  40. Dan,

    Do you know that that tea party was not a grass roots movement but was created by the Koch brothers and some other groups that share that right-wing agenda? Do you know how hard it was to get passed what Obama got passed with all that intense public opposition? Don’t you remember that? Obamacare was, as a result of all that, a deeply compromised piece of legislation.

    Winning the presidency will never be enough. You have to win top to bottom to begin to wrest power from the money purchased power and media. Your dauntedness at the task is key to keeping US cleverly crippled. (Its a democracy with a system designed to deny power to any single election event. Only sustained political pressure over two presidential cycles to win sufficient change throughout the system can win real change.)

    The only other hope is a major crash like the one that gave you the New Deal, which ushered in decades of economic growth and the lowest levels of inequality….ever in the USA. Clearly 2008 didn’t hurt enough.

  41. Phil

    Watched Captain Fantastic night on your recommendation. The very first scene with the hunter set the agenda for me. We did not know in what era we were with a primitive looking man hunting in the most primitive way until…, we got a glimpse of a very modern tool, his hunting knife. From there on in it was a battle of the old and the new. A father trying to hold back time with cliches all the way of modern life, teenage angst, awkward questions about sex etc. The end shows the balance needed between the two where dad finally tames the savage beast in him.

  42. I’m going to wait for Laurie and any others who wish to view it before responding in detail. But I do think holding back time is really about holding back a particular sequence of time that is not (was not) inevitable in any way.

    Laurie look away now…

  43. Phil

    Just ignore the article – these unexpected consequences of mass migration clearly don’t matter to you.

  44. Olgun – ‘economic pragmatism’ remains to be proved.

    Phil – and your concerns for the indigenous population are…..??

  45. Erol

    Olgun – ‘economic pragmatism’ remains to be proved

    It puts a huge dent in the words ‘remarkable humanitarian gesture’ though 😉

    If it were proved, does that make the suffering of the indeginous people worth it?

  46. Phil – if you are concerned then why shy away from mentioning it?

    Olgun – your question is hypothetical and would need to determine the degree of ‘success’ against the degree of ‘suffering’ endured – both unknowable quantities at present. I dare say that if a plague was to take hold in Germany with many deaths occurring as a result, this would also likely have a negative impact upon the economy!

  47. Sorry I jumped in a bit early Laurie. Hope I didn’t spoil it for you?

    Phil

    Are you saying that the education of the children to a high degree and making them street wise can be done together and that’s what that scene shows?

  48. Garrick

    The enemy in the end is not just an administration, not just Trump and Bannon; it is corporate power. The Democrats will still be serving mom and dad: the corporations. Just serving them less.

    It would be good to win back the White House and both houses of Congress; but the Democrats are not so wholly different than the Republicans. They are absolutely to be preferred; but the difference between the two parties, I must admit, is not as great as one would hope. Sanders and Warren and Frank and a few others are the best among them; but Democrats in power, as a whole, are not immune to bribery and have been colluding with big business, drug companies, etc., too. Michael Moore exposed this in his film Sicko. And in terms of foreign policy, there are many democrats who can be said to have willingly complied with the neoconservatives. This is a system, a corrupt capitalist system of entrenched interests on both sides of the aisle, at a certain advanced stage. The future at this point, even under the best, most favorable conditions, remains dubious.

    If Sanders doesn’t run and Warren gets sick or something or is the victim of fake news from Russia then what? Even if we win but the democrat is a typical, lousy, ineffectual, compromising status quo president, it’ll start all over again in 2022 and 2024.

    And the sea levels continue to rise…

  49. Am I too negative, Garrick? I’ve been told that before – maybe half a million times. But I used to be much worse.

    Laurie, why don’t you just rent THX-1138? You’ll never get to see it otherwise. Will four dollars make or break you?

  50. Ivanka! Yuck! The ultimate phony.

    While President Trump has chastised companies for outsourcing jobs overseas, an examination by The Washington Post has revealed the extent to which Ivanka Trump’s company relies exclusively on foreign factories in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and China, where low-wage laborers have limited ability to advocate for themselves.

    And while Ivanka Trump published a book this spring declaring that improving the lives of working women is “my life’s mission,” The Post found that her company lags behind many in the apparel industry when it comes to monitoring the treatment of the largely female workforce employed in factories around the world.

  51. Olgun

    No, no, no spoilers ruined the film for me. I also read through some reviews of the film on Rotten Tomatoes, NY Times, The New Yorker, etc. Pretty much everything that came up on the first page of Google when I entered the name of the film. Even the critical review and comments didn’t lessen my appreciation of the film.

    The film definitely plays to my personal political and cultural biases, heh. Brain candy delivered on video to my long sublimated hippie utopian Chomsky loving mind. The gorgeous Northwestern US scenery, the forest, wildlife, yes, I’m pining for that, can smell the moss and dirt, ~moan~

    What must it be like to grow up like those kids? Off the grid, learning in an unstructured way, back to the ways of the hunter-gatherers, it seems idyllic to me, the product of authoritarian conservative parents. Is the father in this film just an authoritarian lefty liberal parent? Maybe it’s my bias to bear right now but I wish I’d been assigned to read Marx and Chomsky rather than the Bible and every vapid dusty textbook assigned in my public school education. I want their education! Not mine!

    As soon as they set out on their journey to their Grandparents’ home I felt the end of their utopia was near. The visit with the cousins was the foreshadowing of doom. You feel it coming; their world is going down the crapper now. The alpha male, so strong and confident (sexy attractive!) is knocked off his position at the top by that establishment grandfather and his simpering broken wife and the law and its enforcers make their presence known and there you go, he’s thrown into a crisis of doubt. Truth is that there were cracks in the facade prior to his crisis of doubt. The oldest son was helped to apply for college by his mom unbeknownst to his father, and some defiant behavior from the younger son as well.

    That the father took the time to stop and consider all of what his kids said and his in-laws as well was what I’d expect from a liberal rational thinker. He made an assessment of the situation and modified his behavior in response to his new understanding of the needs of his children and what was best for their future. He made some sacrifices but stayed true to his principles.

  52. Glad you liked it, Laurie. I think it is a graphic novel of a film. At first I thought the story trite then I thought it marvellous. I’ll say more later.

    Ollie, I was commenting on your phrase a man holding back time. I thought rather he was sequestering his kids not from modernity but a uniquely crass modernity. (Finland, Finland, Finland. That’s the country for him.) Yes its schematic… clever kids exist in the USA thanks to their education. But a movie isn’t a novel, its a short story (at best a graphic novel) and hasn’t time for finesse when it is mostly a polemic

  53. This analysis of one of the main themes of the movie snapped my view of it into richness. So beguiled by the delight of an impossibly rich childhood, I hadn’t noticed how numerous the warning flags were. It put a proper meaty story behind its polemic.

    Also, I loved the repeated kicks (by counter example) at the American approach to sex education. Children are tough and trust worthy once inoculated with the truth, and that simply means answering honestly when asked.

  54. Dan #62 and #63

    We are in agreement on the political situation in the USA, and the difference between us is that you have to live in it and I do not. Nor do I want to offer an on-line equivalent of tea and sympathy. You do have my sympathy though — it is horrible enough to think that the US polity, founded on the best of political principles, should have been so corrupted and soiled, but how much worse it must be to have to live in it. Still, because you and all your saner fellow Americans live there, you have an obligation to do what can be done to clean the polity up again as quickly as you can. Bewailing your plight will do no good. Self-pity is not what is needed. Your awareness of the severity of the United States’ political corruption by Big Money should at least press upon you the aptness of Bernie Sanders’s talk of revolution. In a country as large as the USA the task of cleaning up its corrupted political system will take a while. But, as long as there are steps that can be taken to do that task, those are the steps that people like you should be taking. Never mind that perfection will not be achieved (it never is, even in the best of polities), just keep working towards a democratic polity freed from the control of Big Money. The education system, for example, is very important in making opportunities for all a reality in people’s lives, but the education system can only be reinvigorated to that end if the elected representatives in Congress and in the White House are motivated to work together to that end. Likewise with all the other things that are needed in a vibrant, free, open and just society. So just keep working for what is better, as Phil Rimmer has repeatedly said on various discussion-boards here — that actually is the only way anything worthwhile is achieved in this world — step by step. So you and your saner fellow Americans need to do what you can to get better representatives in Congress at the next mid-term elections, and so on. While there’s life, there’s hope.

  55. Dan

    Yes, all those ideas are good ideas. But Sanders didn’t invent them and doesn’t own those ideas; they are very basic ideas, shared by all or most progressives, and, presumably, by most democrats in Congress, and by Hillary.

    If Sanders didn’t invent them then who did? Some of these ideas come from the Europeans like obviously, universal health care and he must be aware of their voting arrangements there too. Was it Australia that has compulsory voting? How does that even work out? What happens if a citizen just doesn’t vote? Penalty of some sort? Ok, look, as much as I was devoted to Hillary, as I described on another thread, I just don’t remember hearing her advocate hard for any of the ideas that he’s held up right out front. And he has plans for implementation for these ideas in a rough draft state in his book. These plans involve shifting big blocks of cash from one place to another in the government. It’s some really bold shit he’s talking about. I support Hillary and I was crushed when she lost but there’s no way she was thinking outside the box like Sanders and his supporters are.

    I’m not sure if I’ll go along with the statement that his “basic ideas are shared by most progressives”. I’m not sure about this. Where are you getting this? Granted, you and I find it to be completely reasonable and if we found ourselves with the power to implement these policies of course we would only need a very short meeting to breeze through the list of executive actions, but Dan, are we really “most progressives”? Just the fact that we’re atheists puts us in a subset of “most progressives” I’m often reminded of this when talking with my other progressive friends. I realize that Hillary did make a great effort to reform our shit healthcare system back in that administration but these ideas that Sanders has grabbed and forcefully presents in his book and speeches are way outside the box of the Democratic party at the present time.

    That is the shock of the past campaign – how many Americans thought that Trump was presidential material and how many Americans strongly supported Sanders, the Socialist! That Bernie attracted so much admiration is something that gives me much hope now. If not for that I’d be convinced that we’re completely and utterly screwed. That northern border…only six hours drive away…could be there in time for a glass of wine and some of that heavenly fois gras…

    Voter suppression has been going on for years. We’ve had ample time to correct it under Obama. It isn’t so easy. You don’t think Obama tried? (Maybe he didn’t. Not sure.) Let’s see what Sanders does if he is elected in 2020 with a Republican House or Senate and/or the Koch brothers et al. working hard to undermine his efforts.

    I agree with your frustration over the thwarting of Obamas efforts by the House and Senate. I wonder what he would have accomplished if he had them on his side the whole time. We’ll never know. Eight years of Obama unimpeded followed by eight years of Hillary also unimpeded – what would America look like then? Hey this would be an interesting book. A utopia not a Trump dystopia, right? ha. More of my massive bias speaking, I know! I know! Just venting dammit!

    Laurie, why don’t you just rent THX-1138? You’ll never get to see it otherwise. Will four dollars make or break you?

    Errr…you must be unaware of the devastating genetic condition that I am afflicted with – New England yankee cheapness. I will find that video and it will be for free, so help me god! I’ll never go without seeing a movie for free ever again!! sob.

  56. Laurie,

    I haven’t read your comment to me yet in its entirety but let me just say that I post a lot here and some of my comments are better than others. That one was not one of my better ones.

    Compulsory voting, however, is a terrible, terrible idea. Not voting is a right. What if the choice was two monsters!!??

    And I would say that most progressives want most of what Sanders wants. No? Maybe not. I don’t know; I thought they did.

  57. Phil

    Also, I loved the repeated kicks (by counter example) at the American approach to sex education.

    That was excellent.

    Thinking about the cult/religious leader aspects of the film pointed out in that clip. Watching it again.

  58. Dan #62

    I have responded to you, and my response was here at #68. Now I see it has vanished and LaurieB’s message has taken its place.

    Garrick looks suspiciously at LaurieB.

    Perhaps it will turn up later.

  59. Garrick

    haha. I had nothing to do with it and if you only knew what a technodunce I really am you would never have cast your evil eye in my direction.

    We have noticed here in the past that if someone is in edit mode then somehow that comment gets mixed up in order to others that come in at the same time. Could this be a possible explanation? Were you editing?

    Also, if you included links then your comment could be sidelined for some time then it reappears in order.

  60. Garrick, I want to read what you said.

    Laurie, don’t watch clips of THX1138. It’ll spoil it. But check out the opening scene, if you can.

    I like Sanders and I will read Pinker (and that physicist’s book that Olgun mentioned).

    You’re right: what exactly is a progressive? They vary. Not one thing.

    Man are you cheap! 4 dollars for a unique masterpiece is not a lot; and I thought your portfolio was doing well.

  61. LaurieB #74

    Yes, I did edit the message before posting it. That was probably what led to it being snatched by the system, though I too know very little about such technical matters. No hyperlink was included.

    I am not Australian but I do know that voting in national and state elections in Australia has been compulsory for Australians since 1924. However, according to the following Wikipedia article, Australia is not the only country with compulsory voting.

    Wikipedia: Compulsory voting

    As Phil mentioned at #71, spoiling one’s vote is how Australians abstain legally from casting a vote for any of the candidates. But the Wikipedia article mentions the different approach taken in Belgium, where enrolled voters must present themselves at a polling-station on election day but may choose not to cast a vote. If, however, a voter fails to vote in four successive elections, he or she can lose the right to vote for ten years.

    The Wikipedia article also sets out some of the arguments for and against compulsory voting, which you may find interesting.

  62. Sorry, Garrick. Editing comments generally causes them to trigger the spam filter, which then puts them aside pending moderator approval. Now retrieved and posted.

    The mods

  63. Thank you, Moderator! This must be as much a nuisance to you as it is to us. There is another coming through to you now. My response to LaurieB. I edited that too, but it also has a hyperlink in it, so there was not much chance of that one getting through without delay.

  64. No, nothing else showing in our system and needing approval at the moment. There is a reply from you to Laurie, complete with hyperlink, a couple of posts above this one (#77). Is that the one you mean?

  65. “Editing comments generally causes them to trigger the spam filter.”

    Suggestion for Garrick and others.

    I had this or a similar problem. I devised a solution. I discovered that editing during the 10 minute time period in the space, the editing box at the bottom, that appears after pressing “click to edit” caused me to lose comments. In my case editing in this way activated the spam filter. So, If this is what is happening with you, here’s a suggestion: don’t edit after pressing “click to edit”. If you see a mistake after posting, copy the comment, press “click to edit”, delete the comment, paste the comment back, make the correction, and then post again. You can do this multiple times and your comment will never go to spam. I hope that was clear.

    Compulsory voting is an abomination. I made this point before: What if the choice was between two monsters!!?? Choosing not to vote in order to make a statement is often a mistake but not always. Gore Vidal once remarked that if no one voted there might be a constitutional convention. That would be interesting.

    “I wouldn’t dream of voting. I think it’s 51% who did not vote in the last election, which thrills me. We can say only 49% voted for these two jokers and therefore I don’t regard this as a legitimate government, certainly not a democratic or representative one.” – Gore Vidal 1988

    He was entitled to his opinion and his right not to vote.

    Loved your comment, Garrick. Nothing there to find fault with. (I must be bi-polar. What the hell was I kvetching about in comment 44? I voiced some valid concerns but what’s with all the negativity?)

  66. Phil

    No vote (equivalent to spoiling your paper) would be made an option to express your position.

    Not a bad idea. So you’d have to go to the voting place and go in the booth, and you can choose “no vote” once you’re in there; but you can’t just stay home. Not bad, Phil. I can live with that. It’s a start, but we have so many other problems; it won’t make much difference until we address poverty, inequality, education, propaganda, indoctrination, racism, stupidity… Well that last one can’t be fixed, even by Captain Fantastic aka Bernie.

    What the hell does spoiling your paper mean?

  67. Dan,

    Spoiling your paper means doing something to it that makes it fail to satisfy the rules for a formal vote. Like ticking every box, writing 1 in every box, handing it in blank even. In Australia we call it an informal vote.

    http://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/Informal_Voting/

    In Australian the informal voting rate is usually single digits. Probably quite a few will be genuine mistakes as with our preferential system voting is not completely trivial. For example 8 candidates have to be numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Number then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7 and it’s informal.

    I’ve always liked the idea of a “None of the above option”. I think I can be required to take the trouble to go to the voting booth as a civic duty but I’m not so sure I should be required to choose between candidates all of whom I don’t want to vote for.

  68. None of my Jewish friends were happy with Zionism in the first place. Its arrogance has consumed perhaps two generations of good will. Besides, rigid, top to bottom nationalisms and identities are increasingly passé in a world that needs broader coordination over shared resources and more local autonomy to deal with topical issues .

    This additional battleground growing from it, of undue religious influence in the state, possibly needs more targeted sanctions. But if it leads folk to question this example of an uber zionism, and realise the arrogance of a sense of entitlement on no good basis, then maybe the general sanctions should stand and their condemnation be broadened.

    P.S. Missed your continued response on TB in Germany. My concern for any affected by new disease threats should be taken for granted. My response was specifically directed at your initial partisan use of the issue.

  69. Phil

    The Palestine problem will never be resolved if hardliners such as Netanyahu continue to head the Israeli government. I know that there is a strong peace movement in Israel but it doesn’t seem to be able to muster enough support to achieve a fair settlement with the Palestinians. Perhaps the recent objections by American Jews might eventually lead to a change in government there?

    With regard to the previous discussion on Germany and TB, the issues with mass migration are many and complex but too little concern is directed to their effects on intaking countries in my opinion. This disease problem was not one I had foreseen and posted the link because of its novelty.

  70. mmurray

    Spoiling your paper.

    This was always a therapeutic opportunity for me. Drawing the genitalia of choice adjacent to the biggest arsehole in the list has improved my depressed state for an entire day.

  71. The pound has already massively dropped in value putting up food and
    import prices, just on the prospects of brexit! Alan4discussion

    I´ve read an economist on that, that´s irrelevant it seems. Perhaps not for you.
    Before the Euro currency, I used to pay for my usual breakfast muffin, €0,25 and in the first of Euro the price for it was €1,00, now its €0,80.
    Everything is affected also when someone as the German minister of Mekel says Portugal is in grreat need for a second amount of Money (when in fact the internal deficit has the best balance of the latest 50 years).

  72. Portugal e o Euro: o Brexit é uma Aula prática de Moeda

    https://oeconomistaport.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/portugal-e-o-euro-o-brexit-e-uma-aula-pratica-de-moeda/

    The article looks like interesting, not pro not against brexit, perhaps you can translate the page.
    I know that you´re a fierce anti-brexit and defend “rationality”, but I see economists divide on the subject too, and one shouldn´t be enslaved by economic rules I think, fear difficulties coming through, if one thinks there is nothing more valuable the UE can offer because it´s going in the wrong way politically -on more step towards federalism each time-I would rather prefer famine than European federalism.

  73. Maria, Alan, Erol

    Good link Maria. Translated…

    The word “federalism” is one of the banned in the European Union, says Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

    If there is anyone in Portugal who knows the corridors of power well in Brussels, she is the current Secretary of State for European Affairs. From 2005 to 2011, Margarida Marques, 62, headed the representation in Lisbon of the European Commission. And she was an official of the institution from 1994 to 2015 – leaving to join the current government, which represents in the Council of General Affairs, the council where the heads of government of the EU with the European affairs portfolio.

    Margarida Marques has no doubts. “There are words that have been banned in the EU.” “Federalism” is one of those words. The other two are words associated with federalism: “Constitutional Treaty” and “more integration”. “It can be,” says the Secretary of State, “until it is favorable to the content but the word can not be pronounced.” So what she advocates is what she calls “better Europe” – a “better Europe”, which corrects the mistakes of “excessive Brussels imposition on national policies”. This is because, she acknowledges, “there has been excessive intrusion by the European Commission”, for example through the European semester (verification of the compatibility of national budgets with European objectives and, moreover, It is necessary to say a thousand times that the Eurogroup does not exist. “” The impression was created that, by the imposition of Brussels, national policies were always the same, even if they were carried out by different parties. And this brought populism to the fore. What is needed is to strengthen the internal market in the digital economy and in the energy sector and to strengthen common policies, for example in defense and security. ”

  74. It’s good to finally get the truth. Fantastic article about the sheer irrationality of the right, the complicity of the news media, and other related topics. You might want to read this. (I don’t agree entirely with the author’s assessment of the two parties, but neither do I disagree entirely – and nobody should.)

    http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/america-oligarchy#.WWoZJcqJj9I.email

    THE RIGHT WING
    The Greatest Story Too Rarely Told: America Is an Oligarchy
    Our nation is controlled by corporate power and the individually wealthy, and the major press is in on the con.

    To deny the existence of climate change in the face of this kind of data is irrational. Saying so is not partisan or biased, it’s simply an accurate description of their behavior. The same is true of the GOP’s position on health care, national budgets, state budgets, and tax policy. In all cases their policies are counterfactual and counterproductive.

    Doubt that? Consider the collapse of the economy in Kansas after they adopted supply-side and trickle-down-economics. Or the fact that the three biggest economic collapses in U.S. history followed periods when the Republicans were in control and they’d implemented their destructive laissez-faire economic policies. Or watch as they fumble with health care, literally threatening death to hundreds of thousands in the process, and leaving 22 million more Americans uninsured.

    But the press still covers all this in a way that is “balanced,” rather than accurate. Oh, yes, they will often point out that the Republican “perspective” is opposed by most scientists, or that economists and health care specialists take issue with their proposals, but they don’t point out just how at odds their rhetoric is with reality. And that’s the real story here. It’s not that there are two different perspectives on climate, or the economy, or the consequences of taxation and fiscal policies or health care. It’s that this Party is behaving as if it were literally insane. And that should be newsworthy. Throw in Trump’s irrational, self-destructive and contradictory tweets, and the press should be running above-the-fold headlines and lead stories sounding the alarm.

    Which raises the question, why aren’t they?

    Well, they’re wholly owned subsidiaries of corporate America, that’s why.

  75. Sorry, Maria, #94, that article is just wish thinking. Wage growth is collapsing and the expected increase in unemployment was mitigated by a carefully timed programme of quantitative easing from the Bank of England, put in to achieve exactly this. Mark Carney estimated 250,000 jobs preserved by it.

  76. Two months ago, article 50 of Lisbon Treaty was activated by PM Theresa May.

    Phil,
    Let´s stay calm. Notice that economists don´t have a crystal ball to predict the future (Some people will not loose more than what they did already actually).
    Isn´t it too soon- only after two months- to point out brexit effects on economy and prices to consumer-bluff-, there´s no doubt it will have negative huge impact and negative side effects for every one, lasting perhaps for more than a decade, no one doubts that, that´s not the point.
    Let´s see within a decade how the economy recovery was (if we can meet again).

    “I think employment is likely to be quite strong. It is unlikely that
    [Brexit] will cause any large scale unemployment. even in a very, very
    pessimistic outcome — the reason for that being the pound has absorbed
    most of the costs, meaning that we effectively have real term wage
    cuts and our purchasing power falls but people become more employable
    as a result. So there are good and bad [aspects] to the fall in the
    pound.”

  77. Erol,

    I agree with you about Palestine-Israel. Those damned Zionists, with their apartheid state and their settlements and their brutal amoral, illegal occupation, equate Zionism with Judaism, think they speak for all Jews, which is bullshit. They demonize those who disagree with them as “antisemitic” os as self-hating Jews, or as fake Jews. Believe me, I know. I am not an activist myself but there are people in my family who are very involved in the struggle for human rights over there, for Palestinian liberation. The Israeli government is spreading propaganda and lies. They are the terrorists!

    I wouldn’t describe them as merely arrogant, Phil; that’s an accurate understatement. They are nationalists, fascists. I am prepared to say that I hate them at this point.

    I just got an article. You know what they’re doing in Israel now? They have “games” for tourists: “Kill a Palestinian”. That’s right. They have these “become an anti-terrorist” game that you pay for and participate in. Completely sick. (I lost the article.)

    (I am an American “Jew”, by the way, and not a theist and I am no more interested in the well-being of Jews than I am in the well-being of any other group – ethnic or religious: I care just as much about the Iranians and the Turks and the Chinese and the Catholics, the Germans, the Muslims, the Hindus, the North Koreans, the blacks, the Protestants, atheists, Brazilians, the Scottish, the Irish, Ecuadorians, Venezuelans, Russians, etc. Sounds hokey? So be it. And I will never refrain from speaking out against anyone who expresses abhorrent ideas or who strikes me as unfair or immoral, regardless of where they are from or what they claim they are.)

    The situation over there is quite bleak now. But not hopeless.

  78. Maria

    Phil,
    Let´s stay calm.

    I’m quite calm. But not passive. From the inside we see already altered investment strategies. Development plans built on UK expansion into main European market areas of technology, bring forward plans or newly adopt them for European bases to achieve that end. Huge earlier investments have been put at risk and mitigations need planning immediately.

    A marginal wrong decision, arrived at through dishonesty, that puts so much at risk needs addressing again. Nor should it ever be allowed to happen again.

  79. So, Laurie. Cult-ish?

    Cults create clones and squash individuality with litanies and isolate from outside influence.

    Watched it again last night. Thought it even better.

  80. Phil

    You probably made the day of the people counting the votes as well. Interestingly if your ballot paper was otherwise formal then the vote would count

    So you can get in a vote and express disgust at the same time.

  81. A marginal wrong decision, arrived at through dishonesty, that puts so
    much at risk needs addressing again. Nor should it ever be allowed to
    happen again.

    Phil,

    I don´t know exactely what you mean by saying it, it looks kind of a thread to the political establishment on “economic” grounds, and it seems that the political state shouldn´t become an “institution” made to protect vested economic interests (I believe that´s how it works in US).
    It seems liberal economic doctrines are healthy in UK, and you gave two examples of that happening. corporations didn´t made of state an institution ready to protect vested interests, despite the fact that politicians will negociate to reach the best solutions.

  82. DN News 11 hours ago

    Former editor of diplomacy for Sky News and the BBC, Tim Marshall is considered a reputed specialist in international relations. The DN spoke about the future of relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU), current conflict points and the superpowers of the future.

    As a Briton, how do you see the UK’s relationship with the EU and its future?
    I voted for staying in the EU, but I believe that the only ones currently thinking that the EU 27 is stronger are the so-called federalists. And federalism is perhaps the reason why there are so many Europeans reticent and skeptical about the European project. Only the idea of ​​a country that abandons the EU is subjected to some form of punishment (which in itself is highly undemocratic) what does it tell us about the EU? That the member states only do so because they fear punishment? Which would also say a lot about what the EU is. Of course, a country that wants to leave can not be rewarded, but it can not be punished either. It is therefore necessary to seek points of agreement even if you believe there is a window of opportunity for the UK to remain in the EU. And the EU will not get any stronger with the British exit. It will increasingly continue to run at various speeds, or risk disintegrating. There will be more and more different ways of dealing with the same problems.
    You´ve mentioned a window of opportunity for the UK to stay. How is it possible?
    The British political situation became unpredictable after the recent elections, which were precisely aimed at making the political situation more stable and predictable, to the point where it is possible to think that the agreement negotiated with the United Kingdom (which has to be voted on in Parliament here Two years) can be turned down by him, challenging the outcome of the 2016 referendum, arguing that “yes, we know they want to leave but we do not believe it is under these conditions. Which would trigger the process of a second referendum. So far, the dominant idea is that it is not the French who have to hold five referendums until they reach the desired outcome, but the elections have created the impression that there is still a possibility of staying. Of course, those who want to stay will do everything to open this window.

    http://www.msn.com/pt-pt/noticias/mundo/h%C3%A1-uma-oportunidade-para-o-reino-unido-ficar-na-ue/ar-BBEsOkn?li=AAl4orZ&ocid=spartandhp
    ……………

  83. Grid Batteries Are Poised to Become Cheaper Than Natural-Gas Plants in Minnesota.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608273/grid-batteries-are-poised-to-become-cheaper-than-natural-gas-plants-in-minnesota/?set=608263

    Just to be clear this is NG plants configured to be peak supply sources (Peakers). These often consist of gas turbines kept spinning by electric motors so they can be fired up at a moments notice (within seconds) to meet transient demands or sudden deficiencies in supply.

    Additionally, EVs could profitably be plugged in 23 hours a day. Globally car makers are committing to car ranges consisting entirely of using electrical power and storage as part of the power train. As wind and solar power dip below gas power station costs, the gas peaker requirements may well not remain the last toe hold for fossil for much longer.

  84. Maria,

    Politicians traded a low interference (zero duty) access to the worlds largest most sophisticated market in favour of totally contentious political gains (more autonomy over immigration etc.) and secured by lying about economic gains.

    They have been meddling with a huge and successful capitalist venture to its detriment.

    I believe in globalisation (especially from a position of power) and not least because it is the moral solution to global inequality. I have no desire to be exclusively a Little Englander nor do most young folk who most have to live with the choices made for them. Our identity needs to shift with the problems we are addressing, global, regional, national, local.

    Look at the graphic. The old fucked up the young, who most have to live with their fearful choices.

    https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/15372/production/_90089868_eu_ref_uk_regions_leave_remain_gra624_by_age.png

  85. Erol 109

    Yes, encouraging. Thanks

    How did you get that flame icon? I used to have one. I want one too.

    They’re starting to go after Bernie Sanders and even his wife on The Goebbels Channel (Fox News) now, the bastards. They can’t start too soon, I guess.

  86. Maria, the regionalism I intended, between global and national, were precisely things like trading and shared cultural blocks like the EU.

  87. Phil

    I haven’t skipped town to avoid your comment #102. Just a grueling day jostling my way through IKEA on a hot Sunday afternoon. I must be out of my mind.

    I also watched the film again and read Wiki pages on cults, ideology, and brainwashing.

    I took a few notes while watching the film and the bonus material. These aren’t exact quotations. I may have dropped words, paraphrased, etc. Mostly going for the main idea.

    What we’ve created here may be unique in all of human existence. We’ve created a paradise
    Garden of Eden???

    Grappling with what kind of parent are you going to be…Conflict about how much of the real world do you let in and how much do you keep away?

    The father isn’t a hero and the grandfather not a villain, just complicated individuals trying to work out their differences on how to raise children.

    The second time around I definitely felt those religious/spiritual references more strongly than the first viewing. The coming of age ritual in the opening scene, purification ritual in the waterfall, meditation circle in natural setting, the comforting scene after mother’s death with book in hand (from the clip you posted above). These really feel cult-like especially after reading the Wiki page on cults:

    The term cult usually refers to a social group defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal.

    A political cult is a cult with a primary interest in political action and ideology.[96][97] Groups which some writers have termed “political cults”, mostly advocating far-left or far-right agendas, have received some attention from journalists and scholars.

    Cults create clones and squash individuality with litanies and isolate from outside influence.

    As for the ideological clones, those kids were very talented at reciting certain litanies! Even though there is a scene where the younger son wants to disagree (with celebrating Chomsky day) he is advised or invited to defend his opinion but he backs away shaking his head. I don’t think he’s comfortable with the idea of presenting his case. Is he intimidated? Will he be pressured to conform to the approved litany? Obviously they are isolated from outside influence. Their Garden of Eden paradise came crashing down due to outside influence. Their fall from grace. The two guys shaving and cutting their long hair was a Sampson-like acceptance of their defeat. Loss of their savage power and acceptance of the norms of “civilized” society. It was sad. The father was reduced to bland, civilized mediocrity. The son, maybe was more anticipating of his future adventures and cutting his hair was part of a new beginning.

    The scenes of the father agonizing over his decision to isolate the kids from the outside world seem very real to me. but now I’m wondering if he didn’t stage his grief and the whole scene of handing custody over to the grandparents so that the kids would be offered the choice of whether to stay in the outside world or come back to their paradise of their own accord. It could’ve gone either way. Could he have contrived this whole thing? Maybe he just wanted redemption from his guilt over the isolation and endangerment of his kids.

    Speaking of accusations of endangerment, do you think he really put his kids at extreme risk? The kid climbing rock face had a minor injury and the daughter had a more dangerous injury from falling off the roof, but considering the physical training they went through on a regular basis, it seems like they were in very good shape physically. In their opinions (litany) I saw a reflection of my own kids but to a lesser degree. As parents, we transfer our own political perspectives to our kids somewhat unaware of that at times and other times more assertively. At what point does it become ideological brainwashing?

    The scene of “liberating” food from the store was just a risky illegal activity. Is this the worst episode of parenting he participated in? Well, I guess the social awkwardness of his oldest son is quite an unfortunate consequence, worse than shoplifting in the long run.

    Totally disjointed comment. Exhausted.

  88. Dan

    Those flames next to the comment – I think they indicate a financial donation. I had one that has disappeared a while ago. I need to update my donation and get it back.

  89. Laurie,

    Great observations. I need sleep so a quick note for now…

    It was sad. The father was reduced to bland, civilized mediocrity. The son, maybe was more anticipating of his future adventures and cutting his hair was part of a new beginning.

    It was sad BUT he became a father to all his children. He preached reason and took his own advice. By learning stuff you get kicked out of the garden. The son didn’t go to Princeton etc. But Namibia to start living. I think love and sex are the very tokens of the problem of a sequestered paradise and the need to be freed to be in the world and be whole. His sadness is also the sadness of every parent, especially those who have done their job well.

  90. His sadness is also the sadness of every parent, especially those who have done their job well.

    Yes that’s true. It’s a bittersweet sadness.

    You mentioned above the kick they took at American puritanical dealings with the subject of sex which we loved but I also liked the kick at our dealings with death. You know this is one of my pet peeves, ha.

  91. Yep. Celebrating loved ones is reduced to a ghastly farce by the church. Body fetishising is weird for spirit believers.

    A sweet little film “What we did on our holiday” punctures quite a few adult idiocies including this one.

    Another odd but I thought wonderful Greek film, Attenberg (on death and intimacy) has another perspective. (You can’t get cremated in Greece!)

  92. ****URGENT MOD MESSAGE**

    WE HAVE JUST BEEN INFORMED THAT THE SITE WILL BE CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE ETC. STARTING VERY SOON AND LASTING UNTIL FRIDAY 21st AT THE EARLIEST, POSSIBLY STRETCHING TO MONDAY 24th. SORRY FOR ANY DISAPPOINTMENT THIS MAY CAUSE, BUT IT SOUNDS AS IF EVERYTHING WILL BE UP AND RUNNING AGAIN BY NEXT WEEK AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AGAIN THEN.

  93. On voting rights, and spoiling your vote:

    I’ve used the Spoiled Vote approach to ensure that (a) I wasn’t giving my vote to any of the candidates and – more importantly – (b) I was making it more difficult for anyone to steal my vote to use in support of any candidate.

    Doing this assumes that some level of fraud was likely, but also that the election wasn’t 100% rigged (or there’d have been no point in voting at all, as it wasn’t compulsory).

  94. OHooligan 123

    Terrifying article. I’d encourage everyone to read that one. That’s an important article. have read similar articles about the ministerial and wicked Koch brothers and the extreme right and all that but they didn’t spell it out like this one does. I am sure that that is precisely what is going on. Bannon I am sure is in on that completely. They are trying to suppress the vote too now although they call it protecting us from voter fraud. And fake news. It all fits. We’re talking about the end of American democracy. They can do it. No one can say precisely where democracy ends and (what the article calls) totalitarian capitalism begins.

    This word freedom. —It’s so Orwellian. FREE market, FREEDOM of property owners – to discriminate, religious FREEDOM. FREEDOM from government oversight, FREEDOM from regulations! It’s a new species of libertarianism which is nothing other than tyranny and savagery. Trump called the ACA a nightmare. Thats a lie, an abominable lie; it’s slander.

    How could all these Republicans in the Congress, who are supporting Trump, be willing to be a party to such a diabolical and ultimately self destructive conspiracy? Do you have to take an “I am a total fucking asshole” test in order to become a Republican? Maybe they are all Satanists. Maybe they’re part of the Illuminati or some other fucked up secret society. Freemasons? Never could figure out that weird pyramid with the eye on the one dollar bill.

    Ailing McCain is heroically leaving his hospital bed to vote for a health bill that will cause terrible suffering. Makes no sense. He must be part of a cult!

    Any thoughts on what’s behind it all? Love of money? power? greed? Is it racism? classism? sexism? The South’s revenge? All of the above? I can’t figure it out because I am not part of their club. Nor do I know any of the initiated. Wish I did. The Kochs, McConnell, Ryan…. Who are these monsters? What makes them tick? Life can be a wonderful adventure and you don’t have to have a lot of wealth to have a good life; just a roof over your head, enough food and enough funds to keep your head above water, a heart and a mind, some passion for something… why exploit and oppress? Why is it, someone tell me why it is, that someone always has to feed off of someone else’s goddamned misery? Why hurt people? Why!

    I’ll get off my soap-box…

    It doesn’t look good. I’ve just about had it.

    My poor mother broke her hip this afternoon. She’s having surgery tomorrow (Tuesday). Between that and your article I ain’t doing so hot. I wish we could be talking about happier things.

    Laurie, you there? There’s always Canada, right? Just in case Bernie’s revolution never materializes or succeeds.

  95. O’Hool 123

    Preaching to the converted here. Very useful extra ammo. Thanks.

    On Patheos somewhere there is a a thread about a Chinese party official warning party members about displaying any religious behaviour and bias. Normally I’d rush to the barricades of free speech and howl such meddling down. But what was interesting was how Americans were quick to praise their own free speech standards and claim China an ideological dictatorship. Now the democratic deficit in China is huge, but having spent a lot of time studying their evolving policy on economics, science, agriculture and technology, I have come to admire them greatly. China is not an ideological dictatorship but a pragmatic technocracy, deeply concerned to fuel societal well being via sustained lifting of individual wealth. Whilst China has seen average wages rise at least 6% per annum since 1960, US wages pretty much flat-topped from 1980. Only by working 8 hours a week more than a German can an American have the same standard of living. Those extra 8 hours go to buy that third Ferrari for her boss.

    Having freedom of speech has done nothing for Americans in fending off the sheer professionalism of the parasites that now afflict them. Never will they have a Government putting funding, legislation and new standards in place to lift their poorest (farmers and farm workers) out of poverty with a projected fast track wage rise of 12.5% per annum. Never will a US government cancel the building of more coal mines and use the very investment funds to compensate and retrain workers affected.

    Until Americans take against these kleptocrats and stop admiring them, realising them the thieving psychopaths they are, then the only undoing is for intelligent Republicans to come to their moral senses. Selfishness has wormtongued its way into too many American heads and hearts.

  96. Dan,

    Sorry to hear about your mother. I hope all goes well for her tomorrow.

    My solution if this nonsense persists is Revolution. Sorry if that brings you out in a rash. But I increasingly feel Bernie’s vocabulary hits the spot. Failing that the slow accumulation of states down the west and half the east coast and in the top middle into the United States of Canada. Culture, compassion and creativity.

    The United States of Dixie could be left in peace.

  97. Phil,

    Thank you.

    Sanders. Let me clarify.

    I have never heard Bernie Sanders say anything that I don’t strongly agree with. He is right, his vocabulary is right, his energy and commitment is right, his approach is right. He nails it every time.

    I just worry that the forces and influences that are at work and in opposition to any kind of reversal of this right wing extremist movement or to the implementation of any progressive policies at this point are just too powerful and pervasive, and that everything is just going to get worse and worse.

    So it’s just worry and negative projection, that I am expressing, not an aversion to Bernie or anything he’s said or written.

  98. Bernie Sanders – folks, aren’t you apparently forgetting a small but not unimportant detail about him? Wikipedia claims he was born 08 September 1941. He’ll be turning 76 this year. By election time 2020 he’ll be 79. Reagan, born 06 February 1911, was 69 at inauguration and turned 70 shortly thereafter. So he turned 78 shortly after leaving office after two terms. Sanders would enter office a year older than Reagan was leaving office, and Reagan was not overly healthy when he left. Is a 79-year-old man up to the office of the President of the US? Just think of it another way, as of 08 September 2021 he would be too old to be eligible for election as Pope!

  99. Dan

    So sorry to hear about your mom. So alarming. She will have a difficult rehabilitation but you’ll keep her on track with her physical therapy. Let us know how she comes through the surgery tomorrow.

  100. Grumpy K

    As old as Bernie is, he’s keeping up a campaign schedule that would kill a horse. I don’t know how he does it. He’s sharper cognitively than most fifty year olds I know and I’m including myself in that. He has tremendous momentum and the young people (except for the self-sabotage bunch) love him. The situation is so depressing here in the US right now I can’t imagine how much darker it would be without Bernie. I don’t care if he’s 100.

  101. Laurie (130)

    First of all, thanks. The surgery went well. That was today (Tuesday). No hip replacement was necessary. She’ll be in a rehab for a few days, not sure how long. Then I’ll be here when she comes home and will do everything I can do to help for as long as I’m needed.

    Sanders better stick around a while. I think age could be a factor, but may not be. (Very profound, huh?)

    It is depressing; that’s the word; it’s kind of weird too; Trump and the people that work for him are just flat out lying to us now on a daily and continuous basis; that’s what they’re doing. That’s not normal. We are dealing with a nefarious organization masquerading as an administration.

    It is almost as shocking that so many people on TV, who I wouldn’t think would be Trump supporters, are taking it so calmly. TV has a way of making things appear normal than they are. I had an article on another thread that said the news is “in on it.” It does seem conspiratorial.

    This whole “fake news” business is something new and appalling. Could you imagine Obama saying, in a press conference: “Uh…thank you, Chris, but you see what you have to…uh, understand is that we are dealing with fake news….The NY Times and CNN are basically fake news, so don’t believe what they tell ya.”

    An unprecedented level of mendacity and skullduggery. And they all use the same talking points: “those premiums, those deductibles. Obamacare is a disaster.” They all the same thing!

    And Trump wants an FBI director who is loyal and will follow orders and report directly to him, to serve his interests, doesn’t want a bureau that will be adversarial to him in any way. They’re supposed to be an independent arm of the Justice Department. This is madness and despotism! It’s getting weirder and more bizarre every day.

    I suspect, Laurie, that this situation might be worse, darker, more sinister than we know; we’re all walking around with scrambled brains trying to recover from the shock that we are really in the hands of bad people, people that do not mean well. I mentioned this to my sister the other day: You know how they have flags and posters of dictators all over the place in those places where they have military dictatorships? Trump would love that. That’s what he wants to be, what he essentially is: a dictator!

    Did you read OHooligan’s article? (123)

  102. Watching Warren now on Maddow. (They rebroadcast it at midnight.) So refreshing to see someone who truly cares – unlike these unencumbered political analysts on CNN. I think I’m in love – although I must be true to Hillary. I need some advice about that. Hee-hee.

    (I don’t want to put down CNN too much. They have been maligned.)

    Seriously, this healthcare bill might pass, and that would be a real disaster!! Comparable to 9/ 11, as Sanders said.

    This is a terrible time.

    Laurie, you watch MSNBC; that Liberty Mutual ad is driving me up the wall! Over and over again.

  103. Dan #133

    I was looking at your comment on statins on the “You win some thread”, but contrary to my suggestion to move the discussion over here, posts on that subject persisted on that thread until the moderators deleted all of them as “off topic” – including my links to expert advice on the subject.

    You are correct that oats helps reduce cholesterol, but I would not pay ANY attention to the reckless gutter press, who do not care if their sensationalist pseudo-science causes people to stop taking their prescribed statins, and then suffer a stroke or heat attack in consequence!

    https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/treatments/natural-alternatives-to-statins

    Cholesterol Lowering Plan

    “So we look at what their triggers are for eating unhealthy food. Then we look at the basics – lowering saturated fats in the diet, replacing it with healthier fat, and including high fibre carbohydrates or whole grains, at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, and one portion of oily fish a week.”

    The third stage is looking at cholesterol-busting foods.
    These include:
    nuts
    soya
    plant sterol and stanol fortified products – spread, yogurt and milk (read the labels)
    foods rich in soluble fibre, for example, oats and barley, vegetables such as aubergines and okra, and fruits such as apples, citrus fruits and berries

    If people lack a healthy lifestyle, or by way of ageing have raised cholesterol levels, or raised blood pressure, healthy foods are a good option, but prescribed statins may also be required to combat hardening arteries .

    Why have I been prescribed statins?

    Statins reduce the amount of cholesterol in our blood, and reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke if you have already had one.

    If you have high levels of cholesterol, or have a family history of cardiovascular disease, and so are at risk of cardiovascular disease, your doctor will probably prescribe statins to lower your risk.

    Heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease are collectively known as cardiovascular disease (CVD), which causes one third of all deaths in the UK.
    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has draft guidance out at the moment, recommending reducing the threshold for prescribing statins from those with a 20% risk to those with a 10% risk. This will mean that millions more people may be prescribed statins by their GPs.

    The experts on my now disappeared links, say there MAY be a very SLIGHT risk of accelerating the onset of alzheimers in those already developing it, from fat soluble statins, but this is very small compared to the risks of heart attacks and strokes which stains defend against.

    I hope this helps you continue an active healthy life!

  104. Dan

    Good news about your mom. Encourage her to give it all she’s got in rehab. The physical therapists will push her hard. When my dad had to work with them he’d get his back up over their “pushiness” but I’d point my finger at him and say, “if you want to walk again and get back home with independence then you have to fight for that!” They can really lose ground very quickly if they don’t fight to get their strength back. I hope her rehab goes as smoothly as possible.

    I don’t think the news is “in on it”. I think there is one news channel that is blatantly in on it and in fact is the media/propaganda entity of the Republican party and its wealthy predatory super-capitalist backers. I don’t expect perfect neutrality from media outlets because I don’t see how this would be possible but my feeling is that PBS and BBC are the most neutral sources I can find. I am faithful to MSNBC and acknowledge that it leans left but I’m happy to explain to others that our left leaning media station would be considered stodgy centrist in Europe. I know CNN is accused of supporting the liberal agenda but for the life of me, I don’t perceive it. They seem so centrist to me as to be boring. Have you heard about the Emmy awards for Maddow, O’Donnell and Hayes? I’m going to watch the interview with Maddow and Conway again for a reminder.

    Yes, I read O’hooligan’s article. This is the stuff that is most depressing; the scope of this whole con job. 99.9% of Americans are just strolling along whistling a happy tune, completely unaware of this disaster. The Trump voters all pissed off about Mexicans taking our jobs (not) and sharia law taking over the American legal system (not) and poor people collecting benefits, and Iran cheating on the Obama nuclear deal – “How could he trust them!!!” that they’ve gone and invited the fox into the hen house! Forgive them Lord they know not what they do. ~eye roll~.

    I understand that there may appear to be a complacency around us but there may be some explanation for this perception; people are waiting for Mueller to collect his info. He is said to be widely admired and trusted. This seems to have a calming effect on us. I’m trying to be patient and let him collect everything he needs. I understand that impulsively attacking highly placed political figures without a solid legal case is a mistake. Also, I think people understand that while we count on these various investigations to reach deep into areas where average citizens can’t go, one thing that the average citizen can do is vote the bastards out of office at the next opportunity we get. So I’m just sittin pretty for now but on election day I’ll be voting a straight Democratic ticket, even if that means I’ll have to hold my nose on a few of those people, just to pull the rug out from under the treacherous Republicans.

    What worries me is something that I’ve asked here before; will it be possible to undo the damage that these snakes have done and will continue to do? If the Dems take control of the House/Senate next year, will that cut the Repubs off at the knees? If they take the next Presidential election, can they undo most of this mess then?

    Last night I watched a show (I think it was CNN) on 1967 the summer of love in San Francisco. The activism then, Dan! If this is what Revolution looks like – count me in!! Yeeehaaaaa!

  105. Vicki #135
    Jul 26, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Trump’s latest governance via Twitter/**distraction**:

    Apparently, nobody has any idea how this transgender ban is supposed to work in the real world, so the military and the White House are busy referring enquiries to each other, and to anywhere where someone might think up an answer!

    With all the chaos and investigations, he is in desperate need of some distractions.

  106. Alan,

    I was just saying that 210 or 220 didn’t seem that high to me. I am not an MD, and I am sure you are right about statins. I agree with your last comment on the Dawkins-Islam thread too. (Is sound real? Just kidding.)

    Nice comment, Laurie. And thanks. By “in on it” I just mean that they are part of the profit driven system and are colluding in their own way with big business. They loved the money that came in covering Trump 24/7 and that helped him. And they are complicit in so far as they are not likely to discuss certain issues like global warming or environmental issues in any great detail, in any serious or sustained way: half the commercials are for natural gas and oil and pharmaceuticals. You see my point. They have one hand tied behind their back, are constrained. And it’s not just about being centrist or left of center: they never say “You, sir, are a liar!!” You never hear the truth very often because they want these bad people back. ($) Frustrating.

    Happy for Maddow and O’Donnell. You’re watching that interview with Conway? Okay, but you’ve seen one interview with her and her fellow surrogates and you’ve seen them all. They all do the same thing: they deflect. Conway is an acrobat, a professional liar and propagandist, and that’s all; a bad person, rotten to the core.

  107. Dan
    Yes, they are part of the profit driven system. They are constrained and yes, I think they’re too soft on the liars and give a false sense of equivalency on many issues. I saw the commercials for oil and gas. All true.

    I will try to watch the Conway interview but no guarantees that I’ll actually get through the whole thing. Conway is a toxic liar and I avoid watching her.

    Can you believe the stupid news conference going on right now? Obviously, our new press secretary has acceded to her creepy boss’s suggestion that she upgrade her hair and makeup for the camera. ~steaming~

    She wasted half the time reading a letter (fake?) from some kid asking pointless questions to Trump. WTF? On a national press conference?! This is a blatant appeal to the “low information” Trump base. “Awe…what a cute kid! And he loves his country and his President! Awe…” So much sappy treacle.

    Devos, Sec. of Education, the cross eyed dunce presents the propaganda item that Trump has donated half of his salary to creating a STEM camp for kids. Don’t even get me started. Two dunces collaborate to create and announce a STEM camp and meanwhile, behind the scenes they undermine public education in debilitating measures. Then, Devos said that she and Ivanka, the fake “feminist” self-serving corporate money grubber had an educational moment at the Smithsonian to encourage girls to study STEM subjects. No mention of help with exorbitant tuition payments or universal health care or any other programs to take the financial pressure off the lower economic classes, girls AND boys, who need all of this help to get to college BEFORE they even decide to major in STEM courses. No mention of the dire situation of our inner city schools and those students that are trapped in poverty and in failing schools. What did they do, hand pick some delightful little girls from the financially privileged Washington D.C. crowd and stroll around a museum that poor minority kids wouldn’t even know existed? Devos should be mucking around in our most challenged inner city schools and get herself a paradigm shift now and then. She doesn’t have the guts for that. Stupid brainwashed elitist bitch.

    Dan, P. S. Through no fault of your own, you have no chance with Maddow. Through no credit to myself, I have a better chance than you. Although, truth be told, it is highly unlikely that either of us has any chance whatsoever.
    😉

  108. LaurieB #139
    Jul 26, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I see “Trumpcare” is still in difficulties!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40723060

    The US Senate has rejected a Republican plan to replace President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare policy.

    The 57-43 vote defeat marks the start of a days-long debate on a sweeping overhaul that critics fear could deny healthcare to millions of Americans.

    The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA) was crafted over two months but attention now turns to other options.

    President Donald Trump has urged senators to pass a bill, without indicating which one he supports.

    A repeal-only bill, which would consign so-called Obamacare to history in two years, to give time to Republicans to devise a replacement, could be debated and voted on next.

    But that measure – which non-partisan analysts say will take health insurance from more than 30 million people – has already failed to win enough support in the Republican party.

    Other attempts to replace Obamacare have collapsed in recent weeks due to divisions in the party.

    President Trump had made scrapping the policy a key campaign pledge. He says the system is “torturing” Americans.

    He secured a victory on Tuesday when the Senate agreed to allow the debate on health care legislation reform to go forward, but only after Republican Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in support of the bill.

    What bills could come forward?

    The key repeal-and-replace bill, the BCRA, has fallen by the wayside.

    Next could be a repeal-only bill with a two-year delay, in the hope of finding agreement before that time elapses.

    But senators will also consider a “skinny bill”, a far narrower measure that would scale back some of the more controversial elements in an effort to get a wider consensus.

    A special Senate-House of Representatives committee would then be tasked with finalising a bill that could still see changes during negotiations.

    If successful, the full House and Senate would again have to approve the measure.

    Of course a two year delay could take the decisions to after the mid-term elections!

  109. Laurie

    So true. Everything you just wrote is true. How do we get others to understand? I keep hearing about getting the message out . Warren stresses says that and I suppose it is necessary; but so many people can’t appreciate the message unless it’s loud and simple like “lower taxes create jobs” or “parents should be able to choose what schools to send their kids”, etc. The more reasonable and humane messages are not heard because they just aren’t loud and simple enough. .

    I do take issue with one thing you said. Ivanka is a real feminist, has devoted her life to empowering women and helping women become successful entrepreneurs. (Ha-ha. Actually she deserves the Darling of the Feminists Award – and she’d be the first female to get it.)

    No, I meant Warren! (Does she have a boyfriend? Husband?)

    Your question: can the damage be reversed? I don’t know. I think so. Waiting to hear about the health bill.

    Spoke to my mother. I reminded her about (what you said about) PT, and that you have to push. She knows. She broke her femur bone in a gym a while back. She got through it. She’s no amateur.

    Trump speaking in front of kids now at the Rose Garden. Looks Propaganda-ish. (And they look like the Nazi youth.)

  110. Laurie

    I used to think that cbrown was a female and then he mentioned a past vasectomy…awkward.

    I thought cBrown was a female too. Why is that? Maybe OHooligan’s a female. No way to know.

    Don’t you think Kushner looks like a transexual? Nothing wrong with that but that guy has a strange face. Very androgynous.

    Great press briefing today. Press: Thank you Sarah, Thank you, Sarah, Thank you Sarah About Sessions about this about that what can you tell us what can you thank you… About Sessions, thank you…what can you tell us…About Reince Priebus …Thank you Sarah…The Russian investigation…What does the president…….Thank you Sarah…what can you…Sarah, Sessions and Priebus, the president yesterday issued…Thank you…

    Sanders: Like I said like I said like I said Im not going to comment I’m not going to comment I’m not going to comment like I said like I said…

    I can’t stand these people. She said “fake news” again and that the Russia thing is a witch hunt and a hoax. They’re all a bunch of liars and hypocrites. That little schmuck Don Jr and others said they were talking about adoptions at that meeting. They think the public is stupid and to a large extent they’re right. But…

    When the Kremlin Says ‘Adoptions,’ It Means ‘Sanctions’

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/world/americas/kremlin-adoptions-sanctions-russia.html

  111. Here’s an interesting side-note, Phil.

    It is notable that “our” first scientist of note, Roger Bacon held his contemporaries in the lowest esteem but Aristotle, Averoes and Avicena in the highest.

    “When an evil–minded man resolutely thinks of injuring another, when he passionately desires this and intends to do so with determination, and is firmly convinced that he can injure him, then there is no doubt that nature will obey the intentions of his will.” (Roger Bacon, Opus Majus, Londini, 1733, p. 252. Quote from Schopenhauer’s The Will in Nature)

    Glad to hear that Bacon is considered your first scientist of note. That is exceedingly high praise indeed. Bacon must have been a man of very superior intelligence.

    Bacon was held in high esteem by – guess who?– Schopenhauer. Bacon, “our” first scientist of note, believed, along with Schopenhauer, that the real agent in “Magic” is the will.

  112. GrumpyK

    Had it not been for him and other Christian theologians, this philosophical genius might be utterly unknown to the world.

    So the child Aristotle, the author of the preposterous and dogmatic unmoved mover, is a great philosophical genius but other (modern and grown-up) philosophers who painstakingly avoided such groundless assertions and illogic are latent theists and therefore not great just because they are not comprehended?

    Hope you don’t mind a little give and take. This is the place for spirited yet civil debate.

    (Apparently, you don’t have a corner on grumpiness.)

    Respectfully,

    DR

  113. “This word freedom. —It’s so Orwellian. FREE market, FREEDOM of property owners – to discriminate, religious FREEDOM. FREEDOM from government oversight, FREEDOM from regulations! It’s a new species of libertarianism which is nothing other than tyranny and savagery. Trump called the ACA a nightmare. Thats a lie, an abominable lie.” –Me #125

    Here’s another one:

    Health Care Freedom Act

    And it just sank, thanks to McCain. Yay! To McConnell, Ryan, all of those sick “conservative” bastards: Yay!

  114. Dan #146
    Jul 28, 2017 at 3:52 am

    “This word freedom. —It’s so Orwellian. FREE market, FREEDOM of property owners – to discriminate, religious FREEDOM. FREEDOM from government oversight, FREEDOM from regulations! It’s a new species of libertarianism which is nothing other than tyranny and savagery.

    Ah! The misapprehension of the gullible followers, who have not read the translations!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Newspeak_words

    Then of course there are those with heads full of “freedumb” pseudo-knowledge, who have been homeschooled by evangelists, or “educated” in YEC bible colleges!

  115. Dan,

    Roger Bacon is the first English/western scientist of note. And deserves much praise. For me the first scientist of note is Democritus.

    Aristotle’s first cause argument is a logical one to make and I don’t criticise him for it, though it becomes dangerous in Aquinas’s hands and misleads us from a the subtle truth for long enough. It is surrounded by some useful physics concepts.

    Schopenhauer was right….’nuff said. He was though compromised by a religiously primitive view of what the human mind might constitute, f’rinstance as were all philosophers up until this point. (My old complaint of philosophers creating solutions with insufficient parts and idealising what they do conjecture… Bloody Plato! 🙂 ) It was of course Freud who broke this all apart from direct observation. Though Freud was consistently wrong in his just so analyses he was thumpingly right to note our manifold interiors.

    My point there is no one single mind that gets it all right. We cannot find to praise a perfect philosopher or scientist. The greatest minds live a the very edge of comprehension trying to scout ahead. Only the drudges following on behind may appear to do better.

  116. Arkrid

    circus troupe?

    No. Un-cynical comment. I think Republicans may have glimmers of morality somewhere in their selfish ideology-fritzed wiring. McCain maybe focused on his legacy right now. Good on him.

  117. Arkrid,

    I did indeed check on which troo/uper I intended before publishing. Thespian not soldier

    He played his part for the good guys’n’gals.

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