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bucolic_frolic

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Member since: Fri Feb 18, 2011, 08:22 PM
Number of posts: 5,411

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Unexpected deaths of six Russian diplomats in four months triggers conspiracy theories

When Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations died suddenly in New York last week, he became the sixth Russian diplomat to die unexpectedly since November, leaving internet conspiracy theorists trying to spot a pattern.

Vitaly Churkin, 64, was rushed to hospital from his office at Russia’s UN mission on 20 February, after becoming ill without warning on his way in to work.

It was initially reported that Mr Churkin may have suffered a heart attack, but following an autopsy medical examiners said the death required further study.

Media company Axios note that not only is Mr Churkin’s death unexplained, but it is also remarkably similar to the deaths of Russia’s Ambassador to India on 27 January, the country’s consul in Athens on 9 January, and a Russian diplomat in New York on US election day, 8 November.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-diplomats-deaths-theories-putin-kremlin-a7602201.html
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:39 PM (12 replies)

Trump: Oscar Mix-Up Happened Because The Focus Was On Attacking Me

Source: Huffington Post

Donald Trump has an explanation for Sunday night’s Oscar flub that is straight out of la la land.

The president claims the organizers spent too much time focusing on attacking him rather than working on getting the details of the show right.

“I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,” Trump told Breitbart News. “It was a little sad. It took away from the glamour of the Oscars. It didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening. I’ve been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-oscar-mistake_us_58b498e9e4b060480e0b0fe8?ri27kcre0swa8m2t9&



Honestly. You can't make this stuff up. It is ALWAYS about him.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Mon Feb 27, 2017, 07:08 PM (36 replies)

We have at most a year to defend American democracy, perhaps less

SZ: Donald Trump has been president for three weeks. How would you describe his start?

Timothy Snyder: The first thing that we have to notice is that the institutions have not thus far restrained him. He never took them seriously, acts as if they don’t exist, and clearly wishes they didn’t. The story that Americans have told themselves from the moment he declared his candidacy for president, was that one institution or another would defeat him or at least change his behavior – he won’t get the nomination; if he gets the nomination, he will be a normal Republican; he will get defeated in the general election; if he wins the presidency will mature him (that was what Obama said). I never thought any of that was true. He doesn’t seem to care about the institutions and the laws except insofar as they appear as barriers to the goal of permanent kleptocratic authoritarianism and immediate personal gratification. It is all about him all of time, it is not about the citizens and our political traditions.

You wrote an article for Slate in November, comparing the rise of Donald Trump with the rise of Adolf Hitler. Why did you feel the need to publish such a piece?

It’s very important that we use history to our advantage now, rather than finding in history taboos and ways to silence one another. The history of the 1930s is terribly important to Americans (and Europeans) right now, just as it is slipping from our memories. I was not trying to provoke one more fruitless series of conversations about comparability. I was trying to help Americans who were generally either shocked (people who voted against Trump) or surprised (people who voted for him, who generally thought he would lose) find their bearings in a new situation. The temptation in a new situation is to imagine that nothing has changed. That is a choice that has political consequences: self-delusion leads to half-conscious anticipatory obedience and then to regime change. Anyway, I didn’t actually compare Trump to Hitler, I didn’t use these two names. What I did was to write a very short history of the rise of Adolf Hitler to power without using his name, which might allow Americans to recognize certain similarities to the moment they themselves were living through. I know that these comparisons are a national taboo in Germany, but at the moment its rather important that Germans be generous with their history and help others to learn how republics collapse. Most Americans are exceptionalists, we think we live outside of history. Americans tend to think: “We have freedom because we love freedom, we love freedom because we are free.” It is a bit circular and doesn’t acknowledge the historical structures that can favor or weaken democratic republics. We don’t realize how similar our predicaments are to those of other people.

http://international.sueddeutsche.de/post/157058066625/we-have-at-most-a-year-to-defend-american
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Mon Feb 27, 2017, 09:30 AM (3 replies)

California city's council votes to impeach Donald Trump

Source: 6ABC Philadelphia

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 04:53PM
RICHMOND, Calif. --
The first 100 days of the Trump administration aren't even over yet, but he president is already facing calls for impeachment... not from Congres, but a city council in California.

Richmond City Council says it has become the first city in the country to go on record in support of impeachment hearings for President Trump.

The council acknowledged how unusual it was to call for the president's impeachment. He's been in office for only a month, but the vote was unanimous.

"Unfortunately with this president it's oddly appropriate," said Richmond City Councilmember Jael Myrick

Read more: http://6abc.com/politics/california-citys-council-votes-to-impeach-donald-trump/1767691/



More at link

A gesture with no power but it does grab headlines. We are a sharply divided nation,
Trump's government moving one way, a slight majority going the opposite way.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Wed Feb 22, 2017, 08:06 PM (5 replies)

Trump's constant tweeting is actually a negative for Twitter, top analyst says

Source: CNBC

Twitter is not seeing a boost in business from the "Trump effect" despite the president's active tweeting, as advertisers steer clear of the platform so their brands don't get targeted, analyst Richard Kramer said on Thursday.

Shares of Twitter were tanking in premarket trading on Thursday after forward guidance missed expectations by a landslide and quarterly revenue was far below estimates. Earnings, however, did beat forecasts.

"I think whatever your political views, it's clear that Trump is extremely divisive, and this isn't really a positive for advertisers," Kramer told CNBC's "Worldwide Exchange," speaking ahead of Twitter's earnings report.

The Arete Research co-founder and senior analyst said his firm still has a negative view on Twitter because although monthly average users are growing, the platform is becoming riskier for advertising, which is a main profit driver for competitors like Facebook and Alphabet's Google.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/09/trumps-constant-tweeting-is-actually-a-negative-for-twitter-top-analyst-says.html?



GOP fomenting anger gives opportunity to those who RESIST
and build bridges in their local community

Take note.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Thu Feb 9, 2017, 08:47 AM (27 replies)

Prophet of Doom

In Bannon’s view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-apocalypse_us_5898f02ee4b040613138a951

“This is the fourth great crisis in American history,” Bannon told an audience at the Liberty Restoration Foundation, a conservative nonprofit, in 2011. “We had the Revolution. We had the Civil War. We had the Great Depression and World War II. This is the great Fourth Turning in American history, and we’re going to be one thing on the other side.”

Major crises “happen in about 80- or 100-year cycles,” Bannon told a conference put on by the Republican women’s group Project GoPink that same year. “And somewhere over the next 10 or 20 years, we’re going to come through this crisis, and we’re either going to be the country that was bequeathed to us or it’s going to be something that’s completely or totally different.”

The “Judeo-Christian West is collapsing,” he went on. “It’s imploding. And it’s imploding on our watch. And the blowback of that is going to be tremendous.”

___________________________________________________

I don't understand his certainty and determinism. Why isn't the crisis climate and ecology? Capitalism has won the economic wars, nations are basically trying to improve its reach and humanize it, religions clash but use political means to coexist to the extent there are no zealots in power ... Why does this crisis have to be the way Steve Bannon sees it? He is nuts.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Wed Feb 8, 2017, 05:09 PM (4 replies)

Obama wasn't born in this country?

Well ....

I think Trump wasn't elected in this country!
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Fri Feb 3, 2017, 03:26 PM (2 replies)

"On Governance"

http://www.hussman.net/wmc/wmc170130.htm

Well worth the read, as usual.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Mon Jan 30, 2017, 09:53 AM (2 replies)

Trump wants to enlist local police in immigration crackdown

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

PHOENIX (AP) - To build his highly touted deportation force, President Donald Trump is reviving a long-standing program that deputizes local officers to enforce federal immigration law.

The program received scant attention during a week in which Trump announced plans to build a border wall, hire thousands more federal agents and impose restrictions on refugees from Middle Eastern countries.

But the program could end up having a significant impact on immigration enforcement around the country, despite falling out of favor in recent years amid complaints that it promotes racial profiling.

More than 60 police and sheriff's agencies had the special authority as of 2009, applying for it as the nation's immigration debate was heating up. Since then, the number has been halved and the effort scaled back as federal agents ramped up other enforcement programs and amid complaints officers weren't focusing on the goal of catching violent offenders and instead arrested immigrants for minor violations, like driving with broken tail lights.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/presidential/20170129_ap_aa172d93370d4cef904417b327ae1638.html



Political agenda, racial profiling. Wonder who will pay for local costs of enforcement? Yeah. Taxpayers.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Sun Jan 29, 2017, 12:12 PM (14 replies)

"Hustling Hitler" by Walter Shapiro

A well-researched and somewhat lengthy book by a former Carter White House
speechwriter about his great-uncle, a flashy vaudeville impresario with a checkered
life. Indicted, arrested for selling the Nazis a boatload of scrap metal dregs, he was
never extradicted from California. He sold diamonds, jade, stayed in the era's best
hotels, bounced a few checks, and tried to sell jewelry to Mae West. but that was
after early days promoting burlesque and marrying his star performer.

It's a slow read because of the precision with which it is written, Shapiro uses the
language beyond well. The only book I've read that compares in my mind is "FDR"
by Jean Edward Smith; they are both wordsmiths in any sense of the term.

There's a lot of US history here too, the small cities in New York, and the historical
tools available to research one's ancestors: census, news articles, family lore, and
just plain shoe leather. You can tell the author is absorbed and proud of his ancestors
and his own research, and it's a gift for him to take the time to write this story before
it is lost to history.

Posted by bucolic_frolic | Fri Jan 27, 2017, 09:33 AM (0 replies)
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