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elmac

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Name: Mean Green
Gender: Male
Hometown: Hell, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: Hell
Member since: Thu Oct 1, 2015, 07:45 PM
Number of posts: 4,642

Journal Archives

Populists are out to divide us. They must be stopped -Timothy Garton Ash, theguardian.com

So now the challenge is in plain view: we face the globalisation of anti-globalisation, a popular front of populists, an International of nationalists. “Today the United States, tomorrow – France,” tweets Jean-Marie Le Pen. It will be a long, hard struggle to defeat them, at home and abroad, and we may now have to look elsewhere for the “leader of the free world”. But defeat them we will.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/11/populists-us

In Vladimir Putin’s Russia we have something very close to fascism. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey is rapidly crossing the line between illiberal democracy and fascism, while Viktor Orbán’s Hungary is already an illiberal democracy. In Poland, France, the Netherlands, Britain and now the US, we have to defend the line between liberal and illiberal democracy.


In Britain that means standing up for the independence of the judiciary, the sovereignty of parliament and the impartial strength of the BBC. In the US we shall now witness the biggest test of one of the strongest, oldest systems of liberal democratic checks and balances. Even though Republicans dominate Congress and, fatefully, Donald Trump will be able to make key political appointments to the supreme court, that does not mean the new president will have it all his own way.


On closer examination, it turns out that “the people” – Volk might be a more accurate term – is actually only a part of the people. Trump perfectly exemplified this populist sleight of hand in an impromptu remark at a campaign rally. “The only important thing is the unification of the people,” he said, “because the other people don’t mean anything.” It’s not the Others, you see: the Kurds, Muslims, Jews, refugees, immigrants, black people, elites, experts, homosexuals, Sinti and Roma, cosmopolitans, metropolitans, gay Europhile judges. Ukip’s Nigel Farage announced that Brexit was a victory for ordinary people, decent people, real people – 48% of those who voted in the referendum being thereby declared neither ordinary nor decent nor real.

Anthony Bourdain: The Post-Election Interview- eater.com

Russia clearly is going to be a problem for me. The last time I was there, they killed my lunch partner, you know? And I’m a little pissed about that. And I’ve expressed that publicly, which is increasingly not such a wise thing to do.



http://www.eater.com/2016/12/21/14038332/anthony-bourdain-election-trump-interview

Trump comes from that era of guys you followed, guys you knew about every day: Trump, Giuliani, Al Sharpton, Curtis Sliwa. I’d see him at Studio 54, for fuck’s sake. I’m not saying I know the guy personally, not like I’d hug him, but I’m saying that as a New Yorker, we pretty much are neighbors. And my many years of living in his orbit have not left me with a favorable impression, let’s put it that way. There’s so many reasons to find the guy troubling. When Scott Baio’s the only guy you can find to show up at your convention, you’re in trouble

I think it’s worth acknowledging that this is a country founded in violence, a country that has always worshipped outlaws, loners, cowboys, and people who got the things they got by the gun.


But the threshold of acceptable rhetoric right now, the threshold of hate and animus that’s being shown at this point — this really naked hatred of every flavor, racists, sexists, pure misogyny, class hatred, hatred of the educated — this is something I’ve never seen before.


As the number of conflict zones increase, as I’m guessing they likely will, I’m wary of looking to Uncle Sam for an understanding face at the embassy — especially given who’s up for ambassadorships now.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable

A fictional embodiment of toxic masculinity building his own fascist state

is no longer just a dark fantasy to be indulged on Sunday nights. I had to share this critique made by Sam Adams from Slate. The article wasn't about Donald Trump but about the seventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. He was writing about how the shows viewership has plunged by about 50% since the sociopath Negan character was added to the mix. Since the season began after the election of Trump he mused about the show coming too close to real life. The opening sentence of this thread is how he phrased it. I think he is spot on.

Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy

Source: The Atlantic

Since the end of World War II, the most crucial underpinning of freedom in the world has been the vigor of the advanced liberal democracies and the alliances that bound them together. Through the Cold War, the key multilateral anchors were NATO, the expanding European Union, and the U.S.-Japan security alliance. With the end of the Cold War and the expansion of NATO and the EU to virtually all of Central and Eastern Europe, liberal democracy seemed ascendant and secure as never before in history.

Under the shrewd and relentless assault of a resurgent Russian authoritarian state, all of this has come under strain with a speed and scope that few in the West have fully comprehended, and that puts the future of liberal democracy in the world squarely where Vladimir Putin wants it: in doubt and on the defensive.

On the global chessboard, there has been no more deft and brilliant (and of late, lucky) player than Putin. From the early days of his presidency a decade and a half ago, he began to signal that he intended to make Russia great again, and that he saw this imperative as a zero-sum game: As the West gained friendships among post-communist states, Russia lost, and so everything possible had to be done to force Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Balkan states out of a Western liberal orientation and back into the greater Russian orbit.

he first dramatic salvo came in the summer of 2008, when Russia intervened militarily to back separatist forces in the enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia seeking to break away from Georgia. Russia’s military assault was brief but brutal, and involved bombing civilian populations both in the disputed areas and in the rest of Georgia, as well as attacking fleeing civilians. The overconfident pro-Western president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, was dealt a painful lesson courtesy of Putin, and the two breakaway “republics” remain under Russian occupation to this day. It was the first time since the end of the Soviet Union that Russia’s military violated the sovereignty of an independent state, but it would not be the last.



Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/12/russia-liberal-democracy/510011/



Putin has embraced an opportunistic but sophisticated campaign to sabotage democracy.

Civil rights group condemns move to block Trump inauguration protests

Source: france24

A civil rights group on Wednesday urged US officials to free up Washington landmarks for thousands of people planning protests around the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.

The Washington-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) said the National Park Service (NPS) had handed over control of sites such as the Lincoln Memorial to the private committee overseeing Trump’s inauguration “weeks” before and after the ceremony on January 20.

That move has left at least a dozen protest groups without prime venues, a violation of Americans’ constitutional rights, fund officials said. The Lincoln Memorial is a symbolic reminder as the site of 1960s protests for civil rights and against the Vietnam War.

The National Park Service “has done a massive land grab inhibiting all those who want to exercise their right to free speech,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a constitutional rights lawyer and PCJF executive director, said at a news conference.

Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20161209-usa-trump-inauguration-protests-civil-rights-group-condemn-womens-march-washington
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