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Sophia4

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Member since: Fri Nov 17, 2017, 01:36 PM
Number of posts: 3,289

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Shakespeare wrote plays about tyrants.

Shakespeare’s Richard III brilliantly develops the personality features of the aspiring tyrant already sketched in the Henry VI trilogy: the limitless self-regard, the lawbreaking, the pleasure in inflicting pain, the compulsive desire to dominate. He is pathologically narcissistic and supremely arrogant. He has a grotesque sense of entitlement, never doubting that he can do whatever he chooses. He loves to bark orders and to watch underlings scurry to carry them out. He expects absolute loyalty, but he is incapable of gratitude. The feelings of others mean nothing to him. He has no natural grace, no sense of shared humanity, no decency.

He is not merely indifferent to the law; he hates it and takes pleasure in breaking it. He hates it because it gets in his way and because it stands for a notion of the public good that he holds in contempt. He divides the world into winners and losers. The winners arouse his regard insofar as he can use them for his own ends; the losers arouse only his scorn. The public good is something only losers like to talk about. What he likes to talk about is winning.

He has always had wealth; he was born into it and makes ample use of it. But though he enjoys having what money can get him, it is not what most excites him. What excites him is the joy of domination. He is a bully. Easily enraged, he strikes out at anyone who stands in his way. He enjoys seeing others cringe, tremble, or wince with pain. He is gifted at detecting weakness and deft at mockery and insult. These skills attract followers who are drawn to the same cruel delight, even if they cannot have it to his unmatched degree. Though they know that he is dangerous, the followers help him advance to his goal, which is the possession of supreme power.

His possession of power includes the domination of women, but he despises them far more than desires them. Sexual conquest excites him, but only for the endlessly reiterated proof that he can have anything he likes. He knows that those he grabs hate him. For that matter, once he has succeeded in seizing the control that so attracts him, in politics as in sex, he knows that virtually everyone hates him. At first that knowledge energizes him, making him feverishly alert to rivals and conspiracies. But it soon begins to eat away at him and exhaust him.

https://longreads.com/2018/07/18/the-tyrant-and-his-enablers/

Good article.

So Trump insisted on talking to Putin in the presence of only an interpretor,

but he refuses to talk to Mueller.

What does that tell you?

If Putin claims that the Russian government was not involved in the hacking and theft

of the e-mails of the DNC, etc., then Trump should demand and receive extradition for a trial based on due process of those in Russia who are alleged to have done the hacking and theft as alleged in the grand jury's indictment.

If Putin and the Russian government were not involved, yet there is evidence suggesting that certain Russians were involved, why wouldn't Putin allow the extradition for a fair trial of those Russians?


If Putin does not extradite the suspects, then it suggests that Putin or the official Russian government are either protecting criminals or are involved in the hacking and theft of the e-mails themselves.

Do you think I am right?

Trump should challenge Putin: Either extradite or admit responsibility for the hacking and theft.

If Trump does not do that, then what did he know and when did he know it?

Because it will appear that Trump is covering up for Putin.

97 to 2, the Senate votes to confirm NATO membership.

(CNN)The Senate took a bipartisan swipe at President Donald Trump on Tuesday when it overwhelmingly approved a motion of support for NATO.
The 97-2 vote reflects the broad concerns on Capitol Hill over Trump's seeming ambivalence about the alliance and his commitment to it.
The vote came the same day Trump arrived in Brussels, Belgium, for a summit of NATO nations and shortly before he heads to Helsinki, Finland, for a one-on-one session with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/10/politics/senate-nato-vote-trump/index.html

This gives me some hope that the Senate will thwart any attempt by Trump to take us out of NATO.

Why NATO is so important!

The history of Europe is one of war after war among and between countries that now, thanks to NATO, are joined in a common defense.

They are open with each other about the state and extent of their military organizations. They act together, not just in Europe but in other places in the world.

Thanks to NATO and with the exception of the former Yugoslavia, the world has enjoyed a peace not known for centuries on the European continent.

That should never be sacrificed for any reason.

NATO is the key to peace in Europe.

Let's don't forget that.

Financial concerns about who spends what are absurd.

Why? Because if we had to ever again fight a war on the European continent, it would be devastating for the entire world.

Never again. Never again.

So for those who do not understand the history of Europe or why NATO is so important, there you have it.

Update on the reunification of refugee children with their parents.

Under the administration policy implemented in May, adults who otherwise might have been directed into civil deportation proceedings were instead criminally prosecuted for entering the country illegally. Children were removed from these parents and placed in shelters across the country, sometimes thousands of miles from where the parent was detained.

President Trump issued an executive order ending the separations amid mounting political pressure and public outrage. The administration has committed to reuniting migrant children and their families, but stringent vetting, including home visits and the fingerprinting of every member of a household where a child will be residing, have slowed the process down.

The A.C.L.U. and immigrant advocates say the exhaustive screening is meant for unaccompanied minors, typically teenagers, who enter the country alone — not for children who were brought into the country by their parents and then taken away by immigration authorities — who presumably should already be aware of their family connections.

A lawyer for the Justice Department told the court Friday that 19 parents of children who are under the age of 5 have been deported. In the case of 19 others, the parents have been released and their whereabouts is unknown, she said. She indicated that the government needed more time to reunify all the families.

More

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/09/us/migrants-family-separation-reunification.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution

ecycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper. You struggle to find a place to do it and feel pleased when you succeed. But your effort is wholly inadequate and distracts from the real problem of why the building is collapsing in the first place. The real problem is that single-use plastic—the very idea of producing plastic items like grocery bags, which we use for an average of 12 minutes but can persist in the environment for half a millennium—is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology. Encouraging individuals to recycle more will never solve the problem of a massive production of single-use plastic that should have been avoided in the first place.

As an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, I have had a disturbing window into the accumulating literature on the hazards of plastic pollution. Scientists have long recognized that plastics biodegrade slowly, if at all, and pose multiple threats to wildlife through entanglement and consumption. More recent reports highlight dangers posed by absorption of toxic chemicals in the water and by plastic odors that mimic some species’ natural food.

Plastics also accumulate up the food chain, and studies now show that we are likely ingesting it ourselves in seafood. If we consumers are to blame, how is it possible that we fail to react when a study reports that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050? I would argue the simple answer is that it is hard. And the reason why it is hard has an interesting history.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/more-recycling-wont-solve-plastic-pollution/

Everything I buy seems to be wrapped in plastic -- except produce. And I put a plastic sack around my vegetables in the store.

Is so much plastic really necessary?

Sometimes I can just barely extract the product I just bought from its plastic shroud.

Do we really need so much plastic? Wouldn't life be better without a lot of it?

What can we do about this?

Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

One of my most vivid memories in a campaign is the day the union canvassers cameto join our group in a local, Los Angeles campaign. The volunteers seemed to tower over me. They were enthusiastic. They brought speed and energy to the campaign that was inspiring.

We need to watch what happens to funding and campaign support for Democrats now that a lot of union money will be gone. The union members will still be with us and active, but unless Democrats focus on the problems of working people, the rights of working people, we will have a much tougher time in elections.

How do you think we should deal with the new reality after that Supreme Court decision?

. . . .

In the 5-to-4 decision on Wednesday, the (Supreme) court’s majority ruled that requiring nonmembers to make union payments violated their First Amendment rights, since much of what unions do could be considered political activity at odds with their beliefs.

. . . .

A newly formed political action committee called End Citizens United, named for the Supreme Court decision that opened the door to more corporate money in elections, raised about $25 million, largely from small donors, during the 2016 campaign, and is on pace to exceed that amount this election cycle. Most of its spending supports House and Senate Democratic candidates favoring campaign-finance reform.

. . . .

In 2016, the four major public-sector unions gave nearly 15 percent of the $17 million raised by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which funds state legislative races nationwide. But the group is optimistic that any loss of union revenue can be offset by what it calls the “people power” of union members and other voters.

. . . .

Activists and party operatives said union cash would be more difficult to replace in other areas. Mr. Wikler said MoveOn’s monthly donor base had quadrupled since Mr. Trump was elected, allowing it to increase support for groups working on immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights and racial-justice causes.

. . . .

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/business/economy/unions-funding-political.html?ribbon-ad-idx=2&rref=business/economy&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Economy&pgtype=article

Any ideas? Or do you think this decision won't change the Democratic Party much?

I think if Democrats respond by changing our focus a bit more toward increasing opportunity for all and changing the laws that govern the workplace as well as job training and education, we can still stay relevant to working people.

What do you think? I may or may not respond to you. I would like to see what you think.

Do the Russians have Republican e-mails?

I stole that from a comment on Twitter, but it is a possibility.

What do you think?

Is that why Republicans from safe Republican states are so willing to go to Russia?

Are they afraid of what the Russians might do to them?

I'm just asking. I have no inside knowledge.

But . . . .

What do you think?

Ocasio-Cortez speaks out.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oscasio-cortez-owns-conservative-critics_us_5b3a5f05e4b0e0e7bc427392
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