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andym

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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:31 PM
Number of posts: 5,073

Journal Archives

Talking point: Republicans want to take away your freedoms, especially a freedom of privacy

with special emphasis on sexual relations, including contraception, etc. Tell folks, that's just plain un-American. Their argument, if a right is not explicitly spelled out in detail in the Constitution it doesn't exist, which will certainly limit freedoms.

Two Americas or "Poll: Half of Americans now predict U.S. may 'cease to be a democracy' someday"

"Poll: Half of Americans now predict U.S. may 'cease to be a democracy' someday"
Andrew Romano·West Coast Correspondent
Wed, June 15, 2022, 2:00 AM
https://www.yahoo.com/news/poll-half-of-americans-now-predict-us-may-cease-to-be-a-democracy-someday-090028564.html

In this eye-opening poll we see that there are two Americas not in the sense of John Edwards' rich and poor, but rather two groups of ideologically partitioned people who believe the other group to be a problem that will lead to the loss of American Democracy:

A Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that a bipartisan majority: most Democrats (55%) and Republicans (53%) now believe it likely that the US will “cease to be a democracy in the future.”

--snipped out lots of interesting poll data-- basically less than 50% of Americans paying attention to Jan 6 hearings, with Republicans by a large majority disbelieving the committee and dismissing it. It's very much worth reading this poll-based article linked above.

"But if Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are largely dismissive of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, then why are most of them pessimistic about the future of democracy? For the same reason most refused to watch the hearings in the first place: because they see Democrats — not the Trump supporters who invaded the Capitol — as the real problem. And Democrats largely feel the same way about Republicans.

When asked to choose the phrase that best “describes most people on the other side of the political aisle from you,” a majority of Republicans pick extreme negatives such as “out of touch with reality” (30%), a “threat to America” (25%), “immoral” (8%) and a “threat to me personally” (4%). A tiny fraction select more sympathetic phrases such as “well-meaning” (4%) or “not that different from me” (6%).

The results among Democrats are nearly identical, with negatives such as “out of touch with reality” (27%), a “threat to America” (23%), “immoral” (7%) and a “threat to me personally” (4%) vastly outnumbering positives such as “well-meaning” (7%) or “not that different from me” (5%).

Meanwhile, the number of Trump and Biden voters who say the other side is primarily a threat to America (28% and 25%, respectively) is double the number who say the other side is primarily “wrong about policy” (14% and 13%)."
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The current level of political polarization, led by politically-oriented propaganda outlets such as Fox News is leading the US astray. The problem is that politically oriented media/websites/social media are polarizing, but some are necessary as means to effectively counter the most powerful propaganda sources such as Fox News by organizing against distortions and lies.

Gun control: Prohibitive gun/ammo tax instead of prohibition?

Why not impose a federal prohibitive ownership fee on guns and/org ammo, where the money would go to fund those who are injured or killed in gun violence-- say $1000/year for small arms and $10000/year for AR class weapons--payable first at the time of purchase. Taxes should pass 2nd amendment muster, and failure to pay would mean loss of the gun or prison time for failure to pay a tax. That might be the only way to achieve effective gun control.

Could a freedom of privacy Constitutional amendment pass in the current environment or hurt the GOP?

Might be useful to try and at least get opponents on record being against a key liberty. Would make any SC decisions trying to strip decisions based on privacy as an implied right, such as Roe v Wade, Griswold v Connecticut etc, moot.

Nevertheless, the attempt would be a great way to destroy the propaganda that the GOP is the party of liberty.

Early human development is inefficient: as many as 60% of fertilized embryos spontaneously abort

Though the anti-abortion movement welcomed scientific knowledge about conception to define human life which they claim begins at conception (a concept that was not well understood before science discovered the mechanism), they have not accounted for the inefficiency of early development and embryos that will not develop to term. Of pregnancies women are aware of, ~15% will spontaneously abort in the first trimester, with the estimate as high as 60% for all pregnancies (women are often unaware of earliest pregnancies). Embryogenesis is a complex, inefficient process.*

Such knowledge clearly impacts any definition of when human life legally begins, but also has implications for anti-abortion laws in red states. Will they decide to make any evidence of an abortion, spontaneous or not a crime? Hopefully not, but given their biblically-oriented motivations it could happen, and the underlying science will be ignored. Perhaps it is only a matter of time when courts begin to rule that life legally begins at conception (due to challenges to antiabortion laws) making women legally responsible for failed pregnancies, and the conservative Supreme Court gives its seal of approval, despite biological facts that suggest that this definition is unworkable.


---
Reference
*Larsen, E.C., Christiansen, O.B., Kolte, A.M. et al. New insights into mechanisms behind miscarriage. BMC Med 11, 154 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-11-154
https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-11-154
"Human reproduction is characterized by its inefficiency. Prospective cohort studies using sensitive and specific daily urinary hCG assays in women trying to conceive have demonstrated that only around one-third of conceptions progress to a live birth [34–36]. An estimated 30% of human conceptions are lost prior to implantation and a further 30% following implantation but before the missed menstrual period, that is in the third or fourth week of gestation. These are often termed preclinical losses."

Take the culture wars seriously-- they represent the real interest of the GOP

Far more than economics, it has been the social issues that drive Republican votes in recent years. Anti-abortion and anti-gay rights are the key issues that bind the most rabid Republicans, but do not doubt the power of conventionalism and traditionalism to motivate the GOP and even persuadable swing voters who harbor some number of "traditional" values. For them it's "progress" to codify their religious and social values and prevent any socially liberal ideas from taking root. That's why they so wanted control of the Supreme Court. The underlying echoes of favoring their in-groups over "others" helps drive the process.

Trump will be considered the winning general for the extreme right's culture wars, although it was McConnell who did the dirty work. This Supreme Court decision guarantees Trump's renomination and he will refer to "his victory" in the culture wars vociferously and often. After they dismantle abortion rights, gay rights are next, followed by at least partial removal of the separation of church and state.

Mischaracterization of accepted social norms that evolved over the last 80 years, such as education which includes an accurate history of slavery and subsequent exploitation of and bias against African-Americans is and will be par for the course going forward in order to attempt to win over members of their in-groups. That is the basis of their attacks on "CRT," which itself is not even taught outside of universities.

Pro-nationalist, anti-liberal (esp gay rights) movements in US and Europe with propagandized news

In the big picture, the face of neo-fascism is becoming clear:

Propagandized single-source news keeps Putin in power. Orban in Hungary has instituted a similar state-run news monopoly that helped him get reelected yesterday in spite of his support for Putin. Fox News is an example here in the US, but fortunately is not yet dominant. That Fox news radicalizes its listeners is clear from the recent study: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/fox-news-cnn-partisan-media-study-b2050240.html
Ailes publicly admitted to creating it as a GOP propaganda network. We stand at the tipping point should Fox News become more dominant.

Neo-fascist movements are pro-nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-liberal (especially social/culture aspects such as opposing gay rights). Examples besides Trump, US Republican leaders and state governments in the South include Putin in Russia, Orban in Hungary (calls himself an "illiberal" leader) and at least anti-gay rhetoric by the conservative government in Poland.

It's almost as if Murdoch and Putin are trying to lead a right-wing revolution in the West. I wonder how many special operations Putin has instigated around the world to promote this kind of neo-fascist political change (rumor had it Russia helped promote Brexit for example). Nationalism might fracture the EU-- a Russian goal.

Former Supreme Cmdr of NATO Wes Clark states US may have to risk nuclear war to maintain deterrence

[In a recent interview, Wesley Clark, a Democrat who made a serous ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2004 states that 1) Putin should be declared a war criminal, 2) the US should establish a no-fly zone in Ukraine if asked, and 3) the US may have to risk nuclear war to maintain deterrence and the modern world as we know it, although his answer is nuanced.]

"Q: Would Putin use a nuclear weapon?

A: If he was losing, I think he might. And if we think there’s a chance a guy would use a nuclear weapon against us, I guess we just need to give up on the concept of extended deterrence. Why would we want to defend Estonia if Putin might want to use a nuclear weapon? Is Estonia worth it? You say it’s NATO, but the cold, hard reality is Putin can move into Estonia and take control before we can make up our mind what to do. Or Taiwan — what if China says, “You come into Taiwan again, we’re going to use a nuclear weapon.” The Chinese have a lot of people, they have a lot of nuclear weapons. What if North Korea says, “You hold another exercise, we’re going to use a nuclear weapon.” Say [to North Korea] “Oh, we’re going to obliterate you.” “No, you’re not going to obliterate us, we can attack the United States — now.” What if Iran says it? That’s the answer to it. It was easy to be the world’s hyperpower when we were going against Libya, Iraq and Syria. The United States has to recalibrate its understanding, leadership and processes to work in this new area or we will lose the rules-based international system, which we’re proud to have established after World War II and which we established by using the concept of extended deterrence.

Q: What moves could the United States make beyond sanctions right now that would help protect Ukraine?

A: The most important move now is for the president to announce Vladimir Putin is a war criminal. Really. This gives enormous diplomatic leverage and a greater incentive to help the campaign. "

from [more at this link]
https://newsbeezer.com/aus/former-nato-commander-wesley-clark-is-urging-the-us-to-reconsider-the-no-fly-zone/
(use this instead of the original NY Post link)

also this thread at DU:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016315914

Also see post #10- for a detailed explication of Commander Clark's views
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100216436053#post10

Russians struggle to understand Ukraine war: 'We didn't choose this'

Updated 6:47 AM EST, Thu March 3, 2022
CNN
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016315691

[article begins with descriptions of young people protesting, but ensuring that they remain in crowds]

"Meanwhile, members of Russia’s “intelligentsia” – academics, writers, journalists and others – have issued public appeals decrying the war, including a rare “open letter” to Putin signed by 1,200 students, faculty and staff of MGIMO University, the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations, affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which produces most of Russia’s government and foreign service elite."

---snip---

"But many Russians, in fact, do not fully know what is happening in Ukraine. State-controlled television shows almost no reports of Russian bombing and shelling in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, instead it focuses on so-called Ukrainian “nationalists” and “neo-fascists.”

[article states news stations did not prepare Russians for going to war, many are surprised]

---snip--
But Russian young people like 25-year-old Arina, who lives in Moscow, is not watching TV – she says she hasn’t watched it in seven years. She’s on the internet, reading blogs and listening to vloggers. She hasn’t taken part in protests yet, but she has seen young people on the street taking part in “silent protests,” sticking “No to War” signs on their backpacks or bags.
---snip--

Arina says she and her mother “had a very fierce argument.”
“She just doesn’t accept my position and thinks I’m a pro-Westerner, that I don’t understand anything. She doesn’t believe what I say, I don’t believe what she says…We have very different sources of information: I learn everything from the independent media, which have mostly long been blocked in Russia, and she watches TV.” ...
--snip--
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Much more at the article. When people only believe TV for their worldview, especially TV focused on one perspective-- one that is controlled by one source, in this case the Russian state, then propaganda works. There are people in this country who live in such information bubbles voluntary-- like those who watch TV only and Fox News in particular (or one of their copycats). The danger is clear.

Putin probably thinks/thought Ukraine will be a replay of Hungarian Revolution in 1956

That lasted about 1 week after the Soviet army invaded. They eventually executed the Hungarian leader Nagy.
Radio Free Europe promised the Hungarians help, but no real help was forthcoming.

The Western allies have to do everything they can to make sure the outcome is different this time.
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Here is a very informative article on what happened:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Revolution_of_1956

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (also known as the Hungarian Uprising, 23 October – 10 November 1956; Hungarian: 1956-os forradalom), was a countrywide revolution against the Stalinist government of the Hungarian People's Republic (1949–1989) and the Hungarian domestic policies imposed by the USSR. Initially anarchic, the Hungarian Uprising was the first major nationalist challenge to Soviet Union's control of Hungary since the Soviet Army ended the Nazi occupation of Hungary at the end of the Second World War in Europe, in May 1945.[nb 2]...

Although initially willing to negotiate the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Hungary, the USSR repressed the Hungarian Revolution on 4 November 1956, and fought the Hungarian revolutionaries until 10 November; repression of the Hungarian Uprising killed 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet Army soldiers, and compelled 200,000 Hungarians to seek political refuge abroad.[6]...

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The background and revolution

[It started in Szeged with university students protesting the situation in Hungary]

On 5 March 1953, the death of Stalin allowed the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) to proceed with the de-Stalinization of the USSR, which was a relative liberalisation of politics that afterwards allowed most European Communist parties and the communist parties of the Warsaw Pact to develop a reformist wing – within the structures of the Philosophy of Marxism and orders from Moscow. Hence, the reformist Communist Imre Nagy became prime minister (1953–55) of the Hungarian People's Republic, in replacement of the Stalinist Mátyás Rákosi (1946–56), whose heavy-hand style of communist government had proved counter-productive to the interests of the USSR in Hungary.[31]

In the afternoon of 23 October 1956, approximately 20,000 protestors met beside the statue of General József Bem, a national hero of Poland and Hungary.[46] To the amassed crowd of protestors, the intellectual Péter Veres, the president of the Writers' Union (Írószövetség), read a manifesto demanding Hungarian independence from all foreign powers; a democratic socialist political system based upon land reform and (public) state ownership in the economy; Hungarian membership to the United Nations; and all Freedom and Rights for the citizens of Hungary.[47] After Veres proclaimed the manifesto demanding Hungarian sovereignty, the crowd chanted the Hungarian patriotic poem National Song (Nemzeti dal), which the Soviet-controlled Rákosi government of Hungary had banned from public performance; the crowd repeatedly chanted the refrain: "This we swear, this we swear, that we will no longer be slaves."[48][page range too broad]...

By 12.00 hrs of 24 October, Red Army tanks were stationed outside the parliament building, and Red Army soldiers held the bridges and crossroads that controlled access to Budapest, while Hungarian revolutionaries barricaded streets to defend their city from the Red Army.[48] Also on that day, Imre Nagy became prime minister in place of András Hegedüs.[55] In a national radio broadcast, PM Nagy asked a ceasefire between the Red Army and the Hungarian Revolutionaries, and agreed to initiate postponed political reforms decided in 1953. Despite the pleas of PM Nagy, the rural and urban populations of the Hungary armed themselves and continually fought the Red Army.[56]....

As Hungarian revolutionaries fought the soldiers and tanks of the Red Army with small arms and Molotov cocktails in the streets of Budapest, throughout Hungary, revolutionary workers' councils assumed government power and called general strikes to halt the economy and the functioning of civil society. In ridding Hungary of the influence of and control from the USSR, the revolutionaries destroyed the symbols of Communism, such as the red star and Red Army monuments, and burned communist literature. Moreover, Revolutionary militias, such as the 400-man militia led by József Dudás attacked and murdered pro-Soviet Hungarians and ÁVH policemen.[62] The Hungarian Army armoured division stationed in Budapest, commanded by Pál Maléter led the Hungarian Revolution against the USSR's control of Hungary, and negotiated ceasefire agreements with the revolutionaries;[63] nonetheless, the Hungarian Revolution took many Communist prisoners who were registered to lists that identified the prisoner either for summary execution or as an enemy of the people.[64]...

The Nagy government freed the political prisoner General Béla Király to restore order to Hungary with a National Guard force composed of policemen, soldiers, and Revolutionaries loyal to Hungary.[68] On 30 October 1956, Gen. Király's National Guard attacked the building of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist Party and killed every pro-Soviet officer of the Hungarian Communist Party, ÁVH policeman, and pro-Soviet Hungarian soldier they encountered;[69] and most Red Army troops withdrew from Budapest to garrisons in the Hungarian countryside.[70]
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Poland citizenry supports Hungary

The events in Hungary met with a very spontaneous reaction in Poland. Hungarian flags were displayed in many Polish towns and villages. After the Soviet invasion, the help given by the ordinary Poles to Hungarians took on a considerable scale. Citizen organizations and self-acting aid committees were established throughout Poland to distribute aid to the Hungarian population, e.g. the Social Civic Committee of Creative Associations (Bydgoszcz), the Student Committee for Aid to Hungarians (Kraków), the Society of Friends of Hungarians (Tarnów), the Committee to Aid the Hungarians (Lublin), and the Committee for Aid to Hungarians (Człuchów). In addition to the official support coordinated by the Polish Red Cross, one convoy was dispatched – one organized by the Student Aid Committee for Hungarians from Kraków. Other such initiatives were prevented.[121]...
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United States under Eisenhower does nothing, but encourages uprising through Radio Free Europe
France and Britain do nothing as well..

In the U.S., two facts determined the inaction of the Eisenhower government: (i) the U.S. Army study, Hungary, Resistance Activities and Potentials (January 1956), which recommended against U.S. military intervention to Hungary on the side of the Hungarian revolutionists;[128] and (ii) the secret warfare of the National Security Council that encouraged anti-communist political discontent in the Eastern Bloc only through psychological warfare, sabotage, and economic warfare.[41][129]

Throughout the counter-revolutionary events, Radio Free Europe (RFE) continually encouraged the Hungarian revolutionaries, nationalist and anti-communist, to battle the Red Army and the Hungarian communists until outside help, from NATO, arrived at the borders of Hungary. After the USSR defeated the anti-communist Hungarian Revolution, the revolutionists criticised the CIA and their RFE network for having deceived the Hungarians into believing that the West – the NATO and the US – would expel the USSR from the Hungarian People's Republic.[130] In the event, Dulles of the CIA deceived Pres. Eisenhower about the broadcasting of mendacious promises of external military support for the anti-communist Hungarians. Eisenhower believed Dulles, because CIA had classified and hidden the transcriptions of the mendacious CIA broadcasts that falsely promised military aid the Hungarian revolutionaries to overthrow the Communist government of Hungary.[126]
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The fighting and outcome

Between 4 and 9 November, the Hungarian Army put up sporadic and disorganised resistance, with Zhukov reporting the disarming of twelve divisions, two armoured regiments and the entire Hungarian Air Force. Hungarian fighters continued their most formidable resistance in various districts of Budapest (most famously the Battle of the Corvin Passage), in and around the city of Pécs in the Mecsek Mountains, and in the industrial centre of Dunaújváros (then called Stalintown). There were ten to fifteen thousand resistance fighters fighting in Budapest, with the heaviest fighting occurring in the working-class stronghold of Csepel on the Danube River.[146][page needed] Although some very senior officers were openly pro-Soviet, rank-and-file soldiers were overwhelmingly loyal to the revolution and either fought the invasion or deserted. The UN reported that there were no recorded incidents of Hungarian Army units fighting for the Soviets.[147]

In the immediate aftermath, many thousands of Hungarians were arrested. Eventually, 26,000 of these were brought before the Hungarian courts, 22,000 were sentenced and imprisoned, 13,000 interned, and 229 executed. Approximately 200,000[165] fled Hungary as refugees.[166][167][168] Former Hungarian Foreign Minister Géza Jeszenszky estimated 350 were executed.[131] Sporadic resistance and strikes by workers' councils continued until mid-1957, causing economic disruption.[169] By 1963, most political prisoners from the 1956 Hungarian revolution had been released.[170]
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Putin well knows this history and the Western powers reluctance even under the former Allied commander to confront Russia/Soviets directly.
Everything must be done to prevent an historical replay that Putin obviously believes is the likely outcome-- defeat of Ukraine and installation of a puppet government.





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