We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, July 11. 2018
Clan MacGregor: Fearless, Lawless And Persecuted Clan Of The Highlands
The complex physics behind bending it like a World Cup player - Fluid dynamics experts weigh in on how Ronaldo and Pavard score seemingly impossible goals.
Consumers flooded with dubious claims about marijuana’s health benefits
US CO2 emissions hit 67-year low
Older Immigrants “Crowding Out” U.S. Teens For Summer Jobs
Ex-Apple Employee Stole Secrets for Chinese Firm, U.S. Says
Trump Says Pfizer Is Rolling Back Drug Price Hikes
Mexico's new president sounds a lot like Trump on border security
Anatomy of a Fake News Story, Kavanaugh Edition
NATO is a mess — and that’s nothing new
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Get out of NATO. Get out of the UN. Two self-perpetuating bureaucracies employing people who have not been elected to collect and distribute trillions of dollars to their buddies while letting those who need assistance go without.
Neither solve any problems; they simply stir the pot of dissatisfaction and instigate skirmishes among people who have been skirmishing for centuries. Only difference is the trillions they get paid to do it while, prior to the founding of these organizations, the tribes/clans did it for free.
And, while I'm at it, what's in those vaccines that are being pumped into naive communities?
The power of female sexuality is a direct result of our evolutionary history.
In most mammals, females are only sexually receptive during times of fertility. They signal when they are ready by a variety of signals depending on species: pheromones, physical display, behavior. Males are directly 'wired' to these triggers, as the ones that respond quickly and effectively create the next generation, passive ones are quickly eliminated from the gene pool. (This is where the 'objectivation' term comes in, males are wired to respond directly to physical cues by the female, whereas females respond to signals coming from within their own body. Seeing an attractive potential mate does not make her immediately think of sex the way it works with men)
Something is different in humans, however. Most mammals are raised exclusively or mostly by the mother, but it's a relatively quick process (a mother cat can go off hunting within a very short time of giving birth, some young herd animals can run with the herd within a few hours of birth. A young chimpanzee hangs on mom's fur as she gathers food in the trees). Essentially these animals do not need much help. Humans are different. The young are helpless for a very long time (years not days), the mother cannot simply go off and hunt food all the time.
So, consider a simple mutation: Suppose on some females, the sexual receptivity does not 'turn off'. The male sticks around, continuing to mate even when she is not currently fertile. That pairing lubricates cooperation, cooperation translates directly into reproductive success. Over time, this becomes a more genetically stable situation, males that actively cooperate, and females that remain sexually active both are more successful in contributing to the next generation.
In this light, 'non reproductive' sex (rare in other species) provides substantial resources to a female and continues to do so in human societies in different forms. Whether marriage, concubinage, prostitution or simply social engineering, female sexuality is a powerful source of resources. Men too have adapted to this, over the years, willingness to share resources with a sex partner whether wife, paramour or sex worker has worked its way into our programming. It's not at all 'unnatural' to see rich or powerful men surrounded by attractive women. (hence almost ALL customers of prostitutes, whether straight or gay, are male--men are wired to do this in a way that women are not).
Next time you see a young woman in an expensive car, if she got it from a husband or boyfriend... it was indirectly her sexuality that provided it. Biology works.
jay: Something is different in humans, however. Most mammals are raised exclusively or mostly by the mother
Which is related to monogamy, rare in mammals, but common in avian species for instance.
jma: Get out of NATO. Get out of the UN.
We're quite sure Estonia will have no problem with standing up to Russian aggression on their own.
US CO2 emissions hit 67-year low
Well, no. Current CO2 emissions for the U.S. are significantly higher than in 1950.
per-capita carbon dioxide emissions are now the lowest they’ve been in nearly seven decades.
That's better. Energy efficiency has been increasing almost continuously for decades. The switch from coal to natural gas accounts for most of the recent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions per capita. However, the gains from that switch are now largely realized. Continued improvement will require additional measures.
Keep in mind that it is cumulative CO2 that determines the greenhouse effect. That would be the area under the curve.
Top Six Unhinged Reactions to Kavanaugh Nomination. If this guy's such a danger to society, why hasn't there been a resounding call to impeach him off the 2nd Circuit long before now? After all, he's been up there doing radical things and threatening lives for 12+ years. Could it be he was safely tucked away in the minority on the 2nd Circuit after Obama packed it with lefties (with Harry Reid's dubious help)?
Re: Reactions to nominee
I see Pelosi complaining that the future Supreme Court will probably reflect the more conservative ideals of the other half of the country. I would like to see how she explains how the past Supreme Courts have NOT reflected those ideals, but rather the ideals of her party. Please remember: I, nor you, got to vote for gay rights. I, nor you, got to vote for Title IX and let's not forget how it was the move from the left to harass and destroy young man by demanding that a rape charge only require a suggestion of evidence/proof--not the actual evidence! Yep, the old court was really going the way I wanted to go. Funny, how nobody asked. Whatever happened to the community generated referendum process in this country?
Do you really think we will go to war with Russia if they overrun or simply annex Estonia?
Allowing former eastern block states admission to NATO was a huge mistake on Clinton's part. We now have commitments we can't keep.
BillH: After all, he's been up there doing radical things and threatening lives for 12+ years.
Lower courts are constrained by the decisions of higher courts. The Supreme Court is not so constrained.
faculty wife: Please remember: I, nor you, got to vote for gay rights.
Nor did you get to vote for the Bill of Rights or the Fourteenth Amendment.
feeblemind: Do you really think we will go to war with Russia if they overrun or simply annex Estonia?
Yeah, like when was the last time Estonia fought and bled for the Americans, huh? The U.S. is the only country to have ever invoked the NATO treaty of mutual self-defence—after the attacks of 9-11. The Americans asked for help, and tiny Estonia was there.
Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine, and has used cyberwarfare and other means to undermine democratic governments from the Baltics to the Americas.
The U.S. is legally obligated to help if Estonia is attacked, but you may be right. Under Trump, those promises may fall by the wayside.
Opening the NATO summit in Brussels with a bang Wednesday, President Trump blasted Germany for a pipeline project that he said made Germany “totally controlled by Russia.”
I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia,” Mr. Trump said at a breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
“The former chancellor of Germany is head of the pipeline company that’s supplying the gas,” Mr. Trump said. “You tell me, is that appropriate? I’ve been complaining about this from the time I got here.”
The Trump-Russia narrative demolished. Trump takes it to NATO and NATO blinks: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/07/11/epic-president-trump-eats-nato-for-breakfast-secretary-general-jens-stoltenberg-confronted-by-trump-on-eu-gas-pipeline-agreement-with-russia/
Clattering Soros-Schlansky Robot(s) would fall silent except they never fall silent; they just dodge and shimmy.
The Clattering Soros-Schlensky Robot(s) reaches down and pulls Estonia out of its floppy drive. Yeah, the fulcrum of western civilization and world peace that is Estonia:
Evidently the CSSR(s) is all for Russia at the same time as its(s) against Russia. Us regular human people persons will have to see which party occupies the Oval next time to know exactly which way the CSSR(s) flops its(s) floppy next time.
^ Witness the power of this fully Obtuse Pedantry Nexus Vortex Generator 2000, engaged!
Zzzz: Keep in mind that it is cumulative CO2 that determines the greenhouse effect.
^This from the same kiddiez that claimed this:
Hardly, but rather based on the basic physics of heat flow. Start with this basic fact: The Earth can only gain or lose heat radiatively.
#2.3.1 Zachriel on 2018-02-11 10:24
Rights do not generally need to be voted on:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Jay, although perpetual female sexuality slightly increases the human carbon dioxide "footprint" which Zack dreads, it is a "renewable resource" like solar and wind power. So on balance, the zackbot should approve of sex when attracted to your post like a moth to a flame or pheromone.
If the European countries are not interested in protecting themselves, why should we be protecting them or even interested in protecting them?
jaybird: although perpetual female sexuality slightly increases the human carbon dioxide "footprint"
Animal respiration is largely carbon-neutral. The carbon you exhale was recently absorbed from the atmosphere by plants.
Well, nobody living did get to vote on either, this being the 150th anniversary year of its passing.
Sam L: If the European countries are not interested in protecting themselves, why should we be protecting them or even interested in protecting them?
NATO Europe and Canada are annually spending about $312 billion on defence, about 1.47% of GDP. They have agreed to increase that, on a per country basis, to 2% of GDP by 2024. Last year, spending increased about 5%. Meanwhile, NATO peoples fought and bled with the U.S. when the U.S. invoked NATO Article 5.
Yes, Europe should spend more, including on cyberdefence. Germany is lagging considerably and needs to step up. However, these are democratic countries, and insulting them will only make it politically more difficult to increase defence spending.
Sam L: And here I thought the Gang of Z would provide the 7th.
Then you haven't been paying attention.
Coupled with the Abstruse Modulator (2X) Hyperdrive Override.
Why in the heck would Trump pardon Mueller? His case is tied to swamp - Podesta Group and Mercury LLC. We have no idea where that investigation is going, nor who will get caught up in it. But the info from Mueller specifically says they will bring forward no Russia collusion / campaign stuff in their case. NOW do people understand Manafort?
This is NOT about Trump. It's about the swamp. Manafort is slimy and he broke the conditions of his parole TWICE. His own fault he is in jail. He was warned in December not to do it again...and he did. Unrepentant crook. Trump shouldn't feel guilty about not pardoning this sleaze.
I am mystified why people would stand up for this guy. The only person I think got a raw deal so far is Flynn, and we still have yet to see his case play out and what the end result will be.
So the Left is down with defending Estonia to the last American, which is the ultimate risk of going to war with Russia over Estonia.
I am enlightened.
Re: Bending it like a World Cup player
What would we do without experts? The idea that a spinning ball moves in an odd but predictable manner is a phenomenon discovered by every 8-year old kid bouncing a ball out in the driveway. Whether it's billiards or tennis or Ping-Pong or four square, if you play a game involving a ball you learn about spin.
feeblemind: So the Left is down with defending Estonia to the last American, which is the ultimate risk of going to war with Russia over Estonia.
You have just counseled Russia that there is no reason not to invade Estonia, or Poland for that matter, that there is no price to pay for aggression.
Collective defence saves American lives by maintaining stability. The primary purpose of the international order established after WWII was "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind".
When Hitler invaded an almost defenceless Poland, Britain and France finally honored their commitments. To have allowed Hitler to continue to plunder Europe wouldn't have avoided war, but only have made it more costly, or even unwinnable.
zack, same with automobile and factory emissions, for consistency,ight?
The US provided security assurances to Ukraine so when Russia annexed Crimea, the US (under Obama) provided blankets that were vitally needed to repel Russian aggression.
Circuit court judges are not constrained at all by the Supreme Court, which can only handle a relatively few cases per year. The 9th Circus routinely makes up its own law without constraint. (I was involved in a case in which a crooked Circuit ignored a Supreme Court decision a year later)
Kavanaugh could do what he wanted on the DC Circuit, in a variety of ways. But unlike the 9th Circus he believes he is constrained by the words of Constitution, unless is is properly changed by amendment.
It's(s) all wound up today. It(s) must believe, as much as it(s) can believe, that real human people persons are as spectacularly dimensionless and obtuse as it(s) itself(s) is.
If you tell it(s) you think pizza tastes good it'll(s) instantly correct your preference with a little dissertation on 18th century Naples and what a racist you are and how this isn't the first time you've been corrected about Roman aquifers and sandal-making and conclude with one of those little human-like quips designed by its(s) programmers to engender camaraderie between itself(s) and those it's(s) inflicted itself(s) on.
And yet, damned if you and I don't enjoy pizza and pretty much conclude that nobody better fool with it. Roger Wilco; Over and out.
What do they call that kind of machine-condescension again? Do you think that might be another of its installed modules? I wonder what kind of slot they plug into.
Zach, your at odds with the NYT:
Time for the United States to Leave NATO
MissT, you are right about Flynn. General Flynn was interrogated by FBI agents without formal notice or warning that the FBI was intentionally trying to incriminate him, and that he had the right to counsel or the right to remain silent. The FBI had the transcript of a conversation they “dropped by” to ask him about,, while having complete knowledge of the answers to their questions. General Flynn was not told they had the complete transcript, or permitted to review the transcript itself for the questioning. The FBI already knew the facts. There was no purpose of their inquisition other than to try to trap Flynn into saying something other than the exact transcript of what they already knew. This was a “process crime” sneak attack to create a crime when there was none before the inquisition.
Even after their secret sneak attack, the Agents reportedly did not think Flynn lied to them about this long-ago phone call. There is no audio or video recording of the Flynn inquisition. Only the FBI Agents’ subsequently-written “form 302” notes are permitted as evidence in this Star Chamber procedure. It is also reported that the FBI later changed this “form 302” so-called evidence.
Flynn was then threatened with personal bankruptcy, and reportedly threatened that his son would be prosecuted if he did not plead guilty to this Star-Chamber-created “crime”.
People being interviewed by the FBI with the intention and authority to write a “302” form to prosecute them, are effectively under the threat and in the focused custody attention of the FBI, without a 5th and 6th Amendment Miranda warning.
General Flynn had no warning that anything he said would be used criminally prosecute him, that he could (and should) have a lawyer present, or that the FBI already had recorded the phone call of their inquisition and was just “gunning for him” to make a recollection mistake. Anyone under questioning by the FBI when intent on “process criminal charges” should have a Miranda warning.
The FBI “process crime factory” is notoriously used to create crimes when none existed, in order to prosecute people for political reasons. It is worse than the secret British Star Chamber, which was notorious for political oppression through the arbitrary abuse of criminal law.
The British Star Chamber and its abusive inquisitions were a principal reason for the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution. Under the 5th and 6th Amendments. Any criminal, (and more certainly, any non-criminal who has done nothing wrong) has Constitutional “Miranda” rights:
“...The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he/she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he/she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him/her.”
This Star Chamber FBI political abuse was used against General Flynn, Martha Stewart, and “Scooter Libby” for clearly political purposes. The Courts should abolish it.
Extortion is a crime. 18 USC 872 - Extortion by officers or employees of the United States provides that:
“Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; but if the amount so extorted or demanded does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both”
Threatening a political opponent such as General Flynn with prosecuting a family member, and/or bankruptcy, should be treated by our courts as extortion. The reason General Flynn has been subjected to Star Chamber attack is to extort him to help remove a duly elected President, as part of the criminal FBI “insurance policy”. This is another reason for the courts to refuse to participate in this Star Chamber abuse of criminal law.
feeblemind: your at odds with the NYT:
That is a common conflation of an opinion article with the views of the New York Times. The Times publishes a wide range of views.
Bacevich: Meanwhile, the implosion of the Soviet empire has yielded a Russia that no longer possesses the military or ideological wherewithal to threaten Europe.
That is incorrect. Russia annexed the Crimea, and invaded eastern Ukraine. They have attempted to undermine democratic institutions in European countries, including in the Baltics.
Z wrote: "However, these are democratic countries, and insulting them will only make it politically more difficult to increase defence spending."
Trump didn't insult them.
mudbug: The US provided security assurances to Ukraine so when Russia annexed Crimea
Ukraine is not part of NATO, nor in a defence compact with the U.S. However, the U.S. and its allies have imposed a variety of sanctions on Russia, which is one reason they have been interfering with the U.S. political system, so far quite successfully.
jaybird: same with automobile and factory emissions
That is incorrect. The carbon emitted by fossil fuels has been sequestered for millions of years, not recently absorbed from the atmosphere by plants. The effect has been to increase the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and acidify the oceans.
Hank_M: Trump didn't insult them.
It's a Wednesday, so of course Trump said "Germany is totally controlled by Russia;" the same Trump, who thinks the autocratic leader of a corrupt and economically weak kleptocracy is a swell guy.
jaybird: Circuit court judges are not constrained at all by the Supreme Court, which can only handle a relatively few cases per year.
So they are somewhat constrained then. We've seen examples this term, in fact.
jaybird: (I was involved in a case in which a crooked Circuit ignored a Supreme Court decision a year later)
What case was that?
Bacevich's claim was contradicted by events within a year, by the way.
^ The CSSR(s) is dangerously close to violating the principle of equivalence - if there is no observable difference between them, then two phenomena are one - concerning a trace gas, itself with no observable effect on climate. The CSSR(s) implies that nature is balanced until a human releases a sequestered trace gas.
Then? Runaway positive feedback and the Earth explodes in flame.
Let's see if it(s) can demonstrate that either are concrete.
Translation of unhinged reactions: Politicians come to believe that the ideas of their party are necessary to the very existence of the state. This gradually becomes a belief that the power of their party, and ultimately even their own personal power, are necessary for the country to go forward. Cf Nixon believing his reelection was not just good for the country, but necessary.
This is why when you hear a politician say it's the most important election in your lifetime, they mean it's the most important to their career.
Thus when Democrats say the Constitution is being destroyed, they mean "My career is being destroyed." When they say that millions of Americans' lives are in danger, they mean "thousands of Democrats' jobs and power are in danger." When they say our reputation abroad is eroding, they mean their reputation when they travel is eroding.
Translation rule of thumb: When they say they are talking about all of us, they mean themselves.
z wrote: "It's a Wednesday, so of course Trump said "Germany is totally controlled by Russia;"
That isn't an insult. That's calling it like it is. The Germans made a deal with the Russians. Trump correctly stated "...And it’s inappropriate. So, we have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars thats being paid to the country that we’re supposed to be protecting you against.”
and z then wrote: "the same Trump, who thinks the autocratic leader of a corrupt and economically weak kleptocracy is a swell guy.
Moving the goal posts again Z? Or is this what you dismiss as handwaving? Typical. Maybe Trump should have given him a mis-translated "reset" button.
Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea,
invaded eastern Ukraine
August 22, 2014
and has used cyberwarfare and other means to undermine democratic governments from the Baltics to the Americas.
Starting 11 years ago.
Good to know that Obama gave them a stern talking to, a reset button, and a promise of more flexibility after his re-election.
"... on Russia, which is one reason they have been interfering with the U.S. political system, so far quite successfully."
Yeah, Russia kept Hillary from visiting Wisconsin while magically transforming her from a female version of Fred Rogers into an unpleasant, Nurse Ratched-grade grifter shit-bag. Da, eta pravda!
Not so incidentally, the CSSR(S) has refused to advise its unwilling victims here that man contributes less than 5% of this trace gas, itself a whopping .04% of the atmosphere, and that if man were to disappear from the face of the Earth tomorrow, there would be no less likelihood of the Earth mysteriously exploding into a Sahara-like climatological flame anyway, which is the CSSR(s) tacit but eternal demand upon assembled congregants.
So. The CSSR(s) expects to apply scientific non-equivalence to a purportedly scientific theory concerning which man plays no obvious, real, demonstrable, or possible role and throughout which there can be no greenhouse effect in the first place, nature having regulated itself perfectly well, thank you very much. The CSSR(s) appears to wish you to believe that you, real people person human, are to blame for something you couldn't do if you wanted concerning a sin even nature itself cannot commit.
And all this comes on the heels of the CSSR(s)'s presumably adequate programming on the subject - that being one of the OCD-like obsessions of its machinery - not having revealed at the outset that for all its mystical talents, AGW does have all the indicators of global fraud, a business and political endeavor that had it worked, would have made Al Gore the richest man in the world.
This naturally mitigates against the whole AGW business, both from a scientific standpoint as well as from a human one. And in this thread, at least, it started when the CSSR(s) attempted to successfully slide across home plate the notion that man made CO2 is not only inherently terminal for all concerned, it is uniquely so for all four percent of the entire CO2 load on the planet, an inert, inactive gas constituting less than half of one tenth of one single percent.
I don't know if AGW is real. But I do know it has as much evidence as it does a shred of credibility, CSSR(s) included.
Hank_M: That isn't an insult. That's calling it like it is.
THE VISCOUNT: Sir, your nose, your nose is rather large!
Hank_M: The Germans made a deal with the Russians.
Thousands of U.S. companies also do business with Russia, including Apple, 3M, Citibank, KFC, Procter & Gamble, Google, Caterpillar, and Rand. Where you been at?
Hank_M: Maybe Trump should have given him a mis-translated "reset" button.
It's was right then, and it is right now, to try to have dialogue with Russia. However, it's not right to treat the autocratic leader of a corrupt and economically weak kleptocracy as a close friend of the U.S. while treating long-time democratic and economically powerful allies as adversaries.
That's the crux of it: Europeans are turning a buck from the same folks we're shelling out the lion's share to protect them from. It's a scam that cannot continue. Furthermore, it's insulting.
At least one of you kiddiez might try to keep current.
"Thousands of U.S. companies also do business with Russia, including Apple, 3M, Citibank, KFC, Procter & Gamble, Google, Caterpillar, and Rand. Where you been at?"
Yeah, there's a huge symmetry between KFC and natural gas pipeline deals!
Can you imagine the airlift required if KFC supplies were to be cut off?
Are you purposely this daft?
You like how it(s) slipped that "treated as adversaries" into its little sermon on virtuous and wise foreign relations? Because, you know, not ripping off the American taxpayer for somebody else's gazillion dollar bill after decades of ripping off the American taxpayer for somebody else's gazillion dollar bill is so adversarial.
You got to give its(s) programmers credit. That Obtuse Bullshittery Daftitude Snot Generator 5000 in there is a work of genius.
Bill Carson: Yeah, there's a huge symmetry between KFC and natural gas pipeline deals!
Apple and Google are among the largest corporations in the world. U.S trade with Russia has typically been small compared to other countries, but still amounts to tens of billions of dollars.
Of course Germany and the U.S. does business with Russia. Where you been at?
Bill Carson: Can you imagine the airlift required if KFC supplies were to be cut off?
That could happen.
"That Obtuse Bullshittery Daftitude Snot Generator 5000 in there is a work of genius."
Jesus, is it ever! They must have 20 of em' wired together in parallel!
"Apple and Google are among the largest corporations in the world. U.S trade with Russia has typically been small compared to other countries, but still amounts to tens of billions of dollars.
Of course Germany and the U.S. does business with Russia. Where you been at?"
I've seen the flaw in my thinking: If conflict breaks out with Russia in, say, winter, they won't dare cut off natural gas deliveries to Europe for fear that the US, like the dutiful, non-adversarial ally that she is, will respond by cutting off Russian KFC supplies, with a cut-off of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and essential iPhone supplies reserved for the case in which the balloon really %$#@ing goes up. Got it - thanks for setting me straight on all of this.
Bill Carson: Can you imagine the airlift required if KFC supplies were to be cut off?
Of course that wasn't the original point, which had to do with "turning a buck", and "we have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars". Turns out that the U.S. is turning billions and billions of bucks too.
There is a strategic problem with relying on Russian gas supplies. That's not a new problem though, and Russia is more dependent on selling gas than Germany is on buying it. Economic ties may help stabilize Russia's relationships with the rest of Europe. This was an important strategy during the Cold War, and there no reason to believe it won't work now.
It's always like this. The thing(s) has to be somebody's running experiment in trolling algos or something.
Toxic masculinity !
Something like 60,000,000 babies killed by toxic femininity since Roe vs Wade. Now, THAT is toxic.
AVI - exactly right. And as a corollary, when a politician says "we", as in "Surely 'we' can certainly afford to fund XXX" or "we need to do XXX because of our 'values'", it is a warning to hold on to your wallet because a theft of public taxes is being attempted.
Z: Ukraine is not part of NATO, nor in a defence compact with the U.S.
I didn't say that Ukraine was in NATO but it's not quite true with respect to a defense compact. The US was one of the signatories to the Budapest Memorandum which gave Ukraine security assurances in exchange for getting rid of the old Soviet nukes that were there.
Z: The U.S. is legally obligated to help if Estonia is attacked, but you may be right. Under Trump, those promises may fall by the wayside.
And under Obama, the security assurances we made to Ukraine did fall by the wayside. The US did not even supply intelligence or lethal aid. Obama sent blankets and night vision goggles.
This is not the only time Obama refused aid to friends. When ISIS Islamists killed Coptic Christians in Lybia, Egypt's President el-Sisi asked for intelligence aid to go after them, Obama bravely refused.
You weren't worried about Obama standing up to aggression or Islamic terrorism but you're worried about Trump's promises to assist in Estonia's defense?!
Um, that was precisely the point: Turning a buck while becoming strategically dependent on Russian gas as Uncle Sam simultaneously pays for the lion's share of the defense against those very same Russians, you daft bugger!!!
But we shouldn't argue about things so far beyond our control - just watch Trump wring the required cash out of these gold-bricking European countries in the coming months. It'll take your mind off of the fact Hillary's not Prez, the Supreme Court's going conservative, etc.
I couldn't agree with you more: It's an experimental trolling algorithm of some sort. Pretty impressive in some respects, but pretty infantile in others. It replies with dictionary definition fragments in some cases, or steers the discussion back to already covered ground in others. Or it defines some lower salience aspect of of one's argument (or only a portion of it) as one's "point".
But impressive or infantile, the fucking thing gums up things pretty effectively in denying the obvious, which is something you've been on about for some time. Perhaps it is time to finally ignore it.
Hey Bill, upthread the Clattering Soros-Schlansky Rogot(s) got itself(s) all upside down conflating, to use its(s) word, Estonia with, you know Europe. A normal human people person rightly opined that Russia hadn't the will to threaten Europe and suddenly that Finnish yacht five hundred yards off Putin's dock over in St Petersburg was downtown Paris and artillery was already flying.
According to the CSSR(s), evidently NATO is a chicken and Estonia is the letter fourteen and so naturally you're a nationalistic, warmongering SOB out to Upset World Order and needs you some correctin'. Welcome to the daily malaise.
It's all Robot(s) gibberish.
Exactly. And that's what so dishonest about it(s): Eternally Google* up and regurgitate something completely tangential to the point aimed entirely at rhetorical obstruction. Deliver endless lightly glancing blows as if humans take to that crap.
You say tomato it(s) says here, let's we throw these sticks in your spokes for eternity, human person.
*Assuming it's(s) conscious, which I question. I figure it's(s) off scraping its(s) remaining functional Commodore memory in the run down 3rd world island data center from a dystopian B movie.
Yes, indeed, Meh, it is all automated gibberish. Nonsense strung together in - at times - a semi-sensical manner. But with zero logical consistency: We're to go to the mat with Russia over Estonia, but not Crimea or the Ukraine. And, of course, the conflation of Estonia with Europe.
Back when the Bear was strong, there was no part of Europe lefties wanted us to defend, but now we have to defend everything. Just crazy. Or the daily malaise courtesy of the CSR(s).
Funny thing is, there seems to be human "operator" input that augments the CSR(s) responses. For example, after a long back and forth about how miserably the all-female "Ghostbusters" remake performed at the box office (Jesus, do I waste my time on the essential!), I got an unpolished response only slightly more advanced than a "Your mama!". So it's not all automated, I'm guessing. Or it defaults to "retard mode" after a certain number of iterations.
"*Assuming it's(s) conscious, which I question. I figure it's(s) off scraping its(s) remaining functional Commodore memory in the run down 3rd world island data center from a dystopian B movie."
Heh. My guess is that it's an AI project of some sort. Pick a blog that features a great deal of variety and pithy commentary like Maggie's Farm does, and then set your automated troll loose. You "train" it on the number of replies it gets, their word content, the associated topics, etc. in order to build and refine a response model. And you have a real live person intervene if it gets "hung up". Who knows? Have yourself a good one.
Just tell them they're full of shit and why.
That usually ends all debate with the kiddiez.
Interesting that it's so obvious. I get the exact same sense: It's a largely automatic routine with the recent additions of what it seems to think is humor, but oddly disjointed and mechanical humor. Or the random links to nonsensical references as if to break up its own monotony. Or lately, the use of casual speech like yeah.
Maybe it's developing as we go but the clanky humor and attempts to sound human end up outing it for what it is. It'll be more difficult to pass that test than just banging away with all that rote, haphazard, quasi-contextual nonsense out of some deranged Wiki trying to emulate a person.
zack, I only breathe out CO2 from coal and oil and natural gas.
mudbug: The US was one of the signatories to the Budapest Memorandum which gave Ukraine security assurances in exchange for getting rid of the old Soviet nukes that were there.
Sure, but the assurances don't constitute a mutual defence treaty. Ukraine has applied for membership in NATO, which would result in a commitment to mutual defence, but that idea was shelved.
By the way, are you suggesting the current president should be bound by the promises of previous presidents?
mudbug: And under Obama, the security assurances we made to Ukraine did fall by the wayside.
A reasonable argument can be made that the Obama Administration should have done more. It's important to keep in mind that there was no formal obligation, and the U.S. thought that sending arms might inflame the situation. It's unlikely that additional weapons will mean the Ukrainians can dislodge the Russians in eastern Ukraine, so some sort of political solution needs to be found.
Sanctions more than provoked the Russians, who retaliated by interfering in the U.S. election in favor of someone they believed would be more amenable to persuasion.
mudbug: you're worried about Trump's promises to assist in Estonia's defense?!
NATO is a treaty obligation, ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1949. The Budapest Memorandum does not entail any specific course of action, or require the U.S. to intervene.
Bill Carson: Turning a buck while becoming strategically dependent on Russian gas as Uncle Sam simultaneously pays for the lion's share of the defense against those very same Russians
Hmm. You missed where we agreed in part.
Yes, there is a strategic problem with relying on Russian gas supplies. However, that's not a new problem. For instance, the global uranium market acquires a lot of fuel from Russia and Kazakhstan. But energy markets reward stability, and Russian oligarchs are all about the money.
jaybird: I only breathe out CO2 from coal and oil and natural gas.
That's quite the trick. Humans don't readily metabolize coal, crude oil, or natural gas. Are you alcanivorax or methylococcaceae by chance?