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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #9361
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    "For the entire first year I thought that I was part of an elaborate Twilight Zone production that was feeding me ridiculous news, etc and filming my reactions. I have schizophrenia."

    If this is real then ****.
    I mentioned Timothy Snyder a few posts ago so no wonder I'm reminded of him now. But he does speak quite a bit about the kind of internal, psychological transformation that people undergo as their freedoms slip away and their governments become more autocratic. A lot of it is hokey and alarmist -- very #resistance. But it does seem right that this is changing all of us (as is the shifting media landscape) -- perhaps not in all cases pathologically -- in ways that we can't perceive.
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-12-2018 at 10:26 AM.

  2. #9362
    Thought you guys might find this amusing since we talk about trade so much here:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #9363
    I don't mind "LiveJournal" style posts, because they and their tl;dr nature are easy to recognize, and it's straightforward to respond to their responses instead.

  4. #9364
    I'll defend it because god knows I think out loud here more than anyone (except Wookie06, when he thinks out loud about me , or in past years Jon`C, completely out of the blue in some random thread) .

  5. #9365
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    Speaking of Kim Jong Un, how long do you think it will be before they threaten South Korea again, now that the United States has given them everything they've been asking for since the 1990s?

  6. #9366
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Speaking of Kim Jong Un, how long do you think it will be before they threaten South Korea again, now that the United States has given them everything they've been asking for since the 1990s?
    If KJU changes his tune, Trump will go back to calling him little Rocket man and things will heat up quick. He's still doing his mad man thing.

  7. #9367
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    If KJU changes his tune, Trump will go back to calling him little Rocket man and things will heat up quick. He's still doing his mad man thing.
    wh... which one?

  8. #9368
    Well, Trump, but also both of them. They've both been engaging in brinksmanship ever since this crisis began.

    The agreement that Trump and Kim signed had almost nothing to it: no big gains for the US, but no losses either. Trump said at the press conference that he'd cease joint US-SK operations, but how much weight does him saying that carry? I'll believe it when I see it.After all, only a week or two ago, Trump sent a letter to Kim saying that he was pulling out of the summit that happened today. Just like with the letter he sent to Kim, Trump should be taken seriously here rather than literally.

  9. #9369
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    Weird times when the US is considered more likely to renege on an agreement than North Korea.

  10. #9370
    Here's a New Yorker article about the response in subdued optimism in South Korea article:

    Just after Tuesday’s summit between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, many American pundits reacted with scorn. They argued that Trump had elevated and made concessions to a tyrant without getting anything concrete in return. In South Korea, people were more charitable, and emotional. On the radio in a suburb of Seoul, talk-show hosts spoke of a path to peace and the reassurance of ordinary diplomacy. The two-page, four-point agreement signed by Trump and Kim was welcomed as a departure from the war-mongering rhetoric of just a few months back.

    There is hope today, among South Korea’s fifty-one million residents, in the strange chemistry of Trump, Kim, and the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in; there is a belief that a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War, and a stepwise plan for North Korea’s nuclear downsizing, if not total disarmament, could be imminent. Meanwhile, America’s foreign-policy establishment, conservatives touting human rights, and Democratic leaders have issued statements and tweets (“the summit—and particularly its immediate aftermath—was a farce,” James Acton, of the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program, wrote) that sound more like those coming from conservative extremists in Korea and the ruling right wing in Japan. South Koreans don’t love Trump, but, in a place where the U.S. military led a war that killed millions and created a multigenerational, literal rift, American standing and protocol are not the priority. From the Korean point of view, U.S. politics as usual has done little good for the peninsula. George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” and his opportunistic obsession with North Korean human rights (while setting up the prison at GuantŠnamo) rolled back years of inter-Korean progress. President Obama, to the profound disappointment of many on the peninsula, did nothing to advance Korean peace.

    To be sure, there are many reasons to condemn Trump—just this week, he engaged in a reckless display of aggression against America’s G-7 allies. But Koreans see the Singapore summit not just as another sensational episode in the story of Donald Trump but as a step away from a sixty-eight-year-old unfinished war. In South Korea, in all but the most reactionary circles, there is a sense of ethnic solidarity with the North and some longing for unity. Support for President Moon, who is seen widely as the catalyst for this sudden thaw of relations between North Korea and the world, remains high. (Local elections, though overshadowed by the summit, take place on Wednesday in South Korea. Support for Moon’s party, generally, has also remained high, and voters will have a chance to express their confidence at the ballot box.) I’ve yet to meet a single Korean who isn’t willing to express optimism, in some form, about the prospects for peace and reunification. In Seoul’s warrens of family-run shops and restaurants, television news blares constantly over the counter. (North Koreans, meanwhile, are getting snippets of Singapore via the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper and smuggled foreign media.) This morning, a hundred and thirty thousand people tuned in to the live feed of JTBC, a respected South Korean news channel, to watch Trump and Kim shake hands. Some of my South Korean friends have confessed their fantasies of driving up through North Korea, into Russia, and across Europe. Nearly everyone uses the same common phrase to express a basic optimism: “잘될 것 같아요”—“I think it’ll work out.”

    In the lead-up to the summit, while Western commentators invoked the nuclear trajectories of countries such as Pakistan, Iran, and Libya, Korean analysts found other historical situations more instructive and worthy of discussion. Kim Yong-hyun, an expert on North Korea who teaches at Dongguk University, compared the U.S.-North Korea meeting to the Malta Summit of 1989, when George H. W. Bush met Mikhail Gorbachev and predicted that we might see “the end of the Cold War on the Korean peninsula.” In the Naeil newspaper, Jo Se-young, of Dongseo University, endorsed the meeting between Washington and Pyongyang, citing Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s observation that, in hindsight, simple dialogue with the North Vietnamese might have truncated the war in Vietnam.

    The dominant view in Seoul is that the Singapore summit would not have taken place had Hillary Clinton been the President of the United States. Trump’s approval ratings in South Korea are around thirty per cent—the same as Kim’s—and South Koreans know that Trump’s policies have resulted in cruelties and chaos elsewhere in the world. But here they are willing to take the unexpected good brought about by his Presidency. Lee Soo-jung, an anthropologist at Duksung Women’s University, acknowledged the painful “historical irony” of benefitting from Trump. In a fairer world, she tells me, “The citizens of the world would be able to vote for the U.S. President.”

    The agreement coming out of the Singapore summit “does open the door for more meetings ahead,” Grace Liu, an East Asia researcher at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told me. “But it’d be wrong to claim a victory for the disarmament community or any substantial action toward denuclearization.” To get close to something like the Agreed Framework, the weapons freeze negotiated between North Korea and the U.S. in 1994, the two countries would need “to reach out to technical experts in the field and work with organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency to set up a technical agreement that can be followed through with,” Liu added. Something, in other words, similar to the deal that President Obama negotiated with Iran—which Trump recently scrapped.

    Some of Trump’s assertions at his post-summit press conference—his desire to bring home some thirty-thousand American troops stationed in South Korea; his vow to stop the “war games” (the joint military exercises) with South Korea; and his assertion that South Korea, Japan, and China should foot the bill for North Korea’s economic development—left Korean analysts confused and stunned.

    But President Moon, surely knowing his man in Washington by now, did not respond to Trump’s unscripted remarks. After the summit, Moon issued a short statement congratulating the U.S. and North Korea on a “successful” and “historic” meeting, praising Trump for his initiative and promising to work toward inter-Korean peace. South Koreans do not trust Kim or Trump, or believe in the possibility of a quick reunification. They are simply aware of the toll that seventy years of national division have taken, and are eager for an alternative future.
    South Koreans Are Still Hopeful After the Trump-Kim Summit: https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispa...ump-kim-summit

  11. #9371
    I loved this:

    In a fairer world, she tells me, “The citizens of the world would be able to vote for the U.S. President.”

  12. #9372
    4 M o r e Y e a r s
    M
    o
    r
    e

    Y
    e
    a
    r
    s

  13. #9373

  14. #9374
    I think many are getting caught up in idea that the summit was going to be some kind of pivotal, transformative moment. For weeks there has been a date to look forward to and all this build up, suggesting that something dramatic might happen. And there's been some whispering about the possibility a decisive breakthrough arrived at in the course of the summit. And sure, all of the ceremony around the event added to the idea that the summit was an historical event. But that was never the intention of this summit. If you read the agreement that signed, the only thing it really does is indicate that the two countries will continue to engage each other diplomatically, just as they have been doing. In other words, there's a process underway, and this is nothing more than one step along the way.

    The goal of the summit was to build trust and a personal bond between Kim and Trump. That's all.
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-12-2018 at 04:01 PM.

  15. #9375
    Yeah but Obama's gotta be pissed he didn't get the chance to bow in front of the little dictator.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  16. #9376

  17. #9377
    Han and Luke bowed too.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  18. #9378
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
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    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/12/b...rust-case.html

    Yay, just what we always wanted and needed.

  19. #9379
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  20. #9380

  21. #9381
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    "oh my god, I'm eating with a crazy person"

  22. #9382
    Kim looks out of his element to me... He seems like a scared, sweaty dictator who's in over his head, about to talk to the leader of the free world, who happens to be about twice his age, too. I doubt that clip is making the North Korean press.
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-13-2018 at 08:16 AM.

  23. #9383
    Translation delay is funny. Plus, Kim probably didn't believe the translation. "Nice, handsome, thin? Fool! Tell me what he really said!"
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  24. #9384
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    lol. Kim is fluent in English, he was western educated.

  25. #9385
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    I miss when people just wrote articles.

    https://twitter.com/Brad_Setser/stat...80570897559552

    A hint: $150b of the $215b in US FDI income in Europe (the source of the income surplus in the balance of payments) comes from 3 countries: Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
    lol. Trade deficit, indeed.

  26. #9386
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    TL;DR: It's what I said before about the US-Canada balance of payments, only for EU, and worse.... rich Americans are absolutely killing us at trade, but they (and their government) are hiding it through several layers of accounting chicanery.

    Proposed retaliatory tariffs only target US goods, and probably won't have much of an effect. But as world governments slowly tease apart the accounting schemes of American corporations, it's looking more and more like tariffs or other barriers against US services would be far more damaging than anybody thought before.

  27. #9387
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    lol. Kim is fluent in English, he was western educated.
    I just remember that they each were said to have translators with them when they met. I don't remember any of Kim's back story other than he models himself after his grandfather.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  28. #9388
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
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  29. #9389
    lol... I was there a few weeks ago

  30. #9390
    But her emails.

    Anyone following this story?

  31. #9391
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    But her emails.

    Anyone following this story?
    I tried really hard not to.

  32. #9392
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
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    What happens when the live music plays a bit from the Star Wars score.

  33. #9393
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    I donít know who still thinks Nazi comparisons are unreasonable but apparently GWBís CIA director isnít one of them.

  34. #9394
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I tried really hard not to.
    You know, I'm completely in the same boat as you. It's funny though: if you look back at around the time of Trump's inauguration, there were people in the media who were trying to prepare the American public for life under an authoritarian leader, and saying one of the things to watch out for is growing numb to all the outrage. At some point, if some of us in the past could see us now, they might've thought that our indifference to this whole thing was a sign that the bad guys had won in some crucial way. (I'm sure there are some in the #resistance now who'd make the same judgment.)

    I was pretty convinced at the time that the media would so overreact to Trump whenever he did relatively banal things that they'd effectively destroy their own reputations and the public's trust in them, so that people would stop paying attention, because it would become impossible to tell true from false. That was the spirit of many of my criticisms of the media earlier on in his presidency. In some respects, I feel vindicated. I've always for as long as I knew about it thought that the goal of Russian intervention was only partially to effect the results. What was always more important was causing the American public to overreact, by causing the media to go into full-on crisis mode, to make the mainstream media appear as partisan opponents of Trump (thus delegitimizing them and reducing our trust in them), and to effect increasingly division and disaffection with American institutions. It was always about causing us to harm ourselves through overreacting.

    Go figure that the Trump-Russia scandal now encompasses things that have almost nothing to do with Russia, and that "Trump-Russia" no refers to a collection of scandals that are "shots on goal" for getting Trump impeached. I guess I look at that and think it's the clearest sign that Russia succeeded beyond its wildest dreams.
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-17-2018 at 07:08 AM.

  35. #9395
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I don’t know who still thinks Nazi comparisons are unreasonable but apparently GWB’s CIA director isn’t one of them.
    I'm curious how much continuity there is between Trump's policy and Obama's. The separation of children from their parents is morally repugnant and indefensible. It's also something that Obama, it seems, did not do. Trump has introduced it, inasmuch as he's decided to charge illegal immigrants seeking amnesty criminally, which means that adults must be detained separately from their parents.

    But I hear a lot of people getting bent out of shape because Trump wants to house people in tent cities, as if the fact that there will be tents somehow evokes the idea of a concentration camp more than, I don't know, roofed prison facilities where people are detained in cells, or something else. The latter existed during the Obama administration. Does that mean that Obama was a fascist, or at least that he was fascistic, too? (And note: I'm not being facetious by asking the question; I think it is worth asking. Some Democrats called Bush a fascist, and Obama continued some of the very same policies that Democrats criticized so harshly, most famously extrajudicial killings.)
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-17-2018 at 07:05 AM.

  36. #9396
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    No, I donít think the existence of prisons suggests a continuity with Trumpís whole-cloth policy of separating refugee claimant children from their parents. Do you?

  37. #9397
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    No, I don’t think the existence of prisons suggests a continuity with Trump’s whole-cloth policy of separating refugee claimant children from their parents. Do you?
    No, and I've already said as much. That doesn't mean there are no other continuities, and that it might be worth thinking about the morality of Obama's mass deportations.

    There are some on the left seem only to be outraged about Trump's immigration policy because it's involves the separating children from their parents. Is that a convenient way to rebuke Trump without condemning Obama, because it's clear what distinguish Trump's immoral policy from Obama's acceptable policy? Perhaps. There are others on the left who go so far as to say that what is immoral about Trump's policy isn't only the separation of children from their parents, but the expulsion of illegal immigrants en masse. That being so (EDIT: they say), it's necessary to reevaluate the morality of Obama's policy.
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-17-2018 at 09:53 AM.

  38. #9398
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    Trumpís policy is intentionally provocative in order to achieve political ends. You can debate the morality of Obamaís policies all you want, but what he did and why he did it is in absolutely no way comparable.

  39. #9399
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    You can debate the morality of Obama’s policies all you want
    I can't do it alone

  40. #9400
    Btw, Jon, did you have any objections to this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    On the other hand, I'm not convinced that libertarian socialists are that pessimistic about human nature. It's difficult to square with both the anti-elitism of that ideology and the view that empowering people through direct democracy produces more benevolent societies. Libertarian socialists seem to think of government and power as inherently corrupt and corrupting, but it doesn't seem that they find ordinary people to be immoral.

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