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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #4601
    ...and then there's this.

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

    Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.

    According to the officials present, Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised. Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the buildup. In interviews, they told NBC News that no such expansion is planned.

    The July 20 meeting was described as a lengthy and sometimes tense review of worldwide U.S. forces and operations. It was soon after the meeting broke up that officials who remained behind heard Tillerson say that Trump is a “moron.”

    [...]
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/tru...eaders-n809701

  2. #4602
    That Vanity Fair article is incredible. Wow.
    Last edited by Eversor; 10-12-2017 at 02:47 AM.

  3. #4603
    I really don't know what to think will happen next.

  4. #4604
    I find it difficult to believe that John Kelly would be so eager to leave, especially if his role in the administration is as indispensable as these reports claim. I may be underestimating the sheer quantity of abuse and humiliation that he's had to tolerate from the president. It may be that the guy simply can't take it anymore. But as a military man, I would expect him to recognize just how much rests on his shoulders, and just how much his country needs him. I would expect the sense of duty and obligation that he feels to override the personal discomfort of having to deal with a massive prick every day.

    Interesting that Mattis appears to be in a completely different boat. I don't see anyone talking about him going anywhere. But then again, being DoD secretary is probably a much easier job these days than chief of staff.
    Last edited by Eversor; 10-12-2017 at 06:11 AM.

  5. #4605
    Remember when that piss ant Reince Priebus was chief of staff? Lol

  6. #4606
    I would hazard a guess that the self-imposed sunset on his WH tenure has as much to do with Trump's ability to tolerate being so micromanaged as his own sanity.

    In addition to pacifying Trump with the assurance that the extra control is only temporary, there is also the chance that the sensible changes he makes will persist, if he succeeds in institutionalizing them. This second possibility seems much less likely, though.

  7. #4607
    https://mobile.twitter.com/realDonal...17002733154305

    Omg what if Trump and Koobie are the same person?!!

  8. #4608
    I thought we were all the same person as Koobie.

  9. #4609
    we are one

    have a nice day!!

  10. #4610
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    This again? Already? I thought we exhausted this topic for at least a few more weeks.
    ok but that isn't what i said

  11. #4611
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    we are one

    have a nice day!!
    An abbreviated yet perfect impression of the neo-Koobie.

  12. #4612
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    ok but that isn't what i said
    Not in those words exactly, but it is the gist of what you were saying.

  13. #4613
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Not in those words exactly, but it is the gist of what you were saying.
    Why'd you dislike it then when I got the gist of what you were saying about antifa? I mean, by saying the left is like the right you're kind of like a Nazi apologist. I'm not saying you are one, of course, just that you sound like it.

    (In case you haven't got it, many of my recent posts have been deliberate parodies of things you've said to me.)

  14. #4614
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    You also haven't done very much to defend the charge that America isn't swinging towards fascism.

  15. #4615
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Why'd you dislike it then when I got the gist of what you were saying about antifa? I mean, by saying the left is like the right you're kind of like a Nazi apologist. I'm not saying you are one, of course, just that you sound like it.

    (In case you haven't got it, many of my recent posts have been deliberate parodies of things you've said to me.)
    Man, you're petty. You're a walking talking whataboutism.

  16. #4616
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    You also haven't done very much to defend the charge that America isn't swinging towards fascism.
    Why would I want to?

  17. #4617
    To be honest I don't find the term "fascism" to be a very helpful as a descriptor of what America might or might not be turning into. It's more useful to talk about increasing authoritarianism, the weakening of rule of law, legislative gridlock, polarization, conflict between elites and the masses, the growing importance of personal connections and personal favors in governance, and racist right-wing populist extremism. But the term "fascism" is far too imprecise for it to be useful in a thoughtful discussion. (Unless you're going to define what you mean by it. But what's the point, except as a shorthand? Just talk about the thing that falls under the umbrella of the term!)

    But it's plenty good if you want to slander political opponents in a really lazy way with lots of invective.
    Last edited by Eversor; 10-12-2017 at 12:16 PM.

  18. #4618
    Admiral of Awesome
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    You forgot nativism and populism. And nationalism. And protectionism. And revisionist. And, like, really weirdly obsessed with Rome.

    Sorry dude, you might not like the word fascism but it is a useful shorthand.

  19. #4619
    Populism was in there (even in earlier edits!)

  20. #4620
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    Well okay, fair enough, but fascist populism wasn’t just about racism or extremism. Fascism was a sort of all inclusive populism, not just about ethnic cleansing but about every single issue, down to the boring day to day operation of the government. It deserves a top level entry of its own.

    That’s basically my own definition of fascism, if I haven’t already discussed it enough yet. I mean, when you have a government that is preoccupied with TV ratings and personal brands and how decisions will play with an audience, you’re pretty much dealing with fascism at that point.

  21. #4621
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    To be honest I don't find the term "fascism" to be a very helpful as a descriptor of what America might or might not be turning into. It's more useful to talk about increasing authoritarianism, the weakening of rule of law, legislative gridlock, polarization, conflict between elites and the masses, the growing importance of personal connections and personal favors in governance, and racist right-wing populist extremism. But the term "fascism" is far too imprecise for it to be useful in a thoughtful discussion. (Unless you're going to define what you mean by it. But what's the point, except as a shorthand? Just talk about the thing that falls under the umbrella of the term!)

    But it's plenty good if you want to slander political opponents in a really lazy way with lots of invective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    And you were the one who was nitpicking about "phrasing" while calling me a pedant. Your hypocrisy is... wow.
    Hmm

  22. #4622
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    I don't get why it's supposed to be my fault if someone can't get past their emotional alarmism and can't read the word "fascist" as anything but a cheap slander.

  23. #4623
    Quote Originally Posted by Krokodile View Post
    An abbreviated yet perfect impression of the neo-Koobie.
    Hey Reid, weren't you reading about Markov chains at some point?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_V._Shaney

    I'm pretty sure if we took Koobie's posts and wrote a bot to approximate them from those posts, and now and then had it make a random decision to drop in and post something that has one or two keywords in common with the topic, it would be a dead ringer.

  24. #4624
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Hmm
    You clearly can't see a good faith discussion when it comes up to you, shakes your hand, and says, "hey friend! How are you doing? how about a good faith discussion?"

  25. #4625
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    So, speaking about the American political scene. People won't do anything of political consequence. But you do get this:



    http://www.thedrive.com/sheetmetal/1...for-volkswagen

    https://la.eater.com/2017/10/9/16448...ty-riot-police

    And I think that says quite a bit about the cultural conditioning we have in America. Here, manhood is measured by your job, the message is "if you don't have work, you're worthless". We're also expected to worship wealthy people, we're told waged labor is the best form of life ever created, so there's no hope to change or resist it. The United States ranks as bad as Iran, many African countries, nearly every South American country, is worse than nearly all of Europe and even Russia in labor rights. Everybody is also literally worked to death, with the highest working hours. People are kept isolated in suburban housing, which is an extremely wasteful way to live, but importantly the isolation makes it harder for people to talk and form common struggles. Everywhere around Americans all of the time are political struggles, labor abuses. The isolation many people feel makes any struggles seem futile and hopeless.

    I mean the isolation in America is a big problem. You go to work, where "standards of conduct" are written purposefully to keep active politics out, then people drive alone back home, spend time alone at home, then go to sleep alone.

    But at least, the one thing that capitalism promises, is that, whatever dumb ass inconsequential bull**** object you want, you'll be able to get. Trinkets, movies, clothes, there's plenty of **** like that in abundance. So when a bunch of fans of a show can't get the one thing they're guaranteed by their society, they flip the **** out.

    America's not going to improve until the material conditions of society are changed, which isn't going to happen unless something pretty drastic happens. So good luck to us all.

  26. #4626
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Hey Reid, weren't you reading about Markov chains at some point?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_V._Shaney

    I'm pretty sure if we took Koobie's posts and wrote a bot to approximate them from those posts, and now and then had it make a random decision to drop in and post something that has one or two keywords in common with the topic, it would be a dead ringer.
    I'm worried that something like would sound too human to be realistic.

  27. #4627
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    Ironically, the whole joke of the Szechuan sauce episode was that the sauce wasn't actually worth caring about. Which many of the intelligent Rick and Morty fans apparently didn't catch.

  28. #4628
    Well I'm starting an open source club at my university and we gonna fix all that

  29. #4629
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I'm worried that something like would sound too human to be realistic.

    I think it would work if we restricted it to Koobie's posts alone as the training data.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    What would be more difficult would be to tell it just when and how often to veer off topic, but then again it should't be too hard to get a probabaliatic program to do this almost all the time....

  30. #4630
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I don't get why it's supposed to be my fault if someone can't get past their emotional alarmism and can't read the word "fascist" as anything but a cheap slander.
    For example, basically accusing people of holocaust denial for pointing out that Nazi radicalization was a gradual process that took a decade to unfold, or that the Nazis played electoral politics to obfuscate their beliefs just like other extreme parties have always done in other countries. Despite the hysterics, there is nothing about these historical facts that contradict the holocaust or minimize Nazi crimes in any way. Accusing people of holocaust denial is just a visceral reaction to being confronted with uncomfortable truths about how evil governments rise to do evil things.

    Which is why I’m also not impressed when someone fixates on the semiotics of “fascist”, and insists that we discuss specific policies instead. No, it is a perfect adjective. Discussing how Trump is fascist, how he ran his campaign as a fascist and seeks to lead as a fascist, is important. Fascism is runaway populism; discussing specific policies is pointless because by definition most of them will be popular with most of the majority group. The trouble with fascism does not come from populist policies in isolation, it comes from populist policies in aggregate, and when you discuss those policies in aggregate you are by definition discussing fascism.

  31. #4631
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    None of this would be a problem if Americans weren’t taught political science and economics incorrectly on purpose.

    Edit: and history.

  32. #4632
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Well okay, fair enough, but fascist populism wasn’t just about racism or extremism. Fascism was a sort of all inclusive populism, not just about ethnic cleansing but about every single issue, down to the boring day to day operation of the government. It deserves a top level entry of its own.
    Can you elaborate on what you mean by all inclusive? In the past, you've been cautious about talking about totalitarianism. Although I take it that when you said that, you were talking about specifically the ambiguity of the term as it pertains to economic policy, because Nazi economy wasn't a strictly controlled economy. Which is fine: point taken. But it does sound like you do think there is some kind of top-down control that happens in a fascist regime that is essential to it.

  33. #4633
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    None of this would be a problem if Americans weren’t taught political science and economics incorrectly on purpose.

    Edit: and history.
    I was educated in Canada, so...

  34. #4634
    In your opinion, do we already live in a fascist society, or are we in danger of sliding into fascism? If we already live in a fascist society, when did we become fascist?

  35. #4635
    Point taken about how fascism is more than merely the sum of its parts.

    But still, how about this. There are also numerous elements of the Nazi regime that aren't present in the US government that were present in Nazi Germany.

    Let's add to what we said before: murdering political opponents, de facto one state rule, cracking down on political dissidents, suspension of the constitution, territorial adventurism, forced labor and concentration camps.

    Are these things merely accidental to fascism? Or are they essential to it?

    I should add: many of these things are found alongside some of the other things we listed above in other regimes that currently exist: Russia, or China, for example. But in general, we don't call those countries fascist.
    Last edited by Eversor; 10-12-2017 at 06:03 PM.

  36. #4636
    Also, since you said Trump seeks to lead as a fascist, we should probably add dictatorial leadership to the list.

  37. #4637
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I should add: many of these things are found alongside some of the other things we listed above in other regimes that currently exist: Russia, or China, for example. But in general, we don't call those countries fascist.
    Fascism occurs when there are the right combination of deficiencies in a democratic and capitalistic society. It's a specific sort of reactionary movement (though, not reactionary in the typical sense). Russia has never been democratic, and China has never been both democratic and capitalistic.

  38. #4638
    And just to put my cards on the table, here's why I think that fascism is a pretty vacuous word at the end of the day. Almost all of the features of fascism that we've listed also can be applied to Stalinism and to various other regimes that we don't associate with fascism. At the end of the day, it doesn't seem to matter that the Stalinist Soviet Union was "communist", or that Nazi Germany was "fascist". At the end of the day, both were authoritarian regimes that emerged through the exploitation of mass movements and populist sentiments, and in both cases, the regimes seem to espouse their ideologies in order to come to power, but then become quite cynical about their ideologies once they're actually in power.

    The actual priorities of the Stalinist and Nazi regimes don't appear to have been influenced much by their ideologies, and they seemed very willing to compromise on their ideological visions when they got in the way of increasing their power. It seems like what we're really talking about it authoritarianism, and whether it's left-wing or right-wing authoritarianism doesn't matter that much, except to describe which mass movement was hijacked that led to an authoritarian regime.

  39. #4639
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Point taken about how fascism is more than merely the sum of its parts. But if fascism is more than the sum of its parts, all of those parts have to be present, don't they? But there are also numerous elements of the Nazi regime that aren't present in the US government that were present in Nazi Germany.

    Let's add to what we said before: murdering political opponents, de facto one state rule, cracking down on political dissidents, suspension of the constitution, territorial adventurism, forced labor and concentration camps.
    If you consider the unprecedented growth in American prisons, in which black men are vastly over-represented, and look at the types of forced prison labor, you should see some parallels. As for cracking down on political dissidents, that depends on how generous you're willing to be, it seems to me that there's quite an effort to make organizing and protesting harder to do. And I'm pretty sure Trump's itchiness to go to war could be construed as territorial adventurism.

    I would say the only thing we're really short on is organized murder of political opponents and a breakdown of the government to one-state unconstitutional rule. So, like 90% there?

  40. #4640
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Fascism occurs when there are the right combination of deficiencies in a democratic and capitalistic society. It's a specific sort of reactionary movement (though, not reactionary in the typical sense).
    So then what's that specific quality, which is reactionary but not really reactionary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Russia has never been democratic, and China has never been both democratic and capitalistic.
    Why should it matter what the regime was beforehand when we're describing a government? I think it doesn't. Again, it seems like what we should really be talking about is authoritarianism, because that's what all these regimes do share in common, and it doesn't matter whether they're right-wing, communist, or... whatever Russia is (some kind of non-ideological capitalistic oligarchic tribute-based de facto dictatorship that occasionally relies the Eastern Orthodox church and/or Russian ethnicity to galvanize the masses?).
    Last edited by Eversor; 10-12-2017 at 04:56 PM.

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