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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #401
    Well then I guess we'll all just have to sit around and cross our fingers that the Fuhrer will turn around and grant special privilage to folks like Saeed, before a Canadian research university (and in the field of quantum computing, there are many such opportunities in Canada) offers them something better, or they simply decide better than sticking around too long in a country that doesn't appear to value their contribution.

    Maybe we can all retweet Scott's blog post to Fox & Friends so that The Donald sees it when he watches his morning television broadcast?
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 02:05 AM.

  2. #402
    Donald Trump 2016: Make Computational Complexity Theory Classical Again.

  3. #403
    Admiral of Awesome
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    I guess they'll just have to give Saeed Mehraban's job to an American.

  4. #404
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    For real for serious? He's pushing back against the commercial media in a way that past presidents would have never considered (for good reason, apparently).
    Nixon behaved in a way similar to Trump vis-a-vis the media.
    Last edited by Eversor; 01-31-2017 at 07:32 AM.

  5. #405
    Zulenglashernbracker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I guess they'll just have to give Saeed Mehraban's job to an American.
    I'm torn between "lol" and "this post gives me enormous ****ing sadbrains"
    I had a blog. It sucked.

  6. #406
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I'm glad at least one person here still gets the joke.

    For real for serious? He's pushing back against the commercial media in a way that past presidents would have never considered (for good reason, apparently). That's about it so far. Other than being abnormally obnoxious and exhausting to deal with, that is.
    Well, surely the reforming of the National Security Council is completely unprecedented? Partially excluding security chiefs, and allowing two complete outsiders to attend security meetings at the highest possible level?

    Wookie, don't underestimate what it means for government officials to say the "press should keep their mouths shut". Serious journalism is one of the most important ingredients of a functional democracy. To have an utter disregard and disrespect for the press is to have total disrespect for democracy. It's a trait commonly displayed by dictators. Yes, people are being fed up with the constant media bombardment brought on by the modern age, and populists are abusing that sentiment for their own advantage.

    You can't just accuse some of the best researching newspapers in the world of producing nothing but lies. It's preposterous and downright dangerous.

    Just look at Turkey. Independent press has been completely wiped from the country. All Erdogan needed was a coup attempt to accuse all of his opponents of treason.

    Not only does Trump have an utter disregard for the press, he's already ignoring the justice system. People are being deported on planes despite judges proclaiming these acts as unjustified.

    Sure, you can look at all that and snicker how Trump is such a funny rebel, until you find yourself the victim of such policies.

    The immigration stop is a blatant act of discrimination. It affects only Muslim countries, and makes an exception for Christians from Syria. You can't treat people differently on the basis of religion.

    What's making it even worse is that Trump is downright lying when he says it's almost impossible for Christians from those countries to enter the country, while Muslims are being let in constantly. Fact of the matter is that the numbers of Muslims and Christians coming in is just about the same, which means Christians are totally over-represented because they're minorities in those countries. It's a huge turd of a lie.

    What's even worse is that it's complete hypocrisy. The only non-domestic acts of terrorism in the US in the past few decades were carried out by people from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two countries not included in the ban for reasons I'm sure have nothing whatsoever to do with business interests.

    Making sure terrorists don't enter the country should be the work of the intelligence agencies. To close the borders for refugees is absolutely tragic and inhumane.

    Politicians in Europe, as divided as they are, amazingly almost unanimously agree on all these points.

    Today the government of the Netherlands decided not to cooperate with the US in allowing US security personnel to screen passengers boarding flights from Amsterdam. I wholly endorse this decision and hope more European countries will follow.
    Last edited by ORJ_JoS; 01-31-2017 at 05:01 PM.

  7. #407
    For all my ranting about President Trump in this thread, let's not forget the conduct of J. Edgar Hoover, President Johnson and President Nixon ~50 years ago vis-à-vis Vietnam. I actually think that people who lived under the Bushes, Clinton, and now Obama were rather spoiled by having a Yale / Oxford / Harvard educated leader at the helm during a rather peaceful time. (Okay, Nixon went to Duke, a good university if not Ivy League, so this isn't a guarantee, and for the purpose of this discussion let's just exclude getting a degree in "real estate studies" from an Ivy League university from our definition of well educated.)

    If you go back and read some of the bat**** insane things that Johnson and Nixon actually said and did, I think you will find nothing at all unprecedented about Trump's demeanor and behavior. As for a cabinet doing end-runs around the senate confirmed members of the National Security Council, look no further than President Nixon's use of National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, bypassing Secretary of State William Rogers.

    It certainly would be tempting to say that people like Johnson, Nixon, and Trump are failures of our education system--at any rate, their apologists certainly seem to be. The only difference now is how much information and history we have available at our fingertips, so that I would argue that to rationalize the dangerous conduct of a man like Trump at this point is also a moral failing. (But then again, so is being a "Christian" in many parts of America.)

    Anyway, w.r.t the erratic behavior of the president, It is no less a dangerous game to play today than it was in the Vietnam era, so let's all cross our fingers that we survive the next four years relatively unscathed, and by all means fight this demagogue tooth and nail with the legal, protest, and democratic tools at our disposal.

    Let's also not forget that we have to try and offer an alternative to the people who voted for Trump for more honest (if perhaps misguided) reasons, rather than just shrieking in terror and pointing fingers every time he breaks the law or violates human rights. The key to understanding the conservative base is that while they are receptive to promises to restore their own economic and social autonomy, making moral arguments about the violation of human rights outside their own clique and assuming you will be heard much less understood on a deep level is going to be less successful.

    On the other hand, it might make more sense to just ignore you sad sacks of **** next election, and let your ilk go the way of George Wallace.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 03:36 PM.

  8. #408
    And yeah, I agree completely with what ORJ_JoS wrote, with the possible exception of the first sentence [and even then, just because Nixon did something and we (well most of us, especially those who home isn't a mass grave somewhere in Vietnam] survived does not make it acceptable or safe).
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 03:43 PM.

  9. #409
    Also, I am open to the possibility that Trump will actually end up being even worse than Nixon was. The rather frightening prospect of him brazenly ignoring court rulings, in my mind, has him off to the races in that regard.

    You'd be surprised how fast and easily it can happen, and Nazi Germany is hardly the only example worth looking at. For those who have the creativity and knowledge, there are many possible ways to neutralize the institutions meant to prevent a coup.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 04:04 PM.

  10. #410
    .
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 03:58 PM.

  11. #411
    Of course, for those concerned about an actual fascist coup of the United States, you're going to have to look outside our own country's history. I know this is hardly something Americans are accustomed to doing, but it might be a good idea.

    At this point, though, being too terrified probably plays into Bannon and Trump's hands.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 04:02 PM.

  12. #412
    Great video. Really makes me miss Hitch.

  13. #413
    Quote Originally Posted by ORJ_JoS View Post
    Well, surely the reforming of the National Security Council is completely unprecedented? Partially excluding security chiefs, and allowing two complete outsiders to attend security meetings at the highest possible level?
    I had no idea Rick Perry not being on the council would be such a big deal. Any, this link was interesting. He hasn't done anything particularly different. It just gets concerning when you attach names to the various titles.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  14. #414
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    He hasn't done anything particularly different. It just gets concerning when you attach names to the various titles.
    Right.

    And yes, Bannon is a man who doesn't belong anywhere near the West Wing, for a number of disturbing reasons. Alas, candidate Trump owes his entire success to Bannon, much as did Vader to Palpatine.

    During the campaign, the sly and provocative Mr. Bannon played a paradoxical role — calming the easily agitated candidate during his frequent rough patches and egging him on when he felt Mr. Trump needed to fire up the white working-class base.
    Sounds a lot like Palpatine to me!

    Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.
    --Steve Bannon
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 06:05 PM.

  15. #415
    He even has Palpatine's pale complexion, which will become further unnatural in appearance every hour he spends in the basement of the West Wing in the Situation Room.

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    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-31-2017 at 06:11 PM.

  16. #416
    Come on, Donald, I can feel the conflict in you! Do that one thing to Bannon that you're so fond of doing, and Democrats will all love you and we can forget about this whole thing.

  17. #417
    But Steve Bannon doesn't have a pussy.

    OR DOES HE?

  18. #418
    ...

    er, that OTHER thing he is fond of doing.

  19. #419
    Admiral of Awesome
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    I don't think he's an immigrant woman, either.

  20. #420
    But what if Steve Bannon is his daughter!

    TWIST!

  21. #421
    (Still) On 13 week vacation
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    If that's the case, I'm sure he'd go after him like a *****.
    >>untie shoes

  22. #422
    So I think I've managed to cool off a bit and detach myself from the news.

    Anybody got any good books or audio recordings they might recommend as pertinent reading for the times (not from American politics or history directly)?

  23. #423
    1984.

  24. #424
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Brave New World

  25. #425
    Thanks guys, but I was thinking maybe something more philosophical and historical? Even better if it's something super dense that will take me a long time to finish. (Reid?) I just want to pick the right work before randomly embarking on something that will leave me disappointed and in search of lost time.

    I did read those on high school, maybe time to do it again.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 02-02-2017 at 05:39 AM.

  26. #426
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Thanks guys, but I was thinking maybe something more philosophical and historical? Even better if its omething super dense that will take me a long time to finish. (Reid?) I just want to pick the right work before randomly embarking on something that will leave me disappointed and in search of lost time.

    I did read those on high school, maybe fine to do it again.
    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10185.html

    He has given a few really great presentations about the book available on youtube as well.
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  27. #427
    Dense, philosophical, and historical? I think Ameritopia actually fits that bill. I haven't read it yet, though.

  28. #428
    So I said I was trying to avoid the media cycle, but since I was looking for something to listen to or read, I will let it be known here that I very much enjoyed (to the extent that this is possible) Bush screenwriter and neo-conservative intellectual David Frum describe, in an hour long podcast (print version in the Atlantic), what the U.S. might look like in four years under Trump. (Hint: look at some six or seven letter long countries back in Eastern and Southern Europe for contemporary examples.)
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 02-01-2017 at 03:32 PM.

  29. #429
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    Dense, philosophical, and historical? I think Ameritopia actually fits that bill. I haven't read it yet, though.
    Oh God. I've been glancing at the daily recaps on marklevinshow.com for the past few days and weeks, hoping to catch a glimpse of some kind of push-back against the Trump regime.

    Guess what I found yesterday? It would seem that his latest addition to his whole 'distraction via pointing fingers at the great liberal Satan' shtick is the danger of leftist California seceding from the union. LMAO

    Then again, for somebody so enamoured with Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, I am sure Mark is likewise totally at home with a fascist dictator coming to power, whether it be in Chile or here at home, so long as we've vanquished the spectre of those damn gumment regulations holding me back from turning my day job as a construction worker into a global HVAC business empire.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 02-01-2017 at 03:52 PM.

  30. #430
    Oh, sweet! Didn't know he did an hour long talk about that article. Got to check that out.

    If we're getting back into political stuff/media, he also did an interview with Ezra Klein back in November that's worth listening to.

    Also, Vox's The Weeds podcast can be very informative.

  31. #431
    I didn't mean to bite your head off in my response, Wookie, so I am sorry for being rude. But I would prefer something that is less politicized by contemporary people like Mark Levin. I was thinking more like something written by Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.

  32. #432
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Oh, sweet! Didn't know he did an hour long talk about that article. Got to check that out.

    If we're getting back into political stuff/media, he also did an interview with Ezra Klein back in November that's worth listening to.

    Also, Vox's The Weeds podcast can be very informative.
    Well, it literally is the article itself, being read out loud by the author.

  33. #433
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Oh, sweet! Didn't know he did an hour long talk about that article. Got to check that out.

    If we're getting back into political stuff/media, he also did an interview with Ezra Klein back in November that's worth listening to.

    Also, Vox's The Weeds podcast can be very informative.
    Thanks!

  34. #434
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Well, it literally is the article itself, being read out loud by the author.
    Ooooh. Eeee...

  35. #435
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Thanks guys, but I was thinking maybe something more philosophical and historical? Even better if it's something super dense that will take me a long time to finish. (Reid?) I just want to pick the right work before randomly embarking on something that will leave me disappointed and in search of lost time.

    I did read those on high school, maybe fine to do it again.
    Something pertinent to the times? Maybe Hannah Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism".

  36. #436
    LGTM. I'll add to to my library book queue, along with Hoffsdater's Anti-intellectualism in American Life.

  37. #437
    From David Frum, in the Weeds podcast: "Stephen Harper is an old friend of mine." :-)

  38. #438
    Admiral of Awesome
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    That's a silly thing to boast about.

  39. #439
    Well, I really enjoyed listening to David Frum on podcast you recommended, Eversor. Thanks!

    Wookie, you mention the book Ameritopia, written by conservative talk radio host Mark Levin. Since we're discussing Frum, I was reminded of an incident I heard on Levin's radio program back in 2009, where he had an angry exchange with Frum. (I will link to it below for those who are interested, but I have to say it is a rather cacophonous and cringe-inducing thing to sit through.) Nevertheless, I think it is instructive to see what happens when somebody like Frum collides with a much more doctrinaire individual like Levin. Levin initially† criticizes Frum on his radio program, and later‡ invites him on to defend himself, and a bitter quarrel ensues. Levin seems particularly upset that Frum would dare say some rather negative things about Rush Limbaugh.

    Much like organized religion, I really do think that this incident illustrates the degree to which conservative media personalities must respond to internal criticism by attacking the messenger, until the movement is again synchronized in lock-step agreement--or else the entire house of cards risks coming down. A scary parallel which Frum himself discusses in his prognosis of our government's failing separation of powers in the era of President Trump (see my above post), is that while the president himself has mostly deferred to the Congress to set the agenda, Congress itself is loathe to upset the president, for fear of putting its agenda in jeopardy--a reversal from previous governments controlled by a single party, in which it was the president who had to reign in an unruly Congress to implement a well defined agenda.

    What I feel has happened, is that much like organized religion and the conservative movement, Congress is synchronized in lock-step allegiance, afraid that too much wavering could cause the entire thing to unravel, because there is no objective standard to accept exactly what criticism, and how much.

    But this is incredibly dangerous, since it could mean that the Congress of Paul Ryan (who pretends not to know or care about Trump's statements and ideas when questioned by the media--for good reason, seeing that his approval rating plummeted to ~50% among conservatives when he refused to campaign for Trump in the campaign) will largely abdicate its role as a check on executive power.

    Just as church is not the place to discuss the veracity of the gospel, or talk radio is not the place to say anything negative about a conservative, it would seem that the Congress is no longer the place to do anything to stop a president of your own party.

    Finally, is it any wonder that my three abstract categories of people now more or less describe the actual same group of people, for the most part?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI629COK0o0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqDPfv5JwrI

  40. #440

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