Friday, April 29, 2016

Trump stuff (mostly)

What on earth were these ninnies thinking?
Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where Donald Trump held a rally Thursday night, stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.

Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car.

About five police cars were damaged in total, police said, adding that some will require thousands of dollars' worth of repairs.
First: It's pretty difficult for those of my generation to get our heads around the idea of such a spectacle breaking out in Orange County. That place used to be so ultra-reactionary that it earned a chapter in William Turner's Power on the Right.

Second: What on earth do those protestors hope to accomplish? When the anti-Trumpsters act like maniacs, they empower Trump. Right now, the winning strategy for Democrats is to present themselves as the party of reason while simultaneously painting the Republicans as brutes and fanatics. The Great Orange County freak-out reverses that storyline.

Look at the coverage of this event on conservative blogs like HotAir. Hate to admit it, but this is one occasion when the right-wingers occupy the high ground. Trump must never become president, but on this day, at this moment, I'm not angry at him. I'm angry at the anti-Trumpsters who foolishly handed their foes a propaganda coup.

Actually, I'm still angry at Trump. How can I feel otherwise, in light of his most recent statements on torture?
The LA Times reports on what it calls his "raw" performance.
Donald Trump put his roughest edges on display Thursday night in Costa Mesa as he opened his California primary campaign with a raw performance highlighting his hard-line views on illegal immigration and torture while trashing an array of rivals.
He criticized Ted Cruz for not supporting torture: [More...]
“He’s actually a very weak person, so he didn’t like it,” Trump said. “I’d go many steps further than waterboarding — many, many steps further.”
The crowd rewarded him with "another huge burst of cheers."
Good God. I don't know what depresses me more -- Trump's words or the reaction of his fans.

What the hell has happened to this country? The Trump fans applaud torture, while the anti-Trumpsters devolve into violence and madness.

On an earlier occasion, I said that American politics has turned into an an Eijanaika riot. Actually, we have two competing Eijanaika riots -- two mindless mobs torching everything in sight as they slowly march toward each other, and God only knows what will happen when they meet. What's destroying this nation is not a competition of ideologies but our addiction to rage.

Trump's foreign policy speech.  Former CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar offers the best analysis I've seen of Trump's great attempt to sound thoughtful and presidential.

Some might think that Trump's olive branch to the Russians coalesces with my own pro-Putin views. Superficially, this is true. The problem is that Trump is, has been, and always will be utterly self-absorbed and utterly bereft of impulse control. His pro-Russia advisers have his ear -- for now -- because they sense business opportunities. But if Putin does something to annoy President Trump in a major way, who knows what might occur?

The man is unpredictable. In fact, he takes pride in being so.
And there was also the pattern of making promises about obtaining results without giving the slightest idea of how those results would be attained. Probably the clearest example of this in Trump’s speech was his declaration that ISIS “will be gone quickly” if he were to become president. He didn’t say “where” or “when” he would so something — or even what he would do — to bring about this happy result, or how anything he would do would be any different from what is being done now.

“We have to be unpredictable,” Trump said. Evidently a U.S. president has to be unpredictable to the American people and not just to ISIS.
Personally, I don't think that defeating ISIS is a difficult task. Russia did a lot of good very rapidly. As I've said in many previous posts, it's a simple matter of switching our mind-set: The administration must give up on the New Cold War and give up on the idea of regime change in Syria.

Although I think that Trump is sincere in wanting a new relationship with Russia, I doubt that he can -- or will -- snub the neocons. He is terrifyingly belligerent on Iran, having accused that country (falsely) of sponsoring terror attacks in 25 countries. He has also accused Iran (falsely) of starting the war in Yemen. He has the support of Sheldon Adelson. He receives daily hosannas from the Israeli press, at least from that segment which Adelson controls. He seems to despise the Palestinians. He receives foreign police advice from despicable people like Joseph Schmitz and Walid Phares. He has a son-in-law who runs the pro-Likud New York Observer.

And let us not forget: He advocates torture without limit.

Trump's gesture toward Russia does not suffice. He's still the most dangerous candidate in the race. History offers us no clearer lesson than this: When egomaniacs attain power, war follows.

On a related note:
Robin Ramsey's latest has nothing to do with Trump, but it is relevant to our discussion of neoconservatism., the site which monitors the Guardian, has a splendid piece on the Guardian’s initial handling of the Panama offshore accounts story,1 pointing out its absurd anti-Putin bias. I’ve said before in these columns and it is worth restating: given what we know of the way the American state worked in the post-WW2 world, the Guardian is the British newspaper it would have wanted to get control of in the early post-war years.

Let’s say the American state does not have its hands on it – there is no evidence that it does – how else do we explain the way it almost always ends up supporting American interests at critical points?
I'll say it again: In order to control how the public perceives the rest of the world, neocons and other imperialists must find ways to influence mainstream and left-wing publications. The right-wing media infrastructure reaches only so far.

The Stoner is at it again. Roger Stone is making himself the most despised man in politics. It's infuriating to think that this man has links to the JFK assassination research community. This man certainly does not represent me!
I think that we're devolving into a culture where "The Purge" is not so fantastical a thought.
There are people on the left who want chaos in order to bring about the revolution. They believe that the current system is irreparable.
Donald is doing the lords work albeit inadvertently. You see the official line is the US does not torture. If they do torture, then a whole bunch of people have broken the law and should be arrested. Indeed they could be arrested overseas. So Donald is putting a lot of American torturers in a difficult place.

I agree the protests were asinine, and the methods backfire. But PLEASE let's not draw an equivalence between Trump and the rioters whom his neo-fascism draws out of the woodwork. Trump is a modern-day Mussolini, and he's close to becoming president of these "united" states. We're in an unprecedented political crisis in this country. As a liberal, please keep your focus on the real threat.
Trump has pledged neutrality between Pals and Israelis and I see no sign that the neocons are ignoring his pro-Russian (hence pro-Iranian/Syrian/Hezb) stands. But when I see that they prefer him to Hillary, you'll be the first to hear it from me, promise.
He has NOT pledged neutrality on the I/P issue. He mentioned the n-word once but has backtracked. As for Hillary: No matter how much she brays about how much she loves Israel, the Likudniks fear her association with the Bluemnthals and with Huma. And if you haven't seen THAT as of yet, you simply have not done your homework.
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