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Monday Message Board

October 10th, 2016

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. GrueBleen
    October 10th, 2016 at 10:21 | #1

    Another Monday, another Message Board.

    Could I request some clarification from you, please: You say “Post comments on any topic”. I have checked your Discussion policy again, but it is not clear whether “any topic” here refers to any topic you have actually posted on, or rather any topic that we commenters may bring up. The bit about “Side discussions … to the sandpits, please.” tends to indicate the former.

    So, though “1. This is a forum for discussion.” is the discussion completely open ?

    And if you wouldn’t mind, could you please open a sandpit – the most recent one (started 12th September) has had comments closed for some time now so there’s basically nowhere to take those “Side discussions and idees fixes…” to.

  2. Julie Thomas
    October 10th, 2016 at 11:17 | #2
  3. tony lynch
  4. Tim Macknay
    October 10th, 2016 at 13:51 | #4

    @tony lynch
    I always found the whole “sleeping on top of your ancestor’s graves” thing a bit creepy.

  5. Julie Thomas
    October 10th, 2016 at 15:07 | #5

    This blog has some wonderful descriptions of gross funeral rites that humans in various cultures have made up but this particular blog is one of my favourites. it is just one example of the way archaeologists have reasoned women out of having any significance in history.

    https://bonesdontlie.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/archaeological-oops-the-prince-is-actually-a-female/

    From the blog “Now the remains have been studied, and archaeologists realize that they made an oops. The bones have shown that the skeletonized individual thought to be male is actually female, and the cremated remains of the ‘wife’ were actually of a male. Their re-interpretation of the site with this evidence now argues that the lance, which was previously determined to be a sign of royalty of the prince, is now thought to be a symbol of union between the two deceased.

    So let’s break this down- when the skeleton was male the lance was a sign of royal status, and now that the ‘prince’ is a female the lance is a sign of marriage unity between the two individuals. Isn’t this secondary interpretation just as biased as the first one? Why can’t a female have a lance as a symbol of her power?”

    There is also this book that I came across in the op shop last week. Titled When God was a Woman, the author Merlin Stone – now with a name like that who is going to read the book except hippies? But it actually has a wiki page.

    I’ve only read bits and pieces from the book and there are some interpretations Merlin makes that are quite silly and obviously wrong but the basis of the book, that there was a deliberate effort to replace the “female deities who were worshipped in the most ancient and periods of human history and exasperating to then confront the fact that even the material there is has been almost totally ignored in popular literature and general education” is well argued and makes sense.

  6. Julie Thomas
    October 10th, 2016 at 15:21 | #6

    @tony lynch

    It is interesting that there is no discussion in the article about why so many of the female figurines that are found on rubbish dumps. It doesn’t make sense does it to make a statue and then throw it away.

    But it does makes sense if you accept the thesis that Merlin Stone proposes, that ancient writing and statuary that referred to women as ‘gods’ were deliberately destroyed by Christians, Jews and Mohammed’s followers as they deliberately wiped out any vestige of female worship.

    Yahweh says in the Bible to his followers to go and completely destroy all the places where the nations you dispossess have served their gods, on high mountains, on hills, under any spreading tree; you must tear down their alters, smash their pillars, cut down their sacred poles, set fire to the carved images of their gods and wipe out their name from that place.”

    With that sort of political correctness going on, no wonder most people threw their mother goddess image away.

  7. tony lynch
    October 11th, 2016 at 08:28 | #7

    That is one long and complicated reading, but it seems too contrived to a particular point to me. I think we know very little about the role(s) of these female figurines. But the new finding and possible reading – that here the figure is a senior and female tribal leader – seems simple and (in part because of its simplicity) plausible. I wonder if the common, less crafted kinds found in “dumps” (and where else but “dumps” would you find archeological rubble, etc?) are not “dolls” – where I mean dolls of important figures (like the one found in the article). (Imagine Hillary or Donald dolls today, and where they would end up).

    And as for it being creepy to sleep over your dead, well only perhaps if you thought that the dead might themselves creep…

  8. Julie Thomas
    October 11th, 2016 at 09:10 | #8

    “Imagine Hillary or Donald dolls today, and where they would end up).”

    They would end up in op shops I think. I’ve found some Disney toys in the op shops – very expensive items originally.

    I have no problem with the figures being ‘just’ an older woman who had gained respect and not a female deity – that doesn’t matter in terms of the broader story that the male god religions at some stage violently and deliberately discredited and destroyed the female cultures that pre-dated them.

    There has to be a huge difference between what we do with our mass produced idols in our throw away culture and the things that would have been done with objects in the distant past when objects were not created to make a profit but to fulfil a need.

    People in the past didn’t throw useful things away and stone for carving is useful and not always plentiful. It seems to me to be more likely that a piece of stone suitable for carving would have been used for something else or re carved into a more useful object, even a mortar and pestle, rather than thrown away, unless it had become a taboo object.

  9. Ernestine Gross
    October 11th, 2016 at 13:35 | #9

    Oliver Hart (ex UK, now Harvard) and Bengt Holmstroem (ex Finland, now MIT) won the 2016 (Bank of Sweden) Nobel Prize in Economics for their work in contract theory.

    Prof Hart’s CV, http://scholar.harvard.edu/hart/publications?page=3, and

    Prof Holmstroem’s CV, http://economics.mit.edu/faculty/bengt/cv.

    EU countries are not necessarily following what well known US academics promote. Prof Holstroem’s CV may also provide a source to compare the Peter Drucker type management education with what happens where Holmstroem has influence.

  10. David
    October 11th, 2016 at 13:38 | #10

    Brandis some thoughts
    Really has there ever been a more despised politician[bar Clownshoes/Howard] let alone Attorney General.
    Like Turnbull we have been fed an illusion of their “legal skills” yet the 1. Spycatcher case was won on basic evidence about privilege 2. George has not yet apologised for his wrong advice about Craig Thomson’s offending under the NSW Crimes Act which section was not law at the time [subsequently acquitted of all bar circa $5000 despite the Coalition/Georgie allegation of $500,000].
    About his targets – successful Professor Trigg [a real lawyer and human being] now Gleeson SG [obviously respected by his peers] also new DPP[ex tainted Trade Union Enquiry RC counsel along with Heydon Stolje] appointed early May now 5 months later advises the AFP insufficient evidence against Brough, Ashby, Pyne, Roy, Bishop, Kelly, McArdle etc. really the evidence of Ashby being procured by Brough and Lewis,the Murdoch boy, to steal Slippers’ diary is overwhelming and to suggest Slipper would have consented contrary to his Court pleadings to his diary being taken is ridiculous. Incitement to offend is a basis for prosecution under the Commonwealth Criminal Code.
    There is a theme here of Georgie’s odious presence in the public domain compounded by the fact he is the AG and paid for by us! He survives as there is a paucity of real legal talent in the Coalition

  11. Ernestine Gross
    October 11th, 2016 at 14:14 | #11

    I have a comment in moderation. It contains a web reference to O. Hart’s and Bengt Holmstroem’s CVs

  12. Collin Street
    October 11th, 2016 at 23:36 | #12

    He survives as there is a paucity of real legal talent in the Coalition

    Basically noone with any talent has signed up to the coalition since the mid-nineties — twenty-five years ago — and precious few for the ten or fifteen years previous. There are very, very few people with any talent in any field remaining in the party room and not many more in the branches, and all of them are closer to retirement than the start of their careers. Nor will there be any younger ones coming through.

    The liberal party has fifteen years left in it, tops.

  13. Ikonoclast
    October 12th, 2016 at 05:30 | #13

    The Queensland Government’s sell-off of odd parcels of land which are surplus to requirements is perfectly reasonable. It does not constitute a breaking of the promise about not selling off major assets. People understand this promise relates to publicly beneficial, natural monopoly infrastructure. The LNP continue to show their crass opportunism and complete hypocrisy by pretending to not know the difference.

  14. Julie Thomas
    October 12th, 2016 at 06:50 | #14

    Nigel Farrage has likened Donald Trump to a silverback gorilla. I don’t think either Nigel or Don know much about silverback gorillas.

    “Gorillas display substantial sexual dimorphism. (Humans do not)

    “Specifically, the males are more than twice as large as the females and powerfully built. This underscores their evolutionary legacy of male contest competition and polygyny. Indeed, gorillas were long thought to exist almost exclusively in harems, small multi-female groups led by one powerful silverback.

    “Eating mostly leafy greens and seasonal fruit, the herculean strength and sharp canine teeth of silverbacks are used only for fighting each other. (but their size means they can’t get to the best leafy greens at the top of the tree and none of the females have ever been observed to share these things with their silverback)

    “Typically, young males leave their birth group upon reaching adulthood and go through a solitary period before attempting to take over a harem or start a group of their own. Most are not successful.”

    “Beginning in the 1990s, something unexpected happened. Some younger males stopped leaving their groups and the basic harem social structure fundamentally shifted for about one-fourth of the park’s mountain gorilla population.

    “Instead of groups with one, or occasionally two adult males, scientists began observing very large groups including several adult males and females living together in relative harmony. Some groups hosted up to nine adult males, and one group topped out at 66 total animals.

    “Twenty years in, this trend shows no sign of reversing.”

    https://thehumanevolutionblog.com/2016/06/06/what-mountain-gorillas-can-teach-us-about-gendered-behaviors/

  15. tony lynch
    October 12th, 2016 at 12:17 | #15

    @Julie Thomas
    Well, consider the quality of workmanship issue. The newly found large female figurine from the tomb/grave is of much greater quality of craftsmanship that the “dolls” typically found elsewhere. This suggests that perhaps the “dolls” are “cheap” (labour time/skills training), and so not as freighted with deep significance as the high quality example. From here, of course, all sorts of speculations are possible – but it is all more complicated than “price” versus “need”.

  16. Julie Thomas
    October 12th, 2016 at 15:47 | #16

    @tony lynch

    It is just the throwing away something that was once valuable because of losing interest bit that doesn’t make sense to me.

    Context. I live among poor people who do not throw away things no longer valued that could possibly come in handy later with some modifications.

  17. GrueBleen
    October 12th, 2016 at 15:51 | #17

    @Ernestine Gross
    Your #9

    Prof Holstroem’s CV may also provide a source to compare the Peter Drucker type management education with what happens where Holmstroem has influence.

    Which is both too much and too little – would you care to elucidate your viewpoint and thinking about that ?

  18. GrueBleen
    October 12th, 2016 at 15:54 | #18

    @Julie Thomas
    Your #14

    So, do you reckon that the gorillas are on the way towards becoming bonobos-ised ?

  19. Julie Thomas
    October 12th, 2016 at 16:19 | #19

    @GrueBleen

    This is the bit I thought most relevant

    David Buss, has said it best: “Human behavior is enormously flexible – a flexibility afforded by the large number of context-dependent evolved psychological adaptations that can be activated, combined, and sequenced to produce variable adaptive human behavior.”

    I am sure that as a species we have the potential to live in ways that we cannot even imagine now. You might find David Buss interesting reading. Google David Buss and Freudian psychiatry and there are a few articles of his that are worth reading if you are interested in evo psych.

    And these points also provide some interesting ideas that we could consider as we are working out how to give according to our ability and take according to our needs.

    “While blank slate proponents ignore the role of genes in creating behavior, evolutionary psychologists may be underappreciating the role of environment.

    “We are very far from knowing what males and females might naturally aspire to and be capable of, absent the influence of a social environment that shapes them to be, and to want to be, different.”

  20. October 13th, 2016 at 12:24 | #20

    Interesting bit of gorilla information there, Julie. I would expect that small groups of gorillas are easier prey for poachers while larger groups would be easier for game wardens to protect.

    Of course, predation/protection by humans may have nothing to do with the change in their social dynamics.

  21. Julie Thomas
    October 13th, 2016 at 12:41 | #21

    Ronald,

    I was wondering if it could be just the observation by the humans that has changed the dynamics. Simply being there and watching could be enough of a perturbation to create this transition to a new organisational system.

    But yeah, the protection that the humans are providing is more specifically what could be the salient or significant factor.

    And bringing it back to the Donald and the idea that silverbacks are more to be pitied than admired, there is some speculation about his sniffing and if it was or is a tic due to anxiety on the part of a man who is not sure of his attractiveness. It seems to me that he understands that he can only do what he does to women without consequences because he is a celebrity.

    And if the sniffing is due to cocaine use that brings us back to the idea that he suffers from anxiety because anxiety is one of the factors that we use drugs to control.

  22. Crocodile
    October 14th, 2016 at 06:46 | #22

    @Julie Thomas
    “Imagine Hillary or Donald dolls today, and where they would end up).”

    Only if I can stick pins in them.

  23. Julie Thomas
    October 14th, 2016 at 07:12 | #23

    @Crocodile

    I’d think they would end up in an op-shop. I’ve seen branded Disney dolls that look unused in the toy bins selling for $2.

    But the kids I know in town and my grandchildren don’t recognise these dolls as valuable or desirable because they don’t participate in the dominant materialistic culture.

    In response to James who posted on the other Monday Message Board, the only reason I think there is to prefer Hillary is that I imagine that she will be less likely to double down on her warmongering, her support for wall street and her other less than admirable behaviours.

    I can hope that her experience as a non alpha male means she is more likely to be emphatic toward the types of people – non alpha women, lgbts, beta and gamma males 🙂 who are damaged by the Trump alphamaleism.

  24. Apolcalypse
    October 14th, 2016 at 08:43 | #24

    @Julie Thomas

    she is more likely to be emphatic toward the types of people

    Hillary was certainly emphatic about Gaddafi – “He came, so saw, he died”.

  25. Julie Thomas
    October 14th, 2016 at 09:08 | #25

    @Apolcalypse

    In the future I mean. The point is that there is nothing in their pasts that would incline me to like either of them but if I think about what behavior is likely in the future would be likely, I am inclined to see that Hillary is more able to move the US toward something more functional – but of course functional is not adequate but it will have to do in this context -than Donald would be.

    Do you not think this to be the case?

    That cynical and ghoulish humour is more tolerable and understandable to me than is the humour of Donald and his supporters. But that is beside the point except to acknowledge that I have a lot of personal reasons for hating on alpha males. But I do try to take steps to address my prejudices when I am aware of them.

  26. Apolcalypse
    October 14th, 2016 at 10:24 | #26

    @Julie Thomas

    I should have spelled it out. Did you mean to write emphatic or empathetic?

  27. Julie Thomas
    October 14th, 2016 at 15:23 | #27

    @Apolcalypse

    Surely it is obvious from the context?

    If not never mind. You go water your horses and I’ll use my spell checker next time so you are not confused.

  28. Julie Thomas
    October 14th, 2016 at 15:26 | #28

    and apolcalypse do you understand about not ‘shoulding’ on yourself?

  29. October 15th, 2016 at 14:57 | #29

    Statement from John Barry

    John Barry is a cousin of Summer Zervos, who is one a number of women who, have just now, very conveniently for Hillary Clinton and to those whom she owes favours including the mysoginist dictatorship of Saudi Arabia, come forward with claims that republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump sexually molested her.

    “I am completely shocked and bewildered by my cousin, Summer Zervos, and her press conference today. Ever since she was on The Apprentice she has had nothing but glowing things to say about Mr. Trump. For almost a decade, my cousin would talk about how much she looked up to Mr. Trump and viewed him as her friends and our family to become Trump supporters even though we’ve never been active in politics before.an inspiration – a success story she wanted to copy. Summer would also talk about how kind and caring Mr. Trump was on the show, and how he would even visit children in hospitals without telling the press. She has praised the good things he’s done for her life, and in fact she converted

    “That was until Summer invited Mr. Trump to her restaurant during the primary and he said no. I think Summer wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she’s saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump. That’s not how she talked about him before. I can only imagine that Summer’s actions today are nothing more than an attempt to regain the spotlight at Mr. Trump’s expense, and I don’t think it reflects well.” – John Barry, Mission Viejo, CA (first cousin of Summer Zervos) (Other boldface my own)

  30. J-D
    October 15th, 2016 at 15:49 | #30

    John Barry is a first cousin of Summer Zervos.

    Henry Bolingbroke was a first cousin of Richard II.

    King George V and Kaiser Wilhelm II were also first cousins.

  31. J-D
    October 15th, 2016 at 15:55 | #31

    Is it important to find out what the first cousins of Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Taggart McDowell, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, and Cassandra Searles have to say?

  32. October 15th, 2016 at 18:05 | #32

    J=D,

    Are you alleging that John Barry has completely contrived all that he stated about his cousin Summer Zervos and Donald Trump? Why do you think that he would do that to his cousin, if she had truly been molested by Donald Trump? If you are not saying that John Barry is a liar, then the point of your previous two posts escapes me.

    Should you look at the page I linked to, you will find an image of letter sent by Zervos Summer to Donald Trump’s office only 6 months ago on 14 April 2016:

    Hello,

    I am certain that you (Rhona Graf – Donald Trump’s secretary?) are a very busy woman. I am in a unique situation being that I am the only former Apprentice who operates a business where Mr. Trump’s supporters can walk in, express their admiration for him and inquire about my experience. Mr. Trump has a great deal of support in Huntington Beach, California! He has witnessed both my highs and lows operating a small business and I am pleased to report that business is good. Sunny’s Restaurant has a long history of making people feel special. We hire a diverse crew and embrace anyone who is honest while working hard. Mr. Trump is cut from the same cloth.

    I would greatly appreciate reconnecting at this time. He will know my intentions are genuine.

    Thank you,

    Summer Zervos

  33. J-D
    October 15th, 2016 at 18:25 | #33

    If you are not saying that John Barry is a liar, then the point of your previous two posts escapes me.

    If you are not saying that Summer Zervos is a liar, then the point of your previous two posts escapes me.

  34. October 15th, 2016 at 20:18 | #34

    So, evidently, J-D is not able to comprehend the documentary evidence above that I have copied and transcribed.

    Does anyone else not find it suspicious that, suddenly, in the midst of a ferocious mainstream media campaign against Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, that Summer Zervos suddenly makes this allegation against Donald Trump, given what she herself wrote to Donald Trump’s office only six months ago during the Republican Presidential primaries and what her cousin John Barry has recently said?

    (Corrections to my previous post: 1. ‘J=D’ should be ‘J-D’ and 2. ‘Summer Zervos’ was once mis-typed as ‘Zervos Summer’.)

  35. Luke Elford
    October 15th, 2016 at 21:40 | #35

    “Is it important to find out what the first cousins of Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Taggart McDowell, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, and Cassandra Searles have to say?”

    Trump uses only the best witnesses, J-D. Nobody has better witnesses than Donald Trump:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/gilberthorpe-claims?utm_term=.bvOZPxbMr#.avZnQPebq

    I’m glad you post comments here, James. Given the cataclysmic nature of Trump’s presidential campaign run, Professor Quiggin’s blog wouldn’t be the historical record that it should be without contributions from at least one Trumpkin.

  36. J-D
    October 16th, 2016 at 07:00 | #36

    @James

    I comprehend that you have provided no documentary evidence that Summer Zervos is lying; also, I comprehend that you have provided no documentary evidence that Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Taggart McDowell, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, and Cassandra Searles are also lying.

    It is not surprising that all these reports have emerged close together in time during a Presidential campaign; it is normal for anybody who becomes a major Presidential candidate to attract a lot of attention and for people to be prompted to make public reports of the candidate’s past acts; it is also normal for a public report of any person’s past misdeeds to prompt the making of other similar reports (for example, each time somebody reports publicly on an incident of sexual harassment by a named individual, it prompts other people to report publicly on other like incidents).

    It is also normal for people who have been victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault to refrain from immediate reporting and to attempt to behave as if it had not happened, partly because of a natural reaction to trauma and partly because of justifiable fear of negative consequences from reporting; therefore, this does not by itself make later reports implausible.

  37. October 16th, 2016 at 07:21 | #37

    I am still waiting for J-D to respond to the substance of my previous posts of October 15th, 2016 at 18:05 and October 15th, 2016 at 14:57.

    @Luke Elford,

    If, as Jessica Leeds claims, Donald Trump groped her like an octopus without her consent, then why couldn’t she simply have complained to the airline crew?

  38. Collin Street
    October 16th, 2016 at 07:51 | #38

    So, evidently, J-D is not able to comprehend the documentary evidence above that I have copied and transcribed.

    “Comprehend” does not mean “agree with”. “Documentary evidence” does not mean “irrefutable proof”, or even “compelling evidence”.

    Something you need to understand: your errors do not look to you like errors. From your internal perspective, the mistakes you made don’t look special, or distinctive: they represent your genuine best efforts like everything else you do, and they look the same as everything else you do: as long as your perspective remains unchanged, there’s no way — it’s theoretically impossible — for you to distinguish between “genuine best efforts that is largely correct” and “genuine best efforts that have gaping holes you don’t know about”.

    Only from the outside does that show, or if you change your perspective slightly.

    Which means: if your errors are invisible to you, then a naive “show me that I’m wrong” effort will be futile. People will say, “look over here”, and you’ll say, “looks fine to me”. Unless you positively engage with people’s critiques, move your mental perspective slightly in response to what they say, you’ve got no chance of seeing what they’re telling you is there. It’s like one of those impossible-cube photos: it’ll look fine, it’s only when you move your head slightly that the problems will show up.]

    And even then there’s no guarantee; you might not be able to move your perspective far enough for the problems to show.

    WHICH MEANS: you can’t expect people to be able to show you where you are in error, and a person’s failure to convince you that you are in error should not be taken as evidence that you are not in error.

  39. J-D
    October 16th, 2016 at 08:26 | #39

    James :
    I am still waiting for J-D to respond

    Why are you waiting for me to respond?

  40. J-D
    October 16th, 2016 at 08:28 | #40

    James :
    If, as Jessica Leeds claims, Donald Trump groped her like an octopus without her consent, then why couldn’t she simply have complained to the airline crew?

    See above:

    It is … normal for people who have been victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault to refrain from immediate reporting and to attempt to behave as if it had not happened, partly because of a natural reaction to trauma and partly because of justifiable fear of negative consequences from reporting; therefore, this does not by itself make later reports implausible.

  41. GrueBleen
    October 16th, 2016 at 08:58 | #41

    @Collin Street
    Your #38

    Well I was going to throw in a few words on this topic myself, but I think you really haven’t left much unsaid, Coll. And quite eloquently spoken, too.

    Ok, well maybe there is just one thing I want to throw into the ring and it is this: did Trump, and his despicable minions, really think that if they opened up this can of words that it wouldn’t splash out on them too ? Does Trump and/or minions, really believe he is just a righteous innocent lad who, apart from some “mid-adolescent locker room banter” is as pure as the driven snow ?

    I guess I’m just curious as to how delusional he actually is. And how much that afflicts his minions.

  42. GrueBleen
    October 16th, 2016 at 09:03 | #42

    @J-D
    Your #39

    You really do go in for La Manchian crusades, don’t you. Do read, and consider, Collin Street’s very fine contribution (#38) because I think you can understand it even if James will never be able to.

  43. Collin Street
    October 16th, 2016 at 09:23 | #43

    Well I was going to throw in a few words on this topic myself, but I think you really haven’t left much unsaid, Coll. And quite eloquently spoken, too.

    Well-polished. I’ve written basically the same thing about a half-dozen times in various places, and deleted it unposted at least that many times again.

    [the purpose of accellerated or extension learning is to expose smart kids to failure so that they know how to recognise it.]

  44. October 16th, 2016 at 10:47 | #44

    BREAKING : Airplane Witness Comes Forward “Jessica Leeds is a LIAR, she was FLIRTING WITH HIM” (14 Oct 2016) By Amy Moreno | TruthFeed

    The mainstream media is in full “desperation mode” as they try to protect and cover up for their “Dear Leader” Hillary Clinton, and destroy Donald Trump with lies and slander.

    They have a lot of hoaxes going at the moment – almost too many to count.

    The one I am referring to here is the “airplane” hoax – where Jessica Leeds claims that thirty years ago she was on a plane with Donald Trump and he “lifted up the armrest” in first class and just started “GROPING” her.

    Ok, well in the 80’s the armrests did not “lift up,” but anyway …

    Leeds is also connected to the Clinton Foundation and one of Hillary’s SuperPACS.

  45. October 16th, 2016 at 10:52 | #45

    (Professor Quiggin, I did not mean to boldface the whole post. My apologies. Please delete the earlier version.)

    BREAKING : Airplane Witness Comes Forward “Jessica Leeds is a LIAR, she was FLIRTING WITH HIM” (14 Oct 2016) By Amy Moreno | TruthFeed

    The mainstream media is in full “desperation mode” as they try to protect and cover up for their “Dear Leader” Hillary Clinton, and destroy Donald Trump with lies and slander.
    They have a lot of hoaxes going at the moment – almost too many to count.

    The one I am referring to here is the “airplane” hoax – where Jessica Leeds claims that thirty years ago she was on a plane with Donald Trump and he “lifted up the armrest” in first class and just started “GROPING” her

    Ok, well in the 80’s the armrests did not “lift up,” but anyway …
    /
    Leeds is also connected to the Clinton Foundation and one of Hillary’s SuperPACS.

  46. Luke Elford
    October 16th, 2016 at 11:54 | #46

    Armrest trutherism has already been debunked. You should have gone with the God-will-use-Trump-like-he-used-harlots-in-the-bible defence. Undebunkable, that one.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/10/politics/trump-supporter-god-harlots-bible/

  47. GrueBleen
    October 16th, 2016 at 12:06 | #47

    @Collin Street
    Your #43

    Well, practice really does make perfect, doesn’t it. 🙂

    And I sincerely hope that some of us in here are just “smart kids” enough so that exposure to failure will indeed teach us how to recognise it. Though I do have to say that from where I sit, there’s way more failure than success, so we might just get an insurmountable surfeit of learning opportunities.

    There is just one small point I would add: that of epistemic closure (which was once a favourite thought of ProfQ’s). You can look it up in Wikipedia if you wish, but the key idea is:

    “Epistemic closure is a property of some belief systems. It is the principle that if a subject S knows p and S knows that p entails q then S can thereby come to know q.” (Wikipedia)

    So, James knows that Trump is just this great, wonderful, honest guy, and that entails that all that Trump does is great, wonderful and honest and hence anybody who says anything against Trump is a lying hoaxer (at best). And that closes the belief system. [Are you paying attention here, J-D ?]

    Which can be clearly see from James’s #44/#45: the closure is palpable and you can huff and puff and blow your heart out, but you are never going to penetrate those impenetrable epistemic closures.

    Ok, next topic ?

  48. October 16th, 2016 at 12:30 | #48

    Clinton’s Sexual Victims Testify For Trump

    Paul Craig Roberts writes:

    Pat Buchanan has an interesting perspective on the second debate. Notice also in the video of the CNN propaganda report that the CNN female presstitutes did their best to shift the attention away from the Clintons’ deeds to Trump’s mere words.

    The Donald Lives!

    By Patrick J. Buchanan (includes 10:36min embedded video of press conference)

    October 13, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – Donald Trump turned in perhaps the most effective performance in the history of presidential debates on Sunday night.

    As the day began, he had been denounced by his wife, Mike Pence, and his own staff for a tape of crude and lewd remarks in a decade-old “locker room” conversation on a bus with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood.”

    Tasting blood, the media were in a feeding frenzy. Trump is dropping out! Pence is bolting the ticket! Republican elites are about to disown and abandon the Republican nominee!

    Sometime this weekend, Trump made a decision: If he is going down to defeat, he will go out as Trump, not some sniveling penitent begging forgiveness from hypocrites who fear and loathe him.

    His first move was to host a press availability, before the debate, where a small sampling of Bill Clinton’s alleged victims – Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick – made brief statements endorsing Trump and denouncing the misogyny of the Clintons.

    “Mr. Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me,” said Broaddrick, “and Hillary Clinton threatened me.”

    The press had to cover it. Then the women marched into the auditorium at Washington University to watch Hillary Clinton defend her behavior toward them after their encounters with Bill.

  49. Ikonoclast
    October 16th, 2016 at 13:01 | #49

    The Clintons are bad news in a number of ways. Trump is even worse. Hillary Clinton will be less bad as a President than Donald Trump. Clinton will be less bad on domestic human rights issues. Clinton and Trump will probably make equivalent total messes of foreign policy unless they are well managed by their minders. These minders will make their own kind of mess of those matters anyway. Neither Clinton nor Trump will or can change the actual US political economy in any substantive way. They are probably more puppets than actors.

    The choice for the people of the USA is between a really, really bad President (Hillary) and a really really, really, really bad President (Donald), roughly speaking. It’s Hobson’s choice. I don’t expect any good or wise US policy in the rest of my lifetime… or ever, really.

  50. J-D
    October 16th, 2016 at 14:27 | #50

    @James

    The name of the purported witness who has called Jessica Leeds a liar is Anthony Gilberthorpe.

    There is substantial information about him available on the Web for anybody who wants to assess his general reliability as a witness.

  51. J-D
    October 16th, 2016 at 14:33 | #51

    There is just one small point I would add: that of epistemic closure (which was once a favourite thought of ProfQ’s). You can look it up in Wikipedia if you wish, but the key idea is:

    “Epistemic closure is a property of some belief systems. It is the principle that if a subject S knows p and S knows that p entails q then S can thereby come to know q.” (Wikipedia)

    So, James knows that Trump is just this great, wonderful, honest guy, and that entails that all that Trump does is great, wonderful and honest and hence anybody who says anything against Trump is a lying hoaxer (at best). And that closes the belief system. [Are you paying attention here, J-D ?]
    Which can be clearly see from James’s #44/#45: the closure is palpable and you can huff and puff and blow your heart out, but you are never going to penetrate those impenetrable epistemic closures.
    Ok, next topic ?

    Yes, I’m paying attention, thanks.
    I have no expectation of penetrating any epistemic closure.
    But there may be some people reading this (I mean, apart from James) who have never heard of Anthony Gilberthorpe and might like to check up on him. If not, no harm done.

  52. GrueBleen
    October 16th, 2016 at 15:15 | #52

    @Ikonoclast
    Your #49

    Oh give it a rest, Ikono. There’s nothing particularly wrong with Hillary, and she would be substantially better that any and all of: Nixon (and just imagine if Spiro hadn’t resigned to avoid impeachment and the USA had gotten him instead of Gerald “Can’t chew gum and …” Ford), Ronald “let’s deregulate the Savings and Loans” Reagan, George H W “Let’s make war on Iraq” Bush and George “Cheney and Wolfowitz have told me to invade Iraq and pulverise the Middle East so I’m gonna do it – Mission accomplished” Bush.

    Where have you been for the past fifty years ? What brainfarts have you absorbed about Hillary – apart from the efforts of Ken Starr, Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart, the NY Times, and Roger Ailes and the whole lying, corrupt Murdoch Press.

    The worst you can say about Hillary was that she was a Goldwater Girl cheerleader back in 1964 when she was still in High School. But I reckon we all should get a small gift of mercy or two for things we might have done when we were 17.

  53. GrueBleen
    October 16th, 2016 at 15:28 | #53

    @J-D
    Your #51

    Yeah, ok, but few if any of us here – not being mid-adolescent, with the probable exception of James – have not done a lookup on Anthony Gilberthorpe (inter alia). My favourite was Kevin Drum’s summary on Mother Jones (just after his Friday Cat-Blogging post).

    I have no idea who “James” is though my suspicion is he’s a soft troll – or someone playing at being a troll, anyhow -just having his five minutes of fun. And in my mind, having concluded that he’s most likely a young troll, I invoke the standing rule: “Don’t feed them”.

  54. October 16th, 2016 at 21:28 | #54

    Ikonoclast wrote on October 16th, 2016 at 13:01 :

    The Clintons are bad news in a number of ways. Trump is even worse. …

    GrueBleen wrote on October 16th, 2016 at 15:15 :

    There’s nothing particularly wrong with Hillary, …

    Nothing particularly wrong!? As I wrote in the discussion about Trump and Tribalism on May 30th, 2016 at 23:53 :

    The number of people killed in wars that Hillary Clinton helped to start since 1990 is barely an order of magnitude less than the 60 million that died in that terrible global conflagration which ended 71 years ago in 1945. According to Ramsey Clark, who served as Attorney General under President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ), as many as 1,500,000 may have died in Iraq alone as a result of war, starvation and disease since 1990. Certainly many hundreds of thousands died in Iraq. Given Clinton’s record, our history from 1939 until 1945 may be about to repeat itself, only on a larger and more terrible scale, should she win the presidential election this year.

    I would be curious to know if anyone, who watched Donald Trump’s speech of 13 October or the the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on 9 October, still believe that he molested those women.

    (The second debate is no longer available on YouTube unfortunately – most convenient for the MSM liars who claim that Donald Trump lost that debate.)

    In the speech of 13 October Donald Trump systematically demolishes a number of the claims of sexual molestation recently made against him.

    There is another debate coming up at midday +10 (Daylight Saving Time) on Thursday 20 October. I suggest that anyone who wants to be properly informed about the choices that Americans face on 8 November and the likely consequences for the rest of the world of a victory of either of the two candidates, watch that debate, if they are able to.

    GrueBleen, concerning your ad-hominem attack, I have been posting to johnquiggin.com for many years now. The link above is only one of many examples.

    Rather than engaging in further psychoanalysis of me, I would appreciate it, if you would, instead, simply addressed the substance of my posts.

  55. October 16th, 2016 at 21:45 | #55

    (Apologies for having used <strong> tags above, when I should have used <blockquote>tags.)

    The speech, I referred to above, in which Donald Trump emphatically denies claims that he attempted to molest all those women can be found here. As I said, I would be interested to know how many people still believe all the allegations so recently made against Donald Trump after they watched the 46 minute video.

  56. Luke Elford
    October 16th, 2016 at 22:13 | #56

    @James (#48)

    Don’t you think this was a little odd, given that before running for the presidency Trump called Paula Jones “a loser”, “unattractive” and “not very talented”, characterised Bill Clinton (his long-time friend) as a “victim” and expressed sympathy for Hillary?

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/09/politics/trump-clinton-sex-then-vs-now/index.html?sr=twCNN100916trump-clinton-sex-then-vs-now0934PMStoryLink&linkId=29736106

    Don’t you think he might just be using these women, and Clinton-haters such as yourself, for his own ends? What makes you think he has any interest in any of the policy issues which are important to you?

  57. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 03:04 | #57

    @James
    Your #54

    “I have been posting to johnquiggin.com for many years now.”

    And your point is ? You are still a soft troll “James”, no matter how long you claim to have been posting.

    “I would appreciate it, if you would, instead, simply addressed the substance of my posts.”

    And the above statement of yours is ample demonstration of the correctness of everything Collin Street said in his post #38 of October 16th, 2016 at 07:51. Nothing of which can you even begin to comprehend.

  58. Ikonoclast
    October 17th, 2016 at 05:36 | #58

    @Luke Elford

    Yes, even leaving aside all the other issues (and why should one do so in any case?), Trump is a billionaire who avoids taxes and exploits workers. There is plenty evidence for that. Why would anyone think a billionaire cares about ordinary people?

  59. Ikonoclast
    October 17th, 2016 at 05:43 | #59

    @GrueBleen

    Some of us manage to get beyond binary thinking of the sort where there are only black hats and white hats. “Trump is a black hat” does not necessarily lead to the conclusion “Hillary is a white hat”. Hillary’s hat is a dark grey which would look black except for the real black of Trump’s hat. I’m putting this in terms you might understand. Some of us understand the issues when a system does not give the people a real choice in political and political economy terms.

  60. Collin Street
    October 17th, 2016 at 05:50 | #60

    The speech, I referred to above, in which Donald Trump emphatically denies claims that he attempted to molest all those women can be found here.

    Look. Run this through, build a decision tree.

    If he’s accused and he’s not guilty… he’ll deny the accusations.

    If he’s accused and he is guilty… he’ll… deny the accusations, no?

    So. The guilty and the innocent alike deny accusations, which means that the existence of a denial per se doesn’t offer us any information that helps us tell the difference between a false and a true accusation. Denials essentially mean nothing; sensible people ignore them.

    So of course I’m not going to watch a 46-minute video that a-priori can’t tell me the thing you think I should watch it for. Neither is anyone else.

  61. J-D
    October 17th, 2016 at 06:05 | #61

    I would be curious to know if anyone, who watched Donald Trump’s speech of 13 October or the the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on 9 October, still believe that he molested those women.

    I regret that I am unable to satisfy your curiosity, as I have watched neither.

  62. October 17th, 2016 at 07:37 | #62

    I note that none of those who posted since I last posted on October 16th, 2016 at 21:45 – Luke Elford, GrueBleen, Ikonoclast, Collin Street and J-D – have bothered to watch either of the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – the first rigged debate or the second – or looked at Donald Trump’s speech in which he refutes the allegations that he sexually molested a number of women.

    I have been accused of not being able to see what is right in front of me, yet yet none of those listed above have even bothered to look.

    As I said above, others, who wish to be informed, can watch the third debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump this coming Thursday at midday (+10:00 Daylight saving time).

    They have they not responded to my post about how four victims of Bill Clinton – including Juanita Broadrick, who says that Bill Clinton raped her, endorsed Donald Trump.

    They have not bothered to respond to my earlier post, in which I showed that John Barry repudiated allegations made against Donald Trump by his cousin, Summer Zervos.

    I note that none of those listed above have expressed any opinion about war crimes in which Hillary Clinton is complicit – the invasion of the republics of the former Yugoslavia, the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the ongoing proxy invasion of Syria, which has so far cost the lives of 400,000 Syrians, including 80,000 Syrian soldiers.

    Presumably, like Hillary Clinton, they all thought it funny when Muammar Gaddafi was murdered and also laugh at the prospect of war by the United States against Iran.

  63. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 08:13 | #63

    @Ikonoclast
    Your #59

    I just love your childish moral hectoring, Ikono – most bracing on a new Monday morning.

    And I really love your use of “hats” to avoid any sensible discussion. Now if you really want to portray Hillary as “a dark grey which would look black” hat, that’s up to you and your simplistic set of black/white values.

    Otherwise, you could actually provide a list of what you believe to be her crimes and misdemeanors and provide at least some evidence for the rest of us to believe she’s committed them. And credible evidence would be good, not just the partisan ravings of American MSM, thanks. Any criminal proceedings, perhaps ?

  64. Luke Elford
    October 17th, 2016 at 08:49 | #64

    @James

    You have no basis for drawing these conclusions. I did watch the second debate, and have seen plenty of what Trump has said at rallies.

    But here’s the thing: attempting to pivot to ISIS when asked about sexual assault, having to be asked multiple times before providing a straight answer about whether he has actually sexually assaulted women, stalking Clinton on stage and then claiming she was moving into his personal space, saying that he’d never sexually assault the women who’ve made allegations against him because they’re not attractive enough, having his campaign provide multiple, contradictory responses—none of this adds up to the masterful refutation of the allegations you think it does.

    But more importantly, Donald Trump has not been done in by the mainstream media (which, by the way, has paid virtually no attention to his impending child rape case) and evil, scheming, lying, manipulative women. Donald Trump has been done in by his own words and actions over decades as a celebrity who has desperately courted the attention of the mainstream media, words and actions that have revealed him to be a disgusting human being.

  65. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 09:59 | #65

    @Luke Elford
    Your #64

    May I respectfully suggest that you read Collin Street’s #38 of October 16th, 2016 at 07:51 above.

    It may save you from wasting a lot of otherwise good, useful time.

    [And keep a copy of it for later, plagiaristic use 🙂 There’s lots of people (billions, actually) to whom it applies]

  66. Ikonoclast
    October 17th, 2016 at 10:56 | #66

    @GrueBleen

    You started the flame war mate. As always you start it and then pretend innocence. “Oh, give it a rest” is very condescending. But I’ve realised you don’t really understand what you say or your motives for saying it. In future I will return like for like. In other word, “give it rest Gruebleen”.

  67. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 11:04 | #67

    @Ikonoclast
    Your #68

    You’re quite right, Ikono, I just didn’t realise how sensitive you are to very ordinary phrases and expressions. You call that a “flame war” ? Give it a rest, Ikono.

    Now, are you ever going to grow up and put an actual case about “dark grey hat” Hillary, or should I just note that your posts are about on a par with the maunderings of “James”: a lot of verbiage and no facts.

  68. Ikonoclast
    October 17th, 2016 at 11:06 | #68

    @GrueBleen

    Give it rest, Gruebleen.

    If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.” ? Noam Chomsky.

    Chomsky’s assessment of Hillary is in line with the statement above (except that she isn’t president yet.)

    Now let me see, which thinker do I place more credence in, Noam Chomsky or GrueBleen? ROFL, it’s no contest.

    So again, give it a rest Gruebleen.

  69. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 11:10 | #69

    @Ikonoclast
    Your #68

    Yep, just what I expected – just a pissant little quote from a linguist of some minor note. No statement of charges, no evidence, just verbiage again and again and again.

    Give it a rest, Ikono.

  70. October 17th, 2016 at 11:48 | #70

    Luke Elford on October 17th, 2016 at 08:49

    The second debate was on 10 October. It’s curious that you have failed to mention the supposed faults, that you supposedly saw in Donald Trump’s performance, until now.

    For my part, I think Donald Trump clearly won that debate in spite of the moderator’s bias against him. Those, who would like to form their own judgement can watch for themselves:

    The Second Presidential Debate: Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump (Full Debate) | NBC News

    Luke Elford wrote:

    [the mainstream media] (… has paid virtually no attention to his impending child rape case) and evil, scheming, lying, manipulative women.

    To the contrary, the mainstream media (including Google News), is clearly hostile to Donald Trump who, promises to act the vested interests that they serve. For the mainstream presstitute media, including the Huffington Post, to publish the allegations of child rape against Donald Trump just days before the election is yet another attempt to rig the vote against Donald Trump.

    There is no reason that the case against Donald Trump cannot be heard after the election, even, if he is elected President.

    Luke Elford, can you name the “evil, scheming, lying, manipulative women” to whom you refer?

  71. Tim Macknay
    October 17th, 2016 at 12:34 | #71

    @GrueBleen
    James isn’t a ‘soft troll’, Gruebleen. He is entirely sincere. Make of that what you will.

  72. Luke Elford
    October 17th, 2016 at 13:07 | #72

    @James

    “The second debate was on 10 October. It’s curious that you have failed to mention the supposed faults, that you supposedly saw in Donald Trump’s performance, until now.”

    You got me, James. My impression of the debate is just a complete fabrication and the proof is that I’m only reporting it now, six days later.

  73. Tim Macknay
    October 17th, 2016 at 13:12 | #73

    @Ikonoclast
    Now let me see, which thinker do I place more credence in, Noam Chomsky or GrueBleen? ROFL, it’s no contest.

    Regardless of whatever Gruebleen thinks, Noam Chomsky isn’t a lawyer, and the remark you quote (and the article/speech from which it is derived) is essentially a moral condemnation, not a legal opinion. Chomsky is probably right that many of the things that have been done by postwar US presidents should be crimes under international law, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are.

  74. Tim Macknay
    October 17th, 2016 at 13:12 | #74

    oops – forgot the quote tags.

  75. Luke Elford
    October 17th, 2016 at 13:15 | #75

    Make that seven days. Even worse.

  76. J-D
    October 17th, 2016 at 13:48 | #76

    I note that none of those who posted since I last posted on October 16th, 2016 at 21:45 – Luke Elford, GrueBleen, Ikonoclast, Collin Street and J-D – have bothered to watch either of the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – the first rigged debate or the second – or looked at Donald Trump’s speech in which he refutes the allegations that he sexually molested a number of women.

    Insofar as it relates to me, that is correct. I have never watched a Presidential debate in my life. It would be a waste of my time. Also, I don’t need to watch Donald Trump’s speech to know that he denies the allegations against him.

    I have been accused of not being able to see what is right in front of me, yet yet none of those listed above have even bothered to look.

    Again responding only insofar as the comments relate to me: I have made no accusations against you, and I have not associated myself with any accusations made by anybody else.

    As I said above, others, who wish to be informed, can watch the third debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump this coming Thursday at midday (+10:00 Daylight saving time).

    See my observation above.

    They have they not responded to my post about how four victims of Bill Clinton – including Juanita Broadrick, who says that Bill Clinton raped her, endorsed Donald Trump.

    I have not responded because it makes no difference to me who endorses Donald Trump, or any other Presidential candidate for that matter, past, present, or future.

    They have not bothered to respond to my earlier post, in which I showed that John Barry repudiated allegations made against Donald Trump by his cousin, Summer Zervos.

    Now that’s not true. I have responded to that. However, I don’t mind responding again: although you have referred to what her first cousin has said, you have not said whether you think she is lying, or whether you think all the other women who have made allegations against him are also lying.

    I note that none of those listed above have expressed any opinion about war crimes in which Hillary Clinton is complicit – the invasion of the republics of the former Yugoslavia, the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the ongoing proxy invasion of Syria, which has so far cost the lives of 400,000 Syrians, including 80,000 Syrian soldiers.

    Insofar as this comment relates to me, it is correct: I have expressed no opinion about whether Hillary Clinton is complicit in war crimes. I don’t understand why you would want me to.

    Presumably, like Hillary Clinton, they all thought it funny when Muammar Gaddafi was murdered and also laugh at the prospect of war by the United States against Iran.

    You are not entitled to that presumption. I regard death as sad, not funny (although to be strictly accurate it’s impossible to deny that occasionally there is a blackly comic element in the circumstances of a death, as in the words of General John Sedgwick very shortly before he was shot dead, ‘They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance’). I never laughed at Gaddafi’s death.

    On the other hand, I think it’s worth noting something Kurt Vonnegut wrote:
    ‘… Total catastrophes are terribly amusing, as Voltaire demonstrated. You know, the Lisbon earthquake is funny.
    ‘I saw the destruction of Dresden … and certainly one response was laughter … that’s the soul seeking some relief.
    ‘Any subject is subject to laughter …
    ‘Humor is an almost physiological response to fear …
    ‘… I was working on a funny television series years ago. We were trying to put a show together that, as a basic principle, mentioned death in every episode and that this ingredient would make any laughter deeper without the audience’s realizing how we were inducing belly laughs.’
    (Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without A Country)

  77. Tim Macknay
    October 17th, 2016 at 14:23 | #77

    Further to my comments about the Chomsky quote, I will say that I agree that at least some of the actions taken by postwar Presidents that Chomsky discusses do fall within the definition of crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Nuremberg principles.

  78. October 17th, 2016 at 14:32 | #78

    Thank you, Tim Macknay for your post of October 17th, 2016 at 12:34. Below, in Appendix 2, is the Urban Dictionary definition of ‘soft troll’ – the only definition I could find. Perhaps, GrueBleen might care to explain, some time, how by having posted the above posts, I conform to that definition?

    Donald Trump, contrary to the supposed “high moral ground” taken by German Chancelor Angela Merkel, Time Magazine’s 2015 “Woman of the Year”, opposes open borders. The chaos caused by Angela Merkel after she suddenly opened Germany’s borders to anyone who could get there from Syria, the Middle and Near East and Africa in August 2014, and the consequent outrage against her by native Germans is described in An Update From Germany (14/10/2016) by Linh Dinh | Lew Rockwell.

    Like Donald Trump, the similarly demonised Marine le Pen of France also opposes mass immigration of Muslims to France whilst supporting Bashar al-Assad, the Islamic President of Syria in his war against terrorist invaders armed and paid for by her own government, the United States government and their allies.

    Appendix 1: Correction to my previous post

    Correction: “who, promises to act the vested interests that they serve” should have been “who promises to act against the vested interests that they serve.”

    Appendix 2: urbandictionary.com definition of soft troll

    The soft troll is the counter part to the more provocative, traditional trolling used to incite anger and hostility. The goal of the soft troll is to inflate the ego of the reader and to gain readership. Commenters cannot resist displaying their superiority and even go so far as to display their comments on social networking sites. What results is a mass intellectual “circle jerk” of people who, while smart enough to correct the mistakes of the poster or point out the obvious joke the poster was illiciting, are not self aware enough to realize that it was all set up. There is no damage done to the posters themselves, they will go on thinking they are quite clever. The true spoils of such a troll go to those who ascertain the true goal of the poster. A symbiotic relationship emerges where all parties walk away feeling superior over the other.

  79. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 16:10 | #79

    @Tim Macknay
    Your #71

    I suppose I’ll have to, Tim, because I surely can’t make of it what I won’t.

    But I guess I could inquire – without expecting any exposure of private confidences – just how you know that ?

  80. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 16:26 | #80

    @Tim Macknay
    Your #73

    “Regardless of whatever Gruebleen thinks, Noam Chomsky isn’t a lawyer,”

    Just by way of clarification, just where did “whatever GrueBleen thinks” get into the conversation ? And yes, Tim, I am very well aware that Mr “Universal Grammar” isn’t a lawyer – that is, indeed why I called him a linguist. Ok ?

    Now: “Chomsky is probably right that many of the things that have been done by postwar US presidents should be crimes…”

    What is your source for Chomsky being right about “many of the things that have been done” ? Can you point to a list of such things prepared by Chomsky, please. Or indeed by anybody on Chomsky’s behalf ?

    And just maybe, for Ikono’s benefit, somebody should point out that Hillary hasn’t actually been elected POTUS yet, so even Chomsky’s little list of those who shouldn’t be missed does not cover anything that would explain Ikono’s implacable hostility to her.

    As for most politicians, even of minor little places like Australia, the most common state is DIYD*2 (Damned if you do, damned if you don’t). And because willful misinterpretation is rife, let me make it crystal clear that I do not think HRC or anybody, is actually a blameless angel.

  81. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 16:40 | #81

    @Tim Macknay
    Your #77

    at least some of the actions taken by postwar Presidents that Chomsky discusses do fall within the definition of crimes

    Yes, but do they all fall into the category of crimes that demand execution as punishment – remembering, of course, that of the 21 (plus the absent Borman) tried at Nuremberg, 3 were acquitted, 7 were only jailed, and the remaining 11 were indeed hanged.

    So perhaps you could line up the actions taken by postwar Presidents that Chomsky discusses with the actual crimes for which the Nuremberg 11 were hanged, and show conclusively that “all of the post war presidents” would be hanged too. Whilst remembering, of course, that Chomsky make his accusation back in 1990, so the list of Presidents he nominated does not include Bill Clinton, George W Bush or Barack Obama – unless Chomsky has issued an update. Has he, do you know ?

  82. Tim Macknay
    October 17th, 2016 at 17:23 | #82

    @GrueBleen
    It wasn’t my intent to imply that you thought Chomsky was a lawyer, although my comment does read that way – apologies. The intent of that remark was to point out to Ikonoclast that Chomsky wasn’t an appropriate authority against which to compare your views of international humanitarian law. It wasn’t supposed to be disparaging of you – sorry if it came across that way.

    Regarding your question about my source, it seems from your #81 that you’ve located the 1990 Chomsky speech/article from which Ikonoclast’s quote is taken. I don’t agree with Chomsky’s statement that all postwar presidents would be hanged, so I have no interest in trying to demonstrate it conclusively. I only opined that some of the actions taken by postwar presidents do appear to be crimes under the Nuremberg principles.

    I agree that the Chomsky quote is in any case irrelevant to claims that HRC is a ‘war criminal’, and I don’t think we’re really in disagreement about any substantial issue in this thread. Personally, I find the claims that HRC is a war criminal pretty implausible. Most of the claims of that nature I have read are polemics that are clearly based on ignorance about what war crimes actually are, and I have yet to come across an article penned by a person with relevant legal knowledge that makes a cogent case that HRC has committed any war crimes. Coming back to Chomsky momentarily, as far as I am aware, he has called for voters in swing states to vote for HRC in preference to Trump, and he has never expressed the view that HRC is a war criminal. So to that extent, Chomsky’s opinion doesn’t really support Ikonoclast’s view in any case.

  83. October 17th, 2016 at 17:59 | #83

    @Tim Macknay,

    Certainly President John F. Kennedy (1917-1973) was not a criminal, In fact, he is almost certainly the kindest, most intelligent and most courageous leader this world has ever known. Quite possibly, he is the kindest and most courageous human being that ever lived. Consider these facts:

    1. On no less than three occasions, he over-ruled his Armed Services Joint Chief of staff, who wanted to launch a first-strike nuclear attack against the Soviet Union

    2. A Senator he passed a resolution that made the United States change from supporting France’s colonial war against Algeria to becoming neutral. After he was elected President, the United States supported the the Algerian FLN resistance movement against the French colonialists.

    3. …

  84. Tim Macknay
    October 17th, 2016 at 18:20 | #84

    @James
    Well, there was that awful Bay of Pigs business…

  85. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 19:25 | #85

    @Tim Macknay
    Your #82

    No, no I wasn’t feeling disparaged or anything, I just wanted to be sure I wasn’t being misunderstood. If I may make the point, experienced readers often ‘read’ by picking up the first syllable or so of a word, combining it with the verbal ‘context’ and thus ‘deducing’ the rest of the word – a process which speeds up reading, but can introduce the odd erroneous interpolation (as I am personally occasionally subject to). So although ‘linguist’ doesn’t really look like ‘lawyer’ my ultra-caution kicked in.

    No, I don’t really think you and I are at loggerheads here, but Ikono, for whatever reason, seems to want to hold HRC as a serial offender of various – but always unspecified and undocumented – crimes and misdemeanors. Now I certainly don’t think she’s blameless, but she has been the target of thirty years of innuendo, false accusations and outright lies and slander. So I desire any serious HRC critics to be able to actually document whatever they think she’s committed – it really is that simple. But nobody, so it seems, can ever actually provide genuine documentation.

    What we do get is seriously dishonourable rags like the New York Times publishing articles that contain, for instance, clauses such as “this raises serious questions” – “questions” that are never listed or in any way documented. So it’s just weasel words to inspire mistrust in Clinton without having to honestly admit they found nothing wrong.

    Much the same as when I was watching SBS news yesterday to hear that Trump “had cast doubt” on the presidential elections. “Had cast doubt” ? What utter bullshut – he’d just made a bunch of ridiculous throwaway claims that, in fact, or at least to anyone still passably sane and of moderately sound mind, were just crap – as we’ve come to expect from Trump every single time. And give him credit, he never disappoints us.

  86. GrueBleen
    October 17th, 2016 at 19:37 | #86

    @Tim Macknay
    Your #84

    Bay of pigs ??? What about the Cuban missile crisis ? Kennedy was all ready to bring on MAD and it was only averted because Nikita (which is a male name, btw) Kruschev was sane and sensible enough to seize on Bertrand Russell’s naive attempt to ‘inspire’ peace and backed down on the missile placement.

    Sure enough, if Hillary is as ‘driven’ as Kennedy and the situation ever gets that bad again, then Putin is no Kruschev, there is no Bertrand Russell, and this time we might go all the way. So all you lot who missed out last time can sit around for 13 days wondering when the mushroom clouds will start to erupt.

    Now personally, I don’t think Hillary is that crazy – she doesn’t have the hangups that infested Kennedy – so I don’t expect things to get that bad. But miscalculations can happen when amateurs play The Great Game for their first time.

  87. October 17th, 2016 at 23:07 | #87

    Wikileaks inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London has just had its Internet connection cut by a “state actor” thus preventing Julian Assange from continuing to leak documents harmful to Hillary Clinton. No doubt, GrueBleen will be pleased,

    I don’t have time to respond to all the lies posted above, but if others were to take the effort to look at some of my earlier posts, they will see that some those lies have already been refuted. Just for now, I will respond to Tim Macknay’s concern about the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    As shown in JFK and the Unspeakable – Why he Died and Why it Matters (2008) by James W. Douglass:

    President Kennedy inherited the Bay of Pigs operation from the previous Eisenhower administration. He was assured by the CIA and his generals that the Castro Communist government was a repressive tyranny and hated by most Cubans. They only needed to allow a small number of anti-Castro rebels sail to Cuba. Once they landed, the Cubans would rise up to support them and overthrow the Castro government.

    However, once the invasion began, Cubans did rise up, but instead to support the Castro govenrment and throw out the invaders. As the invaders were being driven into the sea by the Cubans, both the US military and the CIA pleaded for permission to intervene with ships and aircraft to save the invasion.

    Kennedy then realised that he had been lied to by his military and the CIA. Having no wish to continue the United States’ past policy of illegally meddling in the affairs of Latin America, he refused to provide that military assistance, and so the Bay of Pigs invasion was defeated.

    After the invasion was defeated, a furious JFK, whilst publicly accepting full responsibility for the fiasco, sacked the head of the CIA.

  88. Tim Macknay
    October 18th, 2016 at 22:42 | #88

    @James
    I’m not sure which ‘lies’ you’re talking about. However, obviously my pointing out that Kennedy authorised the Bay of Pigs invasion was not a lie, so I presume that you were not insinuating that it was. I am going to go ahead and suggest that you would do better if you did not reflexively assume that people who say things you disagree with or think are incorrect are acting in bad faith. It is often the case that people say things that are mistaken, or are simply expressing opinions that differ from your own. It does not mean they are lying, or have a malign agenda. It is also possible (indeed inevitable, as you are only human), that on some occasions at least, it is you who are mistaken, rather the person with whom you disagree.

  89. Tim Macknay
    October 18th, 2016 at 22:49 | #89

    @GrueBleen
    Well, I didn’t bring up Kennedy’s actions during the Cuban missile crisis as, unlike the Bay of Pigs, they didn’t appear to fit into one of the crime categories under the Nuremberg principles (further to the earlier discussion). I’m no expert on the Cuban missile crisis, but from what I do know of it, it seems to me that Kennedy handled the situation reasonably well.

  90. Collin Street
    October 19th, 2016 at 06:32 | #90

    It is also possible (indeed inevitable, as you are only human), that on some occasions at least, it is you who are mistaken, rather the person with whom you disagree.

    You can check this, self-verify your thinking.

    For a five-way conversation, say, you’d expect that each person would make errors at the same rate, which means that the parties should get perceived strike rates of about eighty percent, say. If you think you’re running at, say, better than ninety percent… you’re probably not; “person has difficulties spotting their mistake” is more likely than “person has half the error rate of everybody else”.

    [it’s not fifty-fifty because it’s not a two-way conversation; this gets called “dogpiling”, but that’s a misnomer.]

  91. Ivor
    October 19th, 2016 at 07:51 | #91

    @GrueBleen

    Khrushchev did not back down. This is Western historical dogma.

    Khrushchev wanted two things only:

    Ensure the US never tried to invade Cuba again.
    Removal of US missiles on Russian border (in Turkey).

    He got both.

    The US wanted to:

    Invade Cuba
    Maintain missiles on Russian borders

    They got nothing.

  92. GrueBleen
    October 19th, 2016 at 08:18 | #92

    @Tim Macknay
    Your #89

    Basically, everybody “handled the situation reasonably well” and hence MADness was averted, to the relief of us uninvolved billions.

    However, it was Kennedy’s America that was keen on deploying “first strike” missiles around the world and he who authorised the blockade of Cuba to prevent the Soviet ships getting in. Hence I’d essentially attribute the escalation of the situation to Kennedy.

    Though yes, fortunately, it never actually came to a war that would definitely have been a crime vide Nuremberg. Though I also should say that my recall is that the “crimes” of Nuremberg were thrown together basically for the purposes of being used against surviving Nazis rather than having any coherent philosophical or legal precedent.

    I think we all wonder, from time to time, how the firebombing of Dresden would have looked if the war had gone the other way. Or if basic human decency had prevailed.

  93. GrueBleen
    October 19th, 2016 at 08:21 | #93

    @Ivor
    Your #91

    Khrushchev did not back down. This is Western historical dogma.

    Oh, ok then Ivor; the Russian ships did sail on into the American blockade – and then what happened ? Did the Russians actually get to place missiles into Cuba ?

  94. Ivor
    October 19th, 2016 at 10:02 | #94

    @GrueBleen

    Why not – America was attempting to ring the USSR with missiles:

    Production went ahead and the nuclear tipped missiles were deployed in both Italy and Turkey in 1961

    See: Western nuclear missiles

  95. Tim Macknay
    October 19th, 2016 at 11:31 | #95

    @GrueBleen
    Though I also should say that my recall is that the “crimes” of Nuremberg were thrown together basically for the purposes of being used against surviving Nazis rather than having any coherent philosophical or legal precedent.

    It’s certainly not the case that the principles underlying the Nuremberg trials lacked a ‘coherent philosophical or legal precedent’, although undoubtedly they were a form of victor’s justice. The Nuremberg principles were innovative, but proceeded from earlier developments in international law, notably the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. It is true though, that the discussion, proceeding from Chomsky, of postwar US presidents having committed crimes under the Nuremberg principles is a purely academic exercise, since the concept that individuals could be criminally liable at international law for war crimes was essentially in abeyance during the Cold War, and once the Nuremberg trials were completed there was no international tribunal in existence with competence to deal with allegations of that nature up until the 1990s.

  96. Tim Macknay
    October 19th, 2016 at 11:32 | #96

    Bollocks – forgot the quote tags again. I obviously got out of bed too early this morning…

  97. Tim Macknay
    October 19th, 2016 at 11:44 | #97

    @Ivor
    It was a strategic confrontation. Both sides came away with an improved security situation, having removed threatening nuclear missile installations from their respective doorsteps. War was avoided. Essentially, everybody won. Given that the Cold War ended over a quarter-century ago, and neither the United States nor the Soviet Union had a clean slate when it comes to dubious uses of military power, arguing about ‘who won’ the Cuban missile crisis seems a tad ridiculous.

  98. Ivor
    October 19th, 2016 at 13:30 | #98

    @Tim Macknay

    You need to read up on a bit of US Cold War history from President Wilson and the antics of the British terrorists such as Bruce Lockhart.

    Australia also sent terrorists into USSR to wage war.

    The placement of missiles in Italy and Turkey was a unilateral strategic provocation and project of containment as was the Bay of Pigs.

    The Yanks almost brought a nuclear conflagration down upon themselves.

    Time does not make anything ridiculous.

  99. October 19th, 2016 at 13:32 | #99

    @Tim Macknay,

    My apologies to you and others for my needlessly aggressive language in my post of October 17th, 2016 at 23:07.

    Professor Quiggin, my subsequent post of October 19th, 2016 at 09:19 about the firebombimng of Dresden and related issues, which was awaiting moderation, has since disappeared. Can you tell me what happened to it?

  100. pablo
    October 19th, 2016 at 14:24 | #100

    Staying roughly within the purview of ‘power’ politics the death of the very ageing Thai king and the desire of the Japanese emperor to abdicate/retire has me pondering the British crown. Could Lizzie be interested enough in succession matters elsewhere to ponder her own demise? Even sudden death can’t be ignored particularly where Australian republicans have suggested that Charles’s succession would be a trigger event to spur change here. I fear we’re going to be caught napping with not much on offer from republican Turnbull.

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