The dog that didn’t bark

My election commentary in Inside Story is about

The dog that didn’t bark … the (assumed) majority of “decent Republicans” to whom Clinton sought to appeal. Although most observers (including me) assumed that many of them would turn against Trump, hardly any did so

91 thoughts on “The dog that didn’t bark

  1. @Ikonoclast
    Your #50

    “On Burkean Marxism”.

    I thought you might when I read it myself, which is why I thought I’d check if you’d seen it. He is very readable, most of the time.

  2. @Andrew

    “• We are aspirational – we want the freedom to strive, achieve and prosper. We understand and support the need for welfare safety nets, but we reject the swing to redistributive policies which reallocate wealth to those who haven’t earned it.”

    Sure, but most big incomes are not earned. They are the result of rigged and distorted markets. For example restrictions on the number of medical specialists. Ditto for pharmacies. And I don’t care how hard they work, the CEO’s are not worth millions per year. You can of course go through one by one and fix these restrictive practices and failed markets, but a far easier thing is to just tax highly and redistribute back to the people whose money was stolen by these types.

    And there are plenty of people who get paid very little for working hard.

    I think that you have learned nothing from Trump’s win.

  3. “I think that you have learned nothing from Trump’s win.”

    Which of course makes you a great representative of the people you champion, for they learnt nothing either.

  4. There are many contributory reasons for Trump’s win. Here are some in no particular order.

    1 – Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but still lost the election. The electoral college system is not the only system that gives minority wins but it is a less democratic system than most. This is particularly so in states where the popular vote winner takes all the electoral college votes. Bottom line, the US at least in presidential elections is not very democratic. The US constitution was expressly designed to thwart the will of the masses and support oligarchic rule.

    2 – Voter turnout is low. Preliminary estimates are 56.9%. This is passable by US standards but not compared to compulsory voting turnouts. It is paradoxical perhaps but compulsory voting is more democratic. Even democratic states use compulsion in various issues and one could argue justifiably so. We have compulsory education and compulsory jury service both of which I personally support. I don’t support compulsory military service but that’s another discussion.

    3 – Capitalism is no longer delivering the goods for the working poor and middle class of the USA. The system has become riddled with egregious economic inequality which Joseph Stiglitz has demonstrated is highly inefficient economically.

    4 – People do not know where to turn. Like a spooked herd, they do not know where the real dangers are nor where the real solutions are.

    5 – The current political system offers no real alternatives. The established parties offer Neoliberal Heavy or Neoliberal Medium (not even Neoliberal Lite). The less neoliberal party offers a few sets of trendy minority rights to get the liberal vote. These minority rights are worthwhile in themselves but only the trendy ones are offered and then are not sincerely offered anyway.

    6 – Celebrity and politics are becoming confused and admixed especially in the USA. It appears large sections of the public don’t really know the difference. Of course, capitalism as a system deliberately hides its own ideology, pretending it’s all “economics”, and the public are fed pap by the media to ensure they are not properly conscious nor have any real understanding of what is really going on in our system: false consciousness in other words.

  5. “banning media from the centres is wrong, but so are ridiculous and insulting statements from Amnesty international claiming Australia is torturing people.”

    It’s a bit irrational and self-serving surely the way the royal ‘we’s” – according to Andrew – equate banning media from refugee centres as wrong – wrong? wrong? ffs – and “ridiculous and insulting statements” by Amnesty International. These things are equivalent?

    Andrew says on behalf of “middle Australia” that they ignore silliness and concentrate on the cricket and yet they are insulted and isn’t that offended? by “ridiculous” statements.

  6. (A previous attempt to post an earlier comment, from another one of my computers, failed. I was asked to prove that I was not a robot. I believe I did as I was asked, but my comment was still not posted.)

    Defcon nuclear threat falls to safest level after Donald Trump victory

    The DEFCON Warning System is a private organisation that evaluate world events and whether they pose a nuclear threat against America. This threat was reduced to its lowest level of 5 by the election of Donald Trump to the Whitehouse. As others have said, Trump was the ‘Peace Candidate’. We republish the DEFCON statement dated the day of Trump’s election

    This is the DEFCON Warning System. Alert status for 8 P.M., Thursday, November 10th, 2016. Condition code is Green. DEFCON 5.

    defconwarningsystem _dot_ com _slash_ 2016/11/11/defcon-warning-system-update-111016/

    Regarding the complaint that Donald Trump lost the popular vote (for example, by Ikonoclast on November 19th, 2016 at 05:41 | #55):

    As President-elect Donald Trump explained, he campaigned to win the vote in the given electoral college system. Had the Presidential election, instead, been based on the (more democratic) popular vote, he would have spent more time and energy campaigning in the more populous states such as California and Washington DC and believes he would have won more easily.

    Given the hostility to Donald Trump from the hierarchy of his own Republican Party, including from House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the near-unanimous hostility to Donald Trump from the mainstream media and even the majority of the supposed alternative media, including surprisingly, from the Russian RT’s own American branch, the result is triumph of grass-roots organisation.

  7. @Ikonoclast
    Your #55

    There are many contributory reasons for Trump’s win. Here are some in no particular order.

    Well I dunno, Ikono. Sure, the US Electoral College voting system is precisely why Trump won despite losing the popular vote, but I’d have to say that the real reason Trump won was the 107,330 votes that cost Hillary the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. And why those 107,330 people voted for Trump I have no idea – and as far as I can determine, neither does anybody else much (though James Comey’s little act may have seriously helped).

    Lots and lots of ‘pundit’s fallacy’, ignorance and confirmation bias all over the place, but very little information or enlightenment.

    However, I would like to request of you an explanation of this:

    capitalism as a system deliberately hides its own ideology

    Now capitalism “as a system” isn’t capable of hiding anything – it is inanimate and unwilled. So what exactly do you mean ? Is capitalism such an inherently devious and complex system that its reality can only be known by the few “enlightened ones” ? Or that all believers in capitalism conspire to hide its workings from all the rest of us benighteds ?

    And if so, how did you, personally, come to penetrate this shield of deception to reveal the “true” capitalism ? Was it all down to the revelations of the Messiah Marx ?

  8. James, nobody cares what people at a random internet website which is named to cause confusion with the US military’s state of alertness think.

    In the middle of the year, they raised their warning level to three, which means, according to them, that people should, amongst other things:

    “Begin gathering supplies of fuel. Do not keep them near your shelter. Make sure your weapons are clean and serviceable. If you do not have any, obtain some now and learn how to use them.”

    And now they’ve lowered it again.

    But nobody cares.

  9. @GrueBleen

    Technically, I committed the fallacy of a broad-brush imputation of agency to a human generated system, namely the political economy. This is a common enough thing to do in colloquial speech or writing. There are system aspects to “really existing capitalism” that generate rule-bound and law-bound behaviors which are dependent on and emergent from the real economy and from physical-chemical-biological-ecological laws and from the institutional environment (law-book law, custom, culture) which has been set up over time.

    In my (admittedly idiosyncratic and self-developed) complex system theory, I delineate between “laws” and “rules”. I use the term “laws” to refer to what we call natural laws like the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and ecology. However, not all of these laws can be regarded as deterministic, even in approximation. Some are probabilistic in form.

    I use the term “rules” to refer to institutionalized rules such as the rules of law-book law, custom and culture which are set up by humans acting in concert and sometimes in competition and adversarial settings. We suppose humans to have “agency” by which we mean roughly that they have free-will as assessement, choosing and final decision and action capacities. Whether humans really have free will, in this context, does not really matter. What matters is their ability to have rules and change rules. This is different from the law-bound behavior of basic physical processes, as exemplified very well by the laws of thermodynamics.

    When I say “a (human) system hides something” I am saying that by accident and/or design (assuming the human ability to change rules equates to the ability to design and re-design rules) I am saying that the system hides things by accidental and intended features of its design.

    Take a single human being in total, as a physical and mental being (leaving aside complex theories of “mind” and “society” for the time being) and we see that that a human being is a system. He or she is a physiological and neurological complex system with emergent qualities (objective and subjective) and complex behaviors.

    Our internal organs are hidden from normal human sight. (This statement needs this and other qualifying statements.) This “being hidden” is all or mostly an accident of structure but is also determined by environmental factors; thus that part is evolutionarily determined. Given that white people with pale eyes (like me) are badly adapted for the sub-tropics (and even for too much snow glare for that matter) it is hardly likely that any of us would have evolved with transparent skin.

    Before the study of anatomy, our own organs were largely hidden from us by the contingencies and structural and evolutionary requirements. This does not imply there was any consciousness or agency involved in hiding our organs. In like manner, if many of the “organs” and “structures” of our evolved-and-designed political economy are hidden from us, this does not necessarily imply conscious intention for some of this “hiding”. Every new human born has to, hopefully, get an education in human history, society, politics and economics before he or she can start to at least partially understand these extensive and partly hidden “organs” and “structures” of our political economy.

    Over and above the above, I do contend there is also deliberate hiding, deliberate deception, deliberate misdirection of many kinds, with many motivations, going on in our society. Some of it is individual and some of it is group-orchestrated or corporate-orchestrated or politically-ideologically orchestrated in various forms.

    As a shorthand for all this, I say “the system hides things”. It is really a straightforward and, I would think, an irrefutable proposition. One corollary might be that some systems could or would hide less things than other systems. So one would begin thinking about how to consciously redesign both accidental and intentional features of the current system to get a better (more equitable, more productive and more sustainable system) while taking cognizance of the fact that this intentional action is more akin to catching a wave and riding it to a particular destination rather than thinking one can cancel the reality and momentum of a wave in progress and conjure up a totally different wave by acts of pure will.

  10. @GrueBleen

    Capitalism is completely animate and willed.

    It is animated by greed and exploitation and willed by alienated individuals such as Donald Trump, his rancid advisers, Frank Packer, Margaret Thatcher, Clive Palmer, bankers, politicians and most academics and many others.

  11. @Ikonoclast
    Your #60

    Yes, well I think I’ve sort of got that: you committed a technical fallacy of a broad-brush imputation of agency to a human generated system. Ok.

    But the thing I don’t get is just how this “hiding” of which you speak is carried out and by whom. And whether this means that any and all attempts to penetrate this “hiding” have failed: so we’ve learned nothing from the army of dedicated ‘un-hiders’ of the past couple of hundred years – including the likes of Marx and Hayek.

    So, refining my question: just what is it exactly that is being “hidden”, how is it “hidden”, by whom and from whom ? Are there many aspects of capitalism that are “hidden” from you ? How would you know ? And is there only one ‘capitalism’ ? Therefore somehow one set of “hidings” covers all.

    And just one impertinent query: you say “some systems could or would hide less things “ Now back in my long past schooldays we had two words we could use: we used “less” when we were referring to things enumerated in real numbers (or close-ish approximations thereto) and “fewer” when referring to things enumerated in integers – so in that case, I would have said ‘would hide fewer things’. So, did you ever use ‘fewer’, and if so, when did you stop ?

  12. @GrueBleen

    “But the thing I don’t get is just how this “hiding” of which you speak is carried out and by whom.”

    1. I’ve already explained how some hidden features were not hidden by anyone. Was the discoverable physical law of (E=M x c sqrd) hidden by anyone? No, unless you believe in a creating Deity. It was simply inherent in existence in our current, known universe as a physical “brute fact”. “In contemporary philosophy, a brute fact is a fact that has no explanation. More narrowly, brute facts may instead be defined as those facts which cannot be explained (as opposed to simply having no explanation). To reject the existence of brute facts is to think that everything can be explained.” – Wikipedia.

    This above is an example of something intrinsically hidden from humans until discovered by and for humans.

    2. If a person or persons create a system, they are not necessarily aware of all facts (as axioms, laws or rules) inherent in that system. Axioms, laws and rules may be inadvertently hidden in human generated systems as unintended consequences or unforeseen emergences.

    Thomas Piketty discovered “If r GT g then inequality increases”. In this precise form he is the discoverer of this “law” to my knowledge. However, it is not a physical, universal law. Rather it is an emergent “law” in a human system where certain rules of ownership and allocation of production surplus are followed. This “law” it seems was hidden, yet always intrinsic to what is “standard capitalism”. This “law” indeed only applies if certain rules of ownership and allocation of production surplus are followed. Change the rules and this “law” could be obviated. Really, I should be calling it an axiom of capitalism. It is axiomatic that “if r GT g then inequality increases” under the current standard rules of capitalism (particularly those rules about ownership and allocation of the rewards (surplus) from production.

    This above is something system-intrinsic (axiomatic) while certain rules are observed by most actors and rule-enforcing authorities in the system. It could be argued that nobody expressly designed it this way, although the rules of the system (capitalism) were expressly or covertly designed to make a few rich off the labour of the many.

    When some different countervailing rules were instituted like democracy, welfare and heavy taxation on the rich, this above axiom was not circumvented in a pure sense but was ameliorated in its effects after the fact of surplus distribution according to the “primary rules” of capitalism.

    3. The way that derivatives, CDOs and like instruments worked was hidden in detail from most people. See the movie “The Big Short” for a dramatization of the discovery of the real content and system effects of these financial instruments. Do you really not see that some people hid stuff from other people and from regulators, governments, the mass of the people and so on?

    The above is something directly deriving from duplicity combined with complex and extensive system ramifications which take time and in-depth research for second and third parties to discover.

    Do you really not get this stuff? Maybe you should just play lawn bowls and drink beer. 🙂

  13. @Ikonoclast
    Your #65

    Ok now, let’s just get this straight. You said:

    capitalism as a system deliberately hides its own ideology

    Please note the expression: deliberately hides its own ideology.

    Now even you, Ikono, in the midst of your pseudo-socratic attempt to irremediably muddy the waters would have to admit that the idea of “deliberately hides” precludes the kind of implicitness that, say, an as yet undiscovered theorem evinces.

    The words “deliberately” – implying will and animation – and “ideology” imply will and animation and thought are not such as can be just “unknown implicits”

    So, I said:

    “Now capitalism “as a system” isn’t capable of hiding anything – it is inanimate and unwilled. So what exactly do you mean ? Is capitalism such an inherently devious and complex system that its reality can only be known by the few “enlightened ones” ? Or that all believers in capitalism conspire to hide its workings from all the rest of us benighteds ?”

    Can you see that I covered both possibilities ? “inherently devious and complex system” and “believers … conspire to hide its workings“.

    Otherwise:

    Do you really not see that some people hid stuff from other people and from regulators, governments, the mass of the people and so on?

    So, kindly enlighten me, as I have now politely requested several times, exactly who hid what from whom ? Or are you saying it was all revealed in “The Big Short” ? And if so, how was all that “hidden stuff” suddenly unhidden so that a Hollywood epic could be made ? Although I did enjoy reading Michael Lewis’s ‘Liars Poker’ I do not see him as an unchallengeable authority on the US financial system – he never did graduate to BSD status for starters.

    And besides, kindly answer my question about you use of “fewer” and “less” – the almost complete ending of the use of the word “fewer” is one aspect of the hiding of its ideology by the system of linguistics [tm Ikonoclast] that I would much like to unravel.

  14. @GrueBleen

    Capitalists and their running dog imperialists hide the reality of their ideology from them selves. Seriously, it is the only way that half-way decent people can become capitalists and maintain the fiction that they are not stealing their wealth.

    You are some sort of capitalist or a sympathiser and you are doing it now; you are trying to hide the reality of what it really means for one person to use another person’s labour and turn it into a profit for themselves only.

  15. @Julie Thomas
    Your #67

    Seriously, it is the only way that half-way decent people can become capitalists

    Ok, so you’re saying that capitalists are half way decent people. That’s good to know – I’d always assumed they were just garden variety homo sapiens.

    You are some sort of capitalist or a sympathiser

    Oh goodoh, I’ve always wondered what I am and now I’ve met somebody who can read minds and tell me. And being a capitalist makes me a “half way decent person” too, yes ?

  16. @GrueBleen

    haha I don’t believe that you have always wondered what you are and you haven’t actually met me and I don’t need to read your mind. It is very obvious when old men get cranky and irritated.

  17. Donald Trump is the perfect product of a selfish nihilistic consumer culture .Not an aberration. Now there is lots of talk on the Left that we must make a genuine attempt to reach out and understand Trumpists rather than ignoring, dismissing ,or laughing at them .I agree, but it is annoying that the only the Left can see the value in doing this. Rightists refuse to do so almost by definition. There has always seemed to be an element of asymmetric warfare going on.

    Andrew approaches a claim often made by the IPA etc. That there are things we are not allowed to talk about . What are these things ? I cant think of any.

  18. @Andrew

    … we reject the swing to redistributive policies which reallocate wealth to those who haven’t earned it.

    I’d be intrigued to know what we think about people such as James Packer, Gina Rinehart and Donald trump who certainly didn’t earn their inheritances by the sweat of their collective brows.

  19. zoot :
    @Andrew

    … we reject the swing to redistributive policies which reallocate wealth to those who haven’t earned it.

    I’d be intrigued to know what we think about people such as James Packer, Gina Rinehart and Donald trump who certainly didn’t earn their inheritances by the sweat of their collective brows.

    What Zoot (and others) have said.

    The tennet amongst many conservatives that economic reward is correlated with effort is one of the many delusions under which ‘the rabble’ labour. Oh, there’s some relationship, but it’s tenuous at best and very frequently negated by the truism that money makes money.

    At a further step back though is the whole notion of being “aspirational”. This concept reflects the greed and selfishness of the already comparatively wealthy Western middle class, who don’t understand that they almost always only fulfill their ‘aspirations’ through the direct and/or indorect exploitation of the lower class, of much of the Third World, and of the global ecology. Whether it’s a case of ‘the grass is greener’, or ‘keeping up with the Jones’, or ‘enough is never enough’, our economic system has not yet recognised that as it currently operates it’s not detached from systems limits. As long as this remains the case we move inexorably closer and closer to breaking that system.

  20. I note Ikonoclast has not responded to my post of November 19th, 2016 at 08:07 in which I showed that “[the election of Donald Trump] is a triumph of grass-roots organisation.”

    @Luke Elford wrote:

    James, nobody cares what people at a random internet website … think.

    Defconwarningsystem _dot_ com shows the peril of global thermonuclear war faced by humanity since the 1950’s. In 2016 the three major superpowers still have enough nuclear weapons to easily destroy a large proportion of humanity and nearly all of our productive capacity. Given what has occurred since 1990, the web-site’s publishers are right to fear the worst, and we should be thankful to them.

    As I have previously explained, Hillary Clinton has, since 1990, helped start wars in Iraq, the former republics of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen. Those wars have, in total, cost many hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Hillary Clinton stated that she would impose another Libya-style “no-fly zone” over Syria to help overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, should she become President. Clinton laughed at the news of the cruel murder of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and she openly stated, whilst laughing, that she would like to start a war against Iran.

    Had Clinton been elected we could well be facing a conventional war by the United States against Syria and its allies, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. It should take little imagination to see how such a war could easily escalate into an all-out nuclear war.

    However, thankfully, Hillary Clinton was not elected. President-elect Donald Trump has stated that he wishes to get along with Russia in general, and, more specifically, to cooperate with Russia in fighting against the Islamic State terrorists in Syria.

    Cleary, the people at defconwarningsystem _dot_ com were right to fear the election of Hillary Clinton and to welcome the election of Donald Trump, instead.

    @Luke Elford continued:

    In the middle of the year, they raised their warning level to three, which means, according to them, that people should, amongst other things:

    “Begin gathering supplies of fuel. Do not keep them near your shelter. Make sure your weapons are clean and serviceable. If you do not have any, obtain some now and learn how to use them.”

    Given the bloody record of Clinton and Obama, was it so unreasonable to expect the worst – and to prepare for the worst – given that terrible bloody wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine of today were hardly less terrible back then?

    Now that regime change in the United States, on 20 January 2017, is just over two months away, the people at defconwarningsystem _dot_ com, and the rest of humanity, can now breathe a little more easily.

    @Luke Elford concluded:

    And now they’ve lowered [their warning level] again.

    But nobody cares.

    You clearly don’t care, but those of us, who are informed and want peace, do.

  21. Thanks JQ I was feeling decidedly teary about the prospects of rational thought, but there might be a small opening. Thanks again.

  22. @James

    So, when they raised their warning level did you build a fallout shelter and begin stockpiling fuel, food, medicines and weapons per their instructions?

    Unless you did, it’s hard to take your claim that you care about what they say very seriously.

  23. @James

    Yeah, of course Hillary is a war monger. That other bloke, the one stirring jingoistic nationalist sentiments, the one threatening a trade war with China, the one who is going to forcibly deport 3 million Mexicans, the one who accuses China of creating global warming, the one who will let global warming run rampant – well there is no threat with him. Its just rhetoric, he doesn’t mean any of it. It’ll be fine.

  24. @Luke Elford wrote:

    Unless you [built a fallout shelter and began stockpiling fuel, food, medicines and weapons per their instructions], it’s hard to take your claim that you care about what they say very seriously.

    How I choose to deal with the threat of thermonuclear war, that we have all lived with since the 1950s, is my concern.

    You have failed to show, that, given Barack Obama’s record of starting and continuing wars against the people of the Middle East, that it was not unreasonable for the people, who publish defconwarningsystem _dot_ com, in the middle of this year to fear thermonuclear war and make preparations for the breakdown in society that would inevitably follow.

    Ddefconwarningsystem _dot_ com‘s views of the threat that the election of Hillary Clinton would have posed to humanity are consistent with the evidence, so they were right to welcome Donald Trump’s victory on 8 November.

    John Brookes wrote on November 19th, 2016 at 23:39 | #75:

    [Donald Trump], the one stirring jingoistic nationalist sentiments, the one threatening a trade war with China, the one who is going to forcibly deport 3 million Mexicans, the one who accuses China of creating global warming, the one who will let global warming run rampant – well there is no threat with him.

    I will deal with the above some other time, but even if we were to accept the worst accusations against Donald Trump, how is that worse than what we already know about Hillary Clinton?

    zoot wrote on November 20th, 2016 at 01:51 | #77 :

    James, surely Trump’s statements that more countries should be armed nuclear weapons will lift the warning level again.

    Can you show me where Donald Trump has called for more countries to be armed with nuclear weapons? He has denied ever having said this. What he did say was that these countries should pay more of the costs of defending themselves.

  25. @GrueBleen

    I don’t read your mind just your words but the point is that the capitalist ideology does provide people with an argument that absolves them from admitting to themselves – that is it allows them to hide the fact – that it is not meretricious to profit personally from other people’s work.

  26. @Julie Thomas
    Your #79

    Ok, since I always wear my tinfoil hat you probably can’t read my mind. 🙂 At least that’s what the marketing pitch says.

    But I don’t think you do any better job of reading my words than maybe I do of reading yours. Or that either of us do reading Ikono’s words – and vice versa, but of course. Still, that’s the glory of human incommunication, no ?

    As to “capitalist ideology”, well yes there are people who hide behind their publicly expressed beliefs. However, I have no objection in principle to personally profiting from the work of others: I’d truly hate to think that I was the only person who ever ‘profited’ in any way from what I have done. How about you ?

    So maybe we can agree that the key concept is “exploitation” and then spend the rest of our lives trying to define what it is exactly that that word means.

  27. @James

    But in an April interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Trump said, “It’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea.”
    Wallace asked, “With nukes?”
    “Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes,” Trump responded.
    At a town hall with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in March, Trump suggested that it was time to reconsider the United States’ decades-old policy of not allowing Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

    That’s from CNN, easily found with Google.
    Then there’s this from CBS.
    Unfortunately too many links puts a comment into moderation, but if you exercise your Google-fu you’ll find stacks more (if you really want to find them). Those two took me about 10 seconds to discover

  28. @GrueBleen

    I have no objection in principle to personally profiting from the work of others:

    This directly contradicts the principles of democracy and the so-called “Golden Rule”.

    It divides society and leads to worsening ugly outcomes.

    It is anathema.

  29. zoot on November 20th, 2016 at 13:40 | #83, wrote:

    Having searched the Internet, I can now see that Donald Trump has, on several occasions, suggested that it was time reconsider the United States’ decades-old policy of not allowing Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons and he has also said that South Korea should be armed with nuclear weapons because North Korea is armed with nuclear weapons.

    As Warren Fisk wrote, Mark Warner exaggerates in saying Donald Trump is ‘OK’ with nuclear proliferation (11/10/2016), which is considerably more balanced than the rest of the mainstream media:

    So Trump certainly has said he’s open to proliferation by certain allies but isn’t sold on it. We rate [U.S. Senator Mark] Warner’s claim Half True.

    Of course, this is still a serious concern (and not my only concern about Donald Trump), but given that Donald Trump, like most people, do not understand the conflict on the Korean peninsula, and given the context of ferocious hostility from nearly all the mainstream newsmedia to Donald Trump during the election campaign, I think this error of judgment is understandable.

    On the political and historical context of the Korean Peninsula: The government of South Korea was formed in 1945 by the United States with Koreans who had collaborated with the Japanese occupiers. The government of North Korea was composed, with the help the Soviet Union, of those who had led the fight against the Japanese occupiers.

    After 1945, Koreans in the South fiercely resisted the regime imposed upon them by the United States and were savagely repressed. The supposed ‘invasion’ of the South in 1950 was just a continuation of that civil war.

    Nevertheless, the choice between Donald Trump, even given such flaws on the one hand, and the financially corrupt Clinton family, that helped start wars that have killed hundreds of thousands and which promises more of the same, on the other, should have been open and shut.

  30. @James
    James it is common courtesy to use the blockquote tab to quote someone.
    Using it to delimit your interpretation of what someone wrote is dishonest.

  31. @zoot on November 21st, 2016 at 17:56,

    Thank you for having read my post of November 21st, 2016 at 12:29 | #88.

    What appeared to be my quoting of you, was, in fact, my intended response to what you had posted earlier. My quote of your earlier post was omitted in error.

    My apologies. What I meant to post was:

    zoot wrote:

    But in an April interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Trump said, “It’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea.”

    Wallace asked, “With nukes?”

    “Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes,” Trump responded.
    At a town hall with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in March, Trump suggested that it was time to reconsider the United States’ decades-old policy of not allowing Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons

    That’s from CNN, easily found with Google.
    Then there’s this (link) from CBS.

    My response was intended to be:

    Having searched the Internet, I can now see that Donald Trump has, on several occasions, suggested that it was time reconsider the United States’ decades-old policy of not allowing Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons and he has also said that South Korea should be armed with nuclear weapons because North Korea is armed with nuclear weapons.

    As Warren Fisk wrote in Mark Warner exaggerates in saying Donald Trump is ‘OK’ with nuclear proliferation (11/10/2016), which is considerably more balanced than the rest of the mainstream media:

    So Trump certainly has said he’s open to proliferation by certain allies but isn’t sold on it. We rate [U.S. Senator Mark] Warner’s claim Half True.

    Of course, this is still a serious concern (and not my only concern about Donald Trump), but given that Donald Trump, like most people, do not understand the conflict on the Korean peninsula, and given the context of ferocious hostility from nearly all the mainstream newsmedia to Donald Trump during the election campaign, I think this error of judgment is understandable.

    On the political and historical context of the Korean Peninsula conflict: … (for more, see my earlier post of November 21st, 2016 at 12:29.)

  32. Congresswoman Gabbard statement on meeting with President-Elect Trump

    “President-elect Trump and I had a frank and positive conversation in which we discussed a variety of foreign policy issues in depth. I shared with him my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country, and the world. It would lead to more death and suffering, exacerbate the refugee crisis, strengthen ISIS and al-Qaeda, and bring us into a direct conflict with Russia which could result in a nuclear war. We discussed my bill to end our country’s illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government, and the need to focus our precious resources on rebuilding our own country, and on defeating al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups who pose a threat to the American people. For years, the issue of ending interventionist, regime change warfare has been one of my top priorities. This was the major reason I ran for Congress—I saw firsthand the cost of war, and the lives lost due to the interventionist warmongering policies our country has pursued for far too long.”

    Tulsi Gabbard is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has been the United States Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013.

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