Monday, July 16, 2018

A crime against America

 It's very simple. Our government intelligence agencies are unanimous in saying that a massive crime was committed against the United States electoral system. Out intelligence community further says that this will continue in 2018 and 2020. OK, no dead bodies such as in 9/11, but our very system of government is threatened. The Russians hacked into voter rolls in 2016. If they can hack into voter rolls this time, they can wipe thousands of names off the voter rolls next time so that when you try to go vote, they are going to tell you that you weren't registered, so you have to fill out a provisional ballot, and if we happen to find your name in our system, your vote will count. No matter who it benefits, it's totally wrong. Trump stood on stage with the chief perpetrator, our enemy, and said that since he vigorously denied it, that has to be taken at least as seriously as the work of our own Justice Department. O. J. Simpson says he didn't do it, too. This is not about liberalism and conservatism. Let me repeat: This is not about liberalism and conservatism. Both senators form my home state of Arizona have vehemently condemned Trump's performance today as disgraceful. They are conservatives with the conscience of a conservative. Conservatives used to be the first to stand up for our national defense, and Ronald Reagan once told Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. If you want to point to something Obama did you think is just as bad, well, Obama is out of office and can't be impeached, and last I checked, two wrong do not make a right.

The biggest mistake you can make is making issues concerning Donald Trump all about liberalism and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, Left and Right. 

101 comments:

Dave Duffy said...

"The Russians hacked into voter rolls in 2016. If they can hack into voter rolls this time, they can wipe thousands of names off the voter rolls next time so that when you try to go vote, they are going to tell you that you weren't registered"

If "next time" they tell you weren't registered then you would have a point to make.

In 2016, millions of Americans went to vote. The swing states picked Trump over Clinton in the election. What caused these people, rational or irrational, to make that choice is a consequence of democracy. The best we can do is try to understand their choice.

Yes, the Russians hacked the DNC emails, which showed deep corruption in the DNC. I'm guessing if they were able to hack the RNC (which they tried) they would have found some corruption. How much DNC corruption influenced the vote is anyone's guess.

Try to keep your head in an age of mass hysteria.

Victor Reppert said...

Oh dear. Why don't you do some research on everything Russia did in the 2016 election. It was a hell of a lot more than just releasing the e-mails that were supposed to be private.

Putin came out and said he wanted Trump to win the election and that he directed his people to help him win the election. If I had been a Trump voter, I would nevertheless have expected Trump to support efforts on the part of our intelligence community to stop illegal attacks on our election system and bring to justice those in our country who helped perpetrate it, even though they benefited the candidate I voted for. According to your intelligence community, they not only did it in 2016, they intend to do it in 2018 and once again in 2020. Criminals get bolder when they get away with their crimes.

Ever hear of the exclusionary rule in criminal justice? Illegally seized evidence can't be used in court. If you don't have that, then there will be even greater temptation for law enforcement officers to seize evidence illegally and then say "Hey, this was illegal, but anything to help us get the guilty party." I don't know what would have emerged from a e-mail raid on the RNC, but you can bet your boots a raid on the e-mails at Trump Tower detailing all the dubious Trump business dealings (this guy wouldn't even release his tax returns, for crying out loud), not to mention all the money slipped under the table to keep porn stars and Playboy models from telling their stories about the sexual conduct of one Donald Trump, would have swung the election to Hillary in a landslide.

This is not about the legitimacy of the election result. This is about a President, who, once in office, sticks his fingers in his eyes and ears and refuses to accept the evidence coming from all the major intelligence agencies, that a very powerful foreign power who has no interest in making America great again was actively using illegal means to get him elected President, a power that tries to do this in other countries on a regular basis (they're on to the Russians in those countries), and have every intention of continuing to do it in future elections. And no, I shouldn't have to wait until someone tells me I can't vote in the next election to treat this as a serious problem. The only Presidential thing to do is to say "thanks, but no thanks," do these illegal efforts to support him, to slap the Russians upside the head with sanctions, to support American allies like the Ukrainians who are trying to escape the grip of the Russian despot, and to do everything in our power to make sure the Russians never, ever, ever so much as think of doing this again.

News stories planted by the Russians were targeted at people in those swing states, the work of Cambridge Analytica.

Whether this swung the election is uncertain, though I personally think that if there had been no Russian involvement, Hillary would have won. That is not the point. Even if the election result was illegitimate, it is still irreversible. Impeachment will get us Pence, not Hillary, no picnic for liberals. The problem is that Trump refuses to treat this for what it is, an attack on our American system of democratic government by someone who hates democracy. Those who voted for Donald Trump voted him in as someone who would defend our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That is his job. He needs to step up and do that job, or Congress needs to say "You're fired" the way in which the Constitution allows them to say "You're fired," and that is through impeachment and removal. His disgraceful performance in Helsinki shows an almost pathological unwillingness to do just that. I don't think this is hysteria on behalf of the defeated Hillary. Far from it. John McCain is no Hillary sympathizer.

Victor Reppert said...

https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/7/statement-by-sasc-chairman-john-mccain-on-trump-putin-meeting

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

jon said...

I have taken an interest in Russia and Russian affairs for a number of years. I know of no one who understands Russia who also takes these allegations seriously.

Dave Duffy said...

Wow, thanks Dr. Reppert. In all the years I've been following your blog and throwing out my thoughts, this was your longest response. I feel honored.

I did follow the 2016 election with great interest and have tried to understand all the factors that influenced the election. I have also tried to keep up with the Russia story.

Trump was a total boob in his press conference with Vlad. That is a separate story from the election. I will give you my thoughts on the election when I have more time (if you are interested).

Hugo Pelland said...

"I know of no one who understands Russia who also takes these allegations seriously."

The US intelligence community does understand Russia and does agree that Russian actors directly worked to influence the US election.

Why would your sources be more reliable?

jon said...

I can’t just take the word of the American intelligence services. Perhaps I should, but I can’t.

By all accounts the security of Putin’s government is excellent, making them almost impossible to spy on. So any intelligence assessment on Russia’s actions is likely to very weak evidence, even if true.

jon said...

*likely to be based on very weak evidence

Jim S. said...

Russia/USSR has tried to influence every American presidential election since the 1920s. Plenty of other countries try to do it too. Obama tried to do it in Israel's election of their Prime Minister. I'm not saying this makes it OK, it's not. Are the critics just hearing about this kind of thing for the first time?

Hugo Pelland said...

No, Jim, not new; obviously you're right on that.

The difference is Trump blaming everybody but Putin/Russia.

Apparently, just like jon, Trump prefers to believe Putin over US intelligence. He even likes the idea of Putin's team to "help" with ongoing investigations.

Hey guys, here's a list of suspects for the bank robbery. Suspect A is our most likely suspect, but he says he's innoncent, so let's get him involved!

Jim S. said...

Well, my impression of Trump -- and that's all it is -- is that he talks nice to certain dictators and then turns around and nails them to the floor with his actions. Trump's policies are significantly more anti-Russia than Obama's policies were, such as his energy policies. I read an article where someone quoted one of the libertarian commentators to the effect that Trump is the good cop AND the bad cop rolled up in one person. The good cop is when he goes to talk to the evil dictators and just treats them with dignity and deference they don't deserve. The bad cop is when he enacts policies that undermine their power. That makes sense to me, even though he doesn't show dignity and deference to non-evil-dictatorial people. I could be wrong though.

jon said...

I see no reason why I should trust Putin or U.S. intelligence.

I just find the evidence to be too flimsy to overcome my distrust of U.S. intelligence.

Also: Wikileaks has said their source was a disgruntled Democratic Party employee. So there’s that.

Hal said...

‘I know of no one who understands Russia who also takes these allegations seriously.”

Anne Applebaum is a well known expert on Russia. Here is her comment on Trump-Putin meeting:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/07/16/trump-has-just-composed-the-most-elaborate-thank-you-note-in-history/?utm_term=.28560ed7b81b

Hal said...

And I think George Will’s analysis of Trump is spot on:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-sad-embarrassing-wreck-of-a-man/2018/07/17/d06de8ea-89e8-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html?utm_term=.0ad39d14c4b5

Jim S. said...

Hmmm. "Mueller All but Ignores the Other Russian Hack Target: The GOP"

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/07/17/mueller_all_but_ignores_the_other_russian_hack_target_the_gop.html

Hugo Pelland said...

From end of 2016, 2017:

https://www.wired.com/2017/01/russia-hacked-older-republican-emails-fbi-director-says/

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/us/obama-russia-election-hack.html


Then, from the article Jim linked to:
"In fact, U.S. intelligence officials say the attackers penetrated GOP organizations at both the national and state levels, as well as the individual level, and successfully “exfiltrated" Republican emails during the 2016 election cycle. They add that Trump officials themselves were targeted by Russian intelligence late in 2016, often by phishing schemes, in which fraudulent emails seemingly from trusted sources (e.g. the government, banks or Google) are sent to gain access to personal information."

So hopefully nobody concludes much from the title alone...

jon said...

I’ll indulge in a few speculations:

If Russia did hack both major parties, most likely this was for purposes of generic spy craft rather than throwing the election. It is possible that Russia did hack those servers *and* that a disgruntled Democratic employee leaked to Wikileaks. The two do not contradict.

Anyone remember WMDs? The intelligence services had a weak case that was sexed up for political purposes. It might not be the same this time, and I can’t prove anything, but by gosh does it look like history is repeating.

Dave Duffy said...

I have no emotional investment in President Trump. I care about defending him as much as I do defending President Rutherford B. Hayes.

In my mind (I’m sure there’s a better list and if you can add, please do), here is what is important to our electoral system:
1. Citizens who are legally eligible to vote should be able to vote.
2. People who are not legally eligible to vote must be prevented from doing so.
3. All legally cast votes must be counted as intended by the voter.
4. All votes must be cast in private, without coercion, without direct retribution for the choice made, and according to each citizen’s reasoning and conscience.

If you can show any interference, meddling, criminality, coercion, hacking, corruption, tyranny, into these four points, I will join you in a war against the perpetrators. Well, there's not much to be done about meddling into someone's reasoning or conscience, but you get the point.

In the 2012 campaign Romney was quoted as saying Russia is our biggest threat. President Obama ridiculed him for this. Exact quote from Obama, "Gov. Romney, I'm glad that you recognize that al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida. You said Russia ... the 1980s, they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years,"

I remember the commentators and Democratic Party piling on Romney for being so stupid to think the Russians were a serious threat. When these same commentators and Party go from ridicule to full John Birch Society in a few years, I am skeptical. I agreed with Obama at the time and I agree with him now. To say there is nothing partisan about the flip from ridicule of a Russian threat to hysterical fear is just BS.

Quote Victor: “Ever hear of the exclusionary rule in criminal justice? Illegally seized evidence can't be used in court.” I don’t understand this point. Are you referring to a court case? Or are you saying information obtained illegally shouldn’t be decimated? I’m lost. If it’s the later, then private conversations are illegal to record (like Trump’s, “they let you grab them by the pussy”). You need to clarify your point. In general, more information is better than less, especially when it exposes corruption.

The rest is speculation about what Trump might or might not have done and what a jackass he is a president. All fine and well. My speculations are different and I mostly agree with you on the jackass part.

Dave Duffy said...

Oh, I almost forgot...

Joe, my comments were not meant to racist.

Joe Hinman said...

Metacrock's blog

Just give treason a chance



You think Trump's Helsinki hi jinx will matter to his base? Guess again!

Joe Hinman said...

Dave Duffy said...
"The Russians hacked into voter rolls in 2016. If they can hack into voter rolls this time, they can wipe thousands of names off the voter rolls next time so that when you try to go vote, they are going to tell you that you weren't registered"

If "next time" they tell you weren't registered then you would have a point to make.

we don't even have a point to make unless they erase your name from the rolls? That is such a cogent grasp of the political situation.the only thing they can do that would harm our world is to erase names? no amount of influence or black mail or stratigizing you don't care if they gather information on everyone as long as they don't do the worst thing?

Joe Hinman said...

Dave Duffy said...
Oh, I almost forgot...

Joe, my comments were not meant to racist.

so anyone who makes a point about racism is a crack pot no matter how many studies they have backing it up? I know science is very freighting, the idea that one can actually prove pinons that differ from yours very scary stuff,

Joe Hinman said...

Yes, the Russians hacked the DNC emails, which showed deep corruption in the DNC. I'm guessing if they were able to hack the RNC (which they tried) they would have found some corruption. How much DNC corruption influenced the vote is anyone's guess.

yes they would find some corruption in the Repubs, I've heard some Repub councilmen fix parking tickets. But nothing like the child sex slave pizza parties Hillary throws every night hu?

maybe you need to shoot up s pizza hut? fun hu?

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger jon said...
I have taken an interest in Russia and Russian affairs for a number of years. I know of no one who understands Russia who also takes these allegations seriously.

so the head of the NSA does't reliably understand Russia right? who are the people you mean who really do? the John Birch society?

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger jon said...
I can’t just take the word of the American intelligence services. Perhaps I should, but I can’t.

By all accounts the security of Putin’s government is excellent, making them almost impossible to spy on. So any intelligence assessment on Russia’s actions is likely to very weak evidence, even if true.

we are talking abort computer trails not understanding their feelings about their mothers.

why would anyone assume that an impregnable fortress of espionage ran by a former agent cum dictator would not do the worst? why souls we assume the best about them?

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Jim S. said...
Russia/USSR has tried to influence every American presidential election since the 1920s. Plenty of other countries try to do it too. Obama tried to do it in Israel's election of their Prime Minister. I'm not saying this makes it OK, it's not. Are the critics just hearing about this kind of thing for the first time?

It's a question of how they try. saying:"I hope X wins" is different from breaking into their house.

Joe Hinman said...

Jim S. said...
Hmmm. "Mueller All but Ignores the Other Russian Hack Target: The GOP"

that's because they only fix tragic tickets and that's boring, They want to investigate Hillary's Orgies.Sex AND PIZZA!!!

Joe Hinman said...

tragic tickets !

Dyslexia never lets me down

jon said...

What I meant to say - and should have said - was that the people I read who understand Russia don’t take these allegations seriously. Not everyone full stop - that would be quite a claim.

Remember also that the intelligence agencies have plenty of experts on the Middle East but that didn’t prevent the WMDs debacle.

Starhopper said...

I just learned that ByteGrid, a company which helps run Maryland's elections (my home state), has been sold to a company owned by a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin.

Yikes!

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Starhopper said...
I just learned that ByteGrid, a company which helps run Maryland's elections (my home state), has been sold to a company owned by a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin.


O that's just a coincidence, they are not trying to influence anything;we can't worry until the wipe out all people in Maryland,

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger jon said...
What I meant to say - and should have said - was that the people I read who understand Russia don’t take these allegations seriously. Not everyone full stop - that would be quite a claim.

ok so who are they?


Remember also that the intelligence agencies have plenty of experts on the Middle East but that didn’t prevent the WMDs debacle.

also filtered through an administration that wanted war

SteveK said...

I just met a Russian at the store today! Putin's reach is everywhere! We are doomed!!

*screams like a crazy person*

Starhopper said...

Hah! My astronomy club is full of Russians. Last month, one of them said to me, "You know, I emigrated from Russia to get away from Putin. I never dreamed you guys would be electing one of your own over here!" (or words to that effect)

bmiller said...

Colluding with Ruskies....hmmmm.

SteveK said...

Your Russian friend still sees America as "you guys"? People that say "you guys" are always on the side of "us guys".

Legion of Logic said...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.eu/article/vladimir-putin-war-criminal-inhumanity-syria/amp/

Sounds like your Russian friend loves to be insanely dramatic.

Starhopper said...

C'mon, now. I did say "words to that effect".

I of course cannot remember the exact quote , but it probably was a lot closer to something like this: "I came to this country to escape Putinism, and am saddened to find an American Putin in power here. Do you Americans not realize how evil he is?" (Not sure who the "he" was (Putin or Trump), because the conversation almost immediately turned to the relative merits of various eyepieces. We are an astronomy club, after all.)

SteveK said...

Those words have a different effect than the prior words.

Starhopper said...

Not really. No significant difference.

Starhopper said...

Keep in mind, the conversation I am referring to was not in English. We were speaking Russian (my second language). So any "quote" here is going to be a translation, and not the exact words.

Dave Duffy said...

"so anyone who makes a point about racism is a crack pot no matter how many studies they have backing it up?"

Joe,

No, anyone can make a point about racism. My problem is you accuse people you don't know of being a racist. This is as wrong.

Racism is a belief that one race is superior to another race. You better be damn sure that's what someone believes before you accuse. These accusations, like an accusation of pedophilia, can ruin people. If you knew anything about my clients, my friends, my neighborhood, you would realize that your kind of accusation is malice based on ignorance. Malice and ignorance is about the same as any run of mill racist.

Starhopper said...

What was originally said was likely something like this:

"Ну, когда я переселился сюда из России, мне хотелось сбежать с Путина. Hо здесь я обнаружил, что у американцев то же самое. B чем дело?"

bmiller said...

Starhopper used to be a spook, pals around with Russians and from the way he talks I can tell he's thoroughly RED.

jon said...

Here is an article from Alexander Mercouris, who believes the Trump-Putin meeting is the first step towards a geopolitical ceasefire:

http://theduran.com/the-putin-trump-helsinki-summit-neither-breakthrough-nor-damp-squib-start-detente/

Dave Duffy said...

Hey Bob/Starhopper. Off topic, I went to Baltimore recently for the first time. I took the time to visit the Antietam battlefield. Have you been there? Any thoughts about the place?

Starhopper said...

Yes, I have been there - toured the whole battlefield. Amazingly beautiful and peaceful, considering the horror it once was. A great example of historical preservation. In contrast, another nearby battlefield (Monocacy, outside Frederick MD) is a patchwork of parkland and residential neighborhoods.

Despite living so close to many of them, I have not been to that many Civil War sites. Let's see... Manassas, Antietam, Monocacy, Gettysburg, and Bentonville (in North Carolina)... I think that's about it. Oh, and Independence, Missouri, Glorieta Pass in New Mexico, and Picacho Peak in Arizona.

Hmm.. maybe that is "many"?

Dave Duffy said...

Sounds like quite a few Starhopper. Thanks for the thoughts.

Joe Hinman said...

She is still regarded as a major source for a basic introductory understanding of mystical experience.She wrote 30 books and was considered in her day as an authority on the subject. Her book is still in print and found in all major book stores. A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on process theology.[2]The major issue between Christian mysticism and process theology would be that mystical theology draws upon the Orthodox Church and it's Platonic assumptions, which process theologians label as "statistic unavailable God." Yet I remembered a quote from Underhill saying that the God of mystical experience is not static but active. What would Underhill say to process theology?

Metacrcock's Blog

Joe Hinman said...

o good all the little republicans are rationalizing pitting fascism into power but as long as Putin stops abortion it;s ok.

Joe Hinman said...

Putin was a KGB, How many Christians did he sanction killing and touting as KGB Head? ut it's ok if Putin stops abortion he's God/s man.

Joe Hinman said...

Here is an article from Alexander Mercouris, who believes the Trump-Putin meeting is the first step towards a geopolitical ceasefire:

http://theduran.com/the-putin-trump-helsinki-summit-neither-breakthrough-nor-damp-squib-start-detente/

Peace in our time! see he;s God's man

Joe Hinman said...

"We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analysing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will."

Neville Chamberlain
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/neville_chamberlain

Starhopper said...

Not sure I understand process theology, but here's a perhaps relevant passage from the (excellent, highly recommended) book The Catonsville Nine by Shawn Francis Peters:

Vatican II was in session [in 1964] and its reforming spirit influenced many of the gatherings that [Marjorie Melville] attended [...] One day, she and some fellow nuns walked into a classroom and saw that their instructor, a priest, had scrawled the words "God does not exist" across the blackboard. The women were dumbfounded - until the priest walked into the room and wrote "God occurs" directly under his provocative initial notation. (Chapter 5, page 60)

Is that an example of process theology?

Nick said...

"Democrats and Republican neocons are in full-throat hysteria over an alleged Russian threat – Russia, whose total military budget is smaller than Trump’s recent Pentagon budget increase this year.

What we have been seeing is the fascinating spectacle of America’s war party and neocons clamoring to oust President Trump. Included in their ranks are most of the US media, led by the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and TV’s war parties, CNN and NBC.

It’s also clear that Trump’s most ardent foes are the big US intelligence agencies whose mammoth $78 billion combined budget exceeds total Russian military spending. The bloated US intelligence industry fears that Trump may slash its budgets, power and perks.

The uproar over Putin has revealed just how fanatic and far to the right were the heads of the US national security state operating under the sugarcoating of the Obama administration. Straight out of the wonderful film, ‘Dr. Strangelove.’ We now see them on CNN, snarling away at President Trump.

Speaking of far right generals, one is also reminded of the brilliant film, `Seven Days in May,’ in which a cabal of generals tries to overthrow the president because of a peace deal he made with Moscow. Could there be a real plot against the president? Watching US TV one might think so." https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/07/eric-margolis/seven-days-in-july/

Nick said...

"Not since Robert Welch of the John Birch Society called Dwight Eisenhower a “conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy,” have such charges been hurled at a president. But while the Birchers were a bit outside the mainstream, today it is the establishment itself bawling “Treason!”

What explains the hysteria?

The worst-case scenario would be that the establishment actually believes the nonsense it is spouting. But that is hard to credit. Like the boy who cried “Wolf!” the establishment has cried “Fascist!” too many times to be taken seriously.

A month ago, the never-Trumpers were comparing the separation of immigrant kids from detained adults, who brought them to the U.S. illegally, to FDR’s concentration camps for Japanese-Americans.

Some commentators equated the separations to what the Nazis did at Auschwitz.
The Greatest Comeback:... If the establishment truly believed this nonsense, it would be an unacceptable security risk to let them near the levers of power ever again.

Using Occam’s razor, the real explanation for this behavior is the simplest one: America’s elites have been driven over the edge by Trump’s successes and their failure to block him.

Trump is deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, appointing record numbers of federal judges, reshaping the Supreme Court, and using tariffs to cut trade deficits and the bully pulpit to castigate freeloading allies.

Worst of all, Trump clearly intends to carry out his campaign pledge to improve relations with Russia and get along with Vladimir Putin.

“Over our dead bodies!” the Beltway elite seems to be shouting.

Hence the rhetorical WMDs hurled at Trump: Liar, dictator, authoritarian, Putin’s poodle, fascist, demagogue, traitor, Nazi.

Such language approaches incitement to violence. One wonders if the haters are considering the impact of the words they are so casually using. Some of us yet recall how Dallas was charged with complicity in the death of JFK for slurs far less toxic than this.

The post-Helsinki hysteria reveals not merely the mindset of the president’s enemies, but the depth of their determination to destroy him.

They intend to break Trump and bring him down, to see him impeached, removed, indicted and prosecuted, and the agenda on which he ran and was nominated and elected dumped onto the ash heap of history.


Thursday, Trump indicated that he knows exactly what is afoot, and threw down the gauntlet of defiance:

“The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war. They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”

Spot on. Trump is saying: I am going to call off this Cold War II before it breaks out into the hot war that nine U.S. presidents avoided, despite Soviet provocations far graver than Putin’s pilfering of DNC emails showing how Debbie Wasserman Schultz stuck it to Bernie Sanders.

Then the White House suggested Vlad may be coming to dinner this fall.

Trump is edging toward the defining battle of his presidency: a reshaping of U.S. foreign policy to avoid clashes and conflicts with Russia, and the shedding of Cold War commitments no longer rooted in the national interests of this country.

Yet, should he attempt to carry out his agenda — to get out of Syria, pull troops out of Germany, take a second look at NATO’s Article 5 commitment to go to war for 29 nations, some of which, like Montenegro, most Americans have never heard of — he is headed for the most brutal battle of his presidency.

This Helsinki hysteria is but a taste.

By cheering Brexit, dissing the EU, suggesting NATO is obsolete, departing Syria, trying to get on with Putin, Trump is threatening the entire U.S. foreign policy establishment with what it fears most — irrelevance.

For if there is no war on, no war imminent, and no war wanted, what does a War Party do?" https://www.creators.com/read/pat-buchanan

Starhopper said...

Hey, Nick (or is it Николай?),

Go back to Krasnoyarsk. ESL is obviously not your forte. I am astonished that the Russian troll factories have taken notice of little ol' Dangerous Idea.

Joe Hinman said...

Nick, or should I says "Wheeler?" You are delusional. Every single rational person from extremely conservative to the most represented liberals,from George Will to Madeline Albright to Joe Biden have warned of Trump's folly, you dismiss it as "hysteria." All major people of substance,even extreme rightists like Ryan have criticized his performance.

Disagreement is one thing but complete dismissal and ridicule is a reflection on you, not a good one..

Nick said...

Ignore the howls of Democrats and establishment Republicans. The Trump-Putin summit was a good first step toward normal, diplomatic relations. But look at the box that Trump was in. The interference happened on the watch of the previous administration which looked upon our “number one geopolitical foe," as Mitt Romney described Russia in 2012, with sleepy eyes. The persistent conflation by Democrats of the election investigation and the electoral outcome has confused many Americans. Lost on them is that, so far, the only Russia-related conspiracy during the 2016 campaign was the so-called Steele dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

That leaves us with the oddly conspicuous timing of the Justice Department’s Rod Rosenstein show. The man who is the de facto attorney general held a showy news conference to announce the otherwise meaningless indictments of 12 Russians a few days before the summit. To what end? To remind the American public that Putin is a bastard who tried to impact the election and to undermine the legitimacy of Trump.

Trump might have pressed Putin publicly to impress upon the world that he is tougher than Putin, but then the Democrats would be howling like they did when he pressed Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May, that he is exacerbating an already dangerous relationship. The president’s statements were more conciliatory and have been rewarded with the Republican establishment and D.C. swamp Democrats howling that he’s a “traitor” and other ridiculous claptrap. The summit is a first step to a hopeful normalizing of relations with Russia. Trump quickly reached accord with Putin on several key issues. He is trying to defuse a tense relationship.

The base of the Republican Party understands that they are living in a country with a booming economy thanks to Trump policies that many Democrats disparage. Independents and Democrats who crossed over to vote for Trump recognize that he is trying to keep his promise to put America first. That’s why he is so popular with his voters and yet viewed with distaste and disdain by the establishment wing of both parties.

It’s about time that all of our leaders come to grips with the notion that the status quo was intolerable to most Americans. We have a president who, in his own inimitable style, is challenging that edifice. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/07/18/donald-trump-challenged-status-quo-helsinki-summit-vladimir-putin-column/792745002/

Joe Hinman said...

Starrhopper your process theology example is possible as process but that camp is mostly liberal protestant associated with U, Chicago.

I'm putting your comment up on my blog in comment section in hopes you will come over there and comment more

Nick said...

"I am astonished that the Russian troll factories have taken notice of little ol' Dangerous Idea." Starhopper, good one! In other words, you have no arguments, just BS accusations of trolling for Russia. Is Patrick Buchanan a Russian troll? Do some thinking before your comment again.

Nick said...

Joe, you're a good little shill for the Military Industrial complex!

Joe Hinman said...

ick said...
Ignore the howls of Democrats and establishment Republicans. The Trump-Putin summit was a good first step toward normal, diplomatic relations.

Ok Neville, now tell me why we want normal diplomatic relations with Hitler?

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Nick said...
Joe, you're a good little shill for the Military Industrial complex!

>>>Trump is the MIC you yutz,. who wants the military parade?

Hugo Pelland said...

Nick said...
"Trump might have pressed Putin publicly to impress upon the world that he is tougher than Putin"

Yet...
"Audience bursts out laughing after GOP Senate candidate says Trump is ‘standing up’ to Russia"
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/398274-audience-bursts-out-laughing-after-gop-senate-candidate-says-trump-is

bmiller said...

Why do Socialists always have to be against religion?

Is it because the two are incompatible?

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller,
That's nonsense and not on topic.
Great comment!

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger bmiller said...
Why do Socialists always have to be against religion?

Is it because the two are incompatible?

Obviously Bull shit, read my blog and my websites and book then me I against region! Never heard of Dorothy Day? C-lamb in Chile. you are politically very ignorant,

Joe Hinman said...

bmiller I don't know how Ortega has changed in the many years since the Nicaraguan revolution or the Sandinista election in Nicaragua ('84), But back in that day they were totally friendly to religion the Sandinista Frente included two priests, the real power behind the President,Thomas Borge,(not Ortega) was a Christian and openly proselytized for his faith, the government printed Bibles and distributed them in the literacy campaign. Human rights organizations such as America's watch certified that they were not repressive to any religious people, I don;t know how they are now,

Starhopper said...

Well, considering that the Christians in the opening chapters of the Book of Acts were not only socialists, but were outright communists, Christianity and socialism are hardly incompatible. Can't speak for other religions, however.

"Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need."
(Acts 4: 32,34)

bmiller said...

@Starhopper,

The Church is not the State.

Starhopper said...

"The Church is not the State."

Amen! But as individuals, the first Christians were indisputably communists.

Joe,

Dorothy Day was not a socialist. True, she was most definitely also not a fan of capitalism, calling it "our filthy, rotten system". Her economic views defy pigeonholing. Suffice to say that she believed in a radical localism - almost the opposite of socialism. She was all for "back to the land" and for an almost pre-industrial economy of small artisans and one-off shopkeepers, etc. She would have absolutely hated our contemporary world of big box stores, chain restaurants, brand name hotels, and globalist megacorporations controlling everything.

Joe Hinman said...

I knew a guy was part of her community he thought she was a socialist.

Joe Hinman said...

Starhoppper I don't want to get into a big thing about Day. I just remind you that not all socialists are Marxist. There's the Debsian socialist who is not very Marixst. There are other forms of socialist even right wing socialists.

She is being pushed as candidate for canonization. That brings out all kinds of arguments.

the Catholic Eye says she was a communistic but one get's the impression that's a bad thing for them.


Crisis Magazine says she was anti socialism almost libertarian-like.

bmiller said...

Eugene V. Debs

“I left that church with rich and royal hatred of the priest as a person, and a loathing for the church as an institution, and I vowed that I would never go inside a church again.”

Joe Hinman said...


Thomas Borge in Nicaragua on the eve of the revolution in 1979 invited father Ernesto Cardinal to come up into the hills an d give him council.One of the most touching letters I've ever read (I quote from memory so it's not centrality actuate),

"I knew a God who demands people who have nothing give allegiance to a church that blesses dictators and land lords. a God who turns away young girls because they are pregnant and who blesses the army when they kill pedants. In my heart I slew that God without mercy. But it seems God will not die, father I await you..."

they brought before him the National guard commander who murdered his wife and who tortured him he forgave the guy and let him go.

an atheist writes about the emergence of the christian left, not to equate "left" with socialist:

Friendly Atheist

"In a front page story appearing in today’s New York Times, Laurie Goodstein writes about the Religious Left and their emergence in liberal circles. After ceding a lot of ground to conservative Christians over the past few decades, and seeing the way their faith has been used to hurt people who are already oppressed, they’re finally fighting back. Sure, they’ve been working for these causes the entire time, but in the age of Donald Trump, their message is finally resonating beyond their typical bubbles."

bmiller said...

The older Catholic Encyclopedia on Socialism

A long article, but explores the history and background first:
"But, in order to understand fully what Socialism is and what it implies, it is necessary first to glance at the history of the movement, then to examine its philosophical and religious tendencies, and finally to consider how far these may be, and actually have proved to be, incompatible with Christian thought and life. "

Legion of Logic said...

I think if I was getting the support of the Unfriendly Atheist, I'd wonder what I was doing wrong. The man goes out of his way to attack Christianity every chance he gets, so to suddenly approve of a version of it would be highly suspect.

Starhopper said...

I am largely indifferent to these debates over socialism vs capitalism. Both are 19th Century concepts that have little relevance to today's world. Marxism is deader than a doornail, but so is Adam Smith. We now have mega-giant multinational corporations and in our own country, nothing but colossal chain establishments in hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores, book stores, etc., etc. Classical economics has no nomenclature that fits the current situation.

If "Big Government" is synonymous with socialism, then in many very specific areas, I will gladly call myself a socialist. There are some problems that only massive governmental involvement has any hope of solving (e.g., climate change, epidemics, national defense, infrastructure, urban renewal, and space exploration, just for starters).

On the other hand, I love to "shop locally" and prefer one-off businesses to chains. When I travel, I often stay at B and B's rather than chain motels. I almost never eat at a chain restaurant - maybe once per year at most. I'll get my produce at the farmers' market whenever possible. That's the very opposite of "socialism".

Debating the relative merits of capitalism or socialism is rather like arguing over which type of sailship is best for international trade.

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

sorry I meant to say"stupid." I get flustered and make mistakes when I'm appalled.

Joe Hinman said...

Starhopper said...
I am largely indifferent to these debates over socialism vs capitalism. Both are 19th Century concepts that have little relevance to today's world. Marxism is deader than a doornail, but so is Adam Smith. We now have mega-giant multinational corporations and in our own country, nothing but colossal chain establishments in hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores, book stores, etc., etc. Classical economics has no nomenclature that fits the current situation.

If "Big Government" is synonymous with socialism, then in many very specific areas, I will gladly call myself a socialist. There are some problems that only massive governmental involvement has any hope of solving (e.g., climate change, epidemics, national defense, infrastructure, urban renewal, and space exploration, just for starters).

On the other hand, I love to "shop locally" and prefer one-off businesses to chains. When I travel, I often stay at B and B's rather than chain motels. I almost never eat at a chain restaurant - maybe once per year at most. I'll get my produce at the farmers' market whenever possible. That's the very opposite of "socialism".

Debating the relative merits of capitalism or socialism is rather like arguing over which type of sailship is best for international trade.


thank you

Joe Hinman said...


More evidence that the testament is not true socialism is not always Simmental Christianity


Christians for socialism

bmiller said...

Debating the relative merits of capitalism or socialism is rather like arguing over which type of sailship is best for international trade.

You could have made that point on the thread Socialism is not a sexually transmitted disease. But there sure seem to be a lot of people defending the sailship of socialism here.

bmiller said...

@Joe,

More evidence that the testament is not true socialism is not always Simmental Christianity

I'm usually able to figure out what you're saying, but I looked up Simmental and although I'm sure you don't mean cows I can't figure this one out.

Liberation Theology was a short-lived movement in the Catholic Church that was defeated philosophically due to it's fundamental tie to Marxist thought which is antithetical to Christianity.

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller said...

"But there sure seem to be a lot of people defending the sailship of socialism here."

You're confusing people pointing out that you said something stupid with people defending socialism.

Dave Duffy said...

Starhopper,

"Debating the relative merits of capitalism or socialism is rather like arguing over which type of sailship is best for international trade."

I believe this is a subject worthy of debate, as I have had, for some reason, a recent interest in the topic of the design and manufacture of sail ships across the seas in the age of discovery (as well as the economics that paid for them). Please tell why you don't think one type of ship is better than another. Socialism vs. Capitalism is also a worthy debate.

Unless you are using this as a metaphor, than forgive me for taking you literal.

Joe Hinman said...

Liberation Theology was a short-lived movement in the Catholic Church that was defeated philosophically due to it's fundamental tie to Marxist thought which is antithetical to Christianity.


A lot of Catholic thought is dedicated to advancing fascism; William F. Buckley and Pat Buchanan and people of that ilk. So of course they despise liberation of any kind because it would defang the power of those whom the serve. So of course they are hyper critical of it.

Liberation theology was in it's prime from about 1960 to 1990s.It basically withered away when the Nicaraguan revolution was defeated at the ballot box 1990 (?) and the Salvadoran revolution reached a peace agreement and fighting stopped. The Soviet Union fell and liberation movements began drying up, Although the Zappatisa thing in southerner Mexico and some work in Guatemala extended it into the century.

It is true that liberation movements need outside help to flourish. Not because they are started as big communist plots but because the lock on power is so tight (people get killed if they speak out) there has to be some hope of winning,

Dismissing liberation theology as antithetical to Christianity and trying to imply that it was "beaten" intellectually is wrong headed and ignorant. If it was beaten it was beaten by killing people for supporting it. But I think it really died out when the political struggle ceased. You could say it won because they got peace settlements and democratic elections.

Cutting little girls's heads off and putting them on polls to firefighter farmers and keep them in line is anti ethical to Christianity too,you agree? So why don't you say capitalism is theatrical to Christianity?

Latin America was in a revolutionary situation in those years and liberation theology took the side of the poor. That means they could not afford to be so snobbish and reject their comrades in the struggle suck as Marxists, because it was a life and death struggle.

Hugo Pelland said...

Dave,
You said that "Socialism vs. Capitalism is also a worthy debate." and I wonder whether that's a genuine question. Because, a bit like Joe it seems, I don't think there's a debate to have about these as a whole. It's too broad.

Almost nobody claims we should have the government control all the means of production, while even the most libertarian of libertarian would agree we need some public services.

Therefore, the debates have to be about specifics.

Starhopper said...

Dave,

'Twas a metaphor. I actually know very little about sail ships (other than that they can be quite beautiful).

bmiller said...

The question of the orthodoxy of Liberation Theology was settled long ago within the Catholic Church. It is never acceptable to do evil that good may come of it (Romans 3:8).

People can do evil and actually do evil in the name of capitalism, but there is nothing necessarily non-Christian in the ownership of private property and individual industriousness and acheivement.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger bmiller said...
The question of the orthodoxy of Liberation Theology was settled long ago within the Catholic Church. It is never acceptable to do evil that good may come of it (Romans 3:8).

why is liberation doing evil?


People can do evil and actually do evil in the name of capitalism, but there is nothing necessarily non-Christian in the ownership of private property and individual industriousness and acheivement.


Nothing non Christian in state ownership of the means of production,

you have been brain washed to accept wealth and privilege as goodness. Poor people stuggelingtoefree are automqticlaly wrong,

Joe Hinman said...

Furerbach was right God is the mask of money. It's easy for those down trodden by the injustice of poverty to start understanding God as a bad joke or propaganda designed to cover the privilege of the rich some Christina learn to associate money with God.
A certain view of God is the mask of money but that doesn't mean God is not real. it means the True God is not related to wealth and power.

bmiller said...

why is liberation doing evil?

It can be evil depending on how one does it.

Nothing non Christian in state ownership of the means of production,

Marxist theory and it's real world application is non-Christian as was pointed out in the articles I linked to.

you have been brain washed to accept wealth and privilege as goodness. Poor people stuggelingtoefree are automqticlaly wrong,

This outburst is unrelated to anything I've posted. It's wrong to make things up.

Starhopper said...

"Modern successful economies are all mostly Capitalist with various levels of government involvement."

There are no capitalist economies in the contemporary world, unless you bend the definition of "capitalism" to the point where it is no longer a meaningful term.

Hugo Pelland said...

Starhopper, fyi, you replied to a comment from the more recent thread...

Starhopper said...

I know, but once typed, I was too lazy to move it.

Nick said...

Radio talk show host and Jewish media personality and author Dennis Prager writes: "Most in the media were highly critical of McCarthy. Today, the mainstream media are not the voices of caution. They are the creators of the hysteria.

There have been conspiracy theories throughout American history (e.g. Lee Harvey Oswald didn't kill President John F. Kennedy alone; the moon landing never happened). But this is the first time the media have created and promoted a conspiracy. Not surprisingly, they have dropped any pretense of objective reporting in the process.

And while some Americans were unfairly labeled communists during the McCarthy era, countless Democratic politicians and leaders in news and entertainment have called members of the Trump administration and the tens of millions of Americans who support the president fascists, white supremacists, haters, xenophobes and even Nazis.

MSNBC contributor Jill Wine-Banks said of the Trump-Putin Helsinki press conference: "It's just as serious to me as the Cuban Missile Crisis in terms of an attack, or the 9/11 attack. ... (Trump's) performance today will live in infamy as much as the Pearl Harbor attack or Kristallnacht."

Former communist, Obama operative and CIA Director John Brennan tweeted: "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous."

The constant invoking of the Holocaust, the Nazis and now Kristallnacht (the unofficial beginning of the Holocaust, a night in 1938 when German Jews were beaten to death, synagogues were burned and Jewish shops were destroyed) only minimizes the evils of Nazism and the Holocaust. A young American who, having gone to a typical university, probably knows nothing about the Nazis and the Holocaust will now think Nazism and the Holocaust were 20th-century expressions of Trump and American conservatism.

All this hysteria is built on next to nothing. At its core, it is an attempt to undo the 2016 election. The mainstream media refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton lost. They said she would win -- handily. They predicted a landslide. How could they have possibly gotten it so wrong? Their answer is they didn't; Trump and Putin stole it.

If truth mattered to the media, their ongoing narrative would be: "Democrats and the left still do not accept Trump's victory." https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/07/24/the_greatest_hysteria_in_american_history_137612.html

Starhopper said...

And while some Americans were unfairly labeled communists during the McCarthy era, countless Democratic politicians and leaders in news and entertainment have called members of the Trump administration and the tens of millions of Americans who support the president fascists, white supremacists, haters, xenophobes and even Nazis. They're called that because that's what they are.

MSNBC contributor Jill Wine-Banks said of the Trump-Putin Helsinki press conference: "It's just as serious to me as the Cuban Missile Crisis in terms of an attack, or the 9/11 attack. ... (Trump's) performance today will live in infamy as much as the Pearl Harbor attack or Kristallnacht." Truer words were never spoken

Former communist, Obama operative and CIA Director John Brennan tweeted: "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous." If Helsinki wasn't treasonous, then the word has no meaning

The constant invoking of the Holocaust, the Nazis and now Kristallnacht (the unofficial beginning of the Holocaust, a night in 1938 when German Jews were beaten to death, synagogues were burned and Jewish shops were destroyed) only minimizes the evils of Nazism and the Holocaust. A young American who, having gone to a typical university, probably knows nothing about the Nazis and the Holocaust will now think Nazism and the Holocaust were 20th-century expressions of Trump and American conservatism. It minimizes nothing. What is does do is call attention to how deadly perilous our current situation is. What, you think "it can't happen here"?

All this hysteria is built on next to nothing. Wow, you just plain haven't been listening. At its core, it is an attempt to undo the 2016 election. The mainstream media refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton lost. Not ture. They don't deny Trump's victory - they mourn it. As should all Americans. They said she would win -- handily. That they did. They predicted a landslide. How could they have possibly gotten it so wrong? They "got it wrong" by underestimating the woeful extent of racist, know-nothing xenophobia in Middle America. Their answer is they didn't; Trump and Putin stole it. And what is preventing both things from being true?

Starhopper said...

Oops. Should have been "Not true" in the final paragraph.

Damn, I even messed up the correction!