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PyreneesPie Pisces



Joined: 22 Aug 2014


PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:33 pm
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pietillidie wrote:


Hopefully, this turns out to be that rare balance you need in government between the social (stability; optimism; access; productivity; safety; fairness) and the economic (growth; efficiency; technology; specialisation; adaptation; contribution). That's the sort of balance that the Hawke-Keating government had from right to left wing within the same party.

Government might always let you down in the end, but it's about moving the ball forward 10% and get things going in the right direction. That 10% is all that's needed for people to start participating and producing with a hopeful mindset. That in turn can act as somewhat of a damper on far right (and left) lunacy.

That's the optimistic spin, which I'll take for now given the misery heaped on us all over the past year. The US has a long way to go to arrest the flailing and flakiness, but you have to stay hopeful. Fundamentally, if they can't deal with the wealth gap, the instability it causes will keep dragging us all down.


A really insightful post pietillidie, that got me pondering at length.

I wonder why a "balanced" democratic government is so rare. Is it because for a short moment in time, indivuals and factions can put aside their power plays for the greater good of the nation? And does this happen because individuals in that government get to use their particular skills and feel accordingly rewarded and momentarily satisfied? Perhaps the most important factor is the skills and vision of the leader - Bob was after all a great negotiator.

It's all very interesting and I appreciate your offering of optimism Wink
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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:54 pm
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Lower-than-dog-faeces corruption, one reason removing the vile criminal with haste might have been preferable.

Quote:
WASHINGTON — As President Trump prepares to leave office in days, a lucrative market for pardons is coming to a head, with some of his allies collecting fees from wealthy felons or their associates to push the White House for clemency, according to documents and interviews with more than three dozen lobbyists and lawyers.

The brisk market for pardons reflects the access peddling that has defined Mr. Trump’s presidency as well as his unorthodox approach to exercising unchecked presidential clemency powers. Pardons and commutations are intended to show mercy to deserving recipients, but Mr. Trump has used many of them to reward personal or political allies.

The pardon lobbying heated up as it became clear that Mr. Trump had no recourse for challenging his election defeat, lobbyists and lawyers say. One lobbyist, Brett Tolman, a former federal prosecutor who has been advising the White House on pardons and commutations, has monetized his clemency work, collecting tens of thousands of dollars, and possibly more, in recent weeks to lobby the White House for clemency for the son of a former Arkansas senator; the founder of the notorious online drug marketplace Silk Road; and a Manhattan socialite who pleaded guilty in a fraud scheme.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/us/politics/trump-pardons.html

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Pies4shaw Leo

pies4shaw


Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:00 am
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/17/us-police-far-right-capitol-attack

Quote:
The alleged complicity of some police officers in the attack on the US Capitol has led to fresh questions about how law enforcement and other public agencies around the US have approached a surging far-right street protest movement during the life of the Trump administration.

The presence of off-duty officers, firefighters and corrections officers from other agencies around the country in the protest crowd was a reminder of how members of a lawless movement have been able to find a place in their ranks.

Since the violent invasion of the Capitol by pro-Trump extremists seeking to overturn the election of Joe Biden, at least two Capitol police officers have been suspended, and at least 12 more are reportedly under investigation for dereliction of duty, or directly aiding the rioters.

Some officers were filmed offering apparent assistance or encouragement to the mob – whether by posing for selfies with confederate flag-waving protesters, or directing protesters around the building while sporting a Maga cap.

They did this at the same time that colleagues in the DC metropolitan police, a sister agency, say that they were maced, tasered, stripped of their badges and ammunition and beaten by the angry crowd.

Mike German, a former FBI agent and fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, said he sees the failure of police to protect the building as following the pattern whereby “militant far-right groups have been given impunity” throughout the Trump era.

In what he called a “multifaceted failure” in Washington, German said the central problem was a “failure to recognize a threat for what it was”. Far-right groups, he said, “have been engaging in militancy for months”.

Pointing to similar attacks on state capitols in Virginia, Michigan, Idaho, Georgia and Oregon in 2020, German asks “how many times do they have to storm a capitol before it’s taken seriously?”.
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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:32 am
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In response to the bolded bit, is there something particularly special about storming a parliamentary building as opposed to another form of organised civil disobedience? Obviously any risk of violence to lawmakers would be the most alarming thing, but these people generally have a considerable amount of firepower (in the form of secret service, ordinary cops and private security) looking after them, and it's worth noting that nobody came close to harm in the Washington DC Capitol siege. The people writing things like this do understand that a mob breaking into a Capitol building doesn't mean they're actually in a position to form a coup d'état, right?

Otherwise, beyond appropriate condemnations and calling in additional police forces to make sure it doesn't happen again – and let's not forget how easy it would have been to prevent this, with baseline competent policing – I don't know how much sleep people need to actually be losing over the prospect of sit-ins, costumed photo ops and petty looting.

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Tannin 

Can't remember


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:49 am
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David wrote:
it's worth noting that nobody came close to harm in the Washington DC Capitol siege


Yer right. Tell that to the 6 dead people.

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David Libra

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:01 am
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I'm talking about politicians, obviously (as per the first part of the sentence). While the violent deaths of one police officer and one protester are distressing, they are a far from uncommon feature of this kind of civil unrest in America. I mean, as we know, police shoot people fatally all the time over there for any number of reasons, and we saw plenty of brutality over the American summer during the BLM protests (mostly from the police side).

The point of my post is not that the events of the other week were good or should be normalised in any way, of course. My point is that the Brennan Center fellow seems to be suggesting that there is something very specific about the action of storming Capitol buildings that people ought to be alarmed about (and given the reaction has already been nearly universally hysterical, I'm not sure what exactly he means by "taking it seriously" – should people be panicking more?). As I've said previously, I would have no problem whatsoever with a peaceful occupation of a Capitol building if it was in the service of a worthy cause. I'm not sure the quy quoted in that piece would agree with me.

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Pies4shaw Leo

pies4shaw


Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:51 am
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He isn't proposing "panicking" - he's proposing taking the threat of extreme right-wing violence seriously. I take his point to be that the US has been - even in recent times - patting Klansmen and other extremists on the head and letting them go about their ordinary activities as "law enforcers", even though their view of the "law" and that which should be "enforced" is dangerous, anti-democratic and - in many cases - actually criminal.

The nub of it is that when the neo-fascists have done something 6 times in 12 months, it's time to stop pretending they're not actually going to do that thing. Seems straight-forward to me.
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David Libra

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:22 pm
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Well, on that I can certainly agree! I am still somewhat hesitant about what "taking it seriously" might mean in practice, though –  the new domestic terrorism laws being proposed by the Biden administration, for instance, seem like a dangerous overreaction and something that will inevitably be used against left-wing groups and minorities.
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Tannin 

Can't remember


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:28 pm
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David can't understand what is wrong with violently taking over the seat of government.

I can't understand what is wrong with David.

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Pies4shaw Leo

pies4shaw


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:48 pm
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David, I think that the problem is that the prosecutorial process is so highly politicized and localized that it is probably thought to be necessary to create a Federal crime - for fear that the local neo-Nazis will continue to allow right-wing extremism to continue without penalty. It would be possible to prosecute most of the underlying wrongful conduct under existing laws but there is an obvious difficulty in getting neo-Nazis to regulate their own.
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David Libra

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:50 pm
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I guess that makes sense, but I do worry that, even if the immediate intent is limited, this is only going to lead to more War on Terror-style domestic policing down the track. New laws in that area should always be treated with caution, considering the grotesque expansion of agency powers and the national security state that has already occurred over the past twenty years.

Tannin wrote:
David can't understand what is wrong with violently taking over the seat of government.

I can't understand what is wrong with David.


I guess the point is that nobody took over anything or was ever going to be in a position to be able to. Physically being in a building temporarily until reinforcements arrive to kick you out is not quite the same thing as "violently taking over the seat of government".

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Pies4shaw Leo

pies4shaw


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:57 pm
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I don't support new domestic terrorism laws - just explaining what the drivers for those might be in the US.
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Tannin 

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:08 pm
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It was exactly taking over the seat of government.

Pretending that " nobody took over anything" is utterly stupid. We all SAW them takeover the parliament - on TV, on a million social media feeds, in the newspapers.

They took the place over with the open and explicit aim of overthrowing the result of a free and democratic election, and they were supported in that aim by a majority of the Fascist Party ... er ... sorry, I mean "Republican Party". Most of those neo-fascists are STILL denying the result of the election and STILL protecting the Traitor-in-Chief.

The fact that the attempted putsch eventually failed is irrelevant to their guilt. EVERY attempted putsch ever, in the whole of history, failed. Every single one.

(History contains other examples, of course, of successful putsches, which are the only ones generally not punished by the full weight of the law.)

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:52 pm
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Oh, that hoax, and that unfree speech and that journalistic right.

Quote:
On Oct. 12, 2020, Fox News agreed to pay millions of dollars to the family of a murdered Democratic National Committee staff member, implicitly acknowledging what saner minds knew long ago: that the network had repeatedly hyped a false claim that the young staff member, Seth Rich, was involved in leaking D.N.C. emails during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Russian intelligence officers, in fact, had hacked and leaked the emails.)

Fox’s decision to settle with the Rich family came just before its marquee hosts, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, were set to be questioned under oath in the case, a potentially embarrassing moment. And Fox paid so much that the network didn’t have to apologize for the May 2017 story on FoxNews.com.

But there was one curious provision that Fox insisted on: The settlement had to be kept secret for a month — until after the Nov. 3 election. The exhausted plaintiffs agreed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/business/media/fox-news-seth-rich-settlement.html

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David Libra

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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:00 pm
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Tannin wrote:
It was exactly taking over the seat of government.

Pretending that " nobody took over anything" is utterly stupid. We all SAW them takeover the parliament - on TV, on a million social media feeds, in the newspapers.

They took the place over with the open and explicit aim of overthrowing the result of a free and democratic election, and they were supported in that aim by a majority of the Fascist Party ... er ... sorry, I mean "Republican Party". Most of those neo-fascists are STILL denying the result of the election and STILL protecting the Traitor-in-Chief.

The fact that the attempted putsch eventually failed is irrelevant to their guilt. EVERY attempted putsch ever, in the whole of history, failed. Every single one.

(History contains other examples, of course, of successful putsches, which are the only ones generally not punished by the full weight of the law.)


But it wasn't anything of the kind. I think this article explains why pretty well:

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/01/trump-capitol-riot-fascist-coup-attempt

Quote:
Even if the QAnon-ers at the Capitol thought they could overthrow the government and ensure Trump remained in power, a deranged action that had no chance of succeeding cannot reasonably be called a coup. Otherwise, any bizarre event, from Charles Manson’s attempt to foment a race war that would transform the United States, to the bombings carried out by the many tiny organizations in the 1970s that considered themselves to be carrying out a revolutionary war against the government, could be classified as a “coup.”

This becomes especially clear when one compares what happened on January 6 to genuine coups, like the United States’ overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 or Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala in 1954, or what happened in Venezuela in 2002, when military generals tried and failed to remove the elected government.

What happened in Washington, DC, last week was a violent spasm of impotent rage by a mob mostly made up of civilians and a president who egged them on and talked out of both sides of his mouth about whether he supported what they were doing, but who also made no real attempt to mobilize the power of the state to back them up.

To point this out is not to minimize the horrors of an attempted mob action designed to intimidate Congress. But the good news is we don’t need to choose between taking these events seriously and being accurate and careful about what kind of danger the mob represented.


The whole thing is well worth reading.

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