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KelvinD 10th Oct 2017 15:59

It makes one shudder to think this man is in charge of the world's most powerful country (Trump).
Look at his latest outburst. This time aimed at one of his own top government officials, appointed by Trump himself:
Trump challenges Rex Tillerson to IQ test - BBC News

Lonewolf_50 10th Oct 2017 16:53

Originally Posted by fltlt (Post 9918884)
It would appear the NFL/networks/whoever have decided to skip televising the anthem ceremonies and go straight to kick off.

I heard on a sports radio show the other day that it was not until about 2009 that, other than the Super Bowl, that the networks routinely showed the players during the anthem during broadcasts. Hmmm. I guess they are going back to the previous 50 years worth of habit?

As to the Trump versus Tillerson IQ test: Benjamin Franklin wept.

QUOTATION:“Well, Doctor{Franklin}, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.
”ATTRIBUTION:The response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention.

Sadly, the question was badly framed, since there were more choices than the either / or offered. At the moment, we seem to have a Reality TV show. :p

Uncle Fred 10th Oct 2017 17:35


I think you well know my feelings on NK from the North Korea thread. In case you did not read carefully they are far from unicorns and rainbows.

Every indication is that at the moment Iran is in compliance with the agreeent. For the moment I would montior and ensure that this remains the case.

Here is the article in which Bolton advocates bombing Iran: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/o...bomb-iran.html

With the U.S. involved in kinetic operations in other places at the moment, I am sure opening a new theatre of conflict would be a right spiffy idea...since being at war in the Middle East seems to be many's idea of rainbows and unicorns.

If you want to do the Saudi's and others bidding have at it. We will sit this one out I hope.

KelvinD 10th Oct 2017 17:42

At the moment, we seem to have a Reality TV show
I hope we don't discover that Trump's real name is Kardashian!

Lonewolf_50 10th Oct 2017 17:44

Uncle Fred, the last time Bolton acted in an official capacity was in 2006. You are citing an opinion piece. What, may I ask, is the relevance of citing his article in NYT from two years ago? Opinions run rampant in the editorial page. The neo conservative bloc of American foreign policy thinking, in which general category Bolton falls, is hardly driving the boat with Trump. The NYT piece was first intended as a "hit piece" on Obama, and secondly was a resurrection of the saber rattling Bush/Cheney/Rummy did vis a vis Iran in the PG back in about 2006 ... when Bolton was the UN mouthpiece for the Bush Administration.

I don't think the US will be able to stop the Saudis from attaining a nuclear capability, since the Saudis (however much I do not care for that regime) are not stupid: they are not going to allow themselves to be put in the position that Iran has the bomb and they don't. I now and again hear rumors that the Pakistanis have already made them a few, but as I can't confirm that I can only cite it as a rumor.

galaxy flyer 11th Oct 2017 00:02

Posters here on the left side always wonder why some of us right thinkers say the MSM is biased. Well, they admit they are biased.


chuks 11th Oct 2017 09:26

Trump has been caught telling so many bigoted lies that it's logical to think that those voters who cling to him must be bigots themselves. "Thousands and thousands" of cheering Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey on 9/11 ... clearly a bigoted lie, repeated several times despite being clearly completely false, but accepted easily by his followers.

In fact, it's easy to guess that there must have been "thousands and thousands" of Muslims who voted for Trump, but I doubt that they were cheering then, and probably not now either. That's just my guess, though. I hadn't, haven't, seen that happen with my own eyes, as Trump claimed to have seen them cheering on 9/11.

Republican legislators ... they are just opportunists, I guess. Bob Corker is unique in speaking the truth about Trump's lies; nobody else seems to have noticed them.

Lonewolf_50 11th Oct 2017 13:32

Originally Posted by chuks (Post 9921178)
Bob Corker is unique in speaking the truth about Trump's lies; nobody else seems to have noticed them.

Corker seems to be having a serious case of buyer's remorse. I seem to recall that he was supportive of Trumps run.

SASless 11th Oct 2017 13:39

I don't recall much uproar over Obama's bigoted lies.

Any guess as to why?

I was taught it was the Media that was supposed to be the folks that put balance into the scale when it comes to politicians....was I lied to by my teachers?

Turbine D 11th Oct 2017 16:06

I was taught it was the Media that was supposed to be the folks that put balance into the scale when it comes to politicians....was I lied to by my teachers?
I suspect you probably were. If you go back to the early days of the media, about the time the Constitution was being debated and thereafter, you would see not much has changed from then to now, including the political cartoons. Of course the media has expanded today from just the printed version...

chuks 11th Oct 2017 16:20

SASless often has a nightmare that features his cat sleeping on his face, smothering him. That wakes him up, usually to find his cat sleeping on his face, smothering him. Sometimes it's someone else's cat, which is even worse because who knows where that strange cat has been?

So ... there is that.

I think we need to take whatever SASless posts with a pinch of catnip. Barack Obama was caught telling well over one thousand big, flaming lies? (Trump's past 1,300 lies since taking office now, and counting. Here are just a few of Trump's whoppers: All False statements involving Donald Trump | PolitiFact)

Lonewolf_50 11th Oct 2017 17:05

Is it possible that Mr Trump is right about Iran and the nuclear deal being a mess? Maybe. German intelligence reported some shenanigans last year. The State Department (this while president Obama was still in office, in July of 2016) did not agree.

The intelligence report from the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution found that despite the deal Iran has continued its "illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities" at a "quantitatively high level.""This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology," the report added. But the State Department said it has no indication Iran is violating the deal.
"We have no information to indicate that Iran has procured any materials in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the Iran agreement is formally known," said State Department spokesman John Kirby, who added that the German report covers 2015 and makes no distinction between the periods before and after the nuke deal.
This leaves one wondering where there is smoke, where there is fire, and where there is just hot air. When we take into account the North Korean "agreements" that never saw them stop pursuing their nuclear program over a few decades, one remains skeptical that Iran has abided by the agreements and isn't cheating. On the other hand, they may be conforming to the agreement of 2015. If so, whence the report from German intelligence? Chancellor Merkel was at the least concerned.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Iran for its clandestine efforts Thursday, telling the German parliament that Iran's missile program continued "unabated" despite it being "in clear contradiction to the relevant provisions of U.N. Security Council
So today Iran's latest mouthpiece for the ayatollah's engaged in some smack talking of his own.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told lawmakers during a closed session of parliament that Iran "will never renegotiate" the deal brokered with the U.S. and five other world powers, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

chuks 11th Oct 2017 21:04

Iran has recently retreated from its mad, eye-whirling confrontationalism, as embodied by Achmedinejad. (He was, is, mad as a basket of frogs, fully a match for VP Pence when it comes to clinging to an old-time religion, and now he's out.)

Given that military force is probably not a good option, why not try to subvert the Iranians with loving-kindness, for having made this slight retreat from unreason? As it is, it's easy for the mad mullahs to argue that Iran signed up to a deal that has brought no change in attitude from the USA. In fact, under Trump relations have significantly worsened.

There is a significant number of Iranians who are now caught in the middle of this mess, many with Western values, when the only tactic that makes sense to me is playing a game of non-confrontation, giving them some room to move by shifting our own approach. Of course this is exactly what Trump's 40% do not want to see, whether that approach makes any real sense or not.

Lonewolf_50 11th Oct 2017 21:31

Thanks for not answering the question, chuks. My query and musing had to do with "cheating or not cheating?" on the deal it took so long to iron out.

Uncle Fred 11th Oct 2017 22:06

Lonewolf, I have also read the rumours of there having been (or is if one prefers the present tense) a "cash and carry" agreement between the House of Saud and Pakistan regarding nukes. Naturally from my humble station in life I could not comment with authority.

I did read William "I really don't like airline pilots" Langewiesche's article of nuke surety in The Atlantic however, and it makes you shake your head at how the term nuke surety can even have been spoken in the same sentence as Pakistan such is the manner in which they drive their weapons from place to place.

While your point that Bolton might not at the moment (nor has for a number of years) hold active portfolio is accurate, he seems to be an energetic and listened to commentator on this subject. My point in turn was that while I am sure some in the establishment write him off as a crank, the question is whether the POTUS and his not experienced staff does. In other words, who and what catches the President's ear?

I know the adults such as Mattis do not easily fall for Bolton's chest beating, but who knows what reaches the decider via Fox New?

I remember Christopher Hitchens speaking on the topic of Iran not long after 11 September. Apparently students were out in the streets all over the country in support of the United States. Yet in the January following Mr. Bush declares the country part of the axis of evil.

Sure, if everyone puts on their POL-MIL (to use one of your collective terms) hats one can argue that this was a message intended for the leadership and not the populace but wow, simply wow...talking about hitting someone with the spanner. The idea, I would have thought, would have been to split the populace from the leadership and acknowledge the students' gesture.

This of course was during those months of thirst for revenge however, and so nothing was stopping Bush I guess.

I like Chuks' idea. Smother them with love and hugs and see what space one can create between the leadership and the people. Is the Iranian government cheating on the agreement as the BND and Merkel indicate? One would imagine to a certain extent yes. Are there not grey areas in all such things? I would instead be looking at the trend line to see what direction it is going.

I can well imagine that the phone lines must be burning at Boeing's HQ over this. They have a lot to lose.

Of course who cares as Mr. Trump seems to be on a roll and wants to cancel the NAFTA agreement while he is going about with his wrecking ball. I would be interested to hear comments on that as I admit to not knowing if this has been a good or a bad thing for the countries involved.

parabellum 12th Oct 2017 00:20

Is the Iranian government cheating on the agreement as the BND and Merkel indicate? One would imagine to a certain extent yes.

Just ask the Israelis, they will know for sure.

chuks 12th Oct 2017 03:21

Excuse me?
Lonewolf, I took those questions of yours for rhetorical ones. Who knows what the Iranians are up to, what their real intentions are? Not you, not me, perhaps not even most Iranians, given that they are under the rule of a fundamentalist Islamic dictatorship that is rather opaque. It's not as if we can just read what the Iranian equivalent of the New York Times has to say about all this, because there is none.

In Trump's fantasy world empty threats are effective. If he's not happy with some diplomatic deal, why not bluster about using the military option, even if one does not really exist as a viable one? (For one thing, most European NATO partners are not going to sign up to go to war with Iran; it would be us, the Saudis, and the Israelis, seemingly. It would be interesting to see that work.

One thing a lot of classical anti-Semites hate is this Jewish readiness to do deals, putting business over idealism. The thing is, though, that can generate a certain amount of direct contact, buying hand-woven carpets and pistachio nuts from people now held to be our mortal enemies. It's not all Boeing airliners being sold; there are other things we can buy, starting small. (Go look up how Iran/Contra came to light, thanks to Iranian pistachio nuts showing up on the Israeli market.)

Trump's base hates foreigners, especially Muslims, and non-Christians in general, holding them to be "the other." Let's be better than that and get to know these conniving paynims, given that we are not really prepared to go to war with them.

KelvinD 12th Oct 2017 15:02

Trump: Statesman supreme! Quits UNESCO to save money and derides his own citizens in Puerto Rico because, like California, Florida and Texas, they need Federal aid post hurricane Maria. What a man to lead a proud, wealthy nation such as the US.
Trump loses patience with Puerto Rico - BBC News
US quits Unesco over 'anti-Israel bias' - BBC News

Lonewolf_50 12th Oct 2017 16:27

Between 1991 and 1998, if one bothers to read all of the reports in the Iraq sanctions/inspections that were the result of UNSCRs, even with all that and losing a war Iraq cheated like hell. Scott Ritter had quite a bit to say about that in the 90's.

Iran, not having been defeated, and having negotiated with a variety of other powers a deal, is at least as likely to cheat, since the consequences of cheating are less severe than they were for Iraq. There is a modest incentive not to cheat, in terms of making further deals with numerous other nations who are party to it, but given the power struggle going on in the Persian Gulf region between Iran and the various Sunni centers of power, and more (it's a multi sided thing) I see the Iranian incentive to cheat as outweighing by a significant amount any incentive not to.

On the other hand, since they did put a lot of time and effort into getting a deal that they'd sign up to, there is an image incentive to hold to it. Treaty violations and "surfing the edges" are a long standing tradition in international politics. That would be true regardless of who is president.

I am very interested in seeing how Congress will react should the President "decertify" since I've been seeing some noise lately from the GOP that they are a bit tired of the reality show.

KelvinD 12th Oct 2017 17:27

UN sanctions are all very well but they don't need to be observed or complied with. Go ask the Israelis.

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