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04 March 2016

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J

Colonel,

It appears that Ankara assassinated Russian MI Head in Lebanon in early January

AEL

Well, I am pretty sure I understand every word in this article. However, strung together in this particular order, my head starts to spin. Sort of like looking at an overly complicated moving engine - pipes, wires and funny struts spinning in all sorts of directions, but no single thread to figure out how it all fits together.

Is there more to this article than "WASF"? If so, please take pity on me.

Tyler

What the hell did I even read here?

SmoothieX12

"The political strife that we see is not a melodrama, it is drama."

With all due respect, and I am an avid reader of Federalist Papers, if you call this a "political strife", you ain't seen nothing yet. Some points this essay makes are great and I agree with them, but they are not new. Trump is a symptom but is anybody out there better? Then again, how do we define "better"? Until United States identifies itself as a nation (and I am not going to go into it now), this "strife" will continue. But, then again, Federalist Papers are not politically correct today--no diversity at all. Right now, the US is in the process of shedding last properties of a nationhood.

cynic

The 18th century has ended, even in America.

annamaria

Thank you. It is not easy to admit that aristocracy is more than breeding but the state of mind, self-discipline, and striving for the ideal through work.

bks

"It is ironic that the United States should have been founded by intellectuals, for throughout most of our political history, the intellectual has been for the most part either an outsider, a servant or a scapegoat." --Richard Hofstadter

Valissa

LOL... thank goodness for that! Those aristocratic men had a fashion sense that is thankfully only available to view in museums and, of course, short YouTube videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEjcQb8Fdyc

Also for your viewing enjoyent, a great sketch from the Jimmy Kimmel show... “Trumped" Starring Matthew Broderick & Nathan Lane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OemqVWi_R0k

 Ishmael Zechariah

Richard Sale,

Mayhap you should add "Hillary" after every "Trump" in the first section: "Every time we have not made the extra effort, every time we leave something undone that has moral or spiritual and intellectual value, every time we don’t do something honest or good or worthy, we provide the soil for a man like Trump or a female like "Hillary" to rise and flourish."

After reading your essay I re-read the "Gods of Copybook Headings". http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_copybook.htm

"Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more."

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Your essay was a pleasure to read... Thanks.

Ishmael Zechariah

leCashier

Ben Franklin to J Shipley March 17, 1783. He writes about the problems with England in 1783 but sounds so much like the US today

"Let us now forgive and forget. Let each Country seek its Advancement in its own internal Advantages of Arts and Agriculture, not in retarding or preventing the Prosperity of the other. America will, with God’s Blessing, become a great and happy Country; and England, if she has at length gain’d Wisdom, will have gain’d something more valuable, and more essential to her Prosperity, than all she has lost; and will still be a great and respectable Nation. Her great Disease at present is the Number and enormous Salaries and Emoluments of Office. Avarice and Ambition are strong Passions, and separately act with great Force on the human Mind; but when both are united and may be gratified in the same Object, their Violence is almost irresistable, and they hurry Men headlong into Factions and Contentions destructive of all good Government. As long therefore as these great Emoluments subsist, your Parliament will be a stormy Sea, and your public Counsels confounded by private Interests. But it requires much Public Spirit and Virtue to abolish them! more perhaps than can now be found in a Nation so long corrupted."

Bill Herschel

"In interviews, even lifelong Republicans who cast a ballot for Mr. Romney four years ago rebelled against his message and plan. “I personally am disgusted by it — I think it’s disgraceful,” said Lola Butler, 71, a retiree from Mandeville, La., who voted for Mr. Romney in 2012. “You’re telling me who to vote for and who not to vote for? Please. There’s nothing short of Trump shooting my daughter in the street and my grandchildren — there is nothing and nobody that’s going to dissuade me from voting for Trump,” Ms. Butler said."

"William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, said he would work actively to put forward an “independent Republican” ticket if Mr. Trump was the nominee, and floated Mr. Sasse as a recruit. “That ticket would simply be a one-time, emergency adjustment to the unfortunate circumstance (if it happens) of a Trump nomination,” Mr. Kristol wrote in an email. It “would support other Republicans running for Congress and other offices, and would allow voters to correct the temporary mistake (if they make it) of nominating Trump.”

Freedom! Freedom! Fight for Freedom! Give Freedom to the Syrians! To the Libyans! Uh, but remember you are not free to decide who to vote for. A clique of ideologues and plutocrats will decide that for you.

xbrowning

Thomas Jefferson on a constant peril:
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion."

optimax

Trump's plan to make America great again is brilliant. Our countries population will reduce enough, through involuntary and voluntary (Hollywood will move to Matamoro, the neocons, Beijing), emigration that our country will return to its pre-Columbian Eden, with clean solar electricity.

oofda

Source? Interesting.

Tel

The situation is somewhat different to what has been described.

People do not feel that "the system" as a whole has failed them (i.e. democracy has failed them). What has happened here is that conservative voters feel that their own party and the political media have failed them (i.e. a particular group of people sold them out).

On the "Progressive" side of things there might be elements of this as well, with the rise of Sanders, but not enough to be significant. The "Progressives" are satisfied with their gains and willing to follow the "more of the same" option.

Grimgrin

"What is hateful is not rebellion but the despotism which induces the rebellion; what is hateful are not rebels but the men, who, having the enjoyment of power, do not discharge the duties of power; they are the men who, having the power to redress wrongs, refuse to listen to the petitioners that are sent to them; they are the men who, when they are asked for a loaf, give a stone."

- Wilfrid Laurier

Trump has chosen his moment, wether by accident or design, almost perfectly. He's riding a wave of people who do not trust a goddamn word out of the mouths of the press or politicians, because they feel they've been betrayed, over and over by those same institutions. Watching the powers that be criticize Trump is like watching someone punch smoke. You cannot attack if you cannot connect, you cannot connect if you have no credibility with the people you're trying to convince, and all their thrashing serves to to is spread the smoke around.

As for where it all fits in the grand scheme of things; maybe I'm just cynical, but I think that there's something profoundly enjoyable in imagining yourself at the end of the world, or on the precipice of catastrophe. Clinton will just be Obama with more dead people in the middle east and less goodwill from the left. Trump will be a president with no support from his own party. Not so much a lame duck as a duck that's being basted with hoisin sauce on a rotisserie somewhere. As for the Hitler comparisons floating around: a few followers scuffling with protestors does not a Sturmabteilung make. All said I'd answer Yeats with Eliot: "Not with a bang, but a whimper."

William R. Cumming

Thanks Richard as always for your insights. I would argue that demographics not policies has wreaked havoc on the parties, both DEMS and Republicans. It is actually all a battle to sustain the incumbency party that rules Washington with few notions of sacrifice and sharing IMO.

One reform that might help is President not picking their running mates. Perhaps an open convention.

Another might be a modification of the system to require candidates for President to pick top ten choices for each cabinet position and announce the same. Presidents should not use their Presidential picks as a jobs program for friends and family [JFK was in error picking RFK for AG IMO].

But while the seeds of destruction mat well rely on each of our errors the Washington game of picking sides underlies our political destruction.

BTW I would argue the ages of the various candidates is instructive in its own way.

annamaria

Here is an illustration of the ziocons' hysterics: "Neutrality or peace in the Middle East." https://www.aei.org/publication/neutrality-or-peace-in-the-middle-east/
The bloody ziocon lot prefers to keep their children closer to home but wants other peoples' children to die for the Project.
"And what about the "New Israel", is it not a creation of the Rothschild slave bankers and the law firm run by Lloyd George, who later became Prime Minister of Great Britain?" http://www.voltairenet.org/article186019.html

LeaNder

Richard, I hate any type of basically psychological assessment on any text, but after I read your first passage I somewhat wondered about the impact of your mother, never mind how much you struggled with her.

In any case as I may have told you somewhere else, I did and still do struggle with mine. Never mind my mother was a humanitarian versus someone on rigid religious ground. ;)

But yes, "democracy" is somewhat more difficult then some of us would like it to be. Which no doubt may make it exploitable.

Mark Gaughan

"Federalist Papers are not politically correct today--no diversity at all." What are you saying here? The population then, wasn't diverse. Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were gentlemen and they were courteous.

Bobo

ARamble it was......
Change is upon us and that agent of change is Mr. Donald Trump. Yes, we have done this to ourselves in allowing good men and women to represent us in Congress who then turn into neutered instruments of stagnation as they forget what they are there for and covet the worldly goods thrust upon them to vote in someone else's direction that has no bearing on those who elected them. A perfect example is that good man from Kentucky who upon the election of the present president tossed out "you will only be a one term president" now he tosses out "we will not let you have a SCJ". Yes, change is upon us or a little give and take will occur.
Williard of the nine car garage fame tells us not to vote for him but others and he will get screwed in the convention....wow...the American people have been proven right again in not electing that individual. He does not realize he just tossed the red cape in front the front of the bull.
The best thing for us all is that we will finally see the masses come out and elect a new president and the participation of the masses will be the most of all time. What could happen as it is only for four years. Change is Coming.

Mark Gaughan

A little bit more from Yeats's poem: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

Mark Gaughan

Seriously?

J

http://m.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-Russias-military-intelligence-chief-killed-in-secret-operation-in-Lebanon-446755%23article=6017NjcyMEIyMTE2Q0IyODZFOURFQzJERTMyNUY1NzcyRDI=

J

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Sergun

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