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25 February 2017


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So everything is fine in Indonesia, Malaysia and Lebanon?






I think you are quite right about Trump. If he helps the people in the inner cities, like Chicago, anywhere near like he says he will the Democrats are going to lose a great deal automatic vote they've counted on for years. On that note today's Chicago Tribune has an article asking why former Congressman and convicted felon Jesse Jackson Jr. (son of the reverend) is collecting over $130,000 a year in "workman's compensation" for, allegedly, bipolar disorder caused by being a member of Congress. I'm sure the new DNC Chair can explain that away over the next few years he's busy doing party building.

Babak Makkinejad

The proposition that "God is not bound by Human Reason." is not exclusive to Islam; it is there both in Judaism (see Shestov) and in Christianity (see Condemnations of 1210–1277 of Paris).

Islam is not compatible with the current Western Culture; the ideas of Liberty etc. do not have an intellectual basis in Islam. That does not mean that they cannot, but no one has developed them to the extent of Western Thinkers. It is also exactly so in Judaism, which is also incompatible with current Western Culture (the way things are done).

The statement "there is no Islamic majority country in the world that offers protections to religious minorities" is only partially true.

Syncretic sects of Islam (Alevis, Alawite, Babi, Baha'ai, Sikh, Druze, Ahmadhis) do not enjoy legal protection as distinct religions; they are largely considered deviants (at best) or outright heretics (at worst).

Zorastrianism, Judaism, Mazdaism, and Christianity do have legal protection in many Muslim states.

I find it amusingly ironic that in this current historical moment the Shia Islamic Republic of Iran, a bastion of Shia Orthodoxy, has become the protector of many of these syncretic sects of Islam from physical destruction while the Freedom-of-Religion-Loving Fortress West and so many Sunni Muslims have become the enemies of the Shia as well as these sects.

I wonder, is it because of oil, or is it something else?

"This ain't about hunting."



You posted this tirade once before. Got some unsolicited advice for those of us who aren't white people?

Babak Makkinejad

So, the Grand Imam has finally stated something that I stated on this forum 2 years ago?

He must be reading my comments.

The Twisted Genius


Your criticisms of that email are fair. It's a short political mass mailing and it sounds like one. Time will tell if the Progressives will engage in grassroots politics at the local level. That seems like the only reasonable place to start.

The Democrats, including Bernie, have said they'll work with Trump on those things that promote Progressive goals like investment in the national infrastructure and saving Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. That is a far cry from the Republican plan to ensure everything Obama tried to do failed. Remember that speech Limbaugh gave at the CPAC meeting eight years ago where he extolled the Republicans to do everything in their power to obstruct the President?



Yes people crawling out from under rocks and looking for five minutes of fame by bashing President Trump was not at all a feature of the campaign.

That Episode 89 of this song and dance is getting you so obviously turgid is pretty sad. "Calling for an investigation" LMBO.



Lmbo oh lawdy.



You should try giving your ADVICE to your own people. Maybe Cee can deal with your nonsense.



We are not white nationalists, we are gay Nazi bodybuilders. Get it right.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill,

"Deplorables I know want a country where the only identity politics are around the concept that we are all, first and foremost, Americans and that the quality of one's character and contribution to our society, workplace, etc. is what counts. Period. Full stop."

That sounds like the way most groups define themselves. Instead all groups tend to define the other by their most extreme members. People like Dylann Roof and Adam Purinton are truly deplorable, but they certainly don't represent the Deplorables. Extreme examples from the left are just as deplorable and not any more representative of the left in general. The biggest difference is what each group claims most aggrieves them. Most of this aggrievement could be avoided if we stopped watching cable news, playing with Facebook and listening to all the left/right political radio. Stick to the local paper. People will still be personally wronged, will resent those wrongs, and will rightfully seek to address those wrongs. The only difference would be that national outrage wouldn't have the fertile petri dish needed to fester.

Eric Newhill

If Syria wasn't Alawi administered, do you still think that religious minorities would be protected? Religious minorities, including Alawis, are not doing so well under the salafi controlled regions.

Lebanon is a such a mishmash of cultures I'm not sure it counts as an example of religious minority protection. There's enough of all flavors armed that an effort to step on any particular flavor can result in bloody protracted civil war. Sunni go after the Druze and they and the Christians and Alawis will band together. Shia put a finger in the wind and extent the baksheesh collection plate to see who fills it first or most. That kind of thing. MAD at work.

I have always thought that Indonesia and Malaysia are essentially too Asian culturally to really be included in any analysis of Muslim attitudes as those attitudes are important to the US. Kind of a confound, actually. Furthermore, that part of Asia is simply too far removed geographically from current prime time European/US interests and vice versa to be contaminated by the animosities. Why would a Malaysian personally care much about Israel? The US hasn't bombed that part of Asia and assisted it in WW2.

The crusades were an invasion to be defended by innocent Muslims? Afraid I see it otherwise.

With you on hoping Bannon helps see the light with regards to removing KSA and Gulfies from the guest list.

They aren't real Muslims anyhow because they support ISIS and AQ. Maybe Trump can put them on the no go list and McMaster can explain to the public that they aren't real Muslims due to said support and so the ban isn't really targeting Muslims.

I seriously do think that it is good for Trump to hear both ends of the spectrum.


Eric N,
Speaking as a 'lefty coastal', does it -- or should it? -- matter whether 'people enrolled in ACA are Republicans', or any other political party?

Blood samples, tissues samples, medical diagnostics like x-rays, MRIs, colonoscopies do not report, "This is a Republican's scan." Diagnostics do not notify whether, or how, a patient voted. The people analyzing those diagnostics have multiple quality control processes to ensure accuracy, irrespective of the political beliefs of a patient.

There were two key areas of focus for the ACA: (1) enabling more people to get coverage, and (2) bringing costs down. The first part worked; the second became the fly in the ointment.

My analysis --shared by others (some of who do health policy 40+ hours/week) -- is that a key reason the ACA was not able to address 'the cost issue' is because the corporation-loving, fundraising happy DNC and Obama failed to dismantle: (1) health insurance behemoths, which are protected by monopoly status, as well as (2) the near-death-grip that Big Pharma has on US medical care.

These Dem electeds didn't have the guts and vision to dismantle large monopolies. (Bernie Sanders was the *only* candidate who fully explained this problem, which is why he strongly advocated Single Payer. People who understood this set of issues ardently supported Sanders.)

I'd argue that the whole ACA mess is a stunning example of what I understand Col Lang to reference as 'the result of mediocrities captured by GroupThink'.

I am not a military strategist, but I'd argue that this was a case of 'too many tactics, not enough strategy'. Yes, ACA 'won' some battles, but the larger war can't be won without: (1) eradicating the monopoly status of health insurance corporations, as well as (2) rethinking intellectual property laws that control Pharma. At this point, I see no realistic prospect that Trump or the GOP are all that interested in these complicated problems.

The ACA did not get to the roots of the problems of uprooting monopolies that are something like 1/12th of the US economy.

Why is that heartbreaking?
If you look at a map of the election, the Trump states overlay the highest per capita states in the US for: (1) obesity, (2) diabetes, (3)smoking. Far be it from me to tell anyone not to have donuts or cigars; I am talking about larger, data patterns that reveal some very sad realities for public health in many states. In the end, these all translate into quality of life for millions of citizens.

Diabetics need good healthcare, and many of them need meds and close monitoring. (Most of them need to eat differently and move more, but helping them make those behavioral changes would require a well-developed 'wellness' model of healthcare, rather than the 'crisis care' bullshit we are currently trapped in, where a doctor is lucky to get 15 minutes per patient appointment.)

Personally, I know absolutely no one who speaks ill of 'deplorables'. Frankly, the people that Clinton was referring to are my cousins and childhood companions. (On the upside, Clinton was not bragging about grabbing anyone's genitals...)

A key factor in the split between Sanderistas like myself, and the traditional Clinton Dems is that the 'corporatist' DNC and Clintonistas chose to protect Big Pharma and HealthCos, at the expense of public health. That makes people like me absolutely seethe with indignation and contempt. We have looked at data about the *human cost* of protecting healthCos and Pharma -- at the expense of the health of our fellow Americans, no matter where they happen to live, or who they happen to vote for -- and I think we are out of patience with the charade of pseudo-change.

The people that I know don't view 'red state' people as 'deplorable', but they worry that these are people who proportionately at much higher risk of chronic illness -- whereas, in a world with a functioning government that had guts and vision, these citizens would actually get the resources that could help them feel far, far better and result in a much better quality of life.

The GOP wanted to score some political points and banish Obama.
Instead, they are finding that 'Les Deplorables' are actually fighting back, because for this group of Americans, the ACA (or something like it) is existential.

Interesting times.

The dairy farmer manure issue is a whole other topic, and this comment is already too long.
You would be amazed at how much I know about dairy farm sewer lagoons.

English Outsider

Might be worth watching the link in the comment just above, "Sam Peralta", which sets out what Trump intends to do.

If you also watch a short section of the next video (from 1.15) you'll see that the Trump team is very aware that the American economy is in the last chance saloon:-


Just like you I'm heavily into identity politics; whites too - any whites who come from more than twenty or so miles away are regarded by my circle of deplorables with justifiable suspicion - but, again just like you presumably, I'd rather put food on the table than not and the present Western economic model isn't guaranteed to do that for ever. Getting that right is admittedly a very long shot indeed, but it's worth going for and maybe, if Trump succeeds, the good news will spread over our way and we'll start to do viable economics as well.

There are a few other problems for Trump to turn his hand to, I'll grant you, but if I were you I'd just concentrate on getting out of that last chance saloon.


Closer to home?
Thermidorian Reaction?

William R. Cumming


William R. Cumming

President Trump should give a very very short speech IMO!

He she ask the Congress to provide a specific Constitutional provison for each bill!

He turn he should ask Congress to revise its notion that any Appropriations Act is in fact an Authorization for any federal program, function, or activity.


Yes, of course I remember that. There's a reason I don't belong to or identify with any political party.

I have always thought that tit-for-tat obstruction is childish, it annoys me no end... but I know it makes partisans feel good. IMO, the real reason for the obstruction is that there is scarcely any difference between the two major parties at the highest levels of power and money, merely superficial social issues to push people to focus on instead of paying attention to the real power and money games in Versailles on the Potomac. I prefer the label "tyranny of mall differences" to the original "narcissism of small differences."

The Twisted Genius


I fully agree with you on the ultimate similarity between the two major parties. They are in service to the one percenters pure and simple.

The Twisted Genius


Ahh, that explains the strains of Pet Shop Boys and The Weather Girls tunes coming out of the local YMCA. It's raining men, hallelujah! Kidding aside, I was actually surprised to discover how much historical truth there was to that meme.

The Twisted Genius


The Clinton big money Democratic Party has a lot of powerful backers with big money. That faction, like its Republican counterpart, will be extremely resilient. I have no idea what the tipping point will be. The one percenters have been quite successful in ensuring they do not get the blame for the mess we are in. They are thrilled that the hoi polloi remain at each others throats rather than coming after the rich with pitchforks and torches.



Ironically was reading about the Thermidorian Reaction, but yes.

I hope we can dispense with the reign of terror portion of things and go right into the counter-reactionary pushback.



It comes down to: there is a vocal minority of Americans getting a lot of something for nothing, and the media focuses on them versus the people paying 2K a month for what amounts to catastrophic insurance.

People got their nipples twisted over "pregnancy is a pre-existing condition! ROWR THEY HATE WOMEN". Yeah, because women would get pregnant, run to get insurance after they had been knocked up, and it was legitimately classified as a pre-existing condition.

As I have said before:

You were born with spinal bifida: Covered by insurance (as it is not a pre-existing condition, in the insurance sense of the term)

You got cancer and you didn't have health insurance: Not covered by insurance (as it was a pre-existing condition)

Its like if you could drive around without auto insurance and then, when you get in the crash, you could call up GEICO or whoever and say "YEAH YOU GOTTA COVER ME". It's gonna drive prices up for everyone.

Same thing with women's health. Yeah, women are more expensive to cover, simply because of biology. Yet this was sexist or something so, rabble rabble rabble, insurers had to cover a host of procedures by law that only apply to women. I never heard anyone kvetching over the fact I paid more (much more!) than my sister because I was a young man with a sports car, but the fact that women need ob/gyn apparently needed federal intervention.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill,

I don't know if a non-Alawi ruled Syria would guarantee religious tolerance. It certainly wouldn't if the the jihadis were allowed to come to power.

Lebanon has more than tasted the fruits of religious conflict. I was involved in the heart of that for a short time. My guess is that they do not want to taste that bitter fruit again. Hezbollah is much more interconfessional than most people realize. I think they will lead the way.

The crusades I refer to are the northern crusades largely fought by the Teutonic Order (The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem) ostensibly to convert the remaining pagan Europeans. The Lithuanians, the last pagan land in Europe, welcomed a Tartar migration twice, the first while they were both pagans, the second after the Tartars converted to Islam. I wrote about them before.


I'm with you on the value of Trump hearing from all sides.

William R. Cumming


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