22
   

Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 02:29 pm
@hightor,
The thing about robots and drones that alters everything is that it gradually encroaches into civilian life in the form of law enforcement and a tool of repressive regimes. Eventually most countries with technology will make use of it. I suppose it's too late to oppose their development and use. Just don't expect the "good guys" to be the only ones deploying them.
Builder
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 04:02 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
Just don't expect the "good guys" to be the only ones deploying them.


Exactly; if they can be hacked, they will be.

You've also got the psychological issues of knowing that your efforts in the "driver's seat", often cause death and destruction to people other than the intended target/s.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 04:11 pm
@Builder,
Yeah I know my concerns are vacuous and unfounded.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 04:13 pm
It seems logical that drone strikes kill less civilians than conventional bombing.
But the numbers I’ve been able to find aren’t that conclusive. I really couldn’t find any studies or even stories that did comparisons.

It seems that all that’s available is collections of media accounts of individual drone strikes, or hand-wringing speculation about drones being worse than conventional bombing.

Reporting on civilian casualties has ALWAYS been sketchy; mixed with propaganda; untrustworthy.

This is the closest I could find to saying anything accurate about our drone strikes.

https://www.e-ir.info/2016/08/23/the-precision-of-drones-problems-with-the-new-data-and-new-claims/

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 04:20 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
Just don't expect the "good guys" to be the only ones deploying them.

Exactly. That was one of the first thoughts that came into my mind after they began deploying them in Afghanistan and Iraq. "As with firearms, how soon before sociopaths and extremists use them against us?

There's an interesting take on it HERE.

It's insidious. And totally to be expected.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 05:22 pm
Don’t Let Police Arm Autonomous or Remote-Controlled Robots and Drones
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/07/dont-let-police-arm-autonomous-or-remote-controlled-robots-and-drones
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 06:23 pm
@edgarblythe,
Don't let the military do it, either. We already seem to be automatically killing a lot of collaterals.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2021 06:26 pm
@edgarblythe,
We still haven't signed the land mine world pact, either.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 03:15 am
HCR wrote:
Senate Republicans will not issue any sort of a platform before next year’s midterm elections. At a meeting of donors and lawmakers in mid-November, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the Republican Party’s 2024 nominee would be responsible for deciding on an agenda. The Republican senators in 2022 will simply attack the Democrats.

Rather than advancing any sort of a positive program, Republican Senators will be focusing on culture wars. Those have devolved to a point that Republicans are denying the legitimacy of any Democratic victory because, by their definition, Democrats are destroying the country. As Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said yesterday in a video from a parked car: “Joe Biden is a communist. And that’s what the Democrats are—they’re communists. A lot of people are swallowing down the word ‘socialist,’ but...they are communists.”

In fact, the Democratic Party advocates neither socialism nor communism. Socialism is a system of government in which the means of production are owned by the government and, through the government—theoretically—by the people. Communism is the final stage of that form of social organization. It abolishes private ownership of land, farms, and factories, giving control of all those things to the state, which, in turn, provides everyone with jobs, housing, education, and medical care.

Democrats are a far cry from calling for this system of government. What they are calling for is for us to maintain the system of government we have had in this country since 1933. In that year, under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the government began to regulate business, provide a basic social safety net, and promote infrastructure projects that were too big or unprofitable for private industry. In the years after World War II, Republicans joined Democrats in advocating this system, which filed the sharp edges off unrestrained capitalism and stabilized the economy, preventing another depression.

On Tuesday, Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH) called out the political reality of today’s America. “What you’re seeing here before the United States Congress is two clear, different visions of America and where we want to go and what we want to do,” he said. He insisted that “a strong middle class” after World War II was key to our national prosperity. “Our greatest strength has been we reinvested into the United States. We reinvested into our communities. We invested in the technologies, and we dominated the industries: steel, glass, aerospace.” he said. He called out Republicans for their opposition to that reinvestment into America: “And now we're hearing from the other side, ‘Shut government down, don’t do anything. We don’t want to be an honest broker.’ Tyranny?” he said, “What are you people talking about? We’re talking about universal preschool, and they have it as a communist indoctrination of the American student. It’s insane…. We have to rebuild our country!”

The American horror of socialism came long before Russia’s 1917 Bolshevik Revolution tried to put socialism into practice. Americans began to worry about socialism in 1871, the year after the federal government started to protect Black male voting with the Fifteenth Amendment. Also in 1870, Congress had established the Department of Justice to guarantee that Black southerners could enjoy the rights former Confederates were trying to terrorize them out of. Suddenly, attacking their Black neighbors on the basis of race became unconstitutional, and the federal government began to prosecute those who did so.

In 1871, unreconstructed white southerners began to argue that they did not object to Black rights on racial grounds—which was unconstitutional—but objected rather on class grounds. They did not want Black men voting, they said, because formerly enslaved people were poor and were voting for leaders who promised them things like roads and hospitals. Those benefits could be paid for only with tax levies, and the only people in the South with property after the war were white. Thus, Black voting amounted to a redistribution of wealth from white men to Black people, who wanted something for nothing. ‘

Black voting was, one popular magazine insisted, “Socialism in South Carolina.”

After World War II, Americans of all parties rallied around the idea of using the government for the good of the majority. But the idea that Americans who want the government to work for the good of the community were “socialists” regained traction with the rise of Ronald Reagan to the presidency. Republicans under Reagan focused on slashing regulations and the social safety net.

But Americans continued to support an active government, and to keep those voters from power, Republicans in the 1990s began to insist that the only way Democrats won elections was through voter fraud. Those false allegations have metastasized until we are at a moment when Republicans refuse to believe that a majority of Americans would vote for a Democratic president.

Although Joe Biden won the 2020 election by a majority of more than 7 million votes and by a decisive margin of 306 to 232 in the Electoral College (the same margin Trump had called a “landslide” in 2016), Republicans are doubling down on the idea that the election must have been stolen and they must declare independence from the “socialist” government.

Yesterday, Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis called for a state military force that would not be “encumbered by the federal government.” National Guard units in Oklahoma have asked for, and been denied, exceptions to the Pentagon requirement that guard members must be vaccinated against COVID in order to participate in orders and to receive pay, and DeSantis has made his opposition to vaccine mandates his political cause. DeSantis has asked the state legislature for $3.5 million to train and equip 200 volunteers who would answer to him alone.

While other states have such forces for specific events, DeSantis simply says such a force in Florida would give him "the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible." At the same time, he has asked the legislature for $100 million for the state’s National Guard.

And yet, as Republicans around the country insist on the Big Lie, they are running up against reality, in the form of the legal system.

Today, John Eastman, the author of the Eastman memo outlining a plan to throw out Biden’s electors and thus throw the 2020 election to Trump, has told the January 6 committee that he will plead the Fifth when he testifies before the committee. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects U.S. citizens from self-incrimination. The Guardian revealed last week that Trump made phone calls to the so-called “war room” at the Willard Hotel before the January 6 insurrection and that Eastman was potentially associated with those calls.

“Dr. Eastman has a more than reasonable fear that any statements he makes pursuant to this subpoena will be used in an attempt to mount a criminal investigation against him,” his lawyer told the committee.

Yesterday, Jeffrey Clark, formerly a lawyer for the Department of Justice—one of those charged with enforcing the rule of law in this country—has told the committee that he, too, will plead the Fifth. Clark tried to involve the Justice Department itself in overruling the results of the 2020 election. Today he announced that he has a medical condition that will not allow him to testify before the January 6th committee tomorrow as planned.

The committee has postponed the deposition until December 16.

substack
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 11:25 am
Robert Reich
1S9 16homnoir1sl2 ·
What sounds more radical to you? Abolishing the filibuster to save our democracy or destroying our democracy to save the filibuster?
Make no mistake: This is the choice ahead. And whichever way it goes will be Joe Biden’s most enduring legacy.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 11:33 am
@edgarblythe,
We don't have it to the same extent. The government has guillotine powers to force a vote after a certain amount of time, so when it's a government bill there is no filibuster.

Private member's bills are different, individuals are chosen by by some form of lottery and they can introduce legislation on a matter dear to them. They can be talked out/down, (we don't use the term filibuster in parliamentary proceedings,) the most notorious example was when Tory MP Chris Chope talked down a bill to ban upskirting which had cross party support.

Upskirting is now also known as Choping.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 11:55 am
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
And whichever way it goes will be Joe Biden’s most enduring legacy.

How so? It would take 51 votes to jettison the filibuster. Biden doesn't have a vote. Won't it really be Joe Manchin's legacy?
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 12:04 pm
@hightor,
My money is on history sticking the blame on Biden.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 12:37 pm
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

How so? It would take 51 votes to jettison the filibuster. Biden doesn't have a vote. Won't it really be Joe Manchin's legacy?

Right, but Harris can vote to break a tie.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 12:51 pm
@edgarblythe,
Sounds like you're making excuses for Joe Manchin and completely letting him off the hook. Why?
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 01:11 pm
@roger,
Quote:
Right, but Harris can vote to break a tie.


Not if Manchin (or Synema) vote "no". Manchin has repeatedly said he wouldn't support doing away with the filibuster.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 04:04 pm
@hightor,
Just interpreting the trends as I see them. To me Biden is way too lax with the obstacles he faces.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 05:56 pm
@edgarblythe,
Okay. Watching and waiting. Wink
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2021 05:57 am
Tucker Carlson Is Completing the Work That Trump Began

There was a time when someone like Alex Jones would have been too toxic to embrace.

Quote:
Earlier this week, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, the host of the top-rated news show on cable, rose in defense of the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

“Jones is often mocked for his flamboyance,” Carlson said, “but the truth is he has been a far better guide to reality in recent years—in other words, a far better journalist—than, say, NBC News national-security correspondent Ken Dilanian or Margaret Brennan of CBS.”

Flamboyance is a rather interesting word to apply to Jones; there are others.

Last month Jones, the host of Infowars, was found liable for damages in a defamation lawsuit brought by parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, whose victims included 20 young children. Jones claimed that the shooting was a “false flag” operation carried out by “crisis actors.” He mocked grieving parents, saying, “I’ve looked at it, and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying, and they were preplanning before it and rolled out with it.”

This shows a level of depravity and cruelty unusual even among right-wing conspiracists. Yet there was Carlson on Wednesday night, offering praise for Jones, whom Carlson referred to as “one of the most popular journalists on the right.” (Aaron Blake of The Washington Post has provided a useful summary of Jones’s crazed claims.)

Jones’s validation by Carlson is hardly surprising—but it is significant. Tucker Carlson, after all, is not some fringe figure; he is the most influential media personality on the right, the individual Republican lawmakers seek to impress and whom they genuflect before. (Carlson seems most impressed not by American politicians such as Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, but by the authoritarian leader of Hungary, Viktor Orbán.)

There was a time—and it wasn’t all that long ago—when Alex Jones would have been far too toxic and deranged a figure for any influential member of the right to embrace. No more. Jones fits right in, just as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, Ron Johnson, and many others do. The right wing and the Republican Party are more, not less, radical than they were when Donald Trump was president.

In praising Jones, one of the most prominent conspiracists in American politics, Carlson called him “a far better guide to reality” than mainstream journalists. This is the kind of tactic that propagandists such as Trump and Vladimir Putin have employed so well: making claims that are so brazen, so outrageous, so untrue that they are disorienting, aimed at destroying critical thinking. Such claims are not just an attack on objective truth; they are an inversion of it, turning people such as Tucker Carlson and Alex Jones into the gatekeepers of reality.

What Carlson is doing is poisonous to a free society, not just because our society can’t operate without shared public facts but also because he is inciting paranoia, which may well lead to political violence.

That’s the reason Republican leaders’ effort to portray the 2020 election as stolen and the insurrection on January 6 as justified is so significant. They aim to convince ordinary Republicans that they have been victims of what Trump has called the “crime of the century,” the greatest election fraud in history. In Trump’s words, “the real insurrection happened on November 3rd, the Presidential Election, not on January 6th—which was a day of protesting the Fake Election results.”

Carlson recently released a three-part documentary suggesting that the January 6 insurrection was a “false flag” operation, while Jones was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack. He reportedly helped organize the rally at the Ellipse near the White House the day of the riot; was among the group of Trump allies who met in and around a hotel near the White House the day before the riot; and spread the false narrative of a stolen election the day before the insurrection.

Time after time after time over the past half-dozen years, people who care about American democracy have underestimated a movement that is inflicting enormous harm upon it. They became his enthusiastic backers. Many other Republicans who were privately horrified by Trump looked the other way, went silent, or signed up for the ride. At every key moment, when called upon, they publicly defended Trump. They might not have liked it, but they found a way to rationalize it. It would be an affectation to deny that there are policy achievements they can point to, but they should be honest about the enormous costs that accompanied their accommodation with such a corrupt and deranged president.

A lot of Republicans I know assumed that after the Trump presidency, things would snap back. The opposite has happened. Trump is no longer president, but the damage to democracy doesn’t require his presence in office. People like Tucker Carlson and Alex Jones and a bevy of others are ready to complete the work Trump began.

They can be stopped, but who in the Republican Party is willing to stop them?

theatlantic
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2021 06:45 am
@hightor,
Quote:
a far better guide to reality in recent years...

0 Replies
 
 

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