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Posted (edited)

I honestly think it's too soon to open almost everything, but after looking at the guidelines Gov. Newsom came up with with the counties I thought it was a fair compromise. Bathrooms should be open, I agree (still keep water fountains closed off), I don't know the logic behind keeping them closed. Give people a place to relieve themselves if you give public access.

 

And olympe, you're absolutely right. Heck, some people will go anywhere, I base that off of where people chose to use the bathroom in national parks when the government shut down last year. 

Edited by purpledragonclaw
typo

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, olympe said:

In other words: Everyone who doesn't live five minutes away from the beach will pee and/or poop in the sea. Or into the sand. Great news! And a great way to spread that darn virus... Because it's in people's intestines, too.

 

It's why I don't feel the same about the beach as I used to. I've spent most of my life in So.Flo . And when you grow up seeing the pipes leading out into the ocean, knowing that they are being used to pump waste into the ocean. When you know just how often those beaches get closed down because it's too dangerous to go in because the bacteria levels in the water are too high. When you grow up hearing so many stories of people finding 💩 floating in the water, The beach starts to lose its appeal. And that's with the bathrooms. It's  a shame I can't enjoy the beaches the way I used to but I can't unlearn what I know.

Edited by AngelsSin

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Posted (edited)

The funny thing is that Mr.Trump claims this tagging of his tweets as factually wrong infringed on his right to free speech.

 

Note to Mr.Trump: You can say everything you want - but don't infringe on the free speech of others to point out that you lied.

 

 

By the way, here is an insightful and very frightening article by Fintan O'Toole of the Irish Times:

Quote

To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism.

 

It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down. And he recreated himself in reality TV where the storylines can be adjusted according to the ratings. Put something out there, pull it back, adjust, go again.

 

Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.

 

One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections – we’ve seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities. Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about 40 per cent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your 40 per cent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too. And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.

 

Full text: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375?mode=amp

Edited by Astreya

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1 hour ago, Astreya said:

The funny thing is that Mr.Trump claims this tagging of his tweets as factually wrong infringed on his right to free speech.

 

Note to Mr.Trump: You can say everything you want - but don't infringe on the free speech of others to point out that you lied.

 

 

By the way, here is an insightful and very frightening article by Fintan O'Toole of the Irish Times:

 

Full text: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375?mode=amp

This is so very true. For the German nazis - which were their own kind of fascists - the truth was that Jews and homosexuals and "gypsies" were evil, and that people with birth defects needed to be euthanized. Oh, and that Arians were the best. Obviously. 😕 

For Trump, the truth is that He is the best, god-like almighty presence who always does an amazing job and can do no wrong. That everyone who says what he doesn't want to hear is lying. That everyone who wants to hold him accountable is staging a witch hunt.

For many followers of our own AfD (latest installatation of a nazi-like party in Germany) is that the current government is corrupt, the media are corrupt, everything that doesn't fit into their view is a conspiracy anyway, covid isn't for real and foreigners are the evil that plagues the poor "bio-Germans" (don't ask)

 

I honestly don't know what Johnson's exact "truth" is, but it's probably somewhere in between those mentioned above.

What is unsettling is that all the right-wing populists/parties are for more nationalism, against international cooperation and very much against foreigners. You see it with Trump (America first), with Johnson (Brexit) as well as a number of other European countries. And it weakens us Europeans as a community. We've lost GB already, definitely helped along by Trump (who promised great trading treaties and whatnot to GB after Brexit). It's not a good situation in any way, shape, form or scenario.

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Posted (edited)

Here's another very interesting interview with a Yale philosopher on fascism, truth, and Donald Trump:

Quote

Sean Illing

Your specialty is propaganda and rhetoric, and in the book you describe fascism as a collection of tropes and narratives. So what, exactly, is the story fascists are spinning?

Jason Stanley

In the past, fascist politics would focus on the dominant cultural group. The goal is to make them feel like victims, to make them feel like they’ve lost something and that the thing they’ve lost has been taken from them by a specific enemy, usually some minority out-group or some opposing nation.

 

This is why fascism flourishes in moments of great anxiety, because you can connect that anxiety with fake loss. The story is typically that a once-great society has been destroyed by liberalism or feminism or cultural Marxism or whatever, and you make the dominant group feel angry and resentful about the loss of their status and power. Almost every manifestation of fascism mirrors this general narrative.

 

Sean Illing

Why is the destruction of truth, as a shared ideal, so critical to the fascist project?

Jason Stanley

It’s important because truth is the heart of liberal democracy. The two ideals of liberal democracy are liberty and equality. If your belief system is shot through with lies, you’re not free. Nobody thinks of the citizens of North Korea as free, because their actions are controlled by lies.

Truth is required to act freely. Freedom requires knowledge, and in order to act freely in the world, you need to know what the world is and know what you’re doing. You only know what you’re doing if you have access to the truth. So freedom requires truth, and so to smash freedom you must smash truth.

 

Full interview:_ https://www.vox.com/2018/9/19/17847110/how-fascism-works-donald-trump-jason-stanley

 

Edited by Astreya

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@AngelsSin

Don't forget that Mr.Trump rigged the Supreme Court with his sycophants. Plus the US Attorney General is a buddy of Mr.Trump.

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Posted (edited)

IMO the US is on the best way to turn into a proper autocracy. You only need to look at the way the Republican made sure they gerrymandered numerous constituencis and work hard to suppress voters. Plus the way the judiciary is set up, with the lifelong appointments, they can easily overturn liberal judgements now and certainly will do that.

 

If you ever wondered how Nazi Germany could happen, just look at how things are currently developing in the US. (And no, Hitler didn't start with the extermination of the Jews - he started with the idea that Germany needed to become great again and gradually set up scapegoats when things didn't go as promised, and he invented an enormous construct of lies and gaslighting to incite his followers to whatever he wanted them to do.)

Edited by Astreya
"made sure" not "made surge" of course

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Posted (edited)

True but also the Nazi's needed the rest of the world to either turn a blind eye or just be unwilling/reluctant to intervene. With the state of the world not sure other countries would intervene this time, even if they are somehow able to. Especially as it was necessary for the U.S. to get involved and intervene to stop the Nazi's, so who would play the role the U.S. did for us this time? Who has that capacity and would we really want them to take on that role and gain the power that comes from it.

 

I happen to be of Jewish and German descent and a bunch of others.  My grandparents met during WWII (he was in the U.S. Military) and left his wife and married my grandma and her family all moved to the U.S. from Africa.(Tangier, Morocco) 

They even changed her birthday on her birth certificate to make her older so all that could happen.

Edited by AngelsSin

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But who should intervene and how indeed?  Mr.Trump has taken the US out of most supranational organisations by now that could be used to reign in the US. He left all weapon control treaties, now Open Skies is next. The US has the most nuclear weapons, too, so I can't really see anyone one from the outside who could stop Mr.Trump.

 

He even has weapon bearing supporters that have no qualms to go against legally elected governors - so far they were satisfied with only making threatening moves (like entering the legislative chamber in Michigan), but how far are they away from actually using their guns and rifles, if they are properly spurred on?

 

Mr.Trump even already insinuated that he might not accept a defeat in the election, so I think the US is really en route into very dangerous seas.

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11 hours ago, olympe said:

I honestly don't know what Johnson's exact "truth" is, but it's probably somewhere in between those mentioned above.

 

There was a great article somewhere I can't find that stated what I actually believe is true of him.

 

He wanted desperately to become PM. Right from when he was a kid.

 

And he wants to have BEEN PM. 

 

What he can't handle is the bit in between. For him it isn't about politics at all; it's just about personal ego.

 

Which is why the abominable Cummings is essential to him and why he cannot fire him. Cummings is de facto in charge of the UK. Cummings is the epitome of the O'Toole article. He is aiming for chaos so that he can push through his own agenda.

 

1 hour ago, Astreya said:

Mr.Trump even already insinuated that he might not accept a defeat in the election, so I think the US is really en route into very dangerous seas.

 

Who didn't see that coming from the second he was elected ?

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Posted (edited)

@Fuzzbucket

Do you mean this article by Marina Hyde?  "The truth about why Cummings hasn't gone: Johnson is too terrified to sack him":

Quote

The thing about Johnson is that he desperately wanted to become prime minister, and he desperately wanted to have been prime minister. It’s just the bit in between he struggles with. With Othello, it was jealousy. Macbeth: ambition. Lear: pride. Johnson: career liar, hollowed out by narcissism, who not even his friends would joke was motivated by public service. I guess it’s the little things that trip you up, isn’t it?

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/26/dominic-cummings-boris-johnson-terrified-sack-him

 

Edited by Astreya

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3 hours ago, Astreya said:

IMO the US is on the best way to turn into a proper autocracy. You only need to look at the way the Republican made surge they gerrymandered numerous constituencis and work hard to suppress voters. Plus the way the judiciary is set up, with the lifelong appointments, they can easily overturn liberal judgements now and certainly will do that.

 

If you ever wondered how Nazi Germany could happen, just look at how things are currently developing in the US. (And no, Hitler didn't start with the extermination of the Jews - he started with the idea that Germany needed to become great again and gradually set up scapegoats when things didn't go as promised, and he invented an enormous construct of lies and gaslighting to incite his followers to whatever he wanted them to do.)

I've been thinking along those lines for a while now. And, yes, I compared Trump to Adolf H. more than once, though probably not here on these forums. The similarities in their personalities and their political agendas and actions are just too striking.

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Posted (edited)

 @purplehaze

From your link:

Quote

[Republicans] shuttered the Senate amid a national health and economic crisis (though opened it long enough to strong-arm conservative judges onto the bench)

(...)

Republicans have built a growing advantage in rural America over the past two decades. The result is that the Senate (and, to a lesser extent, the Electoral College) remains a counter-majoritarian stronghold — not invulnerable to electoral reversal but highly resistant to it.

 

At the same time, Republicans in red states have used partisan gerrymandering and voter restrictions to disadvantage citizens outside their base. The latter include voter ID laws, the indiscriminate purging of the voter rolls and rules that make it harder to register, get to the polls, vote early and (especially crucial now) vote remotely. In the latest move, the Republican National Committee and other Republican groups sued California to stop the state from mailing all registered voters absentee ballots for the fall election. Besides being fundamentally at odds with democratic equality, all these efforts further undermine electoral accountability.

 

Exactly that's what I meant when I wrote "You only need to look at the way the Republicans made sure they gerrymandered numerous constituencies and work hard to suppress voters. Plus the way the judiciary is set up, with the lifelong appointments, they can easily overturn liberal judgements now and certainly will do that."

 

And don't forget that Mr.Trump's base is widely armed, so he has actually a violent militia under his thrall, too.

 

You might take a look at this here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmabteilung

Quote

"The Sturmabteilung (SA), literally Storm Detachment, was the Nazi Party's original paramilitary wing. It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Its primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League (Rotfrontkämpferbund) of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and intimidating Romani, trade unionists, and, especially, Jews – for instance, during the 1933 Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses."

 

As I'm in Germany, I was taught at school in great detail how the rise of the Nazi regime in the 1930es came to pass and what methods they used to grab the power. When I look at the state of the US nowadays, the parallels are obvious. As they say - "If it quacks like a duck"...

 

Edited by Astreya

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4 hours ago, Astreya said:

As I'm in Germany, I was taught at school in great detail how the rise of the Nazi regime in the 1930es came to pass and what methods they used to grab the power. When I look at the state of the US nowadays, the parallels are obvious. As they say - "If it quacks like a duck"...

I can only second that. If it quacks like a duck - and quack it does!

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Posted (edited)

And Trump is setting up his argument already to discredit the November election if he loses:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/29/will-trump-dispute-2020-election-results-twitter

 

Quote

Unhinged as it may be for the president to accuse, without a scintilla of evidence, a morning television host of murder, that particular conspiracy theory was not the most disturbing accusation to issue from Trump’s Twitter feed this week. No, that prize goes to his tweet from 26 May, claiming: There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed … This will be a Rigged Election. No way!

The president’s defamation of Joe Scarborough is no more than an extreme version of something we have seen throughout Trump’s tenure in office: his ability to deflect attention from one colossal misstep by simply committing a fresh outrage. The fact that even a handful of Republicans have expressed mild regret at Trump’s bizarre accusation only underscores that it has served its instrumental purpose. For the moment, the news cycle is consumed not with the fact that 100,000 Americans have died in a pandemic that the White House recklessly insisted posed no threat; instead, all attention is riveted on the spectacle of a sitting president accusing an opponent in the “lame stream media” of homicide. 

Trump’s attack on mail-in ballots, by contrast, is far more ominous. Here, the president is defaming not an individual but the integrity of our electoral process, confidence in which is a key to a stable democratic order. And the purpose of this attack is not distraction but pointedly political. The politics of disenfranchisement has emerged as a staple of Republican electoral strategy, and the reasons for targeting mail-in ballots are not hard to divine. The bulk of such ballots are cast in urban areas, where Democratic voters predominate, and as the nation continues to grapple with the Covid-19 outbreak, we can expect millions of urban voters to cast mail-in ballots in November as a hedge against the obvious health risks that come with in-person voting. Trump’s tweets serve, then, the politics of voter suppression. 

But that is only one aspect of the dark logic behind the tweets. Far more alarmingly, Trump’s attack on the reliability of mail-in votes establishes the groundwork for a radical refusal to acknowledge electoral defeat. In contrast to ballots cast in-person on 3 November, mail-in ballots often cannot be fully counted until several days after the election. This means that in a very tight race, the results announced on election day may be no more than provisional; and second, because of the demographic patterns I mentioned above, the full counting of ballots may well swing the outcome in the favor of Democratic candidates. 

The 2018 Arizona senatorial race witnessed a particularly dramatic case of this effect, dubbed the “blue shift” by election law expert Ned Foley. On election day, Martha McSally, the Republican candidate, enjoyed a 15,000-vote lead over her Democratic rival, Kyrsten Sinema. By the time the state’s canvassing had ended, however, McSally found herself defeated by Sinema by some 56,000 votes – a swing of 71,000 thousand votes. 

Trump is more than familiar with the phenomenon of blue shift. Also in 2018, when the senatorial race in Florida saw Republican Rick Scott’s lead over Bill Nelson shrink from over 56,000 on election day to an uncomfortable 10,000 by the time the state completed its canvass, Trump had urgently tweeted: The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott…in that large numbers of ballots showed up from nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible—ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night! 

Recall that in 2016, Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton was a combined 70,000 votes in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. It is more than possible that Trump could narrowly capture these states on 3 November, only to see his victory vanish as mail-in ballots are tallied in the days following the election. His tweet from Tuesday tells us how he would respond to such a loss. He will reject it as a product of fraud. That is an eventuality – or even a certainty – that the nation must prepare itself for.

I hope people are paying attention.

 

Edited by purplehaze

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I hope the Supreme Court will overrule any such nonsense on his part.

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Trump came out in 2016 and claimed he wouldn't accept the results if he lost. I fully expect him to do the same this year if he loses. @Fuzzbucket don't be too sure about that. The Supreme Court already has two Trump-appointed justices on it, one of which was put on through questionable processes that Republicans wouldn't have stood for if the situation was reversed (Neil Gorsuch), and some of their rulings have already shown a partisan slant. We may be headed to the 2000 election all over again if that's the case.

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Indeed - BUT - Nixon packed the supreme court and they ruled against him; so did another POTUS but I can't remember who.... Even political appointees occasionally have a regard for the rule of law.

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That was a different incarnation of the Republican party that's practically extinct now because they believed in prosecuting their own. My measuring stick for the Supreme Court is their ruling on whether or not Trump has to release his tax returns. 

 

I forgot to mention this earlier, but @Astreya and @olympe I find your perspectives on America right now fascinating given the similar track we're on when Germany started to descend into fascism with Hitler. I can't help but make comparisons to Nazi Germany when I see what this country is becoming.

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There's another parallel between Hitler and Trump: Hitler knew how to use media. Especailly the newest kind of media - which was television. With Trump, it's social media - especially Twitter. Both also forced their views on the media.

Another parallel: Both create(d) a cult around their person.

Both also have/had an aversion against scientists.

Both tend(ed) to thrive on conflict, too.

There's something in the back of my mind about economy, military and relations with other states, but they escape me right now.

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Posted (edited)

@purpledragonclaw

I was in a secondary school named for a famous victim of the Nazi regime (Sophie Scholl), and we were taught in great detail about the Third Reich and how it could develop at the time. Of course the teachers made sure we'd be sensitised to perceive how such developments look like nowadays, too, as due to the horrors that were done by the Nazis, our motto is "never again".

 

Hence it is so worrying that there is a vocal number of right extremists showing their ugly heads in Germany nowadays again (fortunately they hover "only" around 10% of the public as seen in the federal results of the AfD), but it is even more worrying to see such fascist-type policies emerge in other countries, too, particular such with a huge number of potent weapons at their disposal.

 

I have been asked numerous times whether I could explain how the comparatively modern and enlightened citizens of the democratic Weimar Republic could turn into the bloodthirsty mob of the Third Reich within about four years, but you can see similar processes in action in the US nowadays. One can but hope that the majority will manage to stop the descent into madness, but history showed that you only need about 35% of the citizens of a country turning into fanatical supporters of an autocrat to lead a nation into ruin.

 

------------

Meanwhile Mr.Trump continues to sideline the US and diminish its global political influence: "Trump announces US to sever all ties with WHO". That this means that China will gain even more influence seems to be totally lost on him. I bet the next step will be the US leaving the UN, too.

Quote

“What’s interesting, looking at the last WHA meeting for me, was a very clear sign that American influence has diminished significantly,” said Abraham Denmark, a former deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia.

(...)

“It was never about reforming the WHO. That was all lies,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, said on Twitter. “It was always about distraction and scapegoating. Leaving castrates our ability to stop future pandemics and elevates China as the world’s go-to power on global health. What a nightmare.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/29/trump-who-china-white-house-us

 

By the way, you know what one of the first things Adolf Hitler did after being appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933? The German government announced its withdrawal from the League of Nations.

 

 

Edited by Astreya

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May I commend to your attention a terrifying book from way back when: Sinclair Lewis: It Can't Happen Here.

 

But it can. And it is. And not just in the States.

 

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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