Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

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  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    'Make America Great Again' was about so much more than jobs. Materialists can be so confined in their thinking.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    “Behind the media-manufactured facade of white working class men as the cackling villains who gave the country to Donald Trump, in other words, lies a reality far more in keeping with the complexities of American electoral politics: a ramshackle coalition of many different voting blocs and interest groups, each with its own assortment of reasons for voting for a candidate feared and despised by the US political establishment and the mainstream media.

    That coalition included a very large majority of the US working class in general, and while white working class voters of both genders were disproportionately more likely to have voted for Trump than their nonwhite equivalents, it wasn’t simply a matter of whiteness, or for that matter maleness.”

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2017/01/the-hate-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.html

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Whose eschatology is more farct?

    eschatology is all well and good... - there's no life without death -
    ...but here's hoping Trump doesn't bring about the eschaton!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7630 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What's the worst that could happen?

    China and the US face off, the yuan becomes non-convertible, exports to China dry up, mortgage funding follows, Auckland house prices drop by 80%, all the banks crash under the weight of bad debts, people can no longer get paid or buy food.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    the rise of right wing populism

    There has been no such rise.

    I don't understand why people keep saying stuff like this. People keep promoting arguments to explain why Trump got more votes

    But Trump didn't get more votes - he got fewer votes.

    There is no rise in the right.

    All the voting data show that the right has held steady or declined slightly.

    The reason we have right shifts is because the left has stopped voting that's what the data shows.

    Now stop saying silly things about the right and start explaining the observations. If you are doing anything else you may as well invoke astrology.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4421 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    China and the US face off, the yuan becomes non-convertible, exports to China dry up, mortgage funding follows, Auckland house prices drop by 80%, all the banks crash under the weight of bad debts, people can no longer get paid or buy food.

    That's pretty bad...

    Add in Trump assuring Putin that the US won't fulfill it's NATO obligations to defend some of the countries next to Russia (say Poland or Finland), or picking a fight with China over the Spratleys or Taiwan, and you could throw a shooting war in to the mix as well.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Farmer Green,

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2017/01/the-hate-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.html

    I confess, it was a struggle to keep reading after encountering this in the first paragraph:

    … the new administration prepares to take over the reins of power from its feckless predecessor

    It’s a very long post hung entirely on assumptions that I can’t see borne out by any of the demographic research.

    Add it all up, and you’ll find that the majority of people who voted for Trump weren’t white working class men at all

    Hmmm. 70% of voters were white, and they voted two-to-one for Trump.

    I agree that the “white working class” thing is a bit of a myth – Trump took some white low-income voters who had voted for Obama, but all the numbers indicate that Trump voters were relatively economically secure on a personal level.

    And the dismissal of race as a determinant is bizarre. Twice as many Asian and Latino voters voted for Clinton rather than Trump, nine out of 10 African Americans.

    The big one – and the one that did Clinton in – is one you don’t need exit polls to see. The more diverse and more urban a district, the less likely its people were to vote Trump. Those urban centres were likely to have stronger economies overall, but poorer people within them overwhelmingly voted Democrat.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen R,

    China and the US face off, the yuan becomes non-convertible, exports to China dry up, mortgage funding follows, Auckland house prices drop by 80%, all the banks crash under the weight of bad debts, people can no longer get paid or buy food.

    That’s pretty bad…

    Yup!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Eschatology is O.K. , as far as it goes.
    It's the never -ending stream of "saviours" that I object to.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wish he would stop saying “granted” , and “tolerably”.
    But what do you think of his thesis ?

    ". . . . . the core concept of the identity politics currently central to the American left: the conviction that the only divisions in American society that matter are those that have some basis in biology.

    Skin color, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability—these are the divisions that the American left likes to talk about these days, to the exclusion of all other social divisions, and especially to the exclusion of social class. Since the left has dominated public discourse in the United States for many decades now, those have become the divisions that the American right talks about, too."


    “But when you hear people shrieking that Donald Trump is the illegitimate result of a one-night stand between Ming the Merciless and Cruella de Vil, that he cackles in Russian while barbecuing babies on a bonfire, that everyone who voted for him must be a card-carrying Nazi who hates the human race, or whatever other bit of over-the-top hate speech happens to be fashionable among the chattering classes at the moment—why, then, dear reader, you’re hearing a phenomenon as omnipresent and unmentionable in today’s America as sex was in Victorian England. You’re hearing the voice of class bigotry: the hate that dare not speak its name.”

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    "I guess there are always going to conspiratorial dingbats at the extremes of the political left and right,"

    ..but not as the actual US president :(

    Since Mar 2010 • 363 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    This is what I think will happen in the next four years.

    Trump will continue to do some shocking things but will eventually get bored when he realises the role involves real work and responsibility. But that doesn't matter because the real damage is going to come from his appointees who have no understanding of public governance and instead have strong right wing individualist agendas to privatise anything and syphon off public funds to corporates. The denial and knowledge of climate change is particularly scary.

    So the remains of public education or health will be attacked and other areas like environmental initiatives destroyed. Many of those who voted for Trump will be the worst affected, such as the miners who can no longer get coverage for mining related diseases. All those new jobs will be a myth.

    There will be big battles over things like the Dakota Access Pipeline when the Trump admin forces it through overturning Obama's edict.

    But there will also be huge local and worldwide resistance, and the development of new community-led initiatives in all sorts of areas. The governance of the US will gradually disintegrate and the gaps between groups and regions in the US will grow wider.

    But the media/public/analytical focus will not be on the Republicans but on the Democrats for letting it all happen. You can see this happening already, and this is depressing as it helps destroy the mechanism for overthrowing Trump.

    But maybe there are some young charismatic leaders still growing up who will help transform things into a healthy new society, eventually.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3138 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    I'm still struggling with the evil Russia syndrome. There is nothing I like about Vlad Putin but his posturing on the borders of Europe is matched by NATO posturing. They are both adding troops and missiles, and attempting to sway bordering countries politics with equal enthusiasm. Taking a slightly longer look at history, with whom should we have most sympathy out of USA and Russia? USA has never been invaded nor even had enemy positions nearby – Cuba excepted. Russia has experienced multiple invasions, including by US military during the Russian civil war 1918. Imagine if, today, Russia was actively recruiting countries in South America to it's "defence" league, and positioning troops and missiles in Canada. Do I see Russia as a benign force who should be given free reign to operate in the world? Absolutely not. However, I don't feel the USA should have that option either and, yet, they are probably much closer to that free reign scenario. I fear that I am just demonstrating my naivety and ignorance here, but it strikes me that balance of reporting is weighted in "the West's" favour. Your example of the conflict in Syria would be a prime example of casting Russia as evil but ignoring the role of the USA in the current conflict, or Europe in the development of the whole sh*t show that is the Middle East.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    I’m still struggling with the evil Russia syndrome. There is nothing I like about Vlad Putin but his posturing on the borders of Europe is matched by NATO posturing. They are both adding troops and missiles, and attempting to sway bordering countries politics with equal enthusiasm.

    Big difference: the countries on Russia’s border are asking for NATO protection. They’re terrified by Russia moving nuclear-capable missiles into Kalingrad.

    There seems little doubt that the arrival of more NATO troops in Poland is popular there.

    And Putin’s response – that Poland “is not even a European state” – will only have strengthened that view. It’s precisely what the Ukraine conflict is about.

    Imagine if, today, Russia was actively recruiting countries in South America to it’s “defence” league

    Estonian civilians aren't signing up with paramilitary forces because America is "recruiting" them though. It's for the same reason that Lithuania is erecting a fence along its border with Kalingrad – to try and block the expected entry of Russian special forces.

    Your example of the conflict in Syria would be a prime example of casting Russia as evil but ignoring the role of the USA in the current conflict, or Europe in the development of the whole sh*t show that is the Middle East.

    American adventurism has a huge amount to do, historically, with the shitshow in Syria. But it’s Russia that’s been bombing civilian populations for the past two years and Assad who’s been using chemical weapons on his own people. They’re the ones committing war crimes right now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    USA has never been invaded

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_1812

    Also, Japanese forces occupied the furthermost Aleutian Islands in WW2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleutian_Islands_Campaign.

    Not to mention the Pig War.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    True. But actually, I'd incline to the view that Europe would be more secure if the Baltics and Poland were neutral and secure by treaty (like Austria after 1955) and there was a demilitarised buffer between Russian and NATO forces.

    The rush by NATO to move its frontiers up to and beyond the limits of the former Soviet Union does not seem, in retrospect, to have been sensible realpolitik.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    USA has never been invaded

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_1812

    or indeed

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    True. But actually, I’d incline to the view that Europe would be more secure if the Baltics and Poland were neutral and secure by treaty (like Austria after 1955) and there was a demilitarised buffer between Russian and NATO forces.

    But how would you secure such a buffer against little green men? i.e.: the forces that Russia continues to insist don't exist and aren't in Ukraine?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Marion Ogier, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Yes agree. This a good speculation. What I find depressing and interesting is that people are so hung up on their own issues and interests that they are missing the key thing about the Republican and Trump victory. He and they won because of the long term, calculated and on going disenfranchisement of many Americans. Obama gets it. No other democracy makes it so hard to take part in the voting process. Identity politics is really the struggle to get the right official identity to vote. There are never enough polling booths in strategic areas. Whole districts are gerrymandered. The Dems have played some of these games but really the Republicans have worked on this for years and been rewarded. Unless the Dems put their money and much vaunted "ground game" to work on these issues in time for the mid terms they will go nowhere and the whole ghastly crew of thieves, bullies, sexual creeps and would be dictators who are joyously assembling in Washington will have at least 4 years to loot and pillage.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2010 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    There will be big battles over things like the Dakota Access Pipeline when the Trump admin forces it through

    Or they will outsource that to individual states by Congress handing over all federal lands, ripe for oil companies and rogue ranchers to get their hands on it.

    At stake are areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forests and Federal Wildlife Refuges, which contribute to an estimated $646bn each year in economic stimulus from recreation on public lands and 6.1m jobs. Transferring these lands to the states, critics fear, could decimate those numbers by eliminating mixed-use requirements, limiting public access and turning over large portions for energy or property development.

    They have been awaiting this total control for many years and have plenty of harmful changes ready to go. Dismantling the New Deal won't even take a whole term.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Russia has experienced multiple invasions

    You can argue that pretty much everyone in Europe has experienced multiple invasions. Russia on balance has probably been successful repelling invasions than most. But the idea that Russia has reason to feel threatened because of its history really doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    The difference is that for the most part, much of Europe has learned to "get over it" and work together for mutual benefit. This particular iteration of the Russian leadership has chosen, for various reasons, to play up the "we used to own that bit and we want it back" mode of international relations.

    As for whether the USA is squeaky clean - it's pretty obvious that they aren't. The US actions in the Middle East have proven ruinous for everyone involved. But saying the US is bad doesn't make Russia good.

    The eastern European states are nervous for very good reasons, nothing about Putin's leadership gives them any reason to trust Russia. Moreover the sanctions and changes in oil prices have put Russia in a very shaky economic position - the Russian economy is stuffed, that puts pressure on Putin and nobody is really sure how he will react. Annexing another bit of eastern Europe seems to be a strategy that Putin likes to use to distract from internal problems.

    The worry is that Trump is unlikely to have the skills to defuse or moderate any of complex situations in Europe or the middle east. The best we can hope for is that he plays a lot of golf.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4421 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Marion Ogier,

    the long term, calculated and on going disenfranchisement of many Americans

    And they're still at it, in Arizona in this example.

    HB 2260 would make it illegal to use a dormitory address “or other temporary college or university address” like an apartment to register to vote. Instead, Arizona law would presume these to be “a temporary address with intent to return to some other permanent address.”

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The eastern European states are nervous for very good reasons, nothing about Putin’s leadership gives them any reason to trust Russia. Moreover the sanctions and changes in oil prices have put Russia in a very shaky economic position – the Russian economy is stuffed, that puts pressure on Putin and nobody is really sure how he will react. Annexing another bit of eastern Europe seems to be a strategy that Putin likes to use to distract from internal problems.

    According to people who study and report on this stuff, that's exactly what has happened. Putin has used his overwhelming control of the media (most notably television) to foment a particularly toxic strain of nationalism to distract public attention from the tanking economy. (Which isn't only tanking because of oil prices and sanctions – pervasive corruption is taking down many legitimate businesses.)

    It's also very bad for the people of the republics that didn't get out when the USSR broke up. Russia is really not a good place to be any kind of minority.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, it emerges that Trump's pick for Treasury Secretary failed to declare $100 million in assets. His excuse is that the forms were "very complicated".

    Satire is dead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

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