And the real winner is....

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And the real winner is....

Postby Forest_Dump on November 12th, 2016, 8:45 am 

Sitting back and watching the reactions to the US elections results, both domestically and abroad, I began to think about a number of issues including who will gain the most from this election. Trump and his kids, of course, will make far, far more off some of his tax cuts and deregulation than all his salary and percs in and after office combined. But that is still pretty small peanuts compared to some of the take on the table. So, to me the question became who really won the most however this turns out (and that is even allowing for the pipedreams of the radical fringe of anti-Trump) and my bet is... Russia and to a lesser degree China.

I think both countries carefully analyzed the post-primary political landscape and decided Trump was their best option. Trump, as they demonstrated, is easily manipulated and therefore controlled at a personal level. However smart he is (debateable), he can be manipulated, as seen by how he responds to personal pressure and appeals to his ego, particularly by a skilled "negotiator" trained in psychology. Anyone who can be so easily manipulated instantly becomes an asset and I have no doubt both Russia and China has plenty of trained people who can figure out how to make someone like Trump dance for them.

Skillful use of the Wikileaks espionage data definitely helped in a big way. By carefully and selectively casting doubt on Clinton, Russia was able to tip the balance just enough to remove their most experienced and capable opponent in favour of Trump. Why? Aside from him being easily manipulated, he is demonstrably isolationist and therefore less likely to interfere elsewhere in the world. Russia will now have clear and unopposed possession of eastern Ukraine and Crimea (I predict that whatever economic sanctions were put in place will now quietly be removed or no longer stringently inforced even though they were never more than a slap on the wrist) and will now be able to cement their "influence" in Iran, Syria and Iraq allowing them as much oil as they want. In terms of energy, labour and any other natural resources, simple cooperation between Russia and China leave them virtually complete control of Asia and potentially Africa as well as full access to Europe with no competition from the US.

Obviously the US is now completely and absolutely divided domestically and I can see absolutely no scenario where the American people will become united in a common cause of any kind. And in terms of foreign policy and influence, the increasingly erratic and inconsistent statements and actions of the US means that no one foreign can be expected to trust US foreign policy for more than a term. And, of course, whatever the perceived reality, the foreign public image of the current President-elect is that of a clown who is at least somewhat unstable and highly prone to policy reversals (we have seen that already, of course). And any significant further changes in policy will. of course, bring out the anger in his base (some of whom will probably begin to feel betrayed if he doesn't have Clinton immediately arrested or if he does keep some parts of Obama-care).

So, while I think Trump won and won a fortune in tax cuts, financial deregulation plus ego stoking, etc., the real winner was Russia and Putin who won a major chunk of the world, return to being the only real and active global super-power. China, which was never really that big on global expansion, will be able to grow their economy due to increased access to resources and markets enabled by cooperation with Russia. Whatever they might loose with the US due to Trump's protectionist and isolationist policies will be more than compensated by increased access to and control of the expanding economies of eastern and southern Asia and Africa, particularly around the rim of the Indian Ocean and access to the (declining and fragmenting?) sphere of Europe.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Serpent on November 12th, 2016, 10:44 am 

In that case, and if the US really does withdraw from the Middle Eastern theaters of war, we might actually have some peace and quiet there. Never mind previous USSR administrations, Putin's plan was always more viable than Clinton's. He'll get the last few drops of unburned oil - so what; it's way too expensive.

The big central question is the US military. Is it all of one mind, united under a resolved leadership, ready to adhere to or refuse the new chief, or is it fragmented like the country? (I've been picturing those massive computers underneath the Pentagon, burning out one after the other, as they try to figure all the possible scenarios, the probabilities, the variables, available resources and best response to each. )

The police forces, I'm pretty sure are not all going to react the same way: some will be fanatically loyal, some opposed.
Does it come to civil war?

Interesting times.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Braininvat on November 12th, 2016, 11:15 am 

Bozhe moi!

Trump ochen plochoi chelovek.

or, for our new Overlords in Moscow: трумп очень плохой человек.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Forest_Dump on November 12th, 2016, 11:33 am 

Serpent wrote:The big central question is the US military. Is it all of one mind, united under a resolved leadership, ready to adhere to or refuse the new chief, or is it fragmented like the country? (I've been picturing those massive computers underneath the Pentagon, burning out one after the other, as they try to figure all the possible scenarios, the probabilities, the variables, available resources and best response to each. )

The police forces, I'm pretty sure are not all going to react the same way: some will be fanatically loyal, some opposed.
Does it come to civil war?


Personally I don't see any big issue here. I do expect we will see increased racial tensions in the US now that the radical right has been pumped up and is expecting a big payoff from Trump and this will involve some police forces more than others and include some stresses within the military but I think we are a long way away from anything like the military coups we have seen elsewhere in the world. Slightly more likely might be various pressures to annex or gain greater control over western Canadian oil/tar sand patches but I am not going to loose any sleep over that because it is a very remote danger even if it becomes more of a tactic to try to keep the US together - I definitely see increased stress within the US to Balkanize but that doesn't necessarily mean a full out civil war (although it won't be entirely peaceful either). However, on a geopolitical scale, what happens in the western hemisphere will be small potatoes.

Serpent wrote:In that case, and if the US really does withdraw from the Middle Eastern theaters of war, we might actually have some peace and quiet there. Never mind previous USSR administrations, Putin's plan was always more viable than Clinton's. He'll get the last few drops of unburned oil - so what; it's way too expensive.


History tells us something else, I think. One of the nastiest wars of the 20th century was fought between Iran and Iraq during the Reagan administration and of course we do see further problems along the shiite vs. Sunni divide, the Arab vs. non-Arab lines (again Iran vs. Iraq illustrates this but also Arab shiites for or against non-Arab shiites, the Kurds, etc.). Russia might well be able to bring some stability to the region both because they have a better grasp of the politics (as opposed to the ham-handed approach of Reagan and the Bushies) and are less squeamish about human rights, etc. But still we will definitely see more spread of Muslim funadmentalism throughout Asia and Africa, at least, and more conflict between Shiite (e.g., the Taliban etc.) and Sunni (e.g., ISIS ir ISIL), leading to more genocides, etc. And probably more attacks on the US (and Europe) both from disaffected kids here and from real external sources wanting to draw the US etc., into one side or the other. Now add to this nuclear proliferation with Iran definitely soon to have nucs but others as well (Pakistan - maybe Iraq will get back on track at some point or Turkey or Syria, etc., eventually the Saudis and probably Egypt - who is going to stop them? The US remember is already a paper tiger and Rusia might even sell or supply the necessary parts, etc., just to keep the peace and stability) and possibly chemical and/or biological weapons.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Serpent on November 12th, 2016, 12:08 pm 

Forest_Dump » November 12th, 2016, 10:33 am wrote:[The big central question is the US military]

Personally I don't see any big issue here. I do expect we will see increased racial tensions in the US now that the radical right has been pumped up and is expecting a big payoff from Trump and this will involve some police forces more than others

Factor in the increasingly irate minorities, who are psyched to fight back. I remember pretty serious riots on far less provocation than Trump proposes. That soup's ready to boil over.

and include some stresses within the military but I think we are a long way away from anything like the military coups we have seen elsewhere in the world.

Not that - well, not yet. I meant, will they follow the kind of illegal and idiotic orders he's likely to issue? Some generals have declared, early in the campaign, that they were not prepared to do so. Will he attempt a purge of the top echelons - and will they stand for it? Will he attempt a sudden, unprepared withdrawal from strategic positions? Will he pay attention to - or comprehend, or regard - intelligence reports? Will he take advice from anyone who actually knows anything about foreign affairs?

[mid east]
All that might happen. I meant we don't have to be involved. Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan was always a terrible idea. Whether they settle it among themselves, have Russia settle it (however temporarily) or get dried up and blown away by WMDs or climate change, that's long-term. Short term, it's not our problem.... unless the UN asks us to stop the arms trade...
Gaaahhh!
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby BadgerJelly on November 12th, 2016, 12:22 pm 

Personally I think the major threat to the US is the US and has always been the US.

People natural fear power. Russia as well as China has had significant power for a long time already. I get the impression that people in the US consider being anything but on top of the pile as being an easy target for some reason. In my eyes an over competitive nature is self destructive. There is such a thing as healthy competition.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Forest_Dump on November 12th, 2016, 12:37 pm 

Serpent wrote:Factor in the increasingly irate minorities, who are psyched to fight back. I remember pretty serious riots on far less provocation than Trump proposes. That soup's ready to boil over.


Yeah in terms of domestic peace, the US is basically cooked unless or until something perceived as a huge external threat pulls it back together. Trump, bad as he is IMHO, probably is sweating about the prospect of bottling up all those lunatics he stirred up but I don't think he will be able to and keeping the peace within the US will be beyond him. I actually do predict the US splitting up is an increasing possibility but I have been predicting that for decades since the USSR broke up (and with a very similar outcome).

Serpent wrote:Not that - well, not yet. I meant, will they follow the kind of illegal and idiotic orders he's likely to issue? Some generals have declared, early in the campaign, that they were not prepared to do so. Will he attempt a purge of the top echelons - and will they stand for it? Will he attempt a sudden, unprepared withdrawal from strategic positions? Will he pay attention to - or comprehend, or regard - intelligence reports? Will he take advice from anyone who actually knows anything about foreign affairs?


Probably not to most of the questions. I think Trump has made it clear he isn't going to spend much effort on the global scene and his views on global economics, his potential influence, etc., are pretty naive (which IMHO is why Putin favoured him and not Hillary who was umpteen times more skilled and experienced and just might have been able to make some difference internationally).
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Forest_Dump on November 12th, 2016, 12:48 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Personally I think the major threat to the US is the US and has always been the US.


The US has always been very isolationist. In the 20th century it took world wars, the launch of Sputnik or the threat of a loss of oil to get them to realize there are other people out there. But the US also needs resources including but not limited to oil, and access to markets, both to buy and sell, to survive. The trend towards isolation may even be good for some things for a while but 1) what might happen "out there" to ultimately shake that up? How upset would the US be over another genocide (even if it was Israel, say, because I don't see a lot of pro-Israel support coming from the Trump radical core)? A nuclear exchange somewhere? A complete environmental meltdown (I see that as a when question not an if question)? 2) If the isolationists hang on to power too long, will the US really end up as a semiforgotten former power (kind of like say Spain) of no practical significance beyond its (split up?) borders? Will that really be a better world?
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby zetreque on November 12th, 2016, 1:13 pm 

And the biggest loser is the environment any way you want to look at it.

And it started with the first riots and property damage in the cities (trump started making jobs right away so at least that part is true so far).

Obama, and all other politicians calling to unite are living in fantasy land and just lost even more credibility to a large portion of people. The only good thing about this is it will finally wake people up. Especially the younger generation. Maybe we will see more intelligent leaders in the future but by then it's going to be too late for billions of other life forms on the planet from birds to mammals to insect species.

Sarah Palin in the executive branch? It's a circus. The clown thing...

I'm seriously scared and disgusted with the country and I think it's going to take years to unite. If trump wanted to make america great again he miserably failed. Going down as the most hated president in history (by numbers, and maybe percentage).
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Serpent on November 12th, 2016, 1:41 pm 

Forest_Dump » November 12th, 2016, 11:37 am wrote: Trump, bad as he is IMHO, probably is sweating about the prospect of bottling up all those lunatics he stirred up

Why? He's safe enough behind a phalanx of Praetorian guards.... um...

I actually do predict the US splitting up is an increasing possibility but I have been predicting that for decades

So have I, and advocated it. Canada, too, actually. The whole continent would be bettwer off as small, relatively stable city-states, duchies, republics, communes, congregations and tribes.

As for a military takeover, it wouldn't be a coup. It would be an actual state of emergency, for one of two reasons: wide-spread armed conflict and the breakdown of civil law, or a major catastrophe.
We can reasonably expect some failures of infrastructure, which can mean disruption of electrical grid or communications. We can reasonably expect industrial mishaps - a nuclear reactor meltdown here, a mine explosion there, an oil pipeline rupture up the road, a fracking quake over yonder... It wouldn't take more than an overlap of two unprepared-for Oops-events to cause a big upheaval.
We can reasonably expect some economic ructions, as well. No telling how big the dominoes are or how close together.
We know there will be more and bigger weather events, with which defunded and undirected agencies can't cope. We know there will be increasing water shortages, crop failures and population displacements south of the Mexican border, south of the US border, south of the Canadian border.

No, the Chinese are not turning off climate change, just because their bluff has been called.

The US has always been very isolationist.

Which is why it's been at war4 with somebody or other since two years- okay, maybe ten - after its war of independence, and meddling in places all around the globe pretty much continuously. Isolationism doesn't mean "We don't interfere with other countries. " it means "We don't let others influence us."
It mostly means tariffs and blockades.

........
Know what? There are no winners.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Braininvat on November 12th, 2016, 2:23 pm 

There are several things I can dread about the coming Administration, if I let myself, and you all are raising several of them here.

As Forest says, the malleable Trump could easily become a Russian asset. (Русскон асетя) (I need to brush up my Cyrillic) One possible silver lining is that he can be led to moderate some of his more outrageous positions - he used to be a New York Liberal, anyone remember those days, not so long ago? I've wondered if he might even consider a conciliatory gesture on SCOTUS appointment, to maybe promote some detente with the half of the country (electorate) that doesn't want him. What if he were to appoint Meredith Garland, who is after all, a very centrist SCt nominee that many Republicans liked (until they knew Obama was in favor of him, that is)? I know that's a little out there, as speculation goes, but I wouldn't rule something like that out. He has the position of power he wanted, so I wouldn't be surprised if he reverts back to his older liberal self or at least heads towards the Center in hopes of getting the maximum love and adulation for his hungry inner narcissus. And Russia might be thrilled if they can steer him towards isolation or at least staying out of groping their geopolitical erogenous zones.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Serpent on November 12th, 2016, 4:23 pm 

I've heard some backing off on health insurance already, so OK....

But. Look at the Confederacy of Dunces [pace, JK Toole] bruited about for a cabinet. I suspect they'll each have a free hand in their respective departments, most of the time, when DT - how chillingly apt! - is preoccupied with some personal get-even scheme. Can you see him doing any of the actual work? He'll just charge for facsimiles of the great seal.

BTW - Has he called the tailor yet to get measured up for that magnificent new suit made of a fabric so fine it's visible only to the anointed?
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Forest_Dump on November 12th, 2016, 4:45 pm 

Braininvat wrote:One possible silver lining is that he can be led to moderate some of his more outrageous positions - he used to be a New York Liberal, anyone remember those days, not so long ago?


Serpent wrote:I've heard some backing off on health insurance already, so OK....


And this is where things will get interesting (and amusing to us outsiders). On the one hand, sure I fully expected he would back off on some issues once he began to understand the issues from the inside (and I predict we will hear some of that in the coming months). But 1) he has incited some pretty radical elements with some pretty dicey issues. Some of "Trump Nation" may not even be happy if he doesn't try to persecute Clinton or keeps any part of the health care plan; 2) he has burned a lot of bridges with the Republicans and he obviously needs them. So how much of a shake-up of Washington will he be able to accomplish without the support of the Senate and Congress who, theoretically, would be hurt the most? And many of them are going to be particularly watchful of Trump precisely because of his Democratic roots. But this is parochial entertainment when considered at a global level.

As to the environmental and climate change stuff, that was always going to be a tough sell to places like China and I think it is pretty clear it is not going to be on Trump's agenda no matter which way he compromises on other issues. Unless something very big and dramatic happens I think it is now a completely dead issue for four or more years.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby ronjanec on November 12th, 2016, 4:57 pm 

What an interesting thread! I am back to working again(!), so I can't make any further comments until I have more time.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby vivian maxine on November 12th, 2016, 5:07 pm 

The best way to stir up trouble is to ------ keep stirring. Those who enjoy rioting and terrorizing only need to be fed the excuse to do so. Should we keep feeding them?

The facts may be as you say but could we hope for some cooler heads among our leaders - and from ourselves? I like the British motto: Keep calm; carry on. Let's hope some wise people with cool heads step forward. Not being Pollyanna-ish. Just realizing that a calm atmosphere sometimes works wonders. It isn't going to be an easy job but running from it and spreading a cloak of fear isn't going to solve it.

Good question: Are you part of the solution? Or are you part of the problem? We shall see.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Serpent on November 12th, 2016, 5:21 pm 

Forest_Dump » November 12th, 2016, 3:45 pm wrote:As to the environmental and climate change stuff, that was always going to be a tough sell to places like China and I think it is pretty clear it is not going to be on Trump's agenda no matter which way he compromises on other issues. Unless something very big and dramatic happens I think it is now a completely dead issue for four or more years.

For starters, China is way ahead of the US, which has been the major holdout through every Republican administration. Ahead of Canada, too, where it was dead in the water for ten years and mostly talk over the past year; hard to implement, what with pipelines 'n' forest fires 'n' all.
http://grist.org/climate-energy/7-signs-that-china-is-serious-about-combatting-climate-change/

Some very big and dramatic things will inevitably happen.
On the small side, too, just because the government is not on board anymore, the growing industries that produce renewable energy equipment and superior building supplies aren't suddenly going to suspend operations or stop growing. The local governments, businesses and consumers who benefit from these products - like saving serious money - aren't going to stop buying and using them.
Federal government can set a good or bad example, can provide favourable or unfavourable conditions, but it doesn't stop people taking care of business or doing what they think best.
(In fact, I anticipate a bump in all things relating to self-sufficiency. The other half of citizens haven't gone into a coma, or all lined up at various embassies.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby vivian maxine on November 12th, 2016, 5:41 pm 

Well said, Serpent. Thank you. Life goes on. We still need to wash the dishes and mow the grass.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Serpent on November 12th, 2016, 6:41 pm 

See, even ronjanec is working ---
Bet you didn't expect the winners to get their rewards this fast!
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Forest_Dump on November 12th, 2016, 6:55 pm 

ronjanec out building walls perhaps? Listing people sympathetic to muslims or latinos in the neighbourhood? Or just one of those manufacturng jobs that came back this week?
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby ronjanec on November 12th, 2016, 11:30 pm 

Serpent » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:41 pm wrote:See, even ronjanec is working ---
Bet you didn't expect the winners to get their rewards this fast!


See, the republicans get in and even someone like me can get a job!(Ok, it's just part-time, and I did get the job before the election)
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby ronjanec on November 12th, 2016, 11:43 pm 

Forest_Dump » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:55 pm wrote:ronjanec out building walls perhaps? Listing people sympathetic to muslims or latinos in the neighbourhood? Or just one of those manufacturng jobs that came back this week?


Everyone I work with at my new part-time job is a liberal Forest! (Maybe I should start wearing a "safety pin" on my clothes to try to blend in?)

This may "surprise" some of you, but I really pissed off a lot of people at my last job with my early vocal support for Trump(I am keeping my big mouth shut this time)
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby BadgerJelly on November 13th, 2016, 2:59 am 

Serpent -

I have been hoping for a long time for the US to "split up". There seems to be some differences geographically that are parallel to political views. I am not fully aware of the situation though and admit this view is a one taken mor ein passing than one in which I have stopped to dig deep into US history and politics, and I am also far removed from the current climate there too!

Also when I say "split up" I mean soemthing akin to the UK and Scotland breaking off. The situation with the EU was something that concerned me too. I am not for isolation and bizarrely I actually think once countries have self authority they are more likely to cooperate.

Funny thing is I imagine (in my politically naive mind) that a strange crossbreed between The States and the EU would actually be a good "fit". Europe will never be a united states of europe, but maybe The would benefit from moving more towards what europe is?

For people in the US best to sit quiet and let the government show its true colours rather than give them a reason to hide their true colours.

Is it true that Republicans are very divided already regarding Trump? If that is the case then it will be veyr difficult for Trump to get people behind his ideas if they were already staunchly against him. For sure I imagine the world view of The US has been weakened politically. Long term this may actually not be a terrible thing and give the next president a more neutral position to build from?

Of course Nigel Farage backes Trump ... that is in itself a worrying thing. Just invite Duterte over for the boxing match with Trump. That would be worth a watch! ;)

Note: In reference to Trump labelling Philippines as a "terrorist nation". He also called Manila one of the most spectacular cities in asia" ... a lie unless he meant spectacular. If you visit the Philippines leave Manila asap. It is a largely horrible city and the worth capital I have visited in se asia. The Philippines in general is an amazing country though.
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Serpent on November 13th, 2016, 11:07 am 

Is it true that Republicans are very divided already regarding Trump? If that is the case then it will be veyr difficult for Trump to get people behind his ideas if they were already staunchly against him. For sure I imagine the world view of The US has been weakened politically. Long term this may actually not be a terrible thing and give the next president a more neutral position to build from?

There's a lot of "ifs" in there.
Trump doesn't have any ideas. He's been saying whatever popped into his head and repeating whatever the audience cheered. Mostly PC backlash: spit on whatever liberals like and egg on the basest nature of the resentful ignorami. That works for rabble-rousing - not for governance.

The actual running of the country will be franchised out to the cabinet - the foxes he recruits to guard the various hen-houses. Some of this will go down great with Republicans (such are left after the series of taxation and religious purges). Some of it will be contentious. But none of this will have anything in it for the average citizen: it's going to be a wrangle over the spoils.

Meanwhile, the states are pretty much on their own, as far as government services and administration goes. Several state legislations have been preparing for independent action, while some are just waiting to be released from that pesky old constitution they've been largely ignoring all along. A few will be bitterly disappointed to receive no cash infusions. The folks along the Texas border are scrambling to unload property, but nobody wants to live in the shadow of a 50' wall....

I am not for isolation and bizarrely I actually think once countries have self authority they are more likely to cooperate.

You can't have political equality or anything like parity of interests between the USA and Ghana or India and Luxembourg. For the UN - which is still the only faint glimmer hope of world peace - to work, the member states must be more nearly the same power. (Of course, putting the Big Four was a crappy idea in the first place.) Even more importantly, each state needs to have a single coherent voice, a unified interest, for its vote to mean something.

Well, never mind. We'll all* be swept away by hurricanes and tsunamis before it comes to fruition.
(The bad news: *except the super-rich, who have self-sufficient palaces built or currently under construction on high remote mountainsides.
The good news: Once civilization breaks down and money has no value, their servants will toss them over the cliff.)

Have a nice day!
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Re: And the real winner is....

Postby Braininvat on April 2nd, 2017, 6:14 pm 

http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-ed-our-dishonest-president/

Some commentary on the Presidency so far from the LA Times editorial board. First of a series.
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