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 A Corrierino Awareness Thread 
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I dunno...... is there a dumber reason why he might be getting fired?

as for McMaster: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/15/hr-mcmaster-russia-syria-crime-punishment-465841

it's stuff like this that makes me paranoid.


Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:04 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I dunno...... is there a dumber reason why he might be getting fired?

Officially, it's "lack of candor under oath" that got him. Not only was his offense not helpful to Hillary's campaign, but there seems to be no reason to terminate him before Sunday (the official IG report won't be out until "spring") other than to deliberately fuck with his pension.

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
as for McMaster: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/15/hr-mcmaster-russia-syria-crime-punishment-465841

it's stuff like this that makes me paranoid.

It's like he decided to go out like Dennis Hopper in True Romance.

I also liked this quote from a NYT story: "The president has complained that McMaster is too rigid and that his briefings go on too long and seem irrelevant."


Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:41 pm
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The latest Jedi Mind Trick from 'Ken Strange' ....Mueller is an honorable man, and that's precisely why he needs to quit.

Kenneth Strange wrote:
Mr. Mueller, show the American people what my colleagues in law enforcement already know — that you are a man of great wisdom and integrity. Do the honorable thing and recuse yourself from the Russian collusion investigation. The DOJ requires a special prosecutor without ties to Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok. The investigation will get done; don’t worry about that. Your team will see to it.

Mr. Mueller, are you listening? You restored public confidence in the bureau.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called you a “great American.” You are still thought of highly. Step aside with dignity and let the investigation play itself out without any further controversy about you, the FBI and your team. The American people deserve no less.



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Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:55 am
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hurm....

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/data-war-whistleblower-christopher-wylie-faceook-nix-bannon-trump
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

at the very least a good reminder that we don't need Russia's help in fucking things up.


Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:34 am
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Cambridge Analytica getting put under the microscope is a good thing.

Also a good thing, Supreme Court rejected Republicans' effort to block fairer redistricting in Pennsylvania.

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Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:20 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Yes, this has been known for some time. The majority of NRA members tend to poll support for things like stricter background checks, closing gun show loopholes, banning bump stocks (which have no tactical use at all) and the rule, overturned by Trump, which would prevent people designated "mentally defective" or who have been committed to psychiatric institutions from buying weapons. I can only assume that it is purely due to NRA money which is preventing a more savvy Pub from pivoting from pro-NRA to pro-gun owners and finally side with these majorities.


People poll well to generic ideas, which creates the illusion of more support than there really is--people start saying no when you propose concrete ideas. We're all for education, and healthcare, and roads, but when it is time for a tax hike you hear crickets.


Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:26 am
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DaMU wrote:
Cambridge Analytica getting put under the microscope is a good thing.


that report from Channel 4 sounds like a lot of something.

if this ends with the reveal of the hooker piss video, I swear....


Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:39 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

People poll well to generic ideas, which creates the illusion of more support than there really is--people start saying no when you propose concrete ideas. We're all for education, and healthcare, and roads, but when it is time for a tax hike you hear crickets.
Well, it matters who you propose the tax hikes for; if it's on middle/working class people, of course you won't hear much support for that, since most Americans belong to those classes in the first place. But, if we increased income (not to mention corporate) taxes on top earners back up to, say, about 90%, which is actually lower than it was during the Eisenhower adminstration, when we had one of the biggest economic booms in this country's history? How many people do you really think would be opposed to that? And of course, all of that is before even considering cutting our ridiculously inflated military budget, but that's another story.

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Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:26 am
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Stu wrote:
Well, it matters who you propose the tax hikes for; if it's on middle/working class people, of course you won't hear much support for that, since most Americans belong to those classes in the first place. But, if we increased income (not to mention corporate) taxes on top earners back up to, say, about 90%, which is actually lower than it was during the Eisenhower adminstration, when we had one of the biggest economic booms in this country's history? How many people do you really think would be opposed to that? And of course, all of that is before even considering cutting our ridiculously inflated military budget, but that's another story.


something about punishing success/class warfare.

Stu, why do you want to engage in class warfare by punishing success?


Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:36 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
at the very least a good reminder that we don't need Russia's help in fucking things up.

Hm, maybe? I think I've seen where Cambridge Analytica had contracts with a Russian oil company who was interested in American election demographics.*

(* according to the same whistleblower, Wylie)


Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:35 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
People poll well to generic ideas, which creates the illusion of more support than there really is--people start saying no when you propose concrete ideas. We're all for education, and healthcare, and roads, but when it is time for a tax hike you hear crickets.

Maybe what we "hear" is filtered by those most likely to get hit with such tax hikes? Not to get all elitist or anything, but coverage of Trump decidely softens when his tax cut gets brought up. (Or to paraphrase Les Moonves, "he's good for us!")


Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:39 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Maybe what we "hear" is filtered by those most likely to get hit with such tax hikes? Not to get all elitist or anything, but coverage of Trump decidely softens when his tax cut gets brought up. (Or to paraphrase Les Moonves, "he's good for us!")


How about when the left attacks him from the right?


Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:45 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:

that report from Channel 4 sounds like a lot of something.

if this ends with the reveal of the hooker piss video, I swear....

And gets more damning by the day. Today's installment (and there will be two more this week) has the freshly removed Analytica CEO claiming that they were running the entire Trump data operation. This throws a wrench in the attempts since the story broke by Trump officials to deny or minimize the effort and influence of Cambridge Analytica.

Just looking at yesterday's Channel 4 report (which is still reverberating around the net):

Channel 4 wrote:
Mr Turnbull described how, having obtained damaging material on opponents, Cambridge Analytica can discreetly push it onto social media and the internet.

He said: “… we just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again… like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, ‘that’s propaganda’, because the moment you think ‘that’s propaganda’, the next question is, ‘who’s put that out?’.”

Mr Nix also said: “…Many of our clients don’t want to be seen to be working with a foreign company… so often we set up, if we are working then we can set up fake IDs and websites, we can be students doing research projects attached to a university, we can be tourists, there’s so many options we can look at. I have lots of experience in this.”


Basically, this is shaping up to be the missing link connecting the GRU/IRA, Wikileaks, the kinds of social influence network's Mueller has already indicted, and....the Trump campaign, showing coordination, accomplices, and a mutual will to "remote control" hacked emails, and various theories sprung from them, into the feeds of very specifically targeted voters.

Crucial detail here, from Nix: "They don’t understand that the candidate is never involved, he’s told what to do by the campaign team."


Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:53 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
How about when the left attacks him from the right?

Is this about the seizing guns without due process thing?


Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:54 am
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Also, even if I am far from a fan of Ralph Peters (who never thought of an Obama epithet he refused to utter), I do find his sudden departure from FOX News to be another alarming signpost for how far the right is tipping into complicit corruption:

Ralph Peters wrote:
In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts--who have never served our country in any capacity--dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller--all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of "deep-state" machinations-- I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.

As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin's agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign. Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the "nothing-burger" has been covered with Russian dressing all along. And by the way: As an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true--that's how the Russians do things.. The result is that we have an American president who is terrified of his counterpart in Moscow.


Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:07 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Hm, maybe? I think I've seen where Cambridge Analytica had contracts with a Russian oil company who was interested in American election demographics.*

(* according to the same whistleblower, Wylie)


I just meant that these shenanigans didn't start with Russia or could have occurred without its help. I'm just trying to remind myself it ain't all about the Rooskies (even if they are still in play).


Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:00 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I just meant that these shenanigans didn't start with Russia or could have occurred without its help. I'm just trying to remind myself it ain't all about the Rooskies (even if they are still in play).

I don't think that there's ever been much concern over "who started it?", whether Trump an Co. chose to solicit Russia's help or whether Putin had surreptitiously groomed Trump, compromised him, and aided in his election.

But I still think it's premature to say that it "could have occurred without Russia's help". Perhaps. But perhaps the exact infrastructure that received those 13 indictments from Mueller were a crucial component in putting Trump over the top. Cambridge Analytica, if their tech is really as it's being touted to be, would have been equally essential as the hacking, disseminating and robo-botting this disinformation, as they say, "into the bloodstream of the internet". Without the emails that Russia hacked and released or the botfarms which engineered their trending - or essentially the deliverables with which to push to CA's targeted voters - it's hard to say how successful CA would have been in its operation.

Wylie, though, also mentioned how the only foreign policy question that was asked on its app quiz was about Putin. That might have been a helpful calibration for the results that they wanted. Wylie expressed surprise that so many Americans were excited for a "strong" authoritarian.

And, as an aside about these psychometerics, I was a little curious at this graph used to explain the profiling. I dunno. I have a hard time believing that the least neurotic people in society happen to be the most ardent sports fans.


Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:48 pm
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you're probably right, I just still feel that I need to keep proving to myself that I'm not fixating too much on Russia because I still care way too much about not fitting into the Trump supporter's/apologist's image of the Trump critic. (I know it's also been a criticism by some leftist commentators on the Democrats as well)

it's probably a waste of energy but I can't stop doing it

sorry


Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:27 pm
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that aside, here's the report about Cambridge Analytica and Trump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy-9iciNF1A


Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:16 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
that aside, here's the report about Cambridge Analytica and Trump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy-9iciNF1A

I'm sure that both Nix and Wylie, and possibly others, will soon be interviewed/subpoena'd, but the next step will involve discovering the extent of CA's targeting operation. Obviously they did something with this massive trove for the Tump campaign. Once we see coordination, if it occurred, with CA specifically targeting voters with Wikileaked emails and/or the other trollfarm fake news stories that have already been sourced to the Internet Research Agency, then it'll be harder for anyone involved to pretend that one hand did not know what the other was doing.


Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:30 pm
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Here's perhaps a crucial point of distinction that will be used to obfuscate the issue, so for clarity's sake I'll go ahead point out this Politifact article regarding the denial that CA was technically involved with the Trump campaign. It shows that CA was paid by the campaign directly about 6 million dollars in the second half of 2016, but more significantly was the contract CA had with the Trump-aligned Make America Number 1 Super PAC:

PolitiFact wrote:
In the final months of the election, the firm was paid about $850,000 by the Make America Number 1 Super PAC. The group’s self-declared aim was "to make clear to the American voter the full extent of the untrustworthiness of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) by focusing on the corruption of the Clinton Machine and especially the corruption of the Clinton Foundation."

Robert Mercer, a conservative billionaire, was the PAC’s primary financial backer.


Coincidentally, the vast majority of the Mueller-indicted influence campaign was designed to trash Hillary, first and foremost.


Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:58 pm
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This Slate article does a better job of describing the potential relationship between Cambridge Analytica, Trump and Russia, and offers the most complete collection of facts and connections as we can currently understand them (even I had already forgotten about Michael Flynn's shady connection to CA).

When this is all over, the definitive book will require a supplementary index that would make Tolkien blush.


Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:05 pm
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Good morning, Bolton! Come on out and play!

Wake up Armageddon! Share this deadly day!


Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:26 am
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look, I desperately don't want to feel paranoid but I'm also wondering what other reasons you would hire John Bolton for. maybe I just don't understand the rules to 4-D chess.


Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:10 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
look, I desperately don't want to feel paranoid but I'm also wondering what other reasons you would hire John Bolton for. maybe I just don't understand the rules to 4-D chess.

On the brightest possible side, Trump hired him because he liked they way he looked on FOX News, and that Bolton's idiocy and imcompetence will prove too inept to exact danger.

We've been betting on imcompetence for a while now....


Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:14 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
On the brightest possible side, Trump hired him because he liked they way he looked on FOX News, and that Bolton's idiocy and imcompetence will prove too inept to exact danger.

We've been betting on imcompetence for a while now....


I've been banking on it being all about Trump trying to psyche out the squares. And by 'squares' I mean everyone on earth.

Maybe doing dumb shit like appointing John Bolton is what he thinks he needs to do to even be heard over top of the ten thousand scandals he has stupidly created everywhere.

God, I fucking hate him.


Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:17 pm
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I keep taking hope in the dramatic liberal swings. Amazing what it took for Roy Moore to go down, but he did go down, and I feel it sullied Bannon's limited notoriety as a political tastemaker. And Conor Lamb's election is another positive note. Breitbart is losing its readership. Trump's approval rating, while higher than it should be, remains historically low.

Seven months till midterms. Seven months.

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Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:35 pm
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Quote:
“The Bolton PAC was obsessed with how America was becoming limp wristed and spineless and it wanted research and messaging for national security issues,” Mr. Wylie said.

“That really meant making people more militaristic in their worldview,” he added. “That’s what they said they wanted, anyway.”


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/us/politics/bolton-cambridge-analyticas-facebook-data.html

I dunno just how effective CA's stuff is but still....


Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:44 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I dunno just how effective CA's stuff is but still....

Efficacy isn't really part of the suspicion, if we keep in mind what a squeak it took for Trump to win.

I just like the brazen denials. Nix claiming not to have any business, not only with Russia or any Russian companies, but with any Russians period. Even though it's a documented fact that the app in question involved in the Facebook fiasco was created and implemented by a Russian, Alexandr Kogan, who was actually taking Russian government subsidies for his social media research at the same time as he was heading CA's work with Facebook.

Follow the perspiration....


Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:23 am
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also: there's a lot about March for Our Lives worth feeling un-cynical about. though I was reading their manifesto and I'm a bit iffy on giving law enforcement more latitude to put the mentally-ill under surveillance. unless I am reading that wrong or just worried that is a path any "change in privacy laws" could lead to. something to keep in mind, I guess.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2018/mar/23/parkland-students-manifesto-americas-gun-laws

I'm at least glad that 'lobbyist donations = bribes' seems to be catching on with more and more people.


Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:14 pm
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Facebook's bullshit. They say that their collection of people's phone and text data was always "opt-in" only. Yeah. And how many of these people were aware that they had opted-in to this option? If someone wanted to log in to FB from their Android phone (and thanks Apple for not playing along), then I wonder if they noticed the ToS then allowing such data collection?

I sure am glad that Zuckerberg finally realized that people valued their privacy. You almost can't blame him for having no idea, the clueless prick.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:03 am
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Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:14 pm
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That third paragraph is the real kicker. "Yeah, a bunch of sketchy app developers have run off with your data. We expect/know that there are more. We'll try to figure out who they are, but if not, I guess you're SOL. You would've thought this whole $500 billion enterprise would have been sophisticated enough to prevent this, but what're gonna do? Facebook: We care about appearing to give a shit."

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Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:08 pm
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I like how Zuckerberg's signature looks a lot like crossed fingers.


Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:02 am
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Alternate proposed one-page ad:

"Sorry you found out.

- Zuck"

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Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:36 am
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So we get to play another round of how witness tampering (promising pardons for silence) is not obstruction of justice and how a president can't even obstruct justice to begin with.

Meanwhile, Devin Nunes enters Black Mass into the congressional record....


Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:21 pm
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I appreciate all the little twits who are willing to risk their health for my amusement. Sincerely.

After a long slough through soul-numbing Trump news and the hypocrisies which have allowed it, I really am thankful to see a USA Today headline like "The Condom Snorting Challenge Is Every Parent's Worst Nightmare". Ah. That's the stuff.

It's not true, however. For example, condom snorting is not my parent's worst nightmare, and I suspect it isn't really even a mild chill for most of them. There is an artisanal hysteria to it that parody's itself. (As they say, satire is dead.) I'm sure that many parents do wake up in cold sweat at the thought that they've failed so completely at raising their helpless scamps that something like snorting a condom would seem like a likely risk. Not, you know, cancer, concussion, abduction, molestation or any of the more involuntary projectiles of chaos which are flung in the paths of ordinary people. No, it's the hopeless realization that your child will mostly likely try to snort a condom because they were so desperate to be challenged in their otherwise sheltered idiocy.

My Worst Nightmare happens to be living in a society full of condom-snorting survivors.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:43 am
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But back to Trump, for a second.

Since we might be looking at having to pay a lot more for gas in the future, unless Pruitt's condo scandal gets him before he can cause his latest damage, we should take the opportunity to point out that there's nothing "populist" about revoking fuel efficiency standards, and so yet again demonstrate that Trump's supporters are so racist that they will gladly pay more for dirtier fuel as long as it means sticking it to Obama.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:52 am
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it's like, yo kids go get laid or somethin'. it's okay, Jesus doesn't have to know.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:52 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
it's like, yo kids go get laid or somethin'. it's okay, Jesus doesn't have to know.

I thought all the Christian anti-condom kids had figured anal out by now.

Ftr, I should point out, I'm still not convinced that this is "a thing". Maybe I'm wrong. It also took me several months of denial that kids were sticking vodka tampons in their ass. I just don't believe it. Maybe once. Not a second time. But was it a thing? Seriously, a recurring theme in my social media-oriented comments is that there's some bizarre kind of social experiment afoot. Maybe it's to see just how many dumb-ass kids out there could actually be coerced into such stupid behavior. Or maybe it's a test to see how gullible anxious parents are about the extent of stupid things their children might be willing to engage in. There's a part of me that leans towards the latter because, well, I guess I just don't want to believe the toxic stupidity coming our way. And also because I've already lived through satanic panic and know what these things look like. Scaring parents is eyeball-fishing 101.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:01 pm
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Aha. I rest my case.

This is why I can find this shit so amusing. It's not the scatological reason of putting a lubricated sex product of your nose. That's just silly. It's the efficacy of these scare campaigns, the new 'razorblades in Halloween apples'.

If we're going to be more vigilant against fake news, we might want to tell our major news outlets to stop running with this fucked up clickbait.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:10 pm
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I STILL REFUSE TO DEBATE GUN CONTROL WITH A GENERATION THAT SNORTS CONDOMS

clinteastwood.jpg


Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:15 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I STILL REFUSE TO DEBATE GUN CONTROL WITH A GENERATION THAT SNORTS CONDOMS

clinteastwood.jpg

OK, I guess gun control would be a better thing to discuss, but I'm not sure how deep the echo chamber here is. I imagine it would fall somewhere between total gun prohibitionists and those who prefer tighter controls on purchase (background checks, no gun shows, mandatory training, etc.) I think maybe Yarn (or "melvin") might be the most libertarian here.

The debate will get a lot more uncomfortable for conservatives when we finally decide to point out that the 2nd Amendment was largely an alternative to maintaining standing armies, or to precisely avoid the same military-industrial complex we've had since WWII. Funny how the 2nd Amendment was never a controversial subject during the time with no standing army, and it's also funny that it took two American generals, Washington and Eisenhower, to make the threat of having a standing army clear.

Anyway, it's likely impossible to debate the 2nd Amendment without bringing up the complications of our modern military and law enforcement, and it's hardly a coincidence that the guns rights thing only became an issue in the post-Vietnam, post-Cointelpro era, or otherwise the largest modern rebukes to the same Pentagon and FBI institutions and their overreach. Well, except the post-Iraq and post-surveillance state era, but fewer people are considering these as the monumental embarrassments that they clearly are.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:29 pm
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WaPo wrote:
The condom-snorting challenge, which dates to at least 2007, gained increased attention in 2013 when a YouTube video circulated online showing a young woman sucking a condom up her nose to Taylor Swift’s “22,”

You don't say.

The Swiftika continues its tyranny!!!


Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:38 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Is this about the seizing guns without due process thing?


No, when they attack him for not being jingoistic enough on foreign policy, etc.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:50 pm
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oh I didn't necessarily mean to talk about gun control (not that we can't). I was just goofing on how fringe stuff like this gets used to characterize a generation. maybe it's just me that sees this stuff in my social media feed. but right-wing memes might not be worth talking about in further detail.

I'll add that it's probably a good thing that the CDC can now conduct research into gun violence (Dickey Amendment having been nullified).


Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:16 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

No, when they attack him for not being jingoistic enough on foreign policy, etc.

I'm curious to see the examples.

First, we should start by defining what the liberal side actually looks like. If you want to quote Brian Williams' rocket-viagra noise, then it simply won't cut that mustard. No liberals, that I'm aware of, are hoping for a live nuke war with North Korea. Liberals are still not eager to escalate Syria, nor wish to destroy the Iran deal to allow for a Middle East arms race. Liberal concern about drone strikes have not dimmed since Trump took office, and there is just as much criticism over JSOC policies in West and East Africa and Yemen. No liberals are particularly happy about the Paris Accords. And despite the looming cloud of Russiagate, no liberals have been particularly eager to, say, invade Eastern Ukraine. Only one side seems to be poisoning its perceived traitors at the moment.

On the other hand, there are still plenty of RT stalwarts on the left, like Greenwald and Taibbi. Chomsky tends to make equivalences to our own CIA work, but he is certainly not championing further escalation. You have The Nation publishing a garish variation of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, and being laughed out of the room for it. (Nation writer Katha Pollitt has complained that "we are just too invested in defense of Putin and all his works".)

That Nation article was written by Patrick Lawrence, who has also worked extensively for Russian propoganda outlets yet continues to be a force among leftist blogs. For example, he now writes at Salon this following sadsack defense for poor Russia over the recent expulsions, starting the article off by even denying the most obvious political reality: "'Vladimir Putin’s Russia' — a nation that lives vividly in many Western imaginations but is not to be found on maps". Yes. A Putin-ruled Russia is a figment of our imaginations now.

Like I said, I'm open to examples to the contrary on any of this.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:42 pm
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

Jinnistan wrote:
I'm curious to see the examples.

First, we should start by defining what the liberal side actually looks like. If you want to quote Brian Williams' rocket-viagra noise, then it simply won't cut that mustard. No liberals, that I'm aware of, are hoping for a live nuke war with North Korea. Liberals are still not eager to escalate Syria, nor wish to destroy the Iran deal to allow for a Middle East arms race. Liberal concern about drone strikes have not dimmed since Trump took office, and there is just as much criticism over JSOC policies in West and East Africa and Yemen. No liberals are particularly happy about the Paris Accords. And despite the looming cloud of Russiagate, no liberals have been particularly eager to, say, invade Eastern Ukraine. Only one side seems to be poisoning its perceived traitors at the moment.

On the other hand, there are still plenty of RT stalwarts on the left, like Greenwald and Taibbi. Chomsky tends to make equivalences to our own CIA work, but he is certainly not championing further escalation. You have The Nation publishing a garish variation of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, and being laughed out of the room for it. (Nation writer Katha Pollitt has complained that "we are just too invested in defense of Putin and all his works".)

That Nation article was written by Patrick Lawrence, who has also worked extensively for Russian propoganda outlets yet continues to be a force among leftist blogs. For example, he now writes at Salon this following sadsack defense for poor Russia over the recent expulsions, starting the article off by even denying the most obvious political reality: "'Vladimir Putin’s Russia' — a nation that lives vividly in many Western imaginations but is not to be found on maps". Yes. A Putin-ruled Russia is a figment of our imaginations now.

Like I said, I'm open to examples to the contrary on any of this.


Strangely defensive answer here. "I am unaware of this happening and I am open to examples, but let me lead with anticipatory refutation." Shades of No True Scotsman with your claim that "RT lefties" aren't really on the left. OK?

"Liberal concern about drone strikes have not dimmed since Trump took office"? ROFL, where was all that concern when Obama was doing the drone strikes? As near as I can tell, it was the Greenwalds and Chomsky's of the world making the most noise about this, but you've already disavowed these guys.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:08 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Strangely defensive answer here.[i] "I am unaware of this happening and I am open to examples, but let me lead with anticipatory refutation."

I didn't want to catch your tail in the door. Not to nitpick, but there's no refutation here, simply laying out the cards of the so-called left-scape because I was saying that would be essential to establish. So hence.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
"RT lefties" aren't really on the left. OK?

"Liberal concern about drone strikes have not dimmed since Trump took office"? ROFL, where was all that concern when Obama was doing the drone strikes? As near as I can tell, it was the Greenwalds and Chomsky's of the world making the most noise about this, but you've already disavowed these guys.

All of which goes to the need to define what this "left" is. Specifically, the left that you claim is attacking Trump from the right. Again, I haven't seen very much evidence for this, and I laid out most of the primary policies involved. I still haven't seen any counter-examples.

Personally, since I define the "left" as liberal, I have a hard time considering those who support a billionaire authoritarian like Putin to be "left". But this is exactly why we need to parse out the territory. I didn't, actually, accuse either Greenwald or Taibbi of being pro-Putin. Whether or not their reflexive defensiveness reveals this is not clear; it could be a more reptilian response from their liberal brain against older McCarthyist tropes. The difference is also pretty clear that charges against Putin are not as sweepingly ideological as the "Red Scare". This is not a fear of communism or those with socialist sympathies, and therefore irrelevant to typical leftist priorities. Chomsky precisely understands this, which is why he pulls his "just deserts" rationale with a reminder that Putin, above all else, is a tyrant who is hardly an acceptable substitute for liberal democracy. Unlike many of Putin's supporters, Chomsky is not against liberal democracy. His complaints are in how neoliberalism subverts democracy.

But more importantly, even defining the left by these Wobbly standards, none of this particular left justifies your claim that they are attacking Trump from the right. I'm asking for examples of the left that are supposedly doing such a thing. And, yeah, I took the opportunity to point out Katrina vanden Huevel's desire to defend Putin for shits and giggles. Just 'cause.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:45 pm
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When I say the left, I simply mean the center left, the establishment left (DNC, CNN, NYT). I am not speaking of all, but rather a conspicuous and public aspect of this cultural formation. A nice vocal chunk of middle. I am NOT speaking of those vaguely communist Bernie Bros united by a suspicious lack of panic over Russian fuckery, so you're a bit premature (tellingly so) in severing these people from the "true faith." If anything, their inclusion would significantly water down my claims of hawkishness by typical/representative members of the left. That you do so, signals that you are invoking a valorific definition of "the left", especially so given your claims about what "no liberal" is interested in. As you state,

No liberals, that I'm aware of, are hoping for a live nuke war with North Korea. Liberals are still not eager to escalate Syria, nor wish to destroy the Iran deal to allow for a Middle East arms race. Liberal concern about drone strikes have not dimmed since Trump took office, and there is just as much criticism over JSOC policies in West and East Africa and Yemen. No liberals are particularly happy about the Paris Accords. And despite the looming cloud of Russiagate, no liberals have been particularly eager to, say, invade Eastern Ukraine.

Since even one counter-example of a member of the left would refute your claim, it's obvious that you are NOT talking about just ANY people who self-avow themselves as being "progressive" or "left," but rather the True Scotsmen who would never sidle up to and stand on the authority of sources like Clapper who we know lied to congress about NSA spying, or with Mueller who testified before congress about those WMDs in Iraq. We not talking about those who strangely get friendly with the same George W. Bush who they once denounced as a war criminal. We're not talking about those who condemn peace talks with North Korea. And we're certainly not talking about the universal praise that the "cockholster-in-chief" got for ordering a missile strike in Syria in response to an alleged gas attack.

It makes me very nervous when Trump is attacked for not being tough enough, because Trump will flip flop in response to criticism. He has no soul to save and no program (besides looking after his fortune and the fortunes of his rich buddies) to derail. Tell Trump that he needs to go to war or get tough and he just might do it. He's not too bright and even less subtle.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:36 pm
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