Comment Of The Day: Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/13/18: Bad Quotes, Faithless Speakers [#5, Tillerson’s Firing]

Here is Rich in CT’s terse Comment of the Day on  Item #5 of Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/13/18: Bad Quotes, Faithless Speakers, and I’ll have some reactions at the end:

Nancy Pelosi Statement on Appointing Rex Tillerson (2.13.16)

“Choosing an oil executive friendly with Vladimir Putin as Secretary of State sends a disturbing signal about President-elect Trump’s priorities. Rex Tillerson’s cozy relationship with the Kremlin is especially alarming in light of his attitude toward sanctions over Russia’s aggressive behavior in Europe, while at the same time the President-elect continues to side with Russia over the judgment of the U.S. intelligence community.

https://www.democraticleader.gov/newsroom/121316/

Nancy Pelosi Statement on Dismissing Rex Tillerson (3.13.18 )

“Secretary Tillerson’s firing sets a profoundly disturbing precedent in which standing up for our allies against Russian aggression is grounds for a humiliating dismissal. President Trump’s actions show that every official in his Administration is at the mercy of his personal whims and his worship of Putin.”

https://www.democraticleader.gov/newsroom/31318/

Res ipsa loquitur.

I’m back. Rich’s point, that the two quotes together “speak for themselves,” is depressingly true. Just for clarity’s sake, let’s agree on what the really say:

  • The two statements collectively reject integrity as an ethical value that Pelosi, a Democratic Party leader, believes is important for elected officials to model to the rest of the nation and the public.Yet integrity, listed under Trustworthiness in Six Pillars of Character, is perhaps the beating heart of trustworthiness, even more than honesty. To be worthy of trust, someone must demonstrate that they can be depended upon to act consistently and dependably, based on ethical motivations and values.

(No, reliably acting expediently and without reference to past words and conduct on the same matter is not integrity: one cannot model integrity by consistently acting without it,)

  • What does such openly cynical public conduct accomplish? It makes the public cynical and contemptuous of the democratic process, politics, and the people we allow to govern us. What other effect can it have?

This cannot be healthy for society or in the best interests of the nation.

  • For the minority—still many millions— of Americans who pay attention, such blatant flip-flopping also suggests a stupid speaker. Before the internet and YouTube, politicians often got away with such contradictions. Tim Russert, in the days when “Meet the Press” was respectable, made his reputation by tracking down newspaper clippings and old video tape to confront  glib and arrogant pols who had just said the opposite of what they had shouted from podiums in the past. This was embarrassing then. Now anyone can do what Russert did, which one would think would make politicians like Pelosi want be careful.

I do think Pelosi is increasingly stupid, but this flip-flop isn’t an example of that. Together, the two statements show that she doesn’t care about modelling integrity to the Americans she is talking to. Her audience is “the resistance,”  and her assumption is that they just want to hear Donald Trump denigrated, no matter what he does or says, and no matter what happens as a result of what he does or says. In this she is just expressing and facilitating bias and hate. Intentionally.

  • But it is still stupid, but for a different reason. Pelosi and others disarm themselves as legitimate critics by such cynical maneuvers. She has no credibility as a true critics, and to be effective, as well as to carry out their duties, the opposition must be able to plausibly represent their arguments as motivated by reason and the public good rather than emotion and pandering. Democrats, the resistance, and the news media have forfeited that.

“Res ipsa loquitur.”

74 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Comment of the Day, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Leadership

74 responses to “Comment Of The Day: Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/13/18: Bad Quotes, Faithless Speakers [#5, Tillerson’s Firing]

  1. Trump’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, in a clearly Putin-stooge act, definitively supported the accusation that the Russians used a nerve agent to assassinate a spy in the United Kingdom.

    How much more will Trump and his people kowtow to Putin with such brazen acts of support for Russia?

    • I am reading a report that Putin is understood as being reposnible for the Toy’R’Us collapse. How long will we allow this to go on? Not only getting into our democracies but our toy stores! Outrageous, unacceptable.

      • This isn’t a joke. Russia treads the fine line between aggressive competitor nation and outright enemy.

        Trump, however is not a stooge of Russia.

        • With all respects, my present view is that the US is now and has been for a very long while a very dangerous and reckless aggressor in the world, generally. Infinitely more dangerous and destructive than Russia. What a fool you seem to me when your highly moral country invaded and destroyed, and still participates in, the destruction of a sovereign nation, Iraq! Amazing American hypocricy. Two-hundred thousand murders at the minimum.

          Now that I have begun — just begun mind you — to look into the meta-politics about Russia I begin to uncover more layers of that fantastic American skill: deception and self-deception. Immoral and unethical.

          If you really desire to start to ‘tell the truth’ about things — all things — the first order of business is pulling the cataracts from your eyes. If you desire to continue to see according to false visions, distorted visions, propaganda visions, you are entirely free to do this: but you become complicit in an evil (in my view).

          Don’t lecture me about what is a ‘joke’ as if you have special authority or any sort of moral high ground. When you show yourself as fiercely dedicated to telling the truth about your own country’s astoundingly violent and reckless actions, and when you show the slightest humility instead of this tiresome moral swaggering, you will earn the right to make statements I may listen to. In the meantimes, I’d appreciate not being conned.

          😉

          • To me you closing with a winkie implies that your entire comment was nothing by sarcasm. I hope I’m correct.

            • When I use a winkie it means ‘though I have contrary ideas and may express them directly, I mean no personal offense and never desire to break or disrupt connection, personally or intellectually — this is afterall the difficult and demanding undertaking of determining what is ethical and not, what is moral and what is not’.

              What I said in my comment I stand by thoroughly and absolutely. Taken on the whole, I have determined, *you Americans* (my fellow Americans as I am an American through nationalization) are incredible and also formidable hypocrites and liars. You insert yourselves, personally, into your understanding of the political world and the actions of your own government (government: a collusion between huge business operations and the governing structure of the coutry). You see yourselves as moral and *good* and project this, bizarrely, onto and through the actions of your government of which, more often than not, you are ignorant and uncomprehending. To discuss such matters, most often, breaks down into a *personal spat*, and then, on a blog like this, into a group shunning of the one who does not agree or has a contrary idea and perspective. So, in order to get to a point where an honest conversation can take place, one has to cut through the person’s identification with and projection of their self into the politics and doings of vast economic and political powers.

              I have noticed, and many are noticing, that the media systems (industries and corporations in collusion with government agency and intelligence agency) are engineering a propoganda perspective that describes Russia as meddler and as doing things that ‘disrupt our democracy’. They will take this to the point, I am gathering, of sparking up a conflict and the purpose seems to be to direct people’s attention away from the home-grown and domestic problems through focus on an ‘invented enemy’. If you had any real familiarity with the politics of propaganda and perceptual manipulation and the US use of a ‘villain’ and a ‘monster’, it would not have to be explained to you that this is social manipulation of an overtly evil sort.

              To orient yourself correctly, and for us to orient ourselves correctly, requires ‘turning the gaze around’ and looking, fairly and honestly, into our own doings, our war-provocations, our illegal actions and the major one being the 100% illegal and utterly immoral, vile, and muderous invasion and decimation of a sovereign country by the neo-cons. Two hundred thousand + murders which need to be atoned for.

              This is the beginning of real ethical work and political analysis if it is to have any real merit as ethical activity.

              • Alizia,
                So I was wrong, you were being serious. It really would have been better it it had been sarcasm. Now it just looks like you’re trolling to start arguments.

                I’m not biting.

                • No, not ‘trolling for arguments’. Engaging in discourse which touches on the most important issues that the nation faces, and any nation can face.

                  You are ‘not biting’ because were you to bite you would have to enter into such a conversation, and that might involve discomfiting self-analysis. That conversation, and those ethical considerations, are beyond your scope.

                  There, I think that is somewhat better a description. Let’s leave it at that.

                  ::: wink 😉 wink :::

                  • Alizia Tyler wrote, “No, not ‘trolling for arguments’. Engaging in discourse which touches on the most important issues that the nation faces, and any nation can face.”

                    Interesting that you would write that and then immediately follow it with…

                    Alizia Tyler wrote, “You are ‘not biting’ because were you to bite you would have to enter into such a conversation, and that might involve discomfiting self-analysis. That conversation, and those ethical considerations, are beyond your scope.”

                    Let’s leave it at; nice trolling Ms. Tyler.

          • Geopolitics 101.

            Just about all of our actions can be described as disrupting the rise of bad acting regional hegemons. Bad Acting regional hegemons are historically proven to disrupt open sea lanes for their own profit at the expense of free peoples seeking free commerce across the globe.

            If you subscribe to the notion that the Russian vision for the world is “good” and the American vision for the world is “bad”, then of course you think America disrupting what it considers to be bad actors as a bad thing.

            But if you do actually subscribe to that assessment, I think your own worldview is very very sick indeed.

            • Right. Here is the ‘American lecture’ which always results in the same explanation: we are the good ones, doing good, and they are the bad ones, doing bad. It is you who are stuck within a limiting and binary system of understanding geo-politics.

              My point is that I do not believe the propaganda that ‘Russia is our enemy’. Our ‘enemy’ is something that we need to discover inside ourselves and avoid the terrifying mistake of externalizing it onto some other or others. That means a real, fair and honest analysis of actions historically, and actions taken now and in the future. That is the propoer road, and that is the ethical and moral road.

              What is more important though, at least in an immediate sense, is resisting and rebutting the presently engineered view and perspective that an evil actor, Russia, is ‘doing things to us’. And avoiding falling into a mass-hysterical trap. I assert that this is who ‘powers-that-be’ manipulate people and through manipulation cause them to serve not their own interests, but other interests (corporate, intelligence, military).

              The angle that I puruse I would define as ‘truly conservative’. Definitely not Neo-Conservative and very definitely not cuckservative. That project, that endeavor, I would describe as intellectually, morally and ehtically challenging to everyone living in the US today. But it is crucial and vital.

              • “Our ‘enemy’ is something that we need to discover inside ourselves and avoid the terrifying mistake of externalizing it onto some other or others.”

                This sounds like a platitude taken directly from a life raised by Hollywood.

                I’ll stick to comparing the values that America pursues, though oftentimes has faltered in supporting, vs the values that other nations pursue.

                It seems to me that America’s are better.

                • Your analysis is ‘like a platitude taken from Hollywood’. The value that America pursues, to use the most evident example, an inescapable example, is the reckless and thoroughly condemnable act of invading, occupying and destroying a sovereign nation and in the process killing upwards of 200,000 people. This does not speak to the destruction of the civil and social strructure of a country which results in endless causation of upheaval, instability and suffering.

                  If you had even a weak moral backbone you would recognize this as a truth, even if you took it only at an abstract level.

                  This is a huge crime and it needs to be a) recognized and b) atoned for.

                  You as citizen need to do the ethical world in repsect to that issue and that sort of activity. If what resulted in that attack and that destruction and murder resulted from ‘America’s values’, then I really do not have to prove my point. You have.

                  • Not sure what American values prohibit finishing a job started in 1991 that the whole civilized world agreed with in 1991, wherein a savage dictator killed and continued to kill and took actions promising to kill far more than this generously derived and questionably attributed “200,000” number all while said dictator signaled full intent to project power outside his little fiefdom.

                    But by all means, try to convince me of the superiority of this worldview of yours that doesn’t break up regional hegemons with those hideous value-sets.

                    • I understand what you are saying, and I also understand why you say it, and what allows you to say such a thing. And this is part of my point, and one I have made before: these things are in complete violation of internal, Constitutional principles. Invasions, neo-imperialism, occupations: all these things are fundamentally contradictions of American republican principles. To understand how this came about, and why it is destructive to our republic, requires research. The first examples of this neo-imperial policy was Cuba in 1899 and the Phillipine occupation. It begins there and it continues from that point. It results from what can be describes as a ‘soft coup’: industrial and military sectors act in ways that subvert democracy (if such a thing is to be taken seriously) and they use lies, proppaganda and of course ‘the media’ to sway the population toward the bellicose objects. But those objects do not, and they never have, serve people or their needs. This results in para-democratic force operating through deception to achieve their will, which is private will.

                      When these para-democratic forces interpenetrate government, and when industry, government and intelligence agencies collude, what occurs is the subversion of democracy, obviously, but there are further ramifications. And the best possible example is the one I use: Iraq.

                      The ‘savage dictator’ is a sham argument, but whether it is a sham or not is of no relevance to you. You don’t really need any justification at all. These justifications are invented after the fact. But this is the point where you as citizen have to consciously separate your projection of yourself into the international politics of your country. That is what propaganda does though: it establishes that link and it goes to work on it. Seeign through that propaganda would, to all appearances, be an unsettling task for you. You would have to disidentify which, I gather, would be painful and demanding.

                      What I am suggesting and attempting to work toward in my discourse is very different from what you assume. You assume bad-faith on my part; that I am not a patriot, and any number of different things. But the arguments that you would use are false arguements and they are part of the distortion used by those with power (over media, intelligence and industry) to keep you under their power. I stand in a position of desiring to define a correct, Vonstitutionally-defensive posture which, to you, is understood as some form of radicalism. How amazing that is! That is how far you as a citizen of a republic have been removed from repunlican values: you no longer even understand them You don’t even desire them!

                      The self-righteousness evident in a posture that defines your nation (and my nation) as justified in ‘breaking up hegemons’, is an absurd one. If is a circular form of self-justification. It always comes out on top. But it is a sham argument and a bad one. You gibve yourself a special right which no one else has and which you will definitely condemn in any other, except perhaps one notable ally that won’t be named.

                      What is the point of bringing out these points? It is that a free-thinking person, and a free-thinking citizen, in a ruly “free’ republic, should be capable of seeing through this web of lies, distortions and manupulations. To at the very least be able to see how power functions, if only abstractly, and to take some sort of stand, even if abstract, against abuse of power.

                      In my view, the US in now in a very definite crisis because its history of abuse of power is catching up to it. The media is now showing its true color, in a true service to power, and it also seems to me that the ‘deep state’ (shadowy by nature) also reveals itself. There is a crisis in the republic, everyone sees that. And what will slowly and surely unfold — this is easy to predict — is to locate an ‘enemy’ and direct animus toward it. It is a way to control people in a republic that is the shell of a republic.

                      if you are content with that and if that seems like a ‘good’ to you, well, all one can say is ‘carry on’. I think it all requires a great deal more thought and hard work of thinking things through.

                    • “these things are in complete violation of internal, Constitutional principles.”

                      Which ones?

                      “The ‘savage dictator’ is a sham argument”

                      Saddam wasn’t a savage dictator?

                      “These justifications are invented after the fact.”

                      Odd…history seems to indicate that Saddam invaded Kuwait BEFORE we invaded Iraq, imposed sanctions agreed to by the civilized world, then watched as Saddam flexed his muscles anew. But maybe your observation of chronologically provable events is different. But I don’t think so.

                      I’m not responding to the rest of your screed, it’s self-righteous strawmanning.

                    • You ask, Michael West, which internal, Constitutional principles are violated and that is a very good question. You have given me an opportunity to express something I have thought about often but have never put into words. I will try to answer you according to my understanding.

                      A constitutional republic is founded on the notion of sovereignty and self-determination. It involves the participation and cooperation of free persons who choose to cooperate in a social and cultural setting with an established political idealism. That each person, to one degree or other, is an ‘agent’ toward that ideal end — self-government and the fruit of sovereignty — would seem to condemn, implicitly, the use of force and coercion in directing and controlling people and communities.

                      In my view, based on my reading, one can trace the beginning of the destruction of these constitutional principles when one examines the Spanish-American war. First, there arose what is called ‘yellow journalism’ which, in a constitutional republic, can only be seen as threatening and undermining. But this did arise. And it arose and gained power, just as its modern analogues have power, because of a collusion between large capital interests and government and the military. In order to rile up the people, who do not ever desire to march out into the world and sacrifice themselves for powers that do not really represent their interests, one has to lie to them. That is what yellow journalism essentially means. If you were to examine that journalistic discourse (of that time) you would undoubtedly notice it.

                      By employing tactics of mass-manipulation, and false rhetoric and sophitical argumentation, the powerful military and industrial sector inserts itself, counter-democratically, into the decisions of the national government. This establishes relationships between powerful sectors that are, obviously I think, non-democratic and para-democratic. However a war was fomented and a war was waged, but it was undertaken on the basis of a lie. Open, full and complete lie. That is, telling people that this was about the ‘liberation’ of Cuba from the Spanish and which arose from high-minded idealism and generosity of the American people.

                      These lies, the distortions of a particular class within the Republic, and their assuming power through the subcverstion of constitutional principles, and their insertion of themselves into a shadow or para-military establishment, mark one element in the slow destruction of the foundational principles of the Republic. If one has two eyes in one’s head, and some part of a discerning mind, one quickly grasps that it is the powerful economic sectors who desire war and conquest for their own enrichment and that it has very little to do with ‘liberation’ and far more to do with gaining vast wealth and resources: the core project of American neo-imperialism. (These are simple facts and I am in no sense speaking through a critical Marxist mouthpiece).

                      It gets worse when a constitutional republic sets up occupational governments in foreign lands. That is not in any sense a form of ‘democratic government’, it is force and power purely expressed. When a high-minded constitutional republic becomes an aggressive conquering force and an occupying force, right there there is a subversion of principles which, as always happens in life, corrupts and pollutes the political body that undertakes it. What occurs in a muddying of the constitutional waters, in a manner of speaking. There is a cost to these activities through contamination in ‘the murky radiance of dominion and power’.

                      Over time, and with successive conquests and occupations, a para-governmental sector of power (through ‘slow coup’) consolidates its para-democrative domination of the Republic into what in our present is generally seen and understood as a ‘shadow government’ and a ‘deep state’. It is a question of tracing causation and then of being able to distinguish many many different effects in our present.

                      One then has to take into consideration, more or less around the time of the First World War of the rise of a ‘scientific’ public relations industry. This is especially important because these techniques are vastly powerful. My assertion is that propaganda and PR (advertising in its essence) is a force that is, at its core, destructive of the notion of sovereignty. Psychological advertising is — one can see this and understand it so very easily — a means to circumvent the person’s own intellectual and rational mind and to get them to make impulsive decisions. That in itself must (IMO) be seen as dangerous to the idea of a free republic. But it is this advertising sector, in collusion with governing power, industry, military interests — elite interests in a nutshell — that have, over time, subverted this our Republic. We now live in a sham Republic, the shell of a republic-that-once-was. We pretend in this sense to be free and soverign agents (and yet as your won discourse would indicate) we do not really even think in these terms! We seem to have lost the track of what this even should mean.

                      To understand more and better this critical position would, in your case, require openness and a desire to learn and expand your understanding. But for that to happen in you, as I said, you would have to redefine sovereignty at the most basic level: the level of your person. All this is so new to you and you have never thought in these terms before. It seems to you ‘a threat’ — a dire threat! — and you will put forth one sham argument after another attempting to uphold not any particular idea, but rather the inner structure which binds you in intellectual service to non-democratic and neo-imperialist power structures. And that is how ‘power’ functions, but I am speaking of subversive power of the sort that is very destructive to the republican concept.

                      All of the ideas I am expressing and trying to gain clarity about have direct ties to ethical and moral considerations of our day. I desire to couch my argument and my main concerns not in a rebellious and undermining Marxism (some of these same arguments are used by that sector) but rather to return to more pure Constitutional arguments. If one is going to defeat Marxian undermining and their dissolving influence, one has to develop a thorough and a high-minded ideological and intellectual platform grounded in truth and principle.

                      If you do not see my efforts as grounded in truth and principle please make the effort to explain why, and also to offer some comment about my assertion that for 100 + years there has occurred an undermining of ‘constituional principles’ through the events and methods I have outlined.

                    • “A constitutional republic is founded on the notion of sovereignty and self-determination. It involves the participation and cooperation of free persons who choose to cooperate in a social and cultural setting with an established political idealism. That each person, to one degree or other, is an ‘agent’ toward that ideal end — self-government and the fruit of sovereignty — would seem to condemn, implicitly, the use of force and coercion in directing and controlling people and communities.”

                      Everything after that reads as a non-sequitur. Yes, Republics avoid war, but that isn’t an absolute. Before a Republic can practice its own values internally, it must be secure externally, and that sometimes means war. Sometimes those wars look like violations of their values, but the first priority of any nation-state is survival and security from external threat.

                      The Spanish-American War may or may not have been justified from an external threat standpoint, but arguing that it was unjustified still relies on hasty generalization to characterize all following foreign policy as wrong-headed as well.

                    • Here are two of the hundreds of quotes easily found by searcing under ‘opposition to the Spansih American war’:

                      “This Club [the Massachusetts Reform Club, one of the ‘Anti-imperialist Leagues’ established around 1898] never met under circumstances more calculated to create the gravest anxiety in every patriotic man than tonight, and by patriotic man I do not mean him who measures his country’s greatness by the extent of her territory, the size of her armies, the strength of her fleets, or even by the insolence with which she tramples upon her weaker neighbors, but him who knows that the true greatness of a nation, as of a man, depends upon its character, its sense of justice, its self-restraint, its magnanimity, in a word upon its possession of those qualities which distinguish George Washington from the prize-fighter — the highest type of man from the highest type of beast.”

                      Carl Schurz, an officer in as well as firmly opposed to the Spanish-American War, wrote in April 1898:

                      “The man who in times of popular excitement boldly and unflinchingly resists hot-tempered clamor for an unnecessary war, and thus exposes himself to the opprobrious imputation of a lack of patriotism or of courage, to the end of saving his country from a great calamity, is, as to ‘loving and faithfully serving his country,’ at least as good a patriot as the hero of the most daring feat of arms, and a far better one than those who, with an ostentatious pretense of superior patriotism, cry for war before it is needed, especially if then they let others do the fighting.”

                      It is really non-different today. Today, a conflict is being fomented against this terrifying enemy ‘Russia’ which, through diabolic power, is ‘undermining our democracy’. It is ‘fake news’ of the exact sort and pattern!

                    • Michael West wrote: “Everything after that reads as a non-sequitur. Yes, Republics avoid war, but that isn’t an absolute. Before a Republic can practice its own values internally, it must be secure externally, and that sometimes means war. Sometimes those wars look like violations of their values, but the first priority of any nation-state is survival and security from external threat.

                      “The Spanish-American War may or may not have been justified from an external threat standpoint, but arguing that it was unjustified still relies on hasty generalization to characterize all following foreign policy as wrong-headed as well.”

                      You have missed the point through deliberate obstinacy or some other factor. Read more carefully if you are interested in understanding my points and my perspective. Cuba and the Philippines had nothing to do with ‘external security’. It is you who are diverting into a non sequitur.

                      I am asserting only that a neo-imperialism began with the Cuban and the Philippine invasions and occupations. It proceeded from those to a great number of similar operations in the Caribbean: the understructure of early American hegemony in the region. Simple facts. I suppose if you desired to go out on a limb — it has been done before — you could argue that these invasions and occupations were for reasons of ‘security’. But that would be a questionable assertion and I think a false one.

                      What I am ultimately interested in, and I also try to get other people interested in the same thing, is simple getting to a point of a) seeing the truth, seeing reality, and b) describing things truthfully. Judgment about these things, either on a moral plane or in terms of good sense is a separate question. Getting the facts straight is more important.

                      Remember: I suggested that the ‘Hate Russia’ efforts are part of a farce and a manipulation and that it is important for an intelligent person so be able to see through it. I clearly point out how this comes about and why (what function it serves).

                      Therefor, if you said to me: “I do not care if these wars and invasions and occupations were wrong or violated internal, American Republican values, nor do I care if these efforts have harmed the Republic and damaged the nation. What I value is neo-imperial conquest and the economic benefits that accrue from it. Power is power and power will be used to secure its ends. And I stand on the side of power.”

                      That is an honest statement and I admit that once I was forced to use this argument to explain and justify Israel’s occupation. It is the only way that one can defend power. It is the argument of Thracymachus.

                      I hope that you can see where I am going. One thing is a ‘declaration of values’ (human rights, democracy, et cetera) which can be used to really establish those things or as part of a false-declaration used to trick or befuddle people. And a distinct thing is actually being committed to those values and working, really and honestly, to establish them. What I say is that vis-a-vis the US there is a tremendous conflict between these two value poles. And it is up to us to try to discern this and at the very least not to lie about it.

                      My argument is that our Republic is at a crisis point because what it actually is, and what it actually does, is very different from what it says it is and how it describes what it does. I am tempted to describe things in psychological terms: schizophrenia and psychosis (but have some doubts about this usage).

                      If you follow through, even abstractly, on what I have described above (previous posts), I think you will at least grasp why I have this perception. I assume reading your weak replies and vacuous arguments that you simply do not really care about any part of this and are arguing in vain. That is your choice. I think that every point I made have profound relevance and should be considered and also further studied. And every point I have made still stands, uncontested at any level.

                      Talking to you — forgive me for saying this so directly — is like talking to a child. You are more interested in the game than you are serious about the content of the conversation.

                    • Avail yourself of several of the free articles as stratfor.com on the topic of Geopolitical Imperatives. Specifically the two articles on the Geopolitical Imperatives of the United States. Great reads.

                      Summary point of our 3rd Geopolitical Imperative: Secure Ocean Access to our Heartland.

                      Easily done in the Pacific where there are no major land masses near the eastern seaboard from which to effectively launch an invasion. The peaceful acquisition of Hawaii accomplished practically 95% of this imperative in the East.

                      The Atlantic was far more problematic, with the open key (New Orleans – which we acquired peacefully) to America’s Heartland (The Mississippi River Network – which we acquired peacefully) being an easy jump from any of the numerous, large islands and landmasses controlled by European powers.

                      Cuba was and still is the obvious bulwark against the vast majority of those jumping off points. There is no doubt that securing Cuba was had a greater strategic impact than merely “benefiting America’s sugar interests”. This even played out noticeably when Cuba fell to the Communists, it once again became a land base from which our competitors (and those you seemingly think ought to be great friends) could launch attacks on our mainland. Such a seriously open flank led us nearly to open nuclear war. Having won that brinkmanship stand-off, Cuba lost all serious external sponsors so, though still an open sore on our flank, poses much less of a threat.

                      After you’ve read that two part piece on America’s Geopolitical Imperatives, you should read the article on Mexico’s and on Russia’s.

                      Great stuff. Great for tempering idealistic notions of international peace and applying our culture’s ethical values to other nations as though they are just another person in a larger community. There’s a clear delineation between ethics paradigms when you shift from values we hold to guide interactions between individual humans and values we hold to guide interactions between competitor nations. Similar but noticeably different in key regards.

                      “Talking to you — forgive me for saying this so directly — is like talking to a child. You are more interested in the game than you are serious about the content of the conversation.”

                      You’ll never have anyone interested in holding a real conversation with you as long as you follow up your long sophomoric screeds that you spice up with pseudo-intellectual jargon with this high horse condescension that has little substance to back it up.

                • ”Great stuff. Great for tempering idealistic notions of international peace and applying our culture’s ethical values to other nations as though they are just another person in a larger community. There’s a clear delineation between ethics paradigms when you shift from values we hold to guide interactions between individual humans and values we hold to guide interactions between competitor nations. Similar but noticeably different in key regards.”

                  Now you begin to make more sense. That site is a private business that specializes in selling its analysis to other businesses. I would say that you are demonstrating the points I make and proving them. I have to do far less work now.

                  I was not able to locate any specific article even searching under those terms. I will gladly read any article, and I am really interested in doing so, so please include a link.

                  I would like to mention though that sites like the one you referenced define the strategies and the objectives of so-called ‘global elites’. They do not define the needs of communities of peoples nor have their interests in mind. And I would further point out that there are local and national groups that have very good reasons to resist the enforcement of globalist policy of this sort. And they are doing that. And that these groups can only be referred to as ‘of the demos’ and popular. Meaning, ‘we the people’.

                  So, when these groups of persons define their interests as-against that of other powerful groups and constellations of interests (business, government, global networks) they will act and define their values and intentions much as the proto-US did when it declared itself ‘free and independent’ in those lofty terms. That was one of the stated intentions of the declaration of independence. If it had meaning then I assume it still has meaning now. And this is very much part of my point: people’s interests, if they succeed in defining them, are often at cross-purposes to the desires and intentions of giant capital groups. It is really a simple statement I am making. If at one time it was King George now it is … [?]

                  If you are speaking in terms of ‘geo-political imperatives’, you are speaking in the terms of one defending Power precisely in the sense that I mean, but this is not either democracy (democratic power) nor power of the demos. You are offering tools for the defense of power-systems within our nation. You are referring in essence to a Machiavellian sort of discourse similar to what can be read in The Discourses. And that is clearly what I have been trying to point out: the US opted to become a neo-imperial power and to do so it had to, and must continue to, subvert the principles of republicanism. And to do this it has to act dishonestly and through a false rhetorical stance. There. That is all I really wanted to demonstrate.

                  With that as a backdrop I suggest again a reanlysis of the current narrative of the manufacture of an enemy by the villification of Russia. There are a group of questions and they are good ones to ask.

                  Now, one can then begin to discuss what this *means*, and what it means when ‘geo-political imperatives’ become the driving force of our nation. And what that measn is, frankly, the closer collusion between government, industry, the military and intelligence and this comes about at the cost of the destruction of the constitutional principles I spoke of (and about which you might quack to some degree). So I very much appreciate that you have laid down your hand, so to speak, and that you will I assume relinquish mealy-mouthed idealistic rhetoric about democratic values and other such nonsense. Your avatar speaks of ‘We the people’ though so I assume you have some link, still, to some of the religious tenets of Americanism. Obviously, when their are dual sets of polarized values, that is where hypocricy of that uniquely American variety is seen.

                  Making more sense?

                  You further say that I speak in ‘screeds’ and ‘sophomorically’ and that I talk down to you. What I do is attempt to say exactly what I think, neither more nor less. I hope that you are adult enough to deal with it (adultly). People here (and in other places) show no hesitation in saying exactly what they think of what I say and I welcome this and encourage it.

                  But you are flatly wrong if you assert that I am not on-point to the ethical and moral dimensions of these questions and issues.

                  • “I would like to mention though that sites like the one you referenced define the strategies and the objectives of so-called ‘global elites’. They do not define the needs of communities of peoples nor have their interests in mind. And I would further point out that there are local and national groups that have very good reasons to resist the enforcement of globalist policy of this sort. And they are doing that. And that these groups can only be referred to as ‘of the demos’ and popular. Meaning, ‘we the people’.”

                    To claim that stratfor is globalist would reveal a certain level of prejudiced ignorance.

                    “global elites”. K. You do know that the philosophies you ramble on about were written by people who were paid for their writings right? Not sure how that’s an automatic disqualifying characteristic for intelligent analysis. But suit yourself.

                    The rest of your screed reads like bolshevik nonsense that leftist college kids from the 60s dabbled in.

                  • Michael West writes: To claim that stratfor is globalist would reveal a certain level of prejudiced ignorance.

                    There is a very important development in American history and economics that has to be grasped if you want to understand my Constitionalist arguments. You asked what constitutional principles were violated, remember? I can’t remember the precise dates but it was around the 1870s that the legal groundwork was laid for the modern corporation. An incorporation is a legal entity that is granted the status of a ‘person’ and which is given infinite life. This entity, and this should be obvious, has incredible advantages over the ‘natural person’, and in comparison the ‘natural person’ is weak, ineffective, malleable. My assertion — and it is a strict Constitutional argument — is that these fictitious entities, vast and Titanic in power and durability, have functionally undermined Constitutional values and rendered democracy more or less meaningless. The other aspect about corporations that intigues me is that they are like ‘mechanisms’ that get established. Their only purpose, or their sole purpose, is to make money, and thus they quickly show themselves as being amoral and they can easily show themlseves as anti-moral.

                    But anyone with two eyes in their head (but excepting those with two blind eyes…) can easily see that it is the corporate entity that defines nearly everything about the public space. The influence of these ‘mechanisms’ is all around us. They determine how things are seen, understood, and they also are profoundly involved in moulding values. The fact that these fictitious persons have such astounding power, and that they are not natural persons, and that their sole raison d’etre is only to make money, and that they and their legal representatives can and do focus their efforts on circumventing the rights of natural persons and, to take the idea further, moulding natural persons, is one that in my mind should be deeply concerning for any intelligent person. My assertion is that this thinking, this legal analysis, this philosophical analysis, this Constitutional analysis, should not be left to Marxists and those who have an interest in undermining the State (for purposes that also require investigation and a great deal of analysis to understand). It is the ‘true Conservative’ in my view who must take the decision to free his and her mind to the degree that they can begin to reason freely about what is going on in our present’ how it has come about; and how alternatives can be articulated.

                    Globalism in this sense does not have to be a too-general term used by people like Alex Jones (and others). To graps the internationalist perspective of corporate structures, and to contrast these immense structures with the private and natural person, is not ‘Bolshevism’, it is simply good, honest, intellectual work.

                    Right now, here and in Europe, and throughout the English-speaking world, there has begun a revisionist movement which might be described as rightist and conservative and which is beginning to define a position against ‘globalism’ and vast social engineering by governmental, industrial and intelligence elites who plan, quite carefully and rationally, their design for things, for the world, for states, for communities, and for the natural person without their consent. This is just a fact. You can put whatever political spin you wish on it. I only suggest that this be seen. Then, one can discuss what are its ramifications.

                    “Global elites”. K. You do know that the philosophies you ramble on about were written by people who were paid for their writings right? Not sure how that’s an automatic disqualifying characteristic for intelligent analysis. But suit yourself.

                    At this point I feel that anything I say to you will amount to a cruelty. I said before you were participating not for upstanding intellectual reasons but because of ‘vanity’. The site you linked to is a private business whose purpose is to advise other businesses in how to successfuly ‘penetrate markets’ and carry on as these businesses do. It has nothing at all to do with civic ideas or civic values, and obviously far less to do with social philosophy, the philosophies that inform the ‘just society’, and then even more less to do with religious or spiritual values. This sort of ‘discourse’ then is of a special type and it is designed for corporate mechanisms in the sense that I spoke of above. This has to be looked at, this has to be examined. When I use such an imperative I meanto say by an informed citizen, an intelligent citizen, and one who is free enought to act as an independent agent in society, in life, in this very plane of manifestation!

                    “The rest of your screed reads like Bolshevik nonsense that leftist college kids from the 60s dabbled in.

                    Interesting and — inadvertently! — an important observation. My understanding of the roots of ‘American radicalism’ can be traced back to Catholic Personalism. At the core of Catholic Personalism resides the terrifying idea that the person has value and that the value of a person must be seen as transcendent. If one is a ‘Personalist’ it means that one has placed the person at the center of the value-equation. And if one has done that, one has done it because of philosophical and religious-value reasons. If one can conceive of the person in this way it will generally follow that one values the prson over, let us say, the mechanism. Many many different choices will follow from the primary orientation.

                    In order to understand the European Interwar (as I have said a dozen or more times on this Blog) one has to understand the reaction that arose in natural communities to the assaults: from one side Soviet Communism, and from the other, Liberal Capitalism. Neither of these, if their drive is analyzed and if they are shown in extreme, can really be ‘personalist’ in the true philosopphical and religious sense. Each of them, in different ways, takes aim at the person and at the personalism of persons and must defeat them in order to ‘have their way’. Both operate, in different ways, against ‘the soveriegnty of the individual’ and against personalist values.

                    In order to understand *our present* and how things have gotten to be as they are, a great deal of back-tracking is reuired. But as it pertains to Sixties personalism I will venture to say that the foundations in Catholic personalism (Christian personalism) is not at all unsound and that Catholic social doctrines are good, necessary and pure. But that is because my orientation is essentially Christian (Catholic).

                    What happened in the Sixties — based on my reading as I was not there! — can and must be described as a ‘chaos of ideas’. On one hand something pure and genuine. But on the other pole a loftiness that came under the influence of Marxist operatives with their own unique intentions and goals. Into that mix one must add the confusion of seduction by pleasure (hedonism: concupiscence), power-issues, cultural conflict, the terrible effects of drug-taking. To describe the Sixties is a feat all to itself! But it would not be wise to simply dismiss the personalist ideals that had such a strong effect. My view is that if one is going to be a Personalist, and if this is going to be grounded in Christian philosophy, that one has to hold to the entire philosophical structure: living that is directed in relation to the Transcendental; the valuation of the family; the definition of duty and really the object of living; the proper training of the body and the intellect and, obviously, the avoidance of the errors of concupiscence. It is when these value-goals were undermined that the culture, I am afraid to say, begin to collapse (and will continue to collapse).

                  • From the Stratfor article: ”The most distinctive and important feature of North America is the river network in the middle third of the continent. While its components are larger in both volume and length than most of the world’s rivers, this is not what sets the network apart. Very few of its tributaries begin at high elevations, making vast tracts of these rivers easily navigable. In the case of the Mississippi, the head of navigation — just north of Minneapolis — is 3,000 kilometers inland.”

                    I read it pretty quickly but I think I got the gist of it. But the first thing I want to say is that I always had the idea but could never find it presented as a war-objective, that it was necessary for the North of the US to wage a war against the South mostly because they could not leave the access to the mississippi to a competing power. Can you imagine of the South would have been allowed to secede and to have control of the entrance to that waterway?

                    Without subscribing to that site I can only read one article. It was informative and of the sort that a businessman or a corporation or a geo-political planner must have and must understand. But if you rely on that sort of anlysis alone, or if your goal and aspiration in living is to become a servant to those aspirations, at that point you you become something other than ‘civilized human’. You become servant to a giant mechanism. If you define ‘reality’ as service to a giant mechanism, then you might do well to completely reshape and remold any philosophy of life — civis or metaphysical — to serve such geo-political and economic processes. And if the geo-poltiical actors and their mechanisms succeed in getting hold of you and in controlling how you are educated, how you perceive, what you value, and what you think do and say …

                    …well, at that point you will become, through what has happened to you and what you also consciously serve, exactly what I mean when I speak critically of ‘Americanism’ and of the ‘Americanopolis’. You will have totally severed a link with ‘constitutional principles’ and, necessarily, with any principles at all except those of a ‘spreading organism’.

                    If you can manage to stretch your mind a bit, and if you can gain some appreciation of the values that have been established as central and core to Occidental civilizational forms, and if you can stop *thinking* like some sort of mechanical insect or a giant human rodent, you might in time come to understand what it means to *recover values* to *redefine values* and to live in accord with them in direct opposition to vast concentrations of capital and force that seek to have their way with you …

                    There is a great line in a Sixties poem that always stuck with me (Allen Ginsberg):

                    What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

                    He might be a strange and deformed character, yet the line really comes out of a ‘personalist’ perspective. What has happened to you that you cannot think? What has happened to you that you have no human platform and see yourself in a geo-political machine-game? What has happened that you serve, willinglly and dedicatedly, such a ‘Moloch’?

                    It is not *you* though. It is hundreds and thousands and millions of confused people who have truly lost their way. They have no idea what to value, what to serve, what is real and unreal …

                    But you are going to have to find all this out and very very soon.

          • Linden Ritchie

            Please move out. Go to Iran. You’re not a team player. You would not lay your life down for America . You Should go.

            • Chris

              I don’t think Alizia lives in America.

              Thankfully.

              • I think Alizia’s current residence is in Columbia.

                • The point made stands: America is without any doubt the most aggressive and the most lawless country and the evidence is the Iraq invasion. There is no other comperable event. If it is unpatriotic to simply see that this is so, and to talk about it, then I will accept that.

                  Russia is being used now as a focus-point. The chemical poison incident appears as a psy-op and is being used that way. To what end? I guess it is just has it has been in the past: find an external enemy and rile up the population through fear, cultivation of hatred, and paranoid suspicion. Then simultaneously locate the internal enemy who is said to have ‘links’ with the Russians. It is very flexible. Today it might be used to accuse President Trump. But if he gets on board with santions and jingoist expressions the rhetoric will soften. But other enemies will be located. ‘Those working to undermine our democracy’. For example, those who attempt to use democratic communication to get their points accross. Perfect! That’s subversion of democracy. And so it goes…

                  But it appears to be all invented. That means a lie. But the consequences that may result from provoking a conflict (if that happens) is not without tangible consequences to people. And the moral and ethical consequences that accrue to individuals who fail to question and think these things through is what I mean by ‘complicity’.

                  And again the chemically pure example of unprovoked aggression is Iraq. Maybe they will succeed, soon or in the future, in instigating a war on Iran. Certainly many seem to desire it.

                  I can’t think of a larger war-crime than that. Provoking wars and conflicts that cannot be justified in any way. Reckless, lawless. But the amazing thing, and it is really amazing, is that *you* are exempt from having to be concerned about an international crime. You must literally see yourself as exempt from ethical and moral laws. You have a special right to act outside of the law and you don’t have to answer to anyone.

                  (It is spelled Colombia btw).

                  • Alizia Tyler wrote, “(It is spelled Colombia btw).”

                    Ha ha ha; you’re absolutely correct. I was in the middle of another conversation about visiting Chicago’s Columbia University and I obviously conflated the two. Gotta laugh at oneself.

                    Now Ms. Tyler; let me say something about the other 347 words in that comment of yours that were completely unneeded to tell me that I wrote the wrong Colombia; please stop your long-winded trolling. Out of over 5300 total words in this comment thread you’ve written 2287 of them and your piling on of “generalities, tangents, cosmic puzzles, dancing angels and navel-gazing” is trolling deflections.

                    Renounce your citizenship from this evil country and move on.

                    • I said previously: ”You see yourselves as moral and *good* and project this, bizarrely, onto and through the actions of your government of which, more often than not, you are ignorant and uncomprehending. To discuss such matters, most often, breaks down into a *personal spat*, and then, on a blog like this, into a group shunning of the one who does not agree or has a contrary idea and perspective. So, in order to get to a point where an honest conversation can take place, one has to cut through the person’s identification with and projection of their self into the politics and doings of vast economic and political powers.”,/i>

                      These issues, the discussion of the ethics, the understanding of the things going on in the world today, are larger and very much more important than your personal and shallow relationship to them. In my humble opinion, time and again, you demonstrate your immunity from concern. With you, and by extension with many of our compatriots, things that should be argued dispassionately and intellectually are reduced to something more akin to arguing with a willful child.

                      I think it has been demonstrated many different times, and it is intuitively obvious, that avoiding the responsibility of confronting something unethical (the simple example would be that of the stewardess who forced the passenger to put the puppy in the overhead locker) that one is morally and ethically bound to take some action, to take a stand, to communicate, to interfere. A citizen is bound by principle to engage in the politics of his or her country, that was demonstrated by Plato through the example of Socrates.

                      It is not ‘trolling’, it is responsible engagement with important ethical questions in our present. You are invited to participate.

                    • I’m not going to engage in any of your deflecting rants Ms. Tyler; and you need to accept the fact, yes it’s a fact, that you are an extraordinarily talented troll morphing just about any conceivable topic into one of your long-winded off-topic tangents.

                    • I am also a very talented cook and play the flute!

          • …my present view is that the US is now and has been for a very long while a very dangerous and reckless aggressor in the world, generally. Infinitely more dangerous and destructive than Russia.

            Name a better country, please. One to which we should all uproot and move to rid ourselves of the terrible USA.

            Who has given more to the world in the past 100 years? Where does the MAJORITY of charity come from? Who has allowed our ‘dear friend’ trading partners to take advantage of them with unbalanced trade practices, one way tariffs, and job stealing policies?

            Has America made mistakes? Yup. So has every other country on the planet. Most continue to act much worse than the things you describe, routinely. Only America attempts to hold itself to a higher standard, as much as we fail.

            Without America, you (generically) would be speaking German or Japanese, if your ethnicity still existed.

            I am tired TO DEATH of the anti-american propaganda. We are not perfect, and we tend to beat ourselves up worse than our enemies. We allow stupidity to thrive in our schools, universities, media, entertainment, and politics. Yet where do all the immigrants wish to go to escape virtually every other country on earth?

            Alizia, you have points about America’s faults. And I hold you in the utmost of esteem when I tell you to

            BITE ME

            • I am pretty sure that you misunderstand my basic intentions. I see what I do (critique) as fundamentally creative. You would rather see it as destructive.

              You also (I think) make a large mistake when you associate a given people with a governing class or entity. I do assert, and I feel I am not exaggerating, that the government of the US has become corrupt. It has come about through a causal chain that can be examined. And I am interested in speaking about that corruption. Because the corruption is infecting the social body in myriad ways. Like you, I wonder how this came about. And I have begun to cobble together answers. Or ‘potential answers’.

              I say that it seems predominantly to be that an industrial and military establishment has inserted itself and usurped power that it should not have.

              And I also say that it is this, and many different secondary effects, that have lead and are leading to dissolution in our present. So, I am responding to the basic question that everyone is asking: What has gone wrong? And why are things in such a mess?

              You suppose that because I see what I see, that I am engaging in a harmful act and that I have such intentions. But I see the critique as a necessary first step toward the rectification of what has gone wrong.

              I also say that it is the military-industrial establishment and class that by its actions necessarily perverts and must do harm to people, if ‘people’ is taken to mean the social fabric, the natural order of society. In order to have been able to penetrate the civic structure, and in order to get people to assent to its objectives, this necessarily involves deception and manipulation. That right there does great harm. It establishes such harm as a useful mechanism. The mechanism works.

              If I accept what I understand of your sense of ‘patriotism’, and that of Michael West, I must put aside my structured, moral and ethical principles. And I must choose to negate truth and understanding of a higher order to become (as was said above) a ‘team player’. But I do not want to be such a ‘team player’ which smacks of social coercion.

              Therefor, all that I recommend (and all that I have been talking about) only has to do with one thing: getting to a point of being able to see and to state the truth about things, about present conditions, and about ‘reality’. There is no way that one could make a realistic choice toward melioration if one were not able to see and describe things accurately.

              What I am attempting is a facet of right-wing criticism of conservatism. And my assertion is that conservatism must revitalize itself and must relinquish being ‘handmaiden to progressivism’ as well as to the undermining efforts of Marxists. But even to do that one absolutely must arrive at ‘proper definitions’ and clear-seeing. Therefor, one is obliged to back-track in time and in history and try to at least see what went wrong, when and where, and why.

              If America ‘holds to a higher standard’ then there is no good reason why my critical analysis cannot be part of defining that standard. But if you were to succeed, or Michael West were to succeed, in blaming and shaming me to the degree that I gave up and became a ‘team player’, I might argue that doing so would sacrifice a higher principle to a lower one.

    • Chris

      This isn’t the first time Haley has spoken out against Russia in terms far stronger than Trump himself has ever used.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-nominee-nikki-haley-set-to-show-skepticism-about-value-of-un/2017/01/17/4558615a-dcf0-11e6-acdf-14da832ae861_story.html?utm_term=.0bbc6c037ded

      I don’t think that lets Trump off the hook for his constant coddling of Russia, though. Note that he has made no personal statement about the attack on one of our closest allies, nor has he implemented the sanctions passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority in Congress.

      Why hasn’t he done these things?

        • Chris

          Obviously, my comment must have inspired Trump to finally take this action. 😉

          Seriously: Good news. But why now? Why wait so long and miss so many deadlines? And why so half-assed? From Reuters:

          The United States slapped sanctions on Russian individuals and entities for U.S. election meddling and cyber attacks but put off targeting oligarchs and government officials close to President Vladimir Putin, prompting lawmakers in both parties to say President Donald Trump needs to do much more.

          It is undeniable that Trump has been soft on Putin in ways the rest of our government is not. You don’t have to believe there was collusion to be concerned about that, and to ask why.

      • The ‘attack’ on one of our closest allies … seen from the angle of that ‘enemy’.

        • Against my better instincts I watched this. My instincts were right.

          Purple-dress-woman’s gish gallop boils down to “If England wanted to know if we poisoned those people in London, all they had to do was ask us, and we would have answered honestly.”

          Did you fall for that?

          I mean her other argument was “They are calling our denials of this nerve agent attack just propaganda, but we all know that’s just their propaganda accusing us of propaganda.”

          • I would like to believe that I do not fall for anything. To see clearly, and to see accurately, must mean that one sees into the question and problem of power, its use and abuse. One of my main areas of interest and concern, philosophically, has to do exactly with that: power. It stems from the arguments in The Republic and the question is as vital today as it was then.

            My ‘appreciation’ of the complexity of this question have been influenced by reading Machiavelli.

            I suggest to you that it is you who have ‘fallen’ into a defense of power and its demand of subservience and that I remain outside of it, examining it.

            You mistake the point of putting up that video. It is to see how the other side deals with the issue. I personally doubt very strongly that the Russians used a nerve gas when a person can be far more easily and safely killed. The entire thing smacks of psy-op. And it fits into a pattern of establishing an external enemy, or revitalizing an old conflict. I am more inclined to notice how ‘our side’ is using this false or invented story for other purposes, and those purposes are dishonest.

            In your case, you evince a desire to be duped, a desire to take the bait, and a desire (a need?) to participate in the hysteria, to involve your own ‘self’ in the defense of a false-narrative.. This amazes and also interests me.

            It seems to me related to the general hysterical mood of the present. A very dangerous mood. I suggest to you, now on 16 March that this is not going to end well. Events may escalate.

            My greater interest, now, as I have come into contact with many people here on this Blog who have very obvious reasoning problems, is to take the only option open: to try to forge relationships with the ‘favored enemies’ that are established through government propaganda. I am duty-bound to forge some sort of friendly relationship with both Iran and Russia, to participate in some way, even through a donation, to organizations working to avoid a US led attack (and I assert that the US is interested in this, and seeks it, based on the examples I have given).

  2. charlesgreen

    Let me get this straight: Trump fires Tillerson, and you lead with – Pelosi?

  3. JutGory

    I can’t entirely agree. Part of that might be that I need context.

    Anyway, first off, the quotes are 13 months apart (typo where it says 2016, I presume). But, here are two snippets:

    From the 2017 quote: “Rex Tillerson’s cozy relationship with the Kremlin is especially alarming in light of his attitude toward sanctions over Russia’s aggressive behavior in Europe.”

    From the 2018 quote: “standing up for our allies against Russian aggression is grounds for a humiliating dismissal.”

    One interpretation is that Pelosi is consistent: consistently against Trump.

    Another interpretation is that something happened between the two quotes that persuaded the sage-like Pelosi to thoughtfully reconsider her earlier position.

    What gives me pause is that I don’t know what she means when she suggested that he stood up for our allies against Russia. I am not suggesting that Tillerson is some sort of modern-day Thomas Becket, but the second quote suggests that Pelosi’s original impression of Tillerson as someone cozy with the Russians may not, according to her later quote, have been an accurate assessment of the way Tillerson would interact with Russia.

    I don’t know. Does anyone know what she is talking about in her second quote?

    -Jut

    • JutGory wrote, “Does anyone know what she is talking about in her second quote?”

      Jut,
      Take it for exactly what it is, it’s anti-Trump propaganda.

      • JutGory

        Did Tillerson stand up for our allies against Russian aggression?

        I have no problem dismissing this as anti-Trump propaganda. I just would like to understand her meaning before I do.

        -Jut

        • JutGory wrote, “Did Tillerson stand up for our allies against Russian aggression?”

          What I’m saying is that it’s an contrived opinion developed for anti-Trump propaganda purposes. Tillerson not automatically kowtowing to the Russians as she previously implied he would, would be enough for her to claim that he was standing up to the Russians. It’s propaganda bull shit.

    • JutGory wrote, “…Pelosi to thoughtfully reconsider her earlier position”

      Pelosi to thoughtfully reconsider” something; that sparked a huge gut laugh!!!!!!

    • A former Russian spy was killed with nerve gas in the UK, Tillerson originally said “The act was particularly egregious” but he didn’t want to speculate on who carried out the attack, later that week, he expressed confidence in the UK’s investigation, which had incriminated Russia. The next day, Tillerson was fired.

      Truth be told, Tillerson had been on the ropes so long I think this is… Not even bad timing… Just coincidental timing, and the democrats are getting way out over their skis on it.

      • Especially given Nikki Haley’s assessment at the UN.

        • I mean…. Right? The same people who said Tillerson is a Putin crony are saying he was fired for being “tough” on Russia. And those same people would have a HELL of a time explaining how Tillerson’s assertion the the UK investigation was on track was enough to merit the firing of the Sec. of State, but how Haley is still the UN ambassador.

          When Jack first came out with Nolnah’s Razor, I was skeptical, because I thought much of the rank and file really was that stupid, but at some level, it’s all a kabuki theater. These guys don’t believe the words coming out of their mouths; it’s not bias, stupidity, short-sightedness or ignorance… They literally approach every situation with “How can I spin this so Trump looks closer to Russia” on the mind. And they do it for very blatantly partisan purposes.

          • Humble Talent wrote, “These guys don’t believe the words coming out of their mouths; it’s not bias, stupidity, short-sightedness or ignorance… They literally approach every situation with “How can I spin this so Trump looks closer to Russia” on the mind. And they do it for very blatantly partisan purposes.”

            It’s unadulterated anti-Trump propaganda and they don’t care one bit if they completely destroy the United States as long as they destroy Trump.

      • There have been many, many Presidents, perhaps even most-Obama for sure– where a credibly reported comment from a SOS that POTUS is a”moron” would guarantee an immediate canning.

      • Chris

        My understanding is that Trump made the decision to fire Tillerson before Tillerson made his remarks about Russia.

        Tillerson found out about the firing via Twitter.

        • I mean…. Both of those things sound right, but I can’t verify either, the story is that Tillerson found out over Twitter, and it’s probably true, but the HR professional in me really, really wants to believe that not even this White House is quite that unprofessional. And if those comments on the UK investigation aren’t the justification for Pelosi’s comments, weak as that connection is, then I have no idea what she’s referring to.

          • Chris

            I mean…. Both of those things sound right, but I can’t verify either, the story is that Tillerson found out over Twitter, and it’s probably true, but the HR professional in me really, really wants to believe that not even this White House is quite that unprofessional.

            Your optimism is unwarranted in this case.

            And if those comments on the UK investigation aren’t the justification for Pelosi’s comments, weak as that connection is, then I have no idea what she’s referring to.

            She was obviously referring to that, and it isn’t a weak connection at all.

            • Chris

              Meant to add: the fact that Tillerson found out he was fired via Twitter was confirmed by the State Department according to the AP:

              However, Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein and other State Department officials said that Tillerson hadn’t learned he was being dismissed until he saw Trump’s early-Tuesday tweet, and hadn’t discussed it directly with the president. Goldstein said Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” he was fired and “had had every intention of staying,” feeling he was making progress on national security.

              That was the end for Goldstein. Hours later, he was fired, too.

    • Chris

      Another interpretation is that something happened between the two quotes that persuaded the sage-like Pelosi to thoughtfully reconsider her earlier position.

      You are completely right, JutGory, and principled as always. The two quotes don’t speak for themselves at all. In order to fairly evaluate them we need to consider the possibility that there were originally valid concerns that Tillerson would be too pro-Russia, and that since then he has shown that he is actually willing to stand up to Russia when need be. Since I think both of those premises are true, I don’t think the criticism of hypocrisy is really fair here.

      Of course, it is still fair to criticize her for not apologizing to Tillerson and making it clear she was wrong in her initial assessment of him.

      • He was joking. Using “sage-like and “thoughtfully” when referencing Pelosi should have clued you on that (see his reply to Zoltar).

        • Chris

          I understood the sarcasm in those terms, but I don’t think his whole idea that she reconsidered her position was meant as a joke; the rest of his comment doesn’t make sense in that case. He was pointing out that there may not actually be a contradiction between the two positions, and he’s right, as I explained.

          • JutGory

            Exactly, Chris. I think she is an idiot. I think she is a partisan hack. But, that does not mean she can’t utter 2 statements that show her bias against Trump that might also have some rational basis in fact.

            It seems that the assassination attempt in the UK may explain her second remark, especially if Tillerson weighed in on that.

            Switching topics: she complained that it is a bad precedent that someone could be dismissed at the “whim” of the President. If you say, as I have heard many times on TV, “I serve at the pleasure of the President,” does that not mean you can be dismissed at the “whim” of the President?
            -Jut

            • Chris

              Now I’m certain that isn’t a position she’d hold consistently against a Democratic president who did the same.

  4. Nancy Pelosi showed off her Trump Derangement Syndrome by performing a Self-Inflicted Intellectual Slap Down. Nancy Pslosi is a political hack in absolutely every sense of the phrase.

  5. Steve-O-in-NJ

    The penultimate paragraph in this article is really the key. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, (who was also caught flip-flopping on the question of hearings for Supreme Court justices depending on which party was in power), Obama (who was against gay marriage until the polls changed, then his position “evolved”) and the leadership of the Left generally have few consistent values other than the will to power. As such, they rely on a combination of short attention spans on the part of Americans and gaslighting to manipulate public perception of them and of others. Even in the face of clear inconsistent statements, it’s very easy to say that “if I said that, then I misspoke” or “if that’s how you heard it, then you heard it wrong,” or to just say your position has evolved since then.

    The fact is that most Americans know what they want and don’t give too many damns about how they get there. Life isn’t a mathematical proof where you have to show the teacher every step of how you got your answer or risk a loss of credit. If someone is for Trump it’s unlikely much is going to shake him from his position. If someone loathes Trump enough to want him gone, whatever it takes, then he isn’t going to give a damn if lying or gaslighting or any other wrong technique is used to get him gone. If people actually took the time to think some of these positions through, then they might reexamine them, but when someone is totally hateful and the object of their hate is the object you want gone, then you want them to keep right on hating and not think about it.

  6. Rich in CT

    I missed this earlier, but thanks for the honor!

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