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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#9801 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-March-29, 13:10

View Postldrews, on 2018-March-29, 09:55, said:

I understand your point of view. However, when I hire an attorney to represent me I don't want a nice guy, I want a pit bull. To me, representing the US both domestically and internationally is not a case of everyone sitting around singing Kumbaya. People and countries aggressively pursue their self-interests, often at my/our expense. I want someone representing me that can handle all of that effectively. As Trump has often pointed out, many of the international agreements negotiated over the past several years are less than desirable from the pov of the US interests, i.e., they are terrible deals. I am happy to see that being rectified.

When I want to associate with congenial people I call on my friends. When I want results I call on people who have demonstrated that they produce results. Very seldom do the two groups overlap. Perhaps your experience is different.


Nothing that I said referred to congeniality or group singing. I completely agree that congeniality is not the goal.

I see it as: Yes, Trump accomplishes things. He accomplishes them for Trump. Trump divides the world into two groups. One group has one member: Trump. The other is the group suckers: Everyone else.

One of the oldest of the con artist's scams is to go up to a guy and say "Let's you and I get together and scam this sucker". For some reason this guy being approached thinks that the con man is his friend. He isn't. Trump watches out for Trump. Perhaps someone else on the side will benefit incidentally, maybe me sometime, maybe you sometime else, maybe Putin, maybe Jared, maybe Kim Jong-Un, who knows. But that is purely the luck of the draw. The con man watches out for the con man, not for anyone else. From time to time someone else will benefit by being in the right place at the right time. Nobody should depend on that, as the many people who have departed the administration would no doubt be happy to agree.

Singing or not singing Kumbaya has nothing to do with this.
Ken
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#9802 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-March-29, 14:52

View Postkenberg, on 2018-March-29, 13:10, said:

Nothing that I said referred to congeniality or group singing. I completely agree that congeniality is not the goal.

I see it as: Yes, Trump accomplishes things. He accomplishes them for Trump. Trump divides the world into two groups. One group has one member: Trump. The other is the group suckers: Everyone else.

One of the oldest of the con artist's scams is to go up to a guy and say "Let's you and I get together and scam this sucker". For some reason this guy being approached thinks that the con man is his friend. He isn't. Trump watches out for Trump. Perhaps someone else on the side will benefit incidentally, maybe me sometime, maybe you sometime else, maybe Putin, maybe Jared, maybe Kim Jong-Un, who knows. But that is purely the luck of the draw. The con man watches out for the con man, not for anyone else. From time to time someone else will benefit by being in the right place at the right time. Nobody should depend on that, as the many people who have departed the administration would no doubt be happy to agree.

Singing or not singing Kumbaya has nothing to do with this.


My understanding, https://www.cnbc.com...e-election.html, is that Trump's ṕersonal wealth has declined since his election.

80+% of taxpayers received a taxcut this year.

Jobs, factories, and investment is pouring into the US, little if any directly benefiting Trump personally.

If we are being conned, I think we should all work to make it continue.
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#9803 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-March-29, 15:49

View Postldrews, on 2018-March-29, 14:52, said:

My understanding, https://www.cnbc.com...e-election.html, is that Trump's ṕersonal wealth has declined since his election.

80+% of taxpayers received a taxcut this year.

Jobs, factories, and investment is pouring into the US, little if any directly benefiting Trump personally.

If we are being conned, I think we should all work to make it continue.


Perhaps where I am at least a little unusual is that I am more than willing to acknowledge that my assessment of trump is a personal judgment. I see the guy and I don't want him as president. Of course I am, or claim to be, or try to be, open to evidence if it contradicts my intuitive view of someone, but Trump is the frst president during my lifetime where I just can't imagine anyone trusting him at all on anything.

I emphasize this because I think personal judgments are under-appreciated in the selection of a candidate. I think it has a lot to do with why HC lost. People watched her and they just said no. They didn't read the details about Benghazi, at least I didn't, and I can't believe any remotely normal person actually thought she was involved in a child sex ring.They just watched her and they said no. Now I had some of the same reaction, it's just that my reaction to DT was far stronger.


I don't in fact think that these personal judgments are something we should dismiss. Obviously we should also look at evidence and policies and history and so on, but when I look at someone and my basic reaction is no, I have found that when I look more closely my answer is still usually no.
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#9804 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-March-29, 16:16

View Postkenberg, on 2018-March-29, 15:49, said:

Perhaps where I am at least a little unusual is that I am more than willing to acknowledge that my assessment of trump is a personal judgment. I see the guy and I don't want him as president. Of course I am, or claim to be, or try to be, open to evidence if it contradicts my intuitive view of someone, but Trump is the frst president during my lifetime where I just can't imagine anyone trusting him at all on anything.

I emphasize this because I think personal judgments are under-appreciated in the selection of a candidate. I think it has a lot to do with why HC lost. People watched her and they just said no. They didn't read the details about Benghazi, at least I didn't, and I can't believe any remotely normal person actually thought she was involved in a child sex ring.They just watched her and they said no. Now I had some of the same reaction, it's just that my reaction to DT was far stronger.


I don't in fact think that these personal judgments are something we should dismiss. Obviously we should also look at evidence and policies and history and so on, but when I look at someone and my basic reaction is no, I have found that when I look more closely my answer is still usually no.


I understand and appreciate your stand. Ultimately this is what each of us does to decide who to vote for, do business with, trust, etc. Facts are often not persuasive.
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#9805 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-March-30, 07:36

I don't want anyone to think I do not regard facts as important. They are very important. It's just that there are so many of them.

Some thoughts:

Before this morning, I was happily unaware of who Ronny Jackson is. Ok, now I know he is Trump's personal physician, that he has been nominated to head the VA, that many people are upset by this. What do I think? Well, I am playing bridge in a club this afternoon and I am thinking I have to ask partner whether, in the contested auction 1C-P-1D-1H-X does that X show three card support for diamonds. I think it should but after 1C-P-1D-1S I think X should show four hearts. I can't recall what he thinks. You get the idea. I really don't want to spen time thinking about what I do or do not think of Ronny Jackson.

Or another thought. Recently I had some trouble with my teeth. The dentist did a fine job, the dental insurance made its minor contribution to the cost, and now we got the bill of a thousand bucks or so for the part not covered by insurance. My medical insurance, outside of dental, is very good. The dental insurance is close to worthless. Now we aren't rich, but we can write a check for a grand without having to eat hamburger for a month. I am very aware that some people, people who are 79 like I am, would not find this at all easy. What should we do about this? Well, I can't say that I know.

Back to the VA. In an earlier part of her life my wife Becky was married to someone in the military. She had at least two of her three kids in a military hospital. Absolutely as soon as she could arrange for civilian medical care through medical insurance subsidized through her employment, she did that. From what she has told me of her personal experiences with military medical care, I understand completely. But do I know enough to really understand what is wrong? No. Maybe Becky just had bad luck, that can happen. So again, I don't know the facts.

How about Facebook? I had some early bad experiences on social media and I pretty much just stay off it, bbo forums being the exception. But what do I think should be done? I read Don Graham's column. I sort of agree, but I think he glides over some issues.

Etc and etc. So facts are important, but I am not an encyclopedia. It comes down to trust. Two big events in mathematics were the proof of Fermat's Theorem (a misnomer since there is no reason to believe Fermat had a proof) and the Poincare Conjecture. I have read the proof of neither, but I believe both to be true. I trust the process. After Andrew Wiles announced that he had proven Fermat, there was careful review and a gap was found. Wiles and Robert Taylor went to work and fixed it up. People who know far more than I do now agree it is correct. With the Perelman proof of the Poincare Conjecture, it was of course very complicated and I have heard that Perelman is not the best expositor one could imagine. But, again, many people have put major effort into going over it, the proof is correct. We would dearly love such certainty in our political life.Only at the point of a gun will that happen.

Facts are important, but a thorough review of all things that are claimed to be facts is simply not possible. So, to a large extent, it comes down to who (or is that whom) we trust.
Ken
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#9806 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-March-30, 08:16

View Postkenberg, on 2018-March-30, 07:36, said:

I don't want anyone to think I do not regard facts as important. They are very important. It's just that there are so many of them.

Some thoughts:

Before this morning, I was happily unaware of who Ronny Jackson is. Ok, now I know he is Trump's personal physician, that he has been nominated to head the VA, that many people are upset by this. What do I think? Well, I am playing bridge in a club this afternoon and I am thinking I have to ask partner whether, in the contested auction 1C-P-1D-1H-X does that X show three card support for diamonds. I think it should but after 1C-P-1D-1S I think X should show four hearts. I can't recall what he thinks. You get the idea. I really don't want to spen time thinking about what I do or do not think of Ronny Jackson.

Or another thought. Recently I had some trouble with my teeth. The dentist did a fine job, the dental insurance made its minor contribution to the cost, and now we got the bill of a thousand bucks or so for the part not covered by insurance. My medical insurance, outside of dental, is very good. The dental insurance is close to worthless. Now we aren't rich, but we can write a check for a grand without having to eat hamburger for a month. I am very aware that some people, people who are 79 like I am, would not find this at all easy. What should we do about this? Well, I can't say that I know.

Back to the VA. In an earlier part of her life my wife Becky was married to someone in the military. She had at least two of her three kids in a military hospital. Absolutely as soon as she could arrange for civilian medical care through medical insurance subsidized through her employment, she did that. From what she has told me of her personal experiences with military medical care, I understand completely. But do I know enough to really understand what is wrong? No. Maybe Becky just had bad luck, that can happen. So again, I don't know the facts.

How about Facebook? I had some early bad experiences on social media and I pretty much just stay off it, bbo forums being the exception. But what do I think should be done? I read Don Graham's column. I sort of agree, but I think he glides over some issues.

Etc and etc. So facts are important, but I am not an encyclopedia. It comes down to trust. Two big events in mathematics were the proof of Fermat's Theorem (a misnomer since there is no reason to believe Fermat had a proof) and the Poincare Conjecture. I have read the proof of neither, but I believe both to be true. I trust the process. After Andrew Wiles announced that he had proven Fermat, there was careful review and a gap was found. Wiles and Robert Taylor went to work and fixed it up. People who know far more than I do now agree it is correct. With the Perelman proof of the Poincare Conjecture, it was of course very complicated and I have heard that Perelman is not the best expositor one could imagine. But, again, many people have put major effort into going over it, the proof is correct. We would dearly love such certainty in our political life.Only at the point of a gun will that happen.

Facts are important, but a thorough review of all things that are claimed to be facts is simply not possible. So, to a large extent, it comes down to who (or is that whom) we trust.


I absolutely agree! We have little, if any, direct experience of what is going on. We trust and depend on multitudes of other parties, publications, teachings, etc. A major stream of philosophical thought has to do with what we actually know or do not know. DesCartes reduced it to "I think, therefore I am" as the only thing he knew for sure.

Like you, at my ripe age of 77, I depend on a lifetime of experience to assess who and what I believe (trust). Some things just ring true to me, others don't. The actual or implied use of force, direct or indirect, is one of the major warning bells that the other party doesn't really have a constructive argument for their position.

So, to quote Ronald Reagan, "Trust, but Verify!"
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#9807 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-30, 09:32

Speaking of Trump accomplishments:

Quote

KOBANI, Syria — The secret military base here is the epicenter of a four-year-old U.S.-led war against the Islamic State that American commanders say has succeeded in killing nearly 65,000 fighters.

But just as the terrorist group looks to be on the brink of defeat, senior officials worry that their efforts will be wasted.

Some U.S. commanders say what they perceive as a lack of guidance from the White House — which sent Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster packing in a 9-day span — is threatening their mission to destroy ISIS. Cracks are showing in America's alliance with the Kurds of northern Syria, who question whether they can rely on the U.S. under President Donald Trump.

"We’re on the two-yard line. We could literally fall into the end zone. We’re that close to total victory, to whipping out the ISIS caliphate in Syria,” one U.S. special forces commander told NBC News. “We’re that close and now it’s coming apart.”


And this :

Quote

Trump’s declaration he wanted to soon end the U.S. presence in Syria was just the latest instance in which the president has publicly undercut or defied his foreign policy team, to the frustration and confusion of U.S. officials and America’s allies.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9808 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-March-31, 08:45

From The Wolves of K Street by David Hill at The Ringer:

Quote

While many users on PredictIt were trying to figure out how to make money in these new Trump tweet markets, one user, who goes by the handle Jane Kay, was mastering the game. The 32-year-old pediatrician was becoming a known quantity on PredictIt despite rarely paying much attention to politics before setting up her account during the 2016 election cycle.

“Like a lot of people my age, I became more politically aware during the last election,” she says. “It seemed more important as Trump became a major contender.”

She read about PredictIt in a news story online. Though she considered herself very conservative with money (“All of my retirement accounts are in index funds”), she was inexplicably drawn to PredictIt. She liked debating in the comments section, where the anonymity allowed her to come out of her shell and blow off steam. “I could call people stupid, which I would never do in real life.”

She also loved that she could blend science and current events to make money. She was drawn to the polling markets, where traders tried to predict what polls would say before they were released. The markets were very mathematical, which appealed to Kay. She realized that understanding the math and doing some research gave her an edge. Like Kimball and Gill, she made money by betting against overconfident “Trumpers” who were “betting the Trump side no matter what.” By election night, Kay was up about $1,500, which was a lot of money to her at the time. Her confidence, the math, the polls, and the reliable irrationality of the Trumpers all failed her that night, however. She was all in on Hillary Clinton winning, and she lost it all.

“It seemed like a bad idea after that. It was my first foray into gambling,” she says. Kay works in academic medicine, mainly doing research, where the money isn’t as good as it is in general practice. She worried she didn’t have the financial freedom to lose money like that. “I thought maybe I shouldn’t do it anymore. But I had started learning about polling, I had a big Excel spreadsheet, links on my computer, I had done all this background work. I felt like I was getting my feet wet, so I stayed since I had done so much work.”

“I’ve bet on Donald Trump having success before. That’s just the way it is. I don’t support him as a president. But do I think he’s going to stick around the rest of his term? I do. Not because I want him to, but because I think that’s what will happen.” —Tom Gill
Like Gill, Kay also discovered the tweet market. She noticed that there were identifiable patterns to when Trump would tweet, what issues would set him off on a rant, what events in his schedule would lead to long breaks from his phone. She discovered that his schedule was available online. She also noticed that other traders would overreact every time the president would tweet. “Once the tweets came, it would shock everyone and they’d panic up. I could sell my shares and buy into the lower bracket that was priced too low.” Kay followed the patterns and found she was able to predict tweet after tweet. After watching the tweet markets for a while, she decided to deposit more money on PredictIt and take a stab at it. She made $2,000 in a single day.

Kay has never invested in the stock market outside of her 401(k) at work. She’s never gambled. She never talks about money with her coworkers or family. Last year she made over $17,000 betting on Trump’s tweets, a secret she’s never told any of her friends. “It’s embarrassing,” she says. “It’s a silly thing to be good at.” On PredictIt, Jane Kay is a legend. She’s known as a tweet specialist, rarely betting on anything else, unless it’s something really juicy. “Once and a while, [if] it’s really obviously mispriced … I’ll jump in. It seems like the Trump supporters are more emotional. Like the French election.”


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#9809 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-March-31, 13:21

Y
An interesting article about the wolves. Here s a true story that I regret. As a grad student there was one person in our group that was pretty tiresome, loudly overstating his abilities. When he was going to take the quals I was chatting with someone saying I thought he wasn't ready. The other guy offered me a bet, and I took him up on it. He bet the guy would pass, I bet that he would fail. Yes I was right. I have deeply regretted the bet. Not that we were close friends, but I regretted my action. You can probably see the comparison. I don't want to bet on Trump failure. I don't want to bet that things will go to hell. Being cautious about the future and trying to prepare for a serious downside that I expect is coming, well that's one thing. Placing a bet so that I can hope things will collapse and I will get rich in the process, that's another.

It's an interesting article. I never heard of PredictIt, maybe I will browse it a bit. Or maybe not.
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#9810 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-March-31, 13:56

View Postkenberg, on 2018-March-30, 07:36, said:

So, to a large extent, it comes down to who (or is that whom) we trust.

According to Megan McArdle, who wrote "When I asked people in Copenhagen about the secret of Denmark’s remarkable success, I kept hearing the same thing: 'Trust.'”", there are a lot of people in Denmark who see this similarly. Not who or whom so much as whether.
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#9811 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-March-31, 16:29

View Posty66, on 2018-March-31, 13:56, said:

According to Megan McArdle, who wrote "When I asked people in Copenhagen about the secret of Denmark's remarkable success, I kept hearing the same thing: 'Trust.'"", there are a lot of people in Denmark who see this similarly. Not who or whom so much as whether.


I read over some of the comments, including a long one on registry.

In high school one of the kids signed my yearbook "To Ken the kid to who I owe my English credit to". He was joking in case anyone is wondering. Myself, I have never bought into the argument that there is no right or wrong in grammar, that we should just go with whatever people say, designate it as informal and therefore correct. "You ain't nuthin but a houndog" might be a fine song. It might be a fine way of making a point. I can accept both of these as true while still claiming that grammatically it is incorrect. I am not a fussbudget about grammar and often I am unsure of what is right, but still the issue of what is right that should be resolved in ways other than just seeing what people do. Now I think I will go lie down. If someone else wants to go lay down, that's fine by me, but I will lie down.
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#9812 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-01, 06:46

From Geoff Schackleford's April 1st contribution to the where are they now files:

Quote

Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State and Augusta National member who has not been seen publicly since his firing last month by President Donald Trump, will resurface at this week’s Masters in a "working" capacity.

According to four sources privy to conversations between Tillerson and new Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley, the former Secretary volunteered for "just about" any committee role. Tillerson has told friends “that any job would be better” than the one he just held for a year, including working on the media committee.

“Tilly offered to do anything, even give tours of the members’ wine cellar,” said one club source. “But that’s a job for new members like Finchem. Chairman Ridley thought Rex needed to get acclimated with every day working folks again and assigned him to work as a Berckmans greeter for a few hours Monday morning.”

Berckmans Place is the club’s $6000 a ticket, all-you-can-imbibe luxury pavilion opened in 2012 and spearheaded by Chairman Billy Payne as another patron experience opportunity. Tillerson will share meet-and-greet duties with another former Secretary of State and member, Condoleeza Rice. Current USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann is also a regular Berckmans presence.

“Having Rexy join Condi down there allows Berckmans patrons to ask probing questions about our most hostile foreign powers," said another member. "How cool is that?"

Another club source said part Tillerson's transition to non-government life, which has included getting re-acclimated with flying on Gulfstream V's and VI's, will be a special gesture from Chairman Ridley.

It looks like the Rexster will never be hungry again. See you in Augusta.
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#9813 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-01, 10:30

President Fox and Friends now tweets that DACA is dead. I guess the inability to work for a bipartisan solution must be another "accomplishment"? Or is he going to claim this was an April Fool's joke?
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#9814 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-01, 10:38

Ralph Peters on why he left Fox News:

WaPo:

Quote

....Listening to political hacks with no knowledge of things Russian tell the vast Fox audience that the special counsel’s investigation was a “witch hunt,” while I could not respond, became too much to bear. There is indeed a witch hunt, and it’s led by Fox against Robert Mueller.

The cascade of revelations about the Russia-related crimes of Trump associates was dismissed, adamantly, as “fake news” by prime-time hosts who themselves generate fake news blithely.


So, if their own experts call out the network, why do viewers continue to support the Fox witch hunt?
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#9815 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-02, 07:08

From Gun Culture Is My Culture. And I Fear for What It Has Become. by David Joy, North Carolina resident, author and gun owner:

Quote

Two weeks before Christmas, I had a 9-millimeter pistol concealed in my waistband and a rifle with two 30-round magazines in the passenger seat beside me. I was driving down from the mountains to meet a fellow I didn’t know at a Cracker Barrel off I-40 in the North Carolina foothills. He was looking to buy a Kel-Tec Sub-2000, and I had one for sale. Other than that, I didn’t know him from Adam except for a few messages back and forth on Facebook.

We were both members of a Facebook group where people post pictures of firearms and buyers private-message to ask questions and make offers — sometimes cash, sometimes trade. I needed money to pay a buddy for an old ’70s model Lark teardrop trailer, and that rifle wasn’t doing anything but taking up space in the safe.

What I was doing was perfectly legal. In North Carolina, long-gun transfers by private sellers require no background checks. Likewise, it’s perfectly legal to sell a handgun privately so long as the buyer has a purchase permit or a concealed-carry license. But as I headed up the exit to the restaurant where we agreed to meet, I felt uneasy. I was within the law, but it didn’t feel as if I should have been.

He was backed into a space parallel to the dumpster, a black Ford F-250 with a covered bed, just as he described on Facebook Messenger. As I pulled in, he stepped out. He smiled, and I nodded.

“You can just leave it in the seat so we don’t make anybody nervous,” he said as I rolled down my window. There were families in rocking chairs in front of the restaurant. Customers were walking to their cars to get back on the road.

I climbed out of my truck so he could look the rifle over while I counted the money he’d left on his seat. He was about my age, somewhere in his early to mid-30s, white guy with a thick beard. He spoke with a heavy Southern accent not much different from my own. Said he built houses for a living, and that was about all the small talk between us. He liked the rifle. I needed the cash. We shook hands, and off we went.

...One recent afternoon I rode with my girlfriend, Ashley, an hour east to Asheville. It was the first week of March, but a warm spell had the willows green along the creek in the pasture at our house. It was one of those pretty, late-winter days with bluebird skies when the trees are still naked on the mountains and you can see every shadow and contour of the landscape. Knowing how I hate going to the city, she bribed me with a trip to the Field & Stream sporting-goods store if I would ride along.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I thought about the last time we were there, back before Christmas. Ashley didn’t grow up with guns as I did. She’d never owned one before I gave her a shotgun to keep by the bed when I’m away from home. For a year or so, she’d been considering a pistol. She’d held dozens of models but still hadn’t decided on anything.

We were at the back of the store looking in the glass case at 1911s. All of a sudden, her eyes got big and she raised her hands then ducked behind me and grabbed onto my arm. I turned and stared down the aisle where a kid who looked about 18 was aiming an AR-15 the salesman had handed him. The muzzle was pointed in our direction. Ashley was terrified. I’ve been at the counter enough to know the predicament — wanting to shoulder a rifle to test the feel but having nowhere sensible to aim. The kid lowered the rifle and went back to talking to the salesman, neither seeming to notice us standing there, Ashley frozen behind me.

On the way out, she just kept saying: “He was a kid. He looked like he should’ve been in high school. What does a kid need a rifle like that for? What does anybody need a rifle like that for?” And the truth was, I didn’t have an answer. The truth is, there are guns I feel justified in owning and guns I feel belong on battlefields. I know the reasons my friends give for owning these weapons, and I know that their answers feel inadequate to me. I know that part of what they’re missing or refusing to acknowledge is how fear ushered in this shift in gun culture over the past two decades.

Fear is the factor no one wants to address — fear of criminals, fear of terrorists, fear of the government’s turning tyrannical and, perhaps more than anything else, fear of one another. There’s no simple solution like pulling fear off the shelf. It’s an intangible thing. I recognize this, because I recognize my own and I recognize that despite all I know and believe I can’t seem to overcome it. I’m sure that part of why I carry is having a pistol put to my head when I was 14. I’m sure that part of it is having hidden behind walls while shots were fired. Maybe it’s a combination of those two things coupled with headlines and hysteria, the growing presence of mass shootings in American culture.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9816 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-02, 09:20

From Conor O'Brien at Politico:

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speculated Sunday that Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt may not survive a brewing scandal over a Washington, D.C., living arrangement and blamed a "brutally unprofessional" presidential transition for setting the stage for this and other ethics issues.

"If Mr. Pruitt's going to go, it's because he should've never been there in the first place," Christie said on ABC's "This Week."

Pruitt spent months renting a room in a Capitol Hill condo owned partly by the wife of a top energy lobbyist for just $50 per night, according to news reports last week. Christie blamed a transition that "ill-served" President Donald Trump and didn't properly vet candidates for key positions.

Asked whether Pruitt, who has also faced questions over issues including his first-class travel, should resign or be fired, Christie replied, "I don't know how you survive this one."

"This was a brutally unprofessional transition," said Christie. "This was a transition that didn't vet people for this type of judgment issues, which I think could've been seen very easily in a lot of these people."

Man, when Christie calls your professionalism into question you know you got a problem.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9817 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-02, 09:48

And another Trump accomplishment:

Having a t.v. personality sit in on White House meetings. Whoo Hoo!

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As such, Dobbs doesn’t get to just interview and socialize with the president, he is involved in some of the administration’s more sensitive discussions. During the first year of the Trump era, the president has patched Dobbs in via speakerphone to multiple meetings in the Oval Office so that he could offer his two cents, according to three sources familiar with these conversations. Trump will ask Dobbs for his opinion before and after his senior aides or Cabinet members have spoken. Occasionally, he will cut off an official so the Fox Business host can jump in.

Dobbs, these sources all independently recounted, has been patched in to senior-level meetings on issues such as trade and tax policy—meetings that featured officials such as senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, former top economic adviser Gary Cohn, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, trade adviser Peter Navarro, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

During the more intense days of the tax-bill push, Trump made sure to have his White House personal secretary get Dobbs on the line. And toward the conclusion of one memorable meeting, when the line was disconnected and Dobbs said farewell, Trump looked up, smiled, and simply told the room, “Love Lou.”

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9818 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-April-02, 10:17

View Posty66, on 2018-April-02, 09:20, said:

From Conor O'Brien at Politico:


Man, when Christie calls your professionalism into question you know you got a problem.


As so often happens, I think of Casablanca. Rick (Bogart) speaking to Ugarte (Lorre): "I don't mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one." If I were to sell my soul, I would hold out for a good price. See Damn Yankees. What ever Lola wants...
Ken
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#9819 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-02, 11:11

From How Facebook Helps Shady Advertisers Pollute the Internet by Zeke Faux:

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It was a Davos for digital hucksters. One day last June, scammers from around the world gathered for a conference at a renovated 19th century train station in Berlin. All the most popular hustles were there: miracle diet pills, instant muscle builders, brain boosters, male enhancers. The “You Won an iPhone” companies had display booths, and the “Your Computer May Be Infected” folks sent salesmen. Russia was represented by the promoters of a black-mask face peel, and Canada made a showing with bot-infested dating sites.

They’d come to mingle with thousands of affiliate marketers—middlemen who buy online ad space in bulk, run their campaigns, and earn commissions for each sale they generate. Affiliates promote some legitimate businesses, such as Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc., but they’re also behind many of the shady and misleading ads that pollute Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the rest of the internet.

The top affiliates—virtually all of them young men—assemble a few times a year to learn the latest schemes and trade tips about gaming the rules set by social networks and search platforms. They think of themselves as kin to the surfers-slash-bank-robbers of the 1991 movie Point Break, just more materialistic, jetting from nightclub to Lamborghini race while staying a step ahead of the authorities. One San Diego crew took in $179 million before getting busted last year by the Federal Trade Commission for violating three laws governing online conduct.

The Berlin conference was hosted by an online forum called Stack That Money, but a newcomer could be forgiven for wondering if it was somehow sponsored by Facebook Inc. Saleswomen from the company held court onstage, introducing speakers and moderating panel discussions. After the show, Facebook representatives flew to Ibiza on a plane rented by Stack That Money to party with some of the top affiliates.

It was hard to believe that Facebook would cozy up to disreputable advertisers in mid-2017 as it was under intense scrutiny from lawmakers and the media over revelations that Russian trolls had used the platform to influence the 2016 presidential election. Officially, the Berlin conference was for aboveboard marketing, but the attendees I spoke to dropped that pretense after the mildest questioning. Some even walked around wearing hats that said “farmin’,” promoting a service that sells fake Facebook accounts.

Granted anonymity, affiliates were happy to detail their tricks. They told me that Facebook had revolutionized scamming. The company built tools with its trove of user data that made it the go-to platform for big brands. Affiliates hijacked them. Facebook’s targeting algorithm is so powerful, they said, they don’t need to identify suckers themselves—Facebook does it automatically. And they boasted that Russia’s dezinformatsiya agents were using tactics their community had pioneered.

When I asked who was at the heart of this game, someone who could explain how the pieces fit together, the affiliates kept nominating the same person. He was a Pole who’d started out as an affiliate himself, they said, before creating a software program called Voluum—an indispensable tool they all use to track their campaigns, defeat the ad networks’ token defenses, and make their fortunes. His name was Robert Gryn.

Gryn strutted into Station Berlin like a celebrity, wearing a trim gray suit, a shiny gold watch, and gold-rimmed mirrored sunglasses. He was trailed by a personal videographer, and men he didn’t recognize ran up to him for bro hugs.

Only a few years ago, Gryn was just another user posting on Stack That Money. Now, at 31, he’s one of the wealthiest men in Poland, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $180 million. On Instagram, he posts pictures of himself flying on private jets, spearfishing, flexing his abs, and thinking deep thoughts. Last year he posed for the cover of Puls Biznesu, a Polish financial newspaper, with his face, neck, and ears painted gold. Gryn’s prominent cheekbones, toned biceps and forearms, perfectly gelled pompadour, and practiced smile lend him a resemblance to his favorite movie character: Patrick Bateman, the murderous investment banker played by Christian Bale in American Psycho.

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Gryn said he daydreams about changing directions and doing something positive for the world. He’s considering investing in sustainable fish farming or going back to school to study mushrooms, like the ones he used to forage for with his grandmother. “Everything I do is futile,” he said, staring out at the ocean, listening to seagulls caw. “No matter how successful a company I build in this space, I am facilitating what I deeply believe is a poorly designed system.”

The moment passed quickly. “You can’t abandon the skill set that makes you successful,” he said. “You’d have to be some sort of hippie.” As we walked back along the boardwalk to his apartment, he talked about his plan to raise tens of millions of dollars for Codewise by creating a cryptocurrency. Gryn said the token will enable him to revolutionize the affiliate-marketing business, cut out other middlemen, and build a billion-dollar company. Also, there was his 32nd birthday to plan. He was thinking of going back to Ibiza.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9820 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-02, 11:14

Way to crack down on Russia, Fredo, for poisoning an ex-spy on Brittish soil. Business Insider (emphasis added):

Quote

President Donald Trump's administration announced this week that it would expel 60 Russian diplomats from the US and close a Russian diplomatic compound in Seattle in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.

The nerve agent attack against former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia earlier this month is widely believed to have been ordered by the Russian government. The White House's expulsion, which was coordinated with similar expulsions of Russian diplomats by more than 20 other countries, signaled a resounding rebuke from the West against Russia's increasingly aggressive posturing.

But there's a catch.


A State Department official confirmed to Business Insider that the White House's diplomatic expulsion will not require Russia to reduce its staffing levels in the US, and vice versa. In other words, the 60 diplomats who were kicked out — many of whom were undercover intelligence operatives— can be replaced by others.


And now the Kremlin is reporting that Fredo has offered the White House for a summit between himself and Poison Putin.

Politico:

Quote

U.S. President Donald Trump invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House, a Kremlin aide said Monday, according to Russian media reports and the Associated Press.

The invitation was extended during a call from the U.S. president congratulating Putin on his re-election to the Russian presidency on March 20, according to Yuri Ushakov, an aide to Putin.


Way to get tough on Russia.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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