Anthony Scaramucci & Trump

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:15 pm
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[personal profile] angerona
В Wired интересная статья с подборкой высказываний Anthony Scaramucci -- нового директора коммуникаций в Белом Доме.  Его твитты показывают, что почти по всем вопросам у него расходятся мнения с Трампом -- или расходились по крайней мере еще год назад.  

Вместо того, чтоб ободриться от этого, -- что вот же, человек со своим мнением, и его наняли -- у меня один вывод: на самом деле у этого Скарамуччи, видимо, единственное убеждение: быть поближе к власти и власть-имущим.  А принципы, моральные качества, мнения-шмения -- это все дело сотое.

Мне совершенно не жаль Спайсера, кстати.  Да, у него была жалкая позиция, и его все время подставлял его босс -- и да, над ним смеялись и продолжают смеяться.  Но у него была возможность уйти в любой момент.   Это, кстати, хороший урок на будущее тем, кто оказался в незавидной рабочей ситуации.   Уйди он это после разглашения имейлов Дональда Трампа Джр. -- скажи, что уходит из принципов, то его зауважали бы, наверное -- или относились совершенно по другому бы.  Он же хлопнул дверью только тогда, когда ему назначили нового босса, вместо того, чтоб дать эту позицию ему.  Ну и фиг с ним.  

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Posted by Scott Lemieux

Shorter verbatim Jill Stein:

Yes, the ideas that Russia ratfucked the election (for which the evidence is overwhelming) and that the Trump campaign colluded with them (which they have conceded, and indeed are now boasting about) are a nutty conspiracy theory meant to cover up the obvious truth that Donna Brazile letting Hillary Clinton know that a debate held in Flint would contain a question about poisoned water was worth at least 4.1 million votes in the Democratic primaries. But while Brazile’s email clearly swung the outcome of the primaries, it is logically impossible for a spoiler candidate to ever affect an electoral outcome, but even if they did the way to stop fascism is to elect fascists. All perfectly logical!

Obviously, there’s no possible defense for consumerist wank voting at this historical moment. But if you insist on it — if you just don’t care about the countless victims of Republican governance — find a better object for your ballot booth onanism than this.


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Posted by Erik Loomis

This is the grave of John Shalikashvili

Born in 1936 into an exiled noble Georgian family in Poland, Shalikashvili spent his childhood in the upheaval of World War II Europe. As was not uncommon for exiled nobility, his father embraced the Nazi invasions and he ended up in a unit subsumed into the SS. Good times. He was taken as prisoner of war by the British where he lived out the rest of the war. Meanwhile, young John and the rest of the family were in Nazi occupied Warsaw. In 1952, the family emigrated to Peoria. Despite having almost no English, he adapted quickly and attended Bradley University, graduating in 1958. He was drafted and entered the Army as a private, but he loved it so he went to officer school and skyrocketed up the ranks. He fought in Vietnam, then did a bunch of other stuff over the next 15 years. He became more well-known by coordinating Operation Private Comfort, the humanitarian mission in northern Iraq after the First Gulf War. He was also very big in military modernization issues, including the integration of new technologies. For all of this, Bill Clinton named him Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff in 1993. He stayed in that role for 4 years, retiring in 1997 after 38 years in the military. He remained active to the end of his life. He was a military advisor to John Kerry’s campaign in 2004, a campaign for which I had high hopes but alas. I hope he didn’t advise him on that ridiculous “Reporting for Duty” speech and salute at the DNC that year or the very bad idea to pretend like he was hunting. He also spoke out strongly in favor of gays in the military, seeking to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, one of Bill Clinton’s many, many indefensible policies. He was one of the architects of the policy at the time and felt guilty about it. I think he earned his penance here. The policy was reversed by Barack Obama on July 22, 2011. Shalikashvili died on July 23, 2011.

John Shalikashvili is buried on the confiscated lands of the traitor Lee, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.


* * *

Jul. 22nd, 2017 03:49 pm
mfrid: (Default)
[personal profile] mfrid
А на въезде в Республику Алтай, я считаю, надо поставить такой знак.


Потому что вот весьма характерная картина.

mfrid: (Default)
[personal profile] mfrid
Краеведческий музей в Барнауле — очень старый, и в каком-то смысле является «музеем про музеи». Вход бесплатный, фотосъемка 50 р. Самая запоминающаяся часть — отдел природы с искусно сделанными чучелами. таксидермия )

Любимые мною макеты тоже вполне симпатичны. макеты — от скифского погребения до гидротехнических сооружений )

Как полагается, немного археологии, немного этнографии. Самое замечательное впечатление произвел зал про городской быт рубежа 19-20 веков — за счет сотрудницы музея, которая, увидев интерес, рассказала кое-что об экспонатах и даже завела патефон. Не знаю, кто пришёл в больший восторг, взрослые или дети.


+1 фото )


Jul. 21st, 2017 11:23 pm
timelets: (Default)
[personal profile] timelets
Let's kill off a chunk of old people, increase job vacancies and reduce healthcare expenses. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Canyon of the Ancients

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:32 am
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Posted by Erik Loomis

One more national monument off the chopping block of this loathsome administration. This increasingly seems to me that they decided to review all the big western national monuments so they look reasonable when they eviscerate the ones without much local political support, meaning the ones in Utah and maybe in Nevada because screw Harry Reid amiright?


Trumpy Bear! Trumpy Bear!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:10 am
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Posted by Shakezula

Rides, a hog;

Gives kids a scare!

Look out!

Here comes a Trumpy Bear.

Trumpy Bear is a plush 22″ bear with an attached 30″ by 30″ flag colored blanket. $39.95 plus $6.95 shipping. Trumpy has a zippered neck where the blanket is stored.

I’m relieved the zipper is in the neck because delicate shudder. I’m also so old I remember when using a flag – or flag colored cloth – as anything but a flag was seen as a radical action. However, I applaud methods of taking money from tRumplings that do not involve giving them more weapons. Provided no one gives this to a child. That would be cruel.


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Posted by dnexon

The Washington Post just published a story—although one based on the accounts of unnamed U.S. Officials—which you really need to go read. Here’s how it starts:

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. Senator that he met with Kislyak.

By the time this saga plays out, the number of dropped shoes will likely exceed the size of Imelda Marcos’ collection. Recall that Sessions actively volunteered in his confirmation hearings that he’d had no campaign-related contact with Russian officials.

Now, in of itself, discussing your campaign’s positions on a country with its ambassador doesn’t strike me as particularly problematic. The context, though… the context.

Although it remains unclear how involved Kislyak was in the covert Russian campaign to aid Trump, his superiors in Moscow were eager for updates about the candidate’s positions, particularly regarding U.S. sanctions on Russia and long-standing disputes with the Obama administration over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

What did Sessions know. And when did he know it?

UPDATE: Apparently, those of you speculating that Trump’s behind this leak aren’t alone.

If true, it would fit a pattern of Trump’s complete inability to think strategically. The leak suggests that Trump knew the extent that his Attorney General had perjured himself; it provides additional evidence of questionable linkages between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Vindictive? Shortsighted? Sure. Why not?

Image by JonnyBrazil at the German language Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:24 pm
timelets: (Default)
[personal profile] timelets
Soon we are going to see the biggest reality TV show on Earth. According to WSJ:
One person close to the president said that he has advised Mr. Trump to cooperate with Mr. Mueller and work toward a speedy resolution of the Russia probe.

Mr. Trump has rejected the advice, he said.

The president’s “instincts on this are that when you get pushed you, double down, and when you get pushed again, you triple down.”

Reflections on the Current Crisis

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:17 pm
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Posted by dnexon

In the wee hours of the night, I tweeted out my despair at the current crisis of the Republic. My immediate impetus was a terrific series of tweets by Jasmin Mujanović.

Here, I want to consolidate a few thoughts about some of the deep problems that have gotten us into this state of affairs: the occupation of the Oval Office by Donald Trump, an authoritarian kleptocrat. These are non-exhaustive, but I think not always adequately appreciated.

The first is what Julia Azari calls “weak parties and strong partisanship.”

Strong partisanship with weak parties makes for a couple of fairly serious problems for a democracy. The destabilization of institutions, for one. It’s hard for institutions — elected ones like Congress, the presidency, or state governments — to have legitimacy when partisan motives are constantly suspect. This is also true for other kinds of institutions, like courts and, as we’ve seen most recently, law enforcement agencies like the FBI. Citizens view much of what these institutions do through a partisan lens.

Suspicion of institutions doesn’t just undermine courts or Congress — it also undermines party politics as a whole. Party politics is really important for democracy; most political scientists still share E.E. Schattschneider’s observation that democracy is “unthinkable” without parties to do the work of campaigning, to organize stable coalitions, and to help citizens make sense of political choices.

For now, the problem is far more acute for the Republicans than the Democrats. Whatever one thinks of the ideology of the modern GOP, it generally served its most important institutional function at the presidential level: it prevented the nomination of charlatans and nut jobs. With hindsight, we can see its ability to do so begin to atrophy after the 2008 election when we look at the nomination of, for example, Christine O’Donnell in for Delaware Senate. But, at the time, this looked more like the flukes that regularly occur at the state level.

The 2012 presidential nominating process, however, now appears something of a canary in the coal mine. We saw a succession of “bubble candidates,” including Bachman and Cain, who were manifestly unsuited for the Presidency. But Romney prevailed, giving the impression that the party could still effectively screen out the lunatics. Romney’s loss in the general—particularly given unwarranted expectations, fanned by conservative media, that Obama was a weak candidate—almost certainly twisted the knife into the ability of GOP institutional mechanisms to manage its base. Once again, The Onion proved prescient.

As Azari discusses, the weakening of political parties is a long-term phenomenon, with a number of structural causes. But I do not think we should underestimate the role of the Bush Administration in setting in motion the conditions that led us to Trump. Given the current ascendency of the GOP at the national and state level, it is sometimes hard to remember how much the Bush Administration—through the Iraq War, Katrina, and its handling of economic policy—destroyed the Republican brand. By Obama November of 2008, 26% of Americans identified as Republicans. Even including leaners—the more important number—the GOP was in terrible shape.

At this point, GOP congressional leaders made a pivotal decision for how to rebuild.

During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he would not be re-elected.

Attending the dinner were House members Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Pete Sessions. From the Senate were Tom Coburn, Bob Corker, Jim DeMint, John Ensign and Jon Kyl. Others present were former House Speaker and future – and failed – presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and the Republican strategist Frank Luntz, who organised the dinner and sent out the invitations. [….]

The dinner table was set in a square at Luntz’s request so everyone could see one another and talk freely. The session lasted four hours and by the end the sombre mood had lifted: they had conceived a plan. They would take back the House in November 2010, which they did, and use it as a spear to mortally wound Obama in 2011 and take back the Senate and White House in 2012, Draper writes.

“If you act like you’re the minority, you’re going to stay in the minority,” said Keven McCarthy, quoted by Draper. “We’ve gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign.”

The complete embrace of tactics honed by Gingrich, first in the 1994 elections, and then during the Clinton presidency, required synergizing the messaging of the Republican party with the more extreme impulses of right-wing media. It received a major assist from the rise of the Tea Party, which reconstituted much of the core Republican coalition under a new label—but in the form of a movement outside of, and already antagonistic to, GOP institutions.

This story is familiar to LGM readers, so I won’t dwell too much more on it. The key point is that the Republican party mounted a scorched-earth campaign geared toward delegitimating not only Obama and the Democrats, but the entire system of governance. In doing so, it stretched and broke many of the procedural norms that undergird American formal institutions. Nonetheless, we should still reflect on how extraordinarily dangerous, and irresponsible, this decision was given the state of the country and of the world. We were in the midst of the greatest global economic crisis since the Great Depression, fighting failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and engaged in a worldwide counter-terrorism campaign. The overhang of these problems still persist today.

Second, I also think we sometimes neglect the broader effects of the Iraq War. As Daniel Deudney and John Ikenberry open their new article in Survival, “The 2003 Iraq War was one of the great disasters in the history of American foreign policy.” Sold under false pretenses, badly designed and implemented, and rolled into a Republican wedge strategy built around weaponizing 9/11 for partisan gain, the Iraq War was an unmitigated disaster in blood and treasure. The United States has spent, by some estimates, $2 trillion to, in effect, destabilize the Middle East, as well as to undermine American military power in real and perceived terms. It aided and abetted the militarization of local police departments.

The Iraq War also dealt an enormous blow to American political institutions. It damaged prominent Democrats. If Clinton had not voted for the Iraq War, she would have been elected president in 2008. I’ve already mentioned its effects on the GOP. It’s no accident that Trump points to the Iraq War when attempting to discredit the intelligence community, or that most Republican voters are indifferent to the nearly uniform condemnation of Trump by the Republican foreign-policy establishment.

Thomas Oatley argues that the decision by the Bush Administration to finance the Iraq War through borrowing, rather than raising taxes, lies at the heart of the Great Recession. At the least, it likely structured global financial flows in a way that made the world economy particularly vulnerable to the effects of the subprime crisis. It, along with the direct effects of Bush’s tax cuts, saddled the United States with enormous debt heading into the Great Recession.

This brings me to the third point: American political economy. Starting under Reagan, the United States has run pro-cyclical budget deficits. In the process, its accumulated a huge amount of debt. This has not only hamstrung progressive policies—the “starve the beast” strategy—but its had widespread effects on American political economy. Servicing this debt depends on low interest rates, low interest rates encourage private-sector borrowing and help fuel the growth of the financial sector.* That’s not a problem, per se, in the presence of robust regulation of the financial sector. But, that’s been sorely lacking. Dodd-Frank was a step in the right direction, but even its gains look precarious. This contributes to boom-and-bust cycles, and it is part of an overall story about the financialization of the American economy and the rise of the credit economy.

The combination of low taxes, lax financial regulation, and the erosion of government policies aimed at combatting inequality through transfers, has been a toxic stew. The rise in college tuition paid for by accumulating student debt provides an examples of one of the relevant dynamics. Cuts to support for higher education drive up tuition. The policy instrument used to address the rising costs? Encourage the financial sector to provide loans.The shift to financing through personal debt allows colleges and universities to raise tuition. Rinse and repeat.

More generally, people making middling incomes—and higher—compensate for wage stagnation by taking out easily available debt. This reduces labor mobility and bargaining power, because the ‘cost’ of missing a loan payment can be catastrophic—people making otherwise decent wages can no longer afford to go for periods without a paycheck. Those who don’t make enough to qualify for relatively cheap credit are forced into usurious ‘payday loan’ schemes.

All of this is part of an enormous shift of risk onto ordinary Americans. Instead of defined-pension plans, we have taxpayer subsidized individual retirement schemes. These inject money into the financial sector, while the reduction of the number of large institutional investors managing pension programs reduces effective oversight. Lax regulation has itself turned the financial sector into a monster, devising new instruments to, in effect, extract rents. None of this is necessary for the sector to perform its core productive economic functions of underwriting investment. It not only helps drive boom-and-bust cycles, but also drags down overall economic growth. Risk for large financial institutions are socialized—hence “too big to fail”—but the stew of economic policy makes individuals particularly vulnerable.

All of this creates a vicious pattern. As the economic clout of the financial industry grows, so does its political clout. The analogy here is with the entrenchment of trade liberalization. This can produce a political cycle where those pro-liberalization sectors become do better, become wealthier, and hence more powerful. The reverse happens in industries that benefit from protectionism. That does not mean that the cycle can’t be broken, but it affects the playing field.

My hardly original contention is not just that Bernie is right in his general diagnoses—we need robust social democratic policies. It is also that economic anxiety, loss of faith in governance as something that serves ordinary people, and other conditions that render democracies vulnerable to soft-authoritarianism, are quite possibly rooted in the configuration of low taxes and financialization that Obama only managed to dent. Trade is something of a scapegoat, because with a different political economy we could capture more of the surpluses generated by open trade and reinvest them.

What does this all mean? It means that the crisis of American institutions is grave indeed. It’s been here for some time, and it came to an immediate head with the election of a demagogue. Trump is weaponizing partisanship—and the underlying loss of faith in democratic institutions—in the service of his narrow interests: status, wealth, and, it seems increasingly clear, avoiding criminal and civil culpability for his business practices. I say “weaponizing” because the right-wing feedback loop ensures that each norm he breaks and each line his crosses is instantly rendered legitimate to 30-40% of the American electorate. It becomes evidence that he’s a fighter, that he doesn’t pull his punches, that the establishment is out to get him. The GOP, whose interest in voter disenfranchisement as a partisan power play dates way back, is, as Damon Linker notes, at risk of going full authoritarian.

I don’t know how this ends. The structural conditions—which extend far beyond political economy—are deeply embedded. While it should be clear that my policy sympathies, at least on economics, broadly align with the democratic left, it seems like we’re doomed to repeat the time-honored pathology of ripping the anti-Trump coalition apart over policy disagreements. Meanwhile, the Democratic position bears some eery resemblances to the GOP after 2008. The Republicans are dominant. While the primaries were in no way “rigged” in the way that the far left and RT assert, the party did take steps to ‘clear the field’ for Clinton. As a result of these, and other missteps, the party is at risk of becoming similarly unmoored from its base.

It’s also not clear where even a Democratic sweep leads. How do we rebuild norms? If we leave Republican violations ‘unpunished,’ those norms are gone. But if we retaliate, we risk making the crisis worse. The treatment of Garland provides a nice illustration. With the Court profoundly politicized, the only norm we had was that the President got to appoint—and the Senate consider—nominees in the event of a vacancy. McConnell ripped that up. The only way recourse would be to pack the Court. But that’s extremely risky—not only in terms of the politics, but in terms of the downstream institutional implications for judicial independence.

Thus, we have multiple pathways forward, none of them look good. For example:

  • Tump stays on, doing enormous damage. In the worst-case scenario, he combines the powers of the Presidency with his soft-authoritarian dispositions to destroy opponents in civil society and the anchors of professionalism in the civil service. This enables him to secure a second term, and in doing so completely transforms the GOP.
  • Congressional Republicans finally move to impeach him. This could itself provoke a devastating political crisis as Trump deploys every tool in this arsenal to protect himself. Democrats may relish a Republican civil war, but we could be looking at civil violence and domestic terrorism not seen in some time. If the GOP base stays with Trump, the remnants of the democratically-minded GOP could be swept away. And recall that Trump isn’t going to go quietly into the night even if removed from office.
  • Trump’s incompetence and institutional restraints work well enough that Democrats retake the Congress. If they move to impeach, it could be the first scenario but with the GOP rallying around Trump. Game that one out yourselves.
  • Democrats recapture the legislative and executive branches by 2020. That opens up the problem I raised earlier. How do we put things back together again? Can we?

I fear we need a new institutional compact, as we saw after the Civil War or after the Great Depression. How do we get such a compact in today’s political conditions?

All of this assumes that the Democrats don’t themselves succumb. One advantage we have: the partisan politics of opposing Trump position the party on the small-d democratic side when it comes to the struggle over the institutions of the Republic. And what if another collapse hits? Our institutions are already failing in the wake of the Great Recession.

In the short term, though, Trumpism must be defeated. It must be discredited. But on its own terms. This is a fight, first and foremost, to preserve the core of democratic institutions, not to destroy them.

[Shout outs to Paul Musgrave and Andreas Kern for discussions on these issues; image from the Fallout Wiki, intended as metaphor]

*As Yestobesure points out in comments, this reads an awful lot like a causal claim. I do not mean to imply that deficits lower rates, but was thinking about the degree that the political economy of debt and credit depends on low rates. This was a long post, composed with too great rapidity, and I’m sure there are other places where it doesn’t really hold together. However, there’s an interesting dynamic here associated with the US floating lots of debt and the willingness of overseas governments and investors to purchase it.


kelebril: (Default)
[personal profile] kelebril
Если вкратце: было жарко, особенно в метро, девица скандалила и одевалась не по погоде (небось потому и скандалила), музеи хороши, старой архитектуры, понятно, мало, в войну всё разбомбили, а вообще хорошо там, так бы жить и осталась. Предпочтительно в районе Грюневальд, где особнячки на зелёных участках. 8-) Фотографии бессистемные и немного, но воспоследуют. Не прямо щас.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:20 pm
timelets: (Default)
[personal profile] timelets
Я когда-то читал исследование, что у мужчин снижается способность к логичным (System 2) рассуждениям, когда они находятся в присутствии красивой женщины. Это как-то можно объяснить биологически - секс, гормоны и т.д.

Но то же самое явление наблюдается, когда разговор заходит о политике. Видимо, политика тоже завязана на какие-то глубокие инстинкты, которые трудно контролировать сознательно.
maryxmas: (manamana)
[personal profile] maryxmas
вперше за ті роки, що я звідти переїхала, я ходила центром і зі мною ніхто не вітався. донедавна я не могла прийти центром, щоб зі мною не привіталася хоча б одна людина -- а тепер все. або роз"їхалися, або заубли.

поїздка була ще та.
коли ми їхали туди, я поплутала дні на квитках -- і ми приїхали на вокзал із запізненням на добу. вперше в житті зі мною сталася така халепа.
варіантів було два -- повертатися додому -- або добиратися якось інакше, бо в Луцьку нас вже чекали.
і ми з малою в руках і всіма клунками понеслися шукати маршрутку. по дорозі ледве не загубила годинник. знайшли маршрутку -- і маршруткою доїхали. під проливним дощем і розповіді дядька в салоні, як він четверту добу їде в Ковель з Єкатєрінбурга.
маршрутка була на Ковель, і маршрутчик поїхав центром -- висадив нас в 20 метрах від будинку моїх батьків, так що ми приїхали на годину раніше за той поїзд, на який не потрапили.
в Луцьку ж тим часом пройшов буревій -- і у нас у дворі дерево впало на електродріт, зламавши два стовпи. в результаті весь перший тиждень наш в Луцьку світло то було, то не було. відповідно, світла не було і в медцентрі, в якому ми хотіли пройти обстеження малої для довідки в садочок -- бо вона об нас нудиться і хоче в колектив.
в результаті ми їздили робити термінову роботу в село до тітки -- в неї є інтернет і світло -- і котики, за якими бігала мала.

ми планували там пробути тиждень -- а просиділи три. останній тиждень -- через те, що не могли купити зворотні квитки на Київ на поїзд. (бо той, що йде з Києва на Луцьк вдень, на Київ повертається вночі. я не готова сидіти шість годин в електричці вночі -- у вагоні, в якому нема жодної розетки для компа)

зате малу нагуляли донесхочу -- і в зоопарк три рази, і на атракціони, і в кіно на Нікчемного мене-3, і на річку, і на дитячу залізницу, і в замок -- де тільки могли -- і в парк кожного дня -- качок годувати і по деревах лазити.

в мене після Луцька традиційно якийсь час душа не на місці. я орщгубила там друзів і компанію -- і так і не зібрала собі товариства тут. я не зробила кар"єри там -- і не роблю її тут.
і так мене перешибає ностальгією і жалем за тими роками в універі і одразу після них.
моє життя позбавлене сенсу -- і мені від того тоскно і сумно.
scholar_vit: (Default)
[personal profile] scholar_vit
Прочел любопытное рассуждение о следствиях из американских законов и конституции.

Президент США может помиловать кого угодно. Это право абсолютно и не подлежит апелляции. Он может помиловать за преступления, по которым не было суда и следствия, см. Форд и Никсон. Однако есть одно интересное обстоятельство.

Согласно Пятой поправке к конституции "никто не может быть принужден свидетельствовать против себя в уголовном деле". Отсюда драматическое "I plead the Fifth" в показаниях свидетелей на слушаниях в Конгрессе: если ответ на вопрос может теоретически раскрыть противозаконные действия свидетеля, то последний имеет право не отвечать. Помилование же освобождает от ответственности за эти действия, и именно поэтому свидетель теряет право на фразу "I plead the Fifth". Так как показания уже не могут привести к уголовному делу, свидетель обязан правдиво и полностью отвечать на вопросы, либо сесть в тюрьму уже за новое преступление: неуважение к суду или Конгрессу.

Возможно, именно поэтому Рейган не стал давать помилований нескольким взводам своих сотрудников.

Dame of Thrones

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:05 pm
[syndicated profile] lawyersgunsmoneyblog_feed

Posted by vacuumslayer


I tell you what, the women of Westeros know how to get shit done. They tame babies and birth dragons and look good doing it. It’s called REAL FEMINISM, snowflakes. The Federalists Kristi Stone Hamrick is here to blow your mind with truths…about how a show about (I don’t watch…dragons, group sex and beheadings?)…should provide a template for modern feminism.

For those who have followed George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” from printed word to HBO powerhouse, the characters now have the status of family and obsession. The faithful have followed the conflicts through bloody feuds, endless war, frustrated love, unexpected death, and crushing evil, now choosing sides.

The question of who will sit uneasily on the throne once held by Robert Baratheon makes excellent conversation as you consider the size of armies, dragons, and magic that make the players compelling. What no one seems to talk about, however, is that almost all the top contenders for the crown are women. Perhaps because it doesn’t matter.

There’s no need to claim “I’m with Her” to force a loyalty to any one leader based solely on sex. The women poised to fight for the throne are complex, strong women, mothers (even of dragons) who are not at war with their bodies or the demands of work and family. They stand side by side with equally strong men and fight in the battle common to all people: the struggle to take one’s place in the world and to build something that is your unique vision.

OK, so I read this so you don’t have to, and it can really be summed up in two points:

1.) The women have babies, which makes them better at feministing because everybody knows modern feminists don’t have babies.

2.) There is no affirmative action in Westeros, so the women can’t blame their shortcomings on misogyny. Or as Kristi puts it “And attributing every failure to sexist attitudes ignores the reality that sometimes people—even women—make mistakes.” This is obviously an outrageous lie because it’s a documented fact that no woman ever has made a mistake. And fuck Westeros if I can’t blame my carpal tunnel and lack of impulse control on the patriarchy.

But as funny as the column is, it’s the comments that make it truly sublime. Here’s a guy who almost–not quite!–seems to understand what the genre of fiction is:

A good number of the “strong women” of GoT are only possible because it’s a fictional, fantasy setting. (The men are based on men in his family, I’m assuming. Himself, even, possibly?)

-In real life, Brienne would not defeat the Hound (arguably they second-strongest male warrior in the land after the Mountain).
-In real life, Arya would not be able to poison all the men of house Frey (can you think of any men who ever did something similar?) and just walk out of the room.
-Daenerys is exceptional for her ability to be fireproof (which itself was what allowed her to birth the dragons).

Et cetera.

Works of fiction should always be suspect when being used to demonstrate something in real life. In fiction, the writer can write whatever he/she wants regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

Here’s the guy fuming because someone at The Federalist actually said some nice things about fictional female characters:

Don’t know if you’re making a great case.

What’s really happening on game of thrones is 4 or 5 women fighting over the chance to become a petty ruler of the people of Westeros and one man realizing that their squabbles don’t matter at all because the Night King is about kill everyone. Leave it to the man to identify the issue that’s actually important. (Everyone knows what’s really important is owning people in the comment section at The Federalist.)

This guy says the men are all written to be inadequate but is totally not mad about it:

This is true, but the show also depicts all the powerful men, and most of the powerless ones as well, as inept, dishonorable and ineffective, with few exceptions. Tyrion and Lord Varys, who are, um, non-stereotypical men (as is Bran Stark); Jon Snow, a bastard: these are the only really effective, powerful, likable men in the series (others–The Hound, Jorah Mormont, Samwell Tarley, are likable enough but are not powerful).

It would be nice if, in presenting strong women leaders and characters, the show did not feel it necessary to deliberately make the male characters small and weak. Frankly that cheapens some of the women’s accomplishments. Personally, I don’t care and I don’t mind. I am a fan of the show; it is entertainment. But it is indisputable that it contrives to show most of the men in a bad light.

[Edit: Oh–and even Jon Snow was shown to be ineffective in the extreme and has a second chance only by virtue of a sorceress]

Well, actually

Dorne is not an island nation. It is the southernmost area of Westeros. If you are going to discuss a fantasy world please do some homework. Otherwise you are a mummer.

And, of course:

I am not into Game of Thrones so I cannot speak to the specifics. I merely note that in medieval (and even modern) warfare, the nature of the combat and weaponry made it physically impossible for virtually any woman to actually fight. Not even Joan of Arc went into actual combat as best as can be determined. The difference between fiction (and even science fiction) and fantasy is that in the former, one is bound by the general framework of reality even if the characters and events are made up. The current trend of seeing tiny warrior women routinely fight directly against men is absurd. If it gives some women a vicarious thrill, fine. If it encourages anyone to think about creating daughters who are “fierce feminists” I’d suggest they’re bordering on child abuse. Any woman or girl who thinks otherwise is welcome to pick a fight with any average size, non-PC guy and see what happens.

These people are psycho.


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