- Reaction score
Uniformed about what?QV said:With comments like that, you are simply uninformed.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Uniformed about what?QV said:With comments like that, you are simply uninformed.
Brad Sallows said:RC is useful and should be on everyone's daily go-to list.
A media bias opinion isn't a fact check. If you want to fact check the article, read it and check its claims. (And this is what the "media bias" article about RC has to say: "A factual search reveals they have not failed a fact check, however some of the sources they utilize have failed fact checks such as the conspiracy website, Zerohedge.")
Go to RealClearPolitics and peruse the list of selected articles. Today's afternoon selection includes items from: The Atlantic, American Spectator, NYT, Asia Times, Washington Examiner, South China Morning Post, The Guardian, LA Daily News, LA Times, Washington Post. RCP is a useful aggregator. The morning selection is likewise broadly sourced. I find RCP useful: generally at least one linked article from either "side" of an issue, on several issues of the day.
Apparently "mediabiasfactcheck" has its own critics, who refer to its founder Dave Van Zandt as "just some guy".
Palmer Report (apparently also just some guy).
PolitiFact Bias (apparently devoted to fact checking a fact checker).
A wise person can make up his own mind about reliability and bias without referring to third parties, each of whom may be unreliable and biased. GIGO.
E.R. Campbell said:I used Remius' tool to check the four sources (daily/weekly newspapers, not e.g. Foreign Affairs) to which I have subscriptions: three (The Economist, the Financial Times and the South China Morning Post) are in the "least biased" category and one (the Globe and Mail) is is the "centre-right" bias category.
The fact that I tend to follow "least biased" sources does not mean that my interpretations are not highly biased ... it just means I prefer to draw my own conclusions.
You can't just magically divorce the material pronouncements of the head of the executive branch from all the institutions he's in command of and then hand-wave them away as somehow ingenuine. He's "legitimate" in your words, but what you're drawing is the very picture of illegitimacy.Brad Sallows said:>So if hewing to stability only gets him ignored, what options does he have if the threat is as grave as he has every reason to believe it is?
Trump's bombast and rhetoric don't matter; what matters is what the agencies are actually doing.
The Ginkgo Model of Societal Crisis
August 16, 2018 by Peter Turchinelites
political violence, structural-demographic79 Comments
It will soon be two years since the US presidential elections of 2016, which should have made it clear to everybody that our society is in deep crisis. The technical term in the structural-demographic theory (SDT) for it is a revolutionary situation: when the established elites are still holding the levers of power, but the social pressures for crisis have built up to the point where something has to give.
What I found remarkable as we have lived through the past two years (indeed, the past eight years since I made my prediction of the impending crisis), is how precisely we today are following the trajectory into crisis that my colleagues and I saw in the historical societies we have studied. The explanation, probably, is that the three major mechanisms driving up social pressure for crisis in the SDT work in a mutually reinforcing way. The fundamental drive (a kind of a “pump” that drives up social pressure) is the oversupply of labor, which developed after the 1970s as a result of multiple interacting factors, and more recently was made acute by technological change driving automation and robotization. Oversupply of labor is the root cause for both popular immiseration and elite over-production/intra-elite competition. Both of those factors, then, contribute to the fiscal crisis of the state, because immiserated population can’t pay taxes, while the elites work to reduce the taxes on themselves.
We saw all those mechanisms operating in our current crisis. Immiseration of large swaths of the American population was what fueled the successful campaign of a counter-elite presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Intra-elite conflict has reached unprecedented heights (since the First American Civil War), as the established elites are using various means at their disposal to get rid of the counter-elite chief of state. At the same time, a weird coalition of Trump and the established elites (remember, laws must be approved by the Congress) legislates deep cuts into the taxes the elites will pay, bringing the fiscal crisis of the state much sooner. Political violence has also reached new heights, although thankfully mostly demonstrators and counter-demonstrators are beaten up, not killed (a major exception was Charlottesville a year ago).
Until last year I thought that we collectively have a decent chance of avoiding the crisis, but I now have abandoned this hope. A major reason for my pessimism is the resolute refusal by our ruling class (including its both Liberal and Conservative wings) to see the real causes of the crisis. They are internal, not external. As a result, the mid-term elections will be completely free of (largely mythical) Russian influence, but no attempt is made to address the deep structural-demographic causes. All these pressures continue to increase.
The major question on my mind now, instead, is how we could sail through the crisis without a major amount of bloodshed. This is where the “Ginkgo Model” may serve as a useful conceptual device. As I said earlier in this post, the trajectories of entry into structural-demographic crises are fairly narrowly channelized. But once the crisis breaks out, suddenly a much broader fan of possibilities opens up. It’s just like a Ginkgo leaf:
Some post-crisis trajectories go to a really dire territory: a bloody civil war, a revolution bringing an oppressive regime, or disintegration of the state into a number of territorial sections. Other post-crisis trajectories are less dire. In the best scenario, the elites manage to pull together and implement the reforms needed to defuse the pressures for crisis—reversing trends of immiseration and elite overproduction and restoring the fiscal health of the state.
However, unlike in the Ginkgo leaf analogy, the fan of probabilities of emerging from a crisis is heavily lopsided—and unfortunately in favor of really negative outcomes. Over the years I have studied about thirty cases of historical societies going into crisis, and emerging from it, ranging from Rome and China to France, Russia, and the United States. I scored the crisis severity in each by such parameters as the effect on the population (none, mild decline, catastrophic decrease), on the established elites (from mild downward social mobility to dispossession or even extermination), and on the state (territorial fragmentation, external conquest). Adding together these indicators, here’s the result:
As you see, the more positive outcomes (lower severity on the left side) are fairly rare (about 10% of historical cases), while the majority of outcomes cluster in the middle-high severity territory. In fact, this way of presenting outcomes is somewhat misleading, for the following reason. We know that the scale of collective violence in humans, measured by the number of people killed, is not “normally” distributed. Instead, it follows a power law. As an example from my own work, here’s the distribution of the severity of political violence events in the United States between 1780 and 2010:
The frequency distributions of war severity, including both external, inter-state wars and internal, civil wars have the same shape. What it means in non-mathematical terms is that there is no “typical” scale for outcomes of societal crisis. We cannot say that “on average 10,000 people are killed when a civil war breaks out.” The idea of “average” is misleading. A civil war can kill 100, 1000, 10 000, 100 000, 1 000 000 people and even more. The probability of a really severe conflict (e.g., more than 1 mln people killed) is fairly low, but it is much higher than what a naïve person would estimate. This point is admirably discussed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Black Swan and other writings.
What it means for us here in the United States is that the severity of the troubles to come in the next few years to a decade is really impossible to predict. It could be as mild as the late 1960s–early 1970s, with the violent urban riots and a fairly ineffectual terrorist campaign by the Weather Underground. Or it could be as bad as the First American Civil War. Once again, a real catastrophic collapse of our society may not be highly probable, but it is much more probable than we think.
You mean "counteractions" like "Ahead of the meeting, staffers provided Trump with some 100 pages of briefing materials aimed at laying out a tough posture toward Putin [...] “Everyone around Trump” was urging him to take a firm stance with Putin, according to a second person familiar with the preparations. Before Monday’s meeting, the second person said, advisers covered matters from Russia’s annexation of Crimea to its interference in the U.S. elections"? "Counteractions" which Trump not only ignored, but very pointedly dismissed when he tweeted "“I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.”Brad Sallows said:That's a waffle. Either counteractions are happening, or they are not. Brennan hasn't called out the administration for inactivity, and hasn't chosen to work quietly with it.
Thucydides said:Remembering that President Trump is a symptom of they dysfunction in the US political system (and more broadly, the social and economic systems underpinning it), this article is somewhat disturbing in how it sees the political situation in the United States playing out. The writer modelled 30 different historical systems from around the world, so this is more than a SWAG (Scientific Wild Assed Guess), but history and other "social sciences" are descriptive rather than predictive (very few would have been able to forecast the rise of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Brexit, AfD, Viktor Orban or Movemento 5 Stelle five years ago), so unexpected factors could make this prediction moot as well.
Charts and graphs are embedded in the original article, follow the link.
Lumber said:Ah. So, basically we need a big war and famine to reduce the surplus labour, possibly even a decrease that is greater that what is needed, thereby providing the survivors with a significant opportunity to find their natural fit and establish a new steady state.
Why Trump’s supporters won’t care about Cohen and Manafort’s convictions
By Salena Zito August 22, 2018 | 5:16pm | Updated
ZANESVILLE, OH — Last week, a woman in her mid-40s who lives in a tidy suburban enclave just outside of Columbus, Ohio, summed up her continued support for President Donald Trump despite his morals, values and behavior not matching hers nor matching her expectations she had for any president of the United States.
“For decades I have been inspired by aspiring politicians and elected officials who took to the podium or the camera and delivered poetic speeches to earn my trust and my support. They would sway me with expressive words and artfully delivered promises,” she said.
While the words were beautiful, they never manifested into anything tangible in her community.
“It took me a while to realize those words weren’t theirs, but skillfully crafted sentences that had been massaged and focus-group tested by a full staff of speechwriters and strategists.”
Along comes Trump in 2016. She cannot abide anything he tweets, finds his speeches a stream of consciousness that is hard to unscramble and considers his morals in the gutter. She reluctantly voted for him and knows she will vote for him again, something she admits even surprises her.
Why does he hold her support?
He delivers results.
“It’s just that simple.”
She mentions the tax reform bill, the remaking of the judiciary, how he has repealed regulations that have improved the economic conditions in the state, both of his picks for the Supreme Court and his unflinching manner in taking on the establishment wings of both political parties as her reasons.
The woman shudders as she imagines what kind of problems she would encounter if she gave her name, so she declines.
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s news that both former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his lawyer Michael Cohen were found on the wrong side of the law in separate court cases, the question asked most frequently by the press, Democrats and “Never Trump”
Republicans is, “Where do Trump voters go now?”
The answer is the same that it has always been since they first started asking it Nov. 9, 2016: With Trump.
This new conservative populist coalition is not the fluke the political class hoped it was. Donald Trump did not cause it, he is just the result of it, so no matter what he does, it continues. It is predicated on them, not him.
The coalition is a strike at not just tone deafness in both Congress and the White House but also high levels of incompetence, negligence and shoddy performance at agencies, as well as inept social services, a bloated and incompetent bureaucracy, endless wars and multinational agreements and treaties that don’t benefit average people.
These voters knew who Trump was going in, they knew he was a thrice-married, Playmate-dating, Howard Stern regular who had the morals of an alley cat. They were willing to look past all of that because of how institutions had failed their communities for three consecutive presidencies.
Right now the value of Trump to the Trump voter is he is all that stands between them and handing the keys to Washington back over to the people inside Washington. That’s it. He’s their only option. You’ve got to pick the insiders or him.
So the question becomes: Can the Democrats pick someone who is Trump? Someone who just says, “I don’t trust anybody in Washington either. They all suck. The Democrats sucks, the Republicans suck and Trump’s a crook.”
If they could pick a Trump for their side, then Trump could have a problem. But as it stands we only really only have two parties; the party of the governing elite and the party of Trump.
That is why they stick with him.
Democrats are not making any efforts to drive a wedge between Trump and his voters. Instead, they’re running on issues like “abolish ICE.”
The party’s entire goal is get more Democrats to vote. It’s not to win back Trump voters. So how could you expect Trump voters to move away from him? Where would they go?
Salena Zito is the author, with Brad Todd, of “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics.”
tomahawk6 said:The only thing that matters is the economy which grew by 4.6% according to the Fed this week.There is a lot of fake news that is intended to sipirit Trump's base,not working.
PPCLI Guy said:Actually, 4.1 %. Hopefully it is sustainable growth.
dapaterson said:What do you mean? How could record levels of government borrowing during a time of economic expansion and low interest rates possibly end badly?
PuckChaser said:Budgets balance themselves, right?