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  1. #21
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    Specifically in relation to the allegations of Russian hacking, Craig Murray spotted what was perhaps a very revealing admission by Obama in the outgoing president's final press conference:



    Complaints from the US establishment of alleged Russian interference in the election were exceptionally rich besides: http://fair.org/home/hypocrisy-of-ru...rd-to-stomach/



    Some further words on US and Russian electoral interference and the hollowness of the professed outrage emanating from Washington: http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/co...ot-funny#page1



    In fact, never mind mere electoral interference, here's that list of 57 instances of the US overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since World War 2: https://williamblum.org/essays/read/...he-master-list

    The hypocrisy from certain quarters in the British establishment has also been rich, especially when it's come to criticising Trump's proposed wall and his concerning views on the use of torture. Britain has engaged in systematic torture too without admission, regret or apology whilst the Tories, many of whom would have ridiculed and chastised Trump's fanciful notions of building a wall along the Mexican border to keep out Mexican migrants, are the very same ones who supported, both vocally and through direct funding, the building of a wall at Calais to help keep migrants and refugees who've fled war-zones out of the UK.
    Thanks for this Danny. It all just points to the issues that we should all have with what we are seeing, hearing and reading these days. One thing that struck me as I was listening to many media outlets becry this Russian hack of the election was that, even if the russians were hacking accounts, the bare faced cheek of the establishment politik and media to try and convince us that this was something new and sinister that they would never dream of doing. Often the best form of defence is to accuse your enemy of the very actions you are guilty of. I'm sure this happened here.

    The Obama comments were noted in some other arenas. Assange has repeatedly stated that their source was from within the Democratic Party. On 4chan and other sites like Voat and Reddit there are many theories as to who the leak was and some point to a low level staffer called Seth Rich as being the source. Assange states, for good reason, that WL will never reveal their sources but interestingly they are offering a reward for information on the death of Seth Rich. Yeah, Seth was shot twice in an apparent robbery in Washington although nothing was taken. Hmmm. For transparency, his family believe that there was no sinister motives. It's just interesting.

  2. #22
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    That's back in 1995, no wall, no mention of patroling Muslim neighbourhoods and no signing of executive orders banning immigrants from certain countries. Are you going to actually address some of the concerns of this man or are you going to continue to deflect with these obscure references?
    What concerns should I have? They are a sovereign nation and he was elected on a very specific platform.

    Do I think immigrants from these countries should barred unless they can be vetted? Yes I do.
    Do I think that countries like Belgium, France, Germany and England are patrolling or monitoring Muslim neighbourhoods? Yes I do.
    Do I think that the US should tolerate illegal immigrants? No I don't.
    Do I believe there should be an amnesty for certain immigrants? Yes I do.
    Do I think it matters that Trump signed an Executive Order limiting immigrants from these countries on Holocaust Rememberance Day? No I don't. Hyperbole will, indeed, destroy the world.

    You may determine the video is an obscure reference. I think the spirit and tenor of the message is no different to what Trump is saying on the wall issue. For some reason, it was fine for Clinton to say it in 1995. Pfffft, please. Get real.

  3. #23
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    What concerns should I have? They are a sovereign nation and he was elected on a very specific platform.
    Just at the presser this evening with May - a British reporter asked about concerns the British people had with some of his policies - his reply to that .....PAUSE......"That's your one question" - plus a laugh - does that sort of thing not worry you at all?

    Does Steve Bannon telling the Media the "SHUT UP AND LISTEN" - not worry you? Or is there a you tube video of JFK going the same thing somewhere?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Do I think immigrants from these countries should barred unless they can be vetted? Yes I do.
    They already are. Extensively.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Do I think immigrants from these countries should barred unless they can be vetted? Yes I do.
    See answer to Q1 - interesting that you agree with Trump drumming up fear though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Do I think that countries like Belgium, France, Germany and England are patrolling or monitoring Muslim neighbourhoods? Yes I do.
    Apart from monitoring specific threats then I don't believe that is the case in Belgium ( I'm commuting there for work currently ) for sure , Germany I don't think either, France and England id be less sure of - but regardless - its more deflecting and is wrong wherever it happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Do I think it matters that Trump signed an Executive Order limiting immigrants from these countries on Holocaust Rememberance Day? No I don't. Hyperbole will, indeed, destroy the world.
    Its not Hyperbole - its a fact. It's timing is extraordinary IMO. Call THAT hyperbole if you like.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    You may determine the video is an obscure reference. I think the spirit and tenor of the message is no different to what Trump is saying on the wall issue. For some reason, it was fine for Clinton to say it in 1995. Pfffft, please. Get real.
    It was 21 years ago and it was wrong rhetoric then and its wrong now. Signing Executive orders banning Syrians entering the US indefinitely given what is going on there is disgusting, and while you are comparing Europe to Trump's America - then just look at the German response to that crisis.
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  4. #24
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    Just at the presser this evening with May - a British reporter asked about concerns the British people had with some of his policies - his reply to that .....PAUSE......"That's your one question" - plus a laugh - does that sort of thing not worry you at all?

    Does Steve Bannon telling the Media the "SHUT UP AND LISTEN" - not worry you? Or is there a you tube video of JFK going the same thing somewhere?
    No - it doesn't. My opinion of the MSM is pretty clear. Why should he treat the MSM with any respect when he gets no respect in return?

    Why should Bannons comments concern me? Maybe the media does need to shut up for a second and listen. If not to Trump then to the wishes of the approx 50% of the nation that voted for Trump.

    The media is just making noise at the moment, they're not making sense and why they are doing is irresponsible and dangerous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    They already are. Extensively.
    Please provide extensive details and a link please describing the vetting process for immigrants from these countries.

    If they already are vetted, extensively, then what another vetting.

    Anyway, details, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    See answer to Q1 - interesting that you agree with Trump drumming up fear though.
    I have a feeling that it's the multiple terrorist attacks by Islamic Extremists in America since 2001 that have created the fear and, ultimately, the need for a line in the sand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    Apart from monitoring specific threats then I don't believe that is the case in Belgium ( I'm commuting there for work currently ) for sure , Germany I don't think either, France and England id be less sure of - but regardless - its more deflecting and is wrong wherever it happens.
    As per my answer above...you not only do not want additional vetting nor a bar on entry for those who cannot be vetted...not only do you not want any of those precautions but you also do not think it's acceptable to monitor places inside your own borders where extremist views are breeding and leading to terrorist incidents. It's remarkable that you are willing to turn a complete blind eye to this.

    Also, I have watched two or three news segments (CNN and Fox as it happens) since the Paris attacks that talk about the extensive work that is underway in suburbs like Moelenbeek and areas of Paris to a) monitor the areas through things like CCTV and b) build intelligence networks in those neighbourhoods. This is happening. It doesn't matter what you believe.

    And it's not deflecting. I'm being unnecessarily direct on all of this even though I also realize it's completely futile to be engaging you on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    Its not Hyperbole - its a fact. It's timing is extraordinary IMO. Call THAT hyperbole if you like.
    It's completely irrelevant. Sounds like some stupid headline you pasted from somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    It was 21 years ago and it was wrong rhetoric then and its wrong now. Signing Executive orders banning Syrians entering the US indefinitely given what is going on there is disgusting, and while you are comparing Europe to Trump's America - then just look at the German response to that crisis.
    Why is it wrong rhetoric? Should countries not enforce their borders? Should we not expect aspiring immigrants to follow the visa or entry process? Is any of this really unreasonable? If so, why? Why bother having borders or immigration laws at all? Do you have walls around your real estate? Would you let people put a tent up in your back garden uninvited?

    What's going on in Syria?? You mean the proxy war that the Obama administration was engaged in? Funding and arming terrorists like Al Queda. Yeah... America just needs to stay out of everyone's business for good and - as May and Trump said - stop trying to force the rest of the world to think like they do or have the values they do. The Middle East detests America and even more so since Obama.

    Re Germany - they've had how many terrorist attacks in 2016? Three or four? There's a reason that Merkel is dropping like a stone and, call it what you like, but there's a reason that nationalism is on the rise all across Europe. Why is Germanys response to the Syrian issue better? Spell out for me what America or other European countries that turned migrants away are missing out on by saying "not right now, thanks".

    Look, i don't want to come across as pro-Trump and that I support all his policies and behaviours. I am not and do not. I am extremely against the media and I think Obama was a disaster domestically and across the world. However, I do believe that Trump has a strong mandate and that he will implement that mandate and give people what they voted him in to do. I believe he needs to be allowed to implement that agenda and be held accountable to whether it is a success or a failure. Anyway, guess what - crying and wailing from the likes of you about how disgusting it all is won't stop it.

  5. #25
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    No - it doesn't. My opinion of the MSM is pretty clear. Why should he treat the MSM with any respect when he gets no respect in return?
    Its not a question of respect - the journalist was asking a pretty straightforward question. There is respect and there is the utter contempt and the leader of the free world is duty bound to be answerable to the media - if he didn't agree with the content of the question then at least address why.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Why should Bannons comments concern me? Maybe the media does need to shut up for a second and listen. If not to Trump then to the wishes of the approx 50% of the nation that voted for Trump.
    An incredible response to freedom of speech. Bannon and Trumps response to the irrefutable evidence concerning the size of the inauguration crowds gives most of us an uneasy feeling as to future conversations for more important issues surrounding facts. The message is clear - agree with us or shut up!

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Extensive details and a link please describing the vetting process for immigrants from these countries.
    The extensive process is outlined here:
    https://www.state.gov/j/prm/ra/admissions/

    Some commentary from June of last year:
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...tem-vet-refug/

    Some personal stories:
    https://thinkprogress.org/what-its-l...5a6#.os951jtiw

    http://time.com/a-syrian-refugee-story/

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    I have a feeling that it's the multiple terrorist attacks by Islamic Extremists in America since 2001 that have created the fear and, ultimately, the need for a line in the sand.
    .
    How many refugees have committed terrorist attacks in America since 9/11 ? Genuine question?

    Islamic Extremists can carry American passports you know. Sure as long as they stop refugees from countries that you rightly point out they are helping destruct - they can safety provent terror attacks in the future.

    I have a feeling this populist notion helps to win elections - if Mr Trump really cared about the lives of American people he might ban - I dunno - handguns?

    Hopefully good people will fight this executive order.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Also, I have watched two or three news segments (CNN and Fox as it happens) since the Paris attacks that talk about the extensive work that is underway in suburbs like Moelenbeek and areas of Paris to a) monitor the areas through things like CCTV and b) build intelligence networks in those neighbourhoods. This is happening. It doesn't matter what you believe.
    Oh so you do watch and take in SOME media outlets - id like some proper proof please - like as in link and "extensive" back up - actually no forget it - and i'm not being flippant- just find your attitude to the media a bit inconsistent. I mean CNN is good enough there but I can't ref. the WaPo because I won't get a balanced view?

    There has been CCTV in areas like Moelenbeek for a long time before there was a refugee crisis in Europe and building intelligence is hardly a new idea. Trump was more talking about the type of strain on civil liberties that goes well beyond the norm in the US, during his election campaign.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    It's completely irrelevant. Sounds like some stupid headline you pasted from somewhere.
    Actually took it from Elizabeth Warren's twitter account - similar postings on Bernie Sanders' and Gavin Newsome's - all elected rep's with Mandates as you so succinctly put it - dismiss it as Media Bias if you like.


    [QUOTE=SkStu;1905189]
    What's going on in Syria?? You mean the proxy war that the Obama administration was engaged in? Funding and arming terrorists like Al Queda. Yeah... America just needs to stay out of everyone's business for good and - as May and Trump said - stop trying to force the rest of the world to think like they do or have the values they do. The Middle East detests America and even more so since Obama.
    [/QUOTE

    Agree with all that - but isn't that the more reason to help these people you are displacing?


    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Spell out for me what America or other European countries that turned migrants away are missing out on by saying "not right now, thanks".
    .
    C-O-M-P-A-S-S-I-O-N.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    I am extremely against the media and I think Obama was a disaster domestically and across the world. ]
    Some of the media clearly.

    As for Obama - I've never ever cared much for his or any Presidents foreign policy - but I guess the 14 million Americans who have gotten access to health insurance for the first time and the lives that has saved may disagree on your disaster analysis as an example. For sure there were good and bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    I do believe that Trump has a strong mandate and that he will implement that mandate and give people what they voted him in to do. I believe he needs to be allowed to implement that agenda and be held accountable to whether it is a success or a failure. Anyway, guess what - crying and wailing from the likes of you about how disgusting it all is won't stop it.
    He is disgusting! Deal with it!

    (Sorry if i didn't address everything)
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  6. #26
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    A strong mandate?

    Like, Trump won fair and square under the US's bizarre system, no doubt about it, but lets not buy into the narrative that it was some kind of landslide. Most of the Americans who voted voted for somebody else. It's like saying Fine Gael alone have a strong mandate here. The Republican Party generally has a strong mandate I would say, but I don't think that includes a lot of Trump's fire and forget policy declarations.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  7. #27
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    I have a feeling that it's the multiple terrorist attacks by Islamic Extremists in America since 2001 that have created the fear and, ultimately, the need for a line in the sand.
    Is the fear - which is undeniably perpetuated by obsessive and saturated media coverage, panic and scaremongering - rational or proportionate to the real material threat though? Or is it really more so a convenient and alarming distraction/alibi (used by the media and politicians to deflect focus and blame for society's ills away from them and onto a demonised and "threatening" Other) or a handy pretext (to legitimise foreign military ventures that help extend global influence or to justify domestic policies that accord to the state greater control/observational powers over its citizens and impinge upon civil liberties)?

    As Real ale Madrid suggests, placing tougher restrictions on the possession of guns, especially heavier fire-arms and assault weapons, might be an intelligent and more appropriate place to start for those truly concerned about the general well-being and safety of US citizens. Working towards greater equality, social justice and health-care (especially mental) for all - or tackling economic, political, social and cultural exclusion of the poor and minorities, in other words - may also help. A complete revamp of belligerent and incendiary foreign policy might be worth some serious thought too.

    A good piece by Jim Walsh on the reality of the threat from extremist Islamists here: http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2016...yths-jim-walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Walsh
    When it comes to terrorism, the media have done a poor job of providing context and have frequently rushed to judgment, invoking the "Islamic terrorism" tag when it was premature to do so. The Orlando attack is simply the latest example of the 24-minute news cycle insisting on “the answer” just hours after an attack. (To be fair, journalists are human beings, and they are subject to all the emotion and error that plague the rest of us.)

    I am less sympathetic to the politicians. Many of them are also human and honestly believe the falsehoods they propagate. Others are more clever. They know better but won’t let facts get in the way of a good talking point, especially when the camera lights are aglow. This smaller but particularly cynical set of office seekers are primarily interested in self-advancement, not national security. If whipping up hysteria about terror and Muslims is good politics but bad public policy, so be it.

    And to be clear, terrorism is a complex phenomenon. Not all of it fits into neat categories. And while research on terrorism is light years ahead of where it was even 10 years ago, there is much that even the experts don’t know.

    But, gentle reader, you too have had a role in this. The press and political aspirants have rightly judged that that you will respond to their excesses with either votes or page views. You are prone to leaping to a conclusion or a stereotype and then clinging to it -- even when confronted by evidence.

    Evidence, such as:

    After a sharp rise in recent years, terrorism around the world declined in 2015 by nearly 15 percent.

    Nearly 80 percent of all terrorist attacks take place in five countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Since 9/11, only half of 1 percent of all terrorism deaths occurred in the West.

    Contrary to the commonly held belief, “Islamic fundamentalism was not the primary driver of lone wolf attacks, with 80 percent of deaths in the West from lone wolf attacks being attributed to a mixture of right wing extremists, nationalists, anti-government elements, other types of political extremism and supremacism.”

    In the U.S., you are more likely to be killed by your spouse than a terror attack carried out by an Islamic extremist (or an immigrant).

    You are thousands of times more likely to be killed by mundane, everyday causes than you are by terrorism. That’s a hard number to wrap one’s head around. Not twice as likely. Not three times as likely. Thousands of times more likely.

    Unfortunately, the problem is not simply our emotional attachment to empirical fallacies. We double down by employing a “logic” that mixes different problems into a hulking mass we call “Islamic terrorism.”

    Consider the Orlando attack. The perpetrator verbally invoked ISIS, so that must mean he was an Islamic extremist, right? Well, that was the story on the first day. Since then, the FBI and others have started to walk that back. We still do not have a definitive assessment of Omar Mateen’s motives and behavior, but his horrific crimes may turn out to be more about a particular form of mental illness or hate combined with easy access to military style weapons than any religious beliefs.

    So how should we disentangle this snake pit of motivations? How do we tease out what is cause and effect, and what is window dressing? One approach is to use a thought experiment. Imagine a world in which ISIS or violent Islamic extremism did not exist. Would he have committed this crime anyway? Would he have found some other ideology or excuse for his actions? If the answer is yes, then it is difficult to code this as Islamic terrorism or any kind of terrorism, really. And in turn, that suggests a completely different set of policies that we should pursue to prevent this from happening in the future.

    It is not enough to say, well, all terrorists are crazy (another myth) or to retreat to “it’s complicated.” Yes, it’s complicated, just like health risks can be complicated, but if we get the diagnosis wrong, then we will get the prescription wrong.

    None of this is meant to suggest that terrorism is not a threat. It is -- in part because we play into the terrorists’ narrative and make it scarier than it is. And as 9/11 demonstrated, high casualty terrorism is exceedingly rare but enormously consequential, often because of how we react to it. But if we are serious about preventing the next Orlando, then we may have to give equal and separate attention to risk factors that have nothing to do with “Islamic terrorism.” And we can start by substituting facts for fears and logic for labels.

  8. #28
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    With respect, we are clearly diametrically opposed on many issues here. I could respond point by point with stuff that supports my perspective and challenges yours and questions your values and sources of information but I think it would be a pretty futile exercise.

    I have no interest in changing people's positions on substantive issues, I just trying to share an alternate perspective that is equally valid. You can't dismiss the views of the 60 something million Americans who voted for Trump and this agenda as invalid and disgusting - just because you don't share it. We'll see how it pans out. You think it's akin to the end of the world, I'm willing to wait and see.

    [sorry - just to be clear this was in response to Real Ale Madrid]
    Last edited by SkStu; 28/01/2017 at 2:45 PM.

  9. #29
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Also, I have watched two or three news segments (CNN and Fox as it happens) since the Paris attacks that talk about the extensive work that is underway in suburbs like Moelenbeek and areas of Paris to a) monitor the areas through things like CCTV and b) build intelligence networks in those neighbourhoods. This is happening. It doesn't matter what you believe.
    I'd imagine most public areas in major European cities are heavily monitored by CCTV surveillance, especially underprivileged and economically-neglected areas with resulting high crime-rates. By any chance, were these segments related to the ill-famed misleading/mistaken (delete as appropriate) "reports" on Fox and CNN about alleged Muslim-enclave "no-go" zones in European cities? As David A. Graham writes:

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Graham
    [The areas concerned] are defined by their socioeconomic status—they're characterized by high unemployment, high rates of public housing, and low educational attainment. As it happens, many of these areas are populated largely by poor immigrants from the Muslim world, creating a neat but misleading correlation. Some of the "no-go" coverage has suggested that police and other emergency services dare not go into these areas. The United States is sadly not immune to dangerous city areas where emergency-service providers feel unsafe, so in that way this is a universal phenomenon. But as BusinessWeek notes, it's not the case that the government has written these zones off; in fact, they've been designated for further attention and work on urban renewal.
    What's going on in Syria?? You mean the proxy war that the Obama administration was engaged in? Funding and arming terrorists like Al Queda. Yeah... America just needs to stay out of everyone's business for good and - as May and Trump said - stop trying to force the rest of the world to think like they do or have the values they do. The Middle East detests America and even more so since Obama.
    We'll have to wait and see if Trump lives up to this "promise", but May's seemingly amicable and placid rhetoric certainly doesn't amount to much. Britain is presently engaged in numerous covert wars around the globe: http://markcurtis.info/2016/10/14/br...n-covert-wars/

    Spell out for me what America or other European countries that turned migrants away are missing out on by saying "not right now, thanks".
    There is surely an argument there that the West bears significant responsibility to help clean up or alleviate the historical messes it has created, and, indeed, the contemporary messes it is still creating. If humanitarianism - coming to the aid of people who've fled poverty, conflict or strife (in many cases, directly caused by Western powers' historical and present-day interference in their region) - or what one might call altruism isn't motivation enough for privileged and stable Western states whose historical development and prosperity is, again, in many cases, rooted in colonialism/imperialism (or what many regard as the neo-colonialism of globalisation), exploitation of people/resources and explicit racism, there is nevertheless a self-interest argument there too (for those who may be motivated only by such) that many Western economies could seriously do with an injection of motivated young people of working age due to those countries' ageing populations and top-heavy population pyramids (resulting from lower birth-rates and higher life expectancies). Statistically, most migrants are aged 20-30; thus, they increase the labour force, which in turn increases the economic output capacity of the country concerned.

    Also, as Yanis Varoufakis pleaded on a recent BBC 'Question Time', respect refugees - treat their trauma - and they'll overwhelmingly return the favour both emotionally and materially.

    And let's not forget that the US was built by migrants (and, yes, slaves brought from Africa involuntarily); it's a melting pot of different cultures and ideas. Excluding those of Native American descent and those whose ancestors were brought to the US as slaves, all US citizens are the descendants of migrants. People have always moved around the world to better their lives; it's what we do and it's how we've evolved, developed and civilised. That all seemed to work out OK for the US and what it has become; an economic superpower with vast and exceptional wealth (albeit distributed very, very unequally).

    You're an immigrant in Canada yourself, to the best of my knowledge; do you consider yourself a burden on Canadian society or do you think of yourself as a contributor? Presumably you feel you have something to offer your host society? Are you thankful for opportunities with which Canada has (presumably) provided you? If you think about your answers to these questions, why would other immigrant hopefuls necessarily be or have to be any different from your case?

    A friend of mine posted a great comment on the topic of immigration a while back, so I'll paraphrase the more relevant points and sentiments...

    He wrote that the Malthusian argument that more people or increasing population leads to scarcity of resources ignores the fact that people innovate and adapt. Again, innovation and adaption is what we do; it's how we've evolved. People solve problems they encounter and the more people working on a problem, often the better. People are needed to deal with ever-present problems like sickness and disease, which is why 26 per cent of NHS doctors in the UK were born outside the UK. Then there are problems like agriculture, food production or the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths, all of which need more people working on them now.

    In Ireland and the UK, for example, new immigrants and refugees cannot legally work or earn benefits - so scare stories about them doing just that are literally invented - but, once accepted, those who don't have the academic qualifications that are desperately needed tend to disproportionately do service-industry and low-paid jobs that are also under-staffed, for want of a better term. The overall impact of immigrants appears to be a net positive. But they look different and are a handy way for the rich to convince the poor that some "smelly", "animalistic" or "threatening" group of even poorer people are why they're so poor. Maybe the British establishment especially should be more squeamish about casting poor former colonial subjects as "coming over here to steal our resources". There's a huge dollop of post-colonial hypocrisy and mind-numbing irony at play there that they would do well to recognise.

  10. #30
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    I find it hard to respond to these long posts on my phone but I'll try and respond to the general themes that have been raised.

    NFB - regarding mandate - the weeks just before the election we were told by almost every MSM outlet that Trump had no path to victory and that Clinton led in every state poll. It turned out that he absolutely destroyed her from an electoral college perspective, turning all key battleground states red and switching long standing blue states red like PA. It was, by any standard, a stunning result and a resounding victory that gives significant weight to his agenda. In addition the Republican Party now holds the majority in all branches of Government. That is an overwhelming green light for change away from the Obama years. Trump and his campaign promises energized a huge portion of the electorate and turned blue states red. That's a big deal.

    Danny - re terrorist threat - in a large context the terrorist threat is not something that poses a daily threat to our quality of life. However, as is the intent of terrorism, when it happens it creates fear and an irrational feeling of insecurity. That this drives a public/policy response is normal.

    To deny or downplay, as Jim Walsh has, the connection between Islam and these attacks is as irresponsible as blaming all Muslims for these attacks.

    Is Trumps response the right one given the reality of the threat? I don't know. Probably not. But the key here is that to many people it is understandable. Insofar as there is a need for us to contextualise these attacks there is also a need for a response.

    Agree re guns! They're bananas. It's a self fulfilling prophecy from that regard.

    Heading out - will respond more soon... (I'm sure you all can't wait! )

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  12. #31
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    I'm not denying that Trump won big in the electoral college, anymore than you could deny that Clinton won the popular vote by a significant margin. The question is what's more significant in terms of defining whether Trump has a "strong mandate". I certainly wouldn't consider something as inherently flawed as the EC (a different debate, but connected to all of this) the best metric to judge a populations support for the kind of policy Trump is coming out with. The Congress is a different story of course, but its already becoming clear that the Republican Congress and the "Republican" President aren't entirely on the same page.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    In Ireland and the UK, for example, new immigrants and refugees cannot legally work or earn benefits - so scare stories about them doing just that are literally invented - but, once accepted, those who don't have the academic qualifications that are desperately needed tend to disproportionately do service-industry and low-paid jobs that are also under-staffed, for want of a better term. The overall impact of immigrants appears to be a net positive. But they look different and are a handy way for the rich to convince the poor that some "smelly", "animalistic" or "threatening" group of even poorer people are why they're so poor. Maybe the British establishment especially should be more squeamish about casting poor former colonial subjects as "coming over here to steal our resources". There's a huge dollop of post-colonial hypocrisy and mind-numbing irony at play there that they would do well to recognise.
    I just want to add from personal experience in my current work (admin/admissions in an academic institution), nearly every international applicant from outside the EU has a degree from their native country and is working a menial part-time job here because it isn't recognized as worth anything in the EU. For those studying to better themselves and improve their prospects, the stamp 2 Visa severely restricts their ability to work (legally), to the point that many of them are dangerously close to the poverty line in Dublin.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  14. #33
    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    I wouldn't even touch this thread with Paul O'Shea's log-in

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  16. #34
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Probably the most intelligent thing said on this thread so far! haha - I knew I was doomed.

  17. #35
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Another excellent article by the ever-reliable Glenn Greenwald here; this one's about Trump's outrageous and likely-unconstitutional ban on immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen: https://theintercept.com/2017/01/28/...uely-shameful/

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Greenwald
    It is not difficult for any decent human being to immediately apprehend why and how Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries is inhumane, bigoted, and shameful. During the campaign, the evil of the policy was recognized even by Mike Pence (“offensive and unconstitutional”) and Paul Ryan (violative of America’s “fundamental values”), who are far too craven and cowardly to object now.

    Trump’s own defense secretary, Gen. James Mattis, said when Trump first advocated his Muslim ban back in August that “we have lost faith in reason,” adding: “This kind of thing is causing us great damage right now, and it’s sending shock waves through this international system.”

    The sole ostensible rationale for this ban — it is necessary to keep out Muslim extremists — collapses upon the most minimal scrutiny. The countries that have produced and supported the greatest number of anti-U.S. terrorists — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, UAE — are excluded from the ban list because the tyrannical regimes that run those countries are close U.S. allies. Conversely, the countries that are included — Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen — have produced virtually no such terrorists; as the Cato Institute documented on Friday night: “Foreigners from those seven nations have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and the end of 2015.” Indeed, as of a 2015 study by the New America research center, deaths caused by terrorism from right-wing nationalists since 9/11 have significantly exceeded those from Muslim extremists.

    Trump’s pledge last night to a Christian broadcasting network to prioritize Christian refugees over all others is just profane: The very idea of determining who merits refuge on the basis of religious belief is bigotry in its purest sense. Beyond the morality, it is almost also certainly unconstitutional in a country predicated on the “free exercise of religion.” In the New York Times this morning, Cato analyst David Bier also convincingly argues that the policy is illegal on statutory grounds as well.

    ...

    Trump did not appear out of nowhere. He is the logical and most grotesque expression of a variety of trends we have allowed to fester: endless war, a virtually omnipotent presidency, unlimited war powers from spying to due process-free imprisonment to torture to assassinations, repeated civil liberties erosions in the name of illusory guarantees of security, and the sustained demonization of Muslims as scary, primitive, uniquely violent Others.

    A country that engages in endless war against multiple countries not only kills a lot of people but degrades its own citizenry. Trump is the rotted fruit that inevitably sprouts from such fetid roots.

    Trump is not a Russian phenomenon, nor an Italian one, nor Latin American: He is distinctly and consummately American, merely the most extreme face yet from America’s endless war on terror and its post-2008 lurch toward oligarchy. Pretending that Trump is some grand aberration, some radical departure from U.S. history and values, is simply a deceitful way of whitewashing what we have collectively endorsed and allowed.

    Thus did we witness the spectacle last week of many acting as though Trump’s plans for CIA black sites, torture, and rendition were shocking Trumpian aberrations even though many of those denouncing the plans were the ones who advocated or implemented those policies in the first place or protected those who did from criminal prosecution. Denouncing and opposing Trump should not serve to obscure sins of the recent past or whitewash the seeds planted before him that have allowed him to sprout. Opposing Trump’s assault on basic liberties requires a clear understanding of the framework that gave rise to it.

    ...

    It is often the case that extremists on both sides of a protracted conflict end up mirroring one another’s attributes, mentality, and tactics. That is precisely what we are now witnessing as anti-Muslim crusaders in the U.S. adopt the same premises as ISIS and its allies: that the West and Muslims are inherently and irreconcilably adverse. As my colleague Murtaza Hussain described in 2015, the ultimate strategic and propaganda goal of ISIS is to eliminate the “gray zone” for Western Muslims, “generating hostility between domestic Muslim populations and the broader societies that they live in” so as to convince both sides that they should be at war rather than striving for harmony and assimilation.

    It is difficult to envision anything that helps ISIS’s overarching objective, its central narrative, more than Trump’s immigration ban aimed at Muslims while privileging Christian refugees. But it’s not impossible to imagine policies that could be worse in this regard. The danger now is that this immigration ban is merely the first step on this heinous path, not the last. That’s why it’s urgent that everything be done to denounce it, battle it, and defeat it now.
    Rather than immediately denounce Trump's ban when she was given the perfect opportunity to do so during her current visit to Turkey, however, Theresa May, who really is terribly disingenuous, twice dodged direct questions on it and simply refused to condemn it: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7551121.html

    Quote Originally Posted by The Independent
    Theresa May has repeatedly refused to condemn Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and entry for citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations after meeting with Turkish leaders.

    She was speaking just a day after meeting the new President in Washington, where the pair pledged their commitment to the “special relationship” between Britain and the US.

    After agreeing a controversial £100 million fighter jet deal amid wide-ranging purges and security crackdowns following an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ms May held a joint press conference with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

    Their talks were overshadowed by global debate over Mr Trump’s executive order to ban Syrian refugees from entering the US indefinitely, halt all other asylum admissions for 120 days and suspend travel visas for citizens of “countries of particular concern”, including Syria, Iraq and other Muslim-majority nations.

    Faisal Islam, the political editor of Sky News, asked Ms May whether she viewed it as an “action of the leader of the free world”.

    The Prime Minister replied that she was “very pleased” to have met Mr Trump in Washington, before evading the question by hailing Turkey’s reception of millions of refugees and Britain’s support for its government and other nations surrounding Syria.

    When pressed for a second time for her view by another British journalist, Ms May continued: “The United States is responsible for the United States’ policy on refugees, the United Kingdom is responsible for the United Kingdom’s policy on refugees.”

    Yvette Cooper, the former shadow Home Secretary, sent a letter to the Prime Minister urging her to echo condemnation from French and German ministers over the “deeply troubling” executive order.

    Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, said the Prime Minister's refusal to condemn Mr Trump's Muslim ban “is shocking, wrong and cannot stand”.

    He added: “It flies in the face of the values of people across Britain.”
    How utterly craven of May.

  18. #36
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Interesting background on the above:

    https://sethfrantzman.com/2017/01/28...wont-tell-you/

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  20. #37
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Real Ale Madrid: within the narrow confines you've given me, in 2016 alone I can come up with 3 terrorist attacks carried out by refugees

    - St Cloud
    - New York and NJ bombings
    - Ohio State University

    Could also make an argument for Orlando and San Bernardino but they might be shouted down as not being part of the refugee program.

    By the way, sincere thanks for the info on the screening they receive. Seems quite extensive. Not sure what else could or should be done.

  21. #38
    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    I'm not denying that Trump won big in the electoral college, anymore than you could deny that Clinton won the popular vote by a significant margin. The question is what's more significant in terms of defining whether Trump has a "strong mandate". I certainly wouldn't consider something as inherently flawed as the EC (a different debate, but connected to all of this) the best metric to judge a populations support for the kind of policy Trump is coming out with. The Congress is a different story of course, but its already becoming clear that the Republican Congress and the "Republican" President aren't entirely on the same page.
    Hey NFB. You are right in that there are issues with the Electoral College system however you would have to also agree that there are significant problems with the alternatives. I think the college system needs adjusting but I do not think it would be wise to abandon it.

    That said, it is what they use and Trump won resoundingly. By any yardstick imaginable what Trump achieved was mind blowing. Almost 200 point swing from 2012. To turn the states red that were turned (rust belt, PA etc) and how close he got to turning others was actually a massive achievement and speaks to how strong and the response to his agenda was. And also how much the Dems abandoned those people over the last 8 years and how much they were ignored in the campaign.

    Although the liberal MSM will have you believe otherwise there is a strong mandate there. That said, it would be just as important for Trump to find a way to appeal to the liberals/left although at this stage, given the damage that has been done, is that even possible? And if it is not possible then should he still try? I don't know...

  22. #39
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    We'll have to just disagree on that. I don't need any media source to tell me that the winner of an election who got three million less votes than the other candidate doesn't have any popular mandate to pull the kind of stuff he's done in the last seven days, let alone a strong one.

    Without wishing to derail the purpose of this threat, I found it continually baffling that the electoral college is so strongly defended by so many. Just about the only redeeming aspect of it is it's potential to ensure it remains a federal contest where candidates have to try and win a broad array of states, but even that's weak as an argument since it's come down to just 14 or so states consistently now. It's a system where it is mathematically possible to win 22% of the popular vote and be elected President; it's no surprise one in 20 elections see's the popular decision ignored.

    There's been reports that Trump has even discussed doing away with it with legislators this week, but was talked out of it by senior Republicans (go figure; they have twice won the Presidency in our lifetimes without a popular majority, and only "Blue" states have signed the Popular Vote Compact). Not that surprising I suppose: You can tell the popular loss irks Trump by how much he goes on about illegitimate voters and fraud without a shred of hard proof, to the chagrin of Ryan and co.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  23. #40
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    Real Ale Madrid: within the narrow confines you've given me, in 2016 alone I can come up with 3 terrorist attacks carried out by refugees

    - St Cloud
    - New York and NJ bombings
    - Ohio State University

    Could also make an argument for Orlando and San Bernardino but they might be shouted down as not being part of the refugee program.

    By the way, sincere thanks for the info on the screening they receive. Seems quite extensive. Not sure what else could or should be done.
    St Cloud , NY/NJ, San Bernardino and Orlando attacks were all carried out by US citizens not refugees.

    The Ohio state was carried out by a refugee I think, no fatalities there thankfully.

    Edit - 1 fatality in Ohio , looked it up there.
    Last edited by Real ale Madrid; 29/01/2017 at 9:19 AM.
    If a dog weighs under 50 lbs it's a cat, and cats are useless.

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