Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:49 am

another data point in the unraveling of what we have known as “the West”:
A slow-simmering scandal in Austria has brought into public view potentially disastrous divisions among Western intelligence agencies. As far-right politicians have joined coalition governments in Austria and Italy and taken ministerial positions in charge of security and law enforcement, concerns have grown among intelligence professionals that they will ignore or even encourage the threat of violent ultra-right extremists.
The extreme right is now in charge of the interior ministries in both Vienna and Rome, putting conspicuous pressure on the intelligence services. In Austria, there have even been police raids on the homes and offices of top intelligence service staffers. . . .

All this comes at an extremely delicate political moment. At a European Union summit at the end of this week, the big issue will be immigration, as the EU tries to devise a coherent policy after years of conflicting positions in the face of a flood of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Then, next month, Trump will likely meet Putin in Europe at roughly the same time he attends a NATO summit.

The article is co-written by Christopher Dickey, James' son and a cheerleader for the EU, militant centrism, the postwar liberal order, and Emmanuel Macron.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:14 am

Sweden, defeating Mexico to win Group F, advances - and, with Germany's collapse, Mexico also advances.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:01 pm

Milo adds his voice to the chorus of calls for civility in public discourse.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:08 am

a different view of Angela Merkel, from "Eastern Germany," penned by former Communist, dissident musician Wolf Biermann
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:07 pm

At the recent G7 meeting, the US president is reported to have compared NATO to NAFTA (“NATO is as bad as NAFTA”). This remark has a number of European leaders concerned about the upcoming NATO meeting - and the US president's piggybacking his summit with Putin during his trip to the summit. Also, when he met with the US president, Swedish PM Stefan Lövfen explained to him that Sweden is not a member of NATO but does partner with NATO on a case by case basis; the US president's reply was that the US should consider adopting the same approach, withdrawing from NATO in favor of a transactional relationship (joining NATO has emerged as a contentious issue in Sweden during recent years).

Also, bizarrely, in April the US president asked French president Macron “Why don’t you leave the E.U.?” (it is asking this question of Macron that is bizarre) and promised France a bilateral trade deal on better terms than the EU has from the US if France would quit the EU.

Deconstruction of the transatlantic economic, political and security structures is not, as Balsamo has said, synonymous with European populism, nor are Russian strategic aims the same as populism. That said, I should think that many European leaders are baffled about what US policy is; it is officially stated to be supportive of the alliances from which the US has gained so much since WWII but, under pressure of the US president's public and private positions, seems to be confused, or diametrically opposed to such support, at present.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:42 pm

Another sign of the Trump administration’s alignment with the far right in Europe: Andrew Veprek, recently appointed deputy for refugees and migration in the US State Department, has sought changes in the UN Human Rights Council resolution - “The Incompatibility between Democracy and Racism.”

Veprek argued that ”The drafters say 'populism and nationalism' as if these are dirty words. There are millions of Americans who likely would describe themselves as adhering to these concepts. (Maybe even the President.). So are we looking to here condemn our fellow-citizens, those who pay our salaries?"

Veprek wants to eliminate from UN statements negative references to “xenophobia” and advocates what he calls “a unifying culture (as opposed to multiculturalism).” In proposed edits to the Human Rights Council document - the US has since withdrawn from the council - Veprek argued against the UN's stated concern about “the rise of extremist political parties, movements and groups that seek to normalize racism” and xenophobia taking an uncharacteristic, for the Trump administration, legalistic, technical view with the criticism that the phrase “normalize racism” “is vague and has no legal definition.”

Trumpism: stickler for legal niceties? Carolyn Yeager approves: https://carolynyeager.net/pendulum-swin ... r-turn-now
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:08 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:At the recent G7 meeting, the US president is reported to have compared NATO to NAFTA (“NATO is as bad as NAFTA”). This remark has a number of European leaders concerned about the upcoming NATO meeting - and the US president's piggybacking his summit with Putin during his trip to the summit. Also, when he met with the US president, Swedish PM Stefan Lövfen explained to him that Sweden is not a member of NATO but does partner with NATO on a case by case basis; the US president's reply was that the US should consider adopting the same approach, withdrawing from NATO in favor of a transactional relationship (joining NATO has emerged as a contentious issue in Sweden during recent years).

Also, bizarrely, in April the US president asked French president Macron “Why don’t you leave the E.U.?” (it is asking this question of Macron that is bizarre) and promised France a bilateral trade deal on better terms than the EU has from the US if France would quit the EU.

Deconstruction of the transatlantic economic, political and security structures is not, as Balsamo has said, synonymous with European populism, nor are Russian strategic aims the same as populism. That said, I should think that many European leaders are baffled about what US policy is; it is officially stated to be supportive of the alliances from which the US has gained so much since WWII but, under pressure of the US president's public and private positions, seems to be confused, or diametrically opposed to such support, at present.


I think that the furtherance of these populist nationalist parties in western Europe are greatly advantageous to Russia's long-term aims. Most of them are isolationist or in some cases (such as the FN) implicitly pro-Russian. The emergence of isolationist governments in NATO member states undermines the certainty of article 5 being invoked in the event of Russian aggression in the Baltics - especially if it is ambiguous aggression via unconventional forces (such as what we witnessed in Crimea in 2014). Putin can't be unhappy about the prospect of multiple NATO members adopting a non-participant stance in the event of aggression on his part.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:49 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:At the recent G7 meeting, the US president is reported to have compared NATO to NAFTA (“NATO is as bad as NAFTA”). This remark has a number of European leaders concerned about the upcoming NATO meeting - and the US president's piggybacking his summit with Putin during his trip to the summit. Also, when he met with the US president, Swedish PM Stefan Lövfen explained to him that Sweden is not a member of NATO but does partner with NATO on a case by case basis; the US president's reply was that the US should consider adopting the same approach, withdrawing from NATO in favor of a transactional relationship (joining NATO has emerged as a contentious issue in Sweden during recent years).

Also, bizarrely, in April the US president asked French president Macron “Why don’t you leave the E.U.?” (it is asking this question of Macron that is bizarre) and promised France a bilateral trade deal on better terms than the EU has from the US if France would quit the EU.

Deconstruction of the transatlantic economic, political and security structures is not, as Balsamo has said, synonymous with European populism, nor are Russian strategic aims the same as populism. That said, I should think that many European leaders are baffled about what US policy is; it is officially stated to be supportive of the alliances from which the US has gained so much since WWII but, under pressure of the US president's public and private positions, seems to be confused, or diametrically opposed to such support, at present.


I think that the furtherance of these populist nationalist parties in western Europe are greatly advantageous to Russia's long-term aims. Most of them are isolationist or in some cases (such as the FN) implicitly pro-Russian. The emergence of isolationist governments in NATO member states undermines the certainty of article 5 being invoked in the event of Russian aggression in the Baltics - especially if it is ambiguous aggression via unconventional forces (such as what we witnessed in Crimea in 2014). Putin can't be unhappy about the prospect of multiple NATO members adopting a non-participant stance in the event of aggression on his part.

Not only do the positions of these parties/movements coincide in many instances with Russian interests but also some of these parties/movements have the backing of Russia (Brexit, Italy's right wing, Trump, etc). Also, many of the populist nationalists for some reason perceive Russia as a Christian/white power mecca of sorts and thus a "center" for white nationalist revival.

As to Crimea, Trump has floated that the populist-nationalist USA might recognize Russia's seizure of the Crimea. I think big countries should always be recognized - approved, honored - when they seize nearby smaller countries. Big countries taking over small neighbors has always worked out well for the world.

In addition it is my contention that passing the proposed Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act, or FART Act, in the USA - it would direct the USA's abandonment of WTO trading rules - will be a different kind of step toward deconstructing the postwar world order and #MAGA. The FART Act, kept secret until now, will put wind in the sails of populist nationalists in Europe. It will also be a sound heard 'round the world. The elites and libtards will complain that the FART Act stinks to high heaven, but the FART Act is a release of People Power and the sound of the People's Voice. I say let it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTNGg0Tj5Aw
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:14 pm

Joshua Yaffa in The New Yorker tackles some of the issues raised in Jeff_36's post, from the pov of USA-Russia relations: "The Magic Putin Hopes to Make with Trump in Helsinki"

And David Frum's review of Timothy Snyder's new book on Putinism, on other aspects - the question of asymmetrical or hybrid warfare - of what Jeff_36 raises: "The Great Russian Disinformation Campaign: In a new book, Timothy Snyder explains how Russia revolutionized information warfare—and presages its consequences for democracies in Europe and the United States."
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:27 pm

Just a question, and glad to see you back Jeff, can anyone explains to me what kind of thread Russia poses to the USA?
Please, not your elections.

I am reading Snyder's article at the moment, and i really wonder what is at the root of this generalized paranoia that seems to blur so many brilliant mind.
They just do not get it.

In Latin America, you have a similar phenomenon but not with Russia, but China.
The good opinion of China, here, is of course not due to some kind of admiration of its political system. People here who are quite new with democracy cherish the regime more than any other currently.

So if our old western world wants some chance of surviving this crisis, it is about time to make a self criticism exercise.
When i read that Putin would now have a direct influence on how Westerners vote, i just can't laughing, when it has been decade that election are influenced by ever less impartial media groups.

The current tendency to envision a shift in further cooperation, president Trump helping a lot, is not because of some kind of charm of Putin, or the influence of some trolls on the internet, it is because it seems a sensible choice even at the scholar level (European of course) and for very pragmatic reason.

Pretending that Putin keeps its power only because there are no free election there, is just as absurd as the precedent affirmation.
Europe depends on Russia natural gas which maintains our electric system. Would they cut the output, Western Europe would just freezes. But well...

Another remarks is the incredible facility to conceive what would normally be called a pure "Conspiracy theory"- in this case that Putin organized terrorist attacks in order to consolidate his power, but then whatever such theories are applied targetting the "Free world", the poor theorist is reduced to the level of a retard poster of forum like CODOH...
Then Snyder would blame Russian propaganda...as if the WMD in Iraq never happened...as if accusations of Iraqi soldiers killing new born babies or animal zoos never took place...and blaming ( the most predictable reaction of all time) the "invasion of Crimea" while Kennedy almost started a nuclear war over Cuba...

But this new tendency, replacing the former "CT thing" put in place around...2001 ?...has now given birth to the fight against "Fake News"...of course, purely inspired by the need to protect "democracies" against the terrible disinformation coming from Moscow...Such a Law has been passed by president Macron, allowing the authorities to ring a bell forcing a judge to pronounce a judgement condemning a news to be fake or not...within 48 hours...But i guess it is now meant not only to protect our innocent minds from uncontrolled CT's on the net, but also from cyber disinformation attacks coming from Putin.

But thanks, Stat, I have just ordered "the Road to unfreedom" to evaluate how far some scholars have gone from realities.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:57 pm

Balsamo wrote:The current tendency to envision a shift in further cooperation, president Trump helping a lot, is not because of some kind of charm of Putin, or the influence of some trolls on the internet, it is because it seems a sensible choice even at the scholar level (European of course) and for very pragmatic reason.

Well, I am confident that for Trump collaborative efforts with Russia - I will not say collusive actions - have absolutely nothing to do with what is concluded at "the scholar level"; his cooperative attitude is likely the product of his financial ties with Russians and his general pissed off attitude.

Frum's article struck me also as on the Maddow-ish side of things. But then again Frum is Frum. OTOH well, yeah, the elections are a problem, although I think that if the American republic had not by 2016 been long falling apart at the seams, Russian interference would be more or less a non-issue. I mean, who is receptive to the {!#%@} they tried? Er, people who already think in weird ways . . . no, I don't think the elections turned on Russian disinformation.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:12 pm

Balsamo wrote:Just a question, and glad to see you back Jeff, can anyone explains to me what kind of thread Russia poses to the USA?
Please, not your elections.

Jeff_36 is Canadian and is not only not permitted to vote in US elections but will soon be banned from entering the US as Canada is probably worse than ISIS. Canada is more like Al Qaida or maybe Venezuela. Travel ban!!
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:08 pm

an evaluation of the political situation in Germany and Merkel's position:

1) WaPo ran a story a day or so ago implying that, with her deal with Seehofer, Merkel had "saved the day" for herself, the CDU, and "liberalism"; this piece offers a different - probably more realistic - perspective: "On Monday [Seehofer] walked back from the edge after meeting with the chancellor, saying that they had reached a compromise. But few observers expect this to be a permanent peace, and say that the relationship between the two leaders, and between their two parties, is damaged beyond repair." What seems to be motivating Seehofer and the CSU is, true, not CSU strength but its weakness in the face of the challenge from the right (AfD). It's the strength of the nativist right that forced Merkel to accede to Seehofer's demand on an end to free movement, Merkel's signature policy.

2) The author argues that "the real implications are . . . : A collapse of the German center right would set off a rapid political realignment that could well lead to a revivified center left — and an empowered and dangerous far right." My own sense is that the latter prospect is by far the most likely one. As the author explains:
what Mr. Seehofer has in mind . . . has been building a relationship with Europe’s other emerging right-wing leaders, especially President Viktor Orban of Hungary, and reversing the C.S.U.’s traditionally strong commitment to the European Union.

And, foreshadowing a possible alliance with the Alternative for Germany, Mr. Seehofer has been reaching out to Austria’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, who governs in a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party. Tellingly, Mr. Kurz made appearances at C.S.U. campaign events last year, while Ms. Merkel was nowhere to be seen.

3. However, the piece explains the opening for the left center, before concluding that the moment is likely to strengthen, and radicalize, the right:
The only other option would be snap elections. Ms. Merkel, though personally popular, is seen as a weakening late-career leader, and her party would certainly lose more support in a new vote. Her best hope, then, would be to be buoyed by a strengthened center-left, under her other governing partners, the Social Democrats. Should the Greens change their minds — as several in that party have argued they should — Germany could well find itself led by a woman who has spent her entire political career on the right but now heads a coalition of left-leaning parties and, freed from the C.S.U., most likely advancing center-left policies. It would mean that, in practical terms, the Christian Democrats had ceased to be a center-right party.

Most Germans would probably be O.K. with this — the country is, by and large, center-left in its political sentiments. But the collapse of the center-right coalition would be likely to push the C.S.U. and the Alternative for Germany closer together, and perhaps even further to the right. The outcome of this new political alignment — a center-left establishment against an impassioned, growing populist right — remains to be seen. But given how well the far right has done in similar arrangements in other parts of Europe, it is a prospect that no one should consider without some trepidation.

I don't know German politics well at all, but my superficial impression is that "a strengthened center-left" in new elections is a bit far-fetched, given recent trends. How realistic is a German "establishment" government headed by Merkel and supported by the SD and Greens? Thoughts?
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:55 pm

Statmec:

I don't know German politics well at all, but my superficial impression is that "a strengthened center-left" in new elections is a bit far-fetched, given recent trends. How realistic is a German "establishment" government headed by Merkel and supported by the SD and Greens? Thoughts?


Actually, Angela Merkel is ruling a coalition that includes the SPD since day one, but to rule without the CSU would be politically impossible, as the CSU is the most powerful regional party of Germany. Berlin just cannot break with Munich.

As far as i can remember and think about it, that would be when Helmut Kohl was elected, Germany has always led a very neutral policy. If there was a difference between the SPD and the CDU it was on small details, more on theoretical approach. The difference were still bigger in the old days than it is now. For example the CDU favored the privatization of former public enterprises, like Lufthansa, the railways,etc...while the SPD was of course more conservative and less liberal on those subjects.
But there was no real rupture which explains the longevity of the German chancellors.

I think that one of the main issue today is precisely that the difference between a CDU government or a SPD one (Schroeder) is less clear than ever. The reforms led by Schroeder were by far the more "liberal", and destructive of social rights in history, while it has been the CDU that corrected some of the inequalities that followed Schroeder's reform.

Schroeder, the social democrats, after his electoral defeat first joint, no kidding, the Rothschild bank, before becoming chairman of board of Rosneft, in both case joining the capitalist/liberal elite, being paid millions a year.

And here is one of the problems: it does not matter if you vote CDU or SPD, in both cases you vote for the same liberal policy, the same adherence to the EU.

And it is phenomenon that exists in every European countries, as a consequences there is no other option than casting votes for the extremes if you do not agree with the pro-EU liberal policy.

Nevertheless, in the case of Germany, that alone cannot explain the current success of the AfD which is a very real consequence of the Migrant crisis, which also shows the failure of the EU to deal with the crisis.
As i have explained, it is once again the current Liberalism that is contested. The EU and Liberalism see those migrants as additional (low cost) supply for the labor markets. Of course, more and more European citizens (and that includes German citizens), sees this flood as not only a security threat (Europe, except Great Britain was not used with so much terrorist attacks) - whether the threat is real or just perceived does not matter, but also as a threat on the social rights, and generous Welfare systems - already in crisis - and more recently as a threat on their identity and their way of life.

Of course, the result is some radicalization of political postures, among those traditional parties who kind of lost touch with their electorate aspirations, and i think it is a good thing actually, as it is the only way to prevent the extremes parties to profit from the aspiration of the voters.

In other words, the traditional parties have to redefine their position versus the usual Liberal and pro EU doxa which people are kind of fed up with. There is a need for a democratic way to express those disagreements without HAVING to vote for those extremes, and the democratic parties should provide a way to just do that.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:56 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:The current tendency to envision a shift in further cooperation, president Trump helping a lot, is not because of some kind of charm of Putin, or the influence of some trolls on the internet, it is because it seems a sensible choice even at the scholar level (European of course) and for very pragmatic reason.

Well, I am confident that for Trump collaborative efforts with Russia - I will not say collusive actions - have absolutely nothing to do with what is concluded at "the scholar level"; his cooperative attitude is likely the product of his financial ties with Russians and his general pissed off attitude.

Frum's article struck me also as on the Maddow-ish side of things. But then again Frum is Frum. OTOH well, yeah, the elections are a problem, although I think that if the American republic had not by 2016 been long falling apart at the seams, Russian interference would be more or less a non-issue. I mean, who is receptive to the {!#%@} they tried? Er, people who already think in weird ways . . . no, I don't think the elections turned on Russian disinformation.


I think we agree.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:03 pm

Balsamo wrote:I think we agree.

Impossible! I will find a way to fix that! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:07 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote: I mean, who is receptive to the {!#%@} they tried? Er, people who already think in weird ways . . . no, I don't think the elections turned on Russian disinformation.

Every hooman action has a mix of causation/influences. The voting electorate, even more so. That being the case, to call out any one issue as "not turning" the election can be said about every factor identified.

So, which characterization is more accurate: 1. ".... I don't think the elections turned on Russian disinformation" or

2. Russian disinformation played a role in the election....

3. Russian disinformation played an unknown role in the election....

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:13 pm

Balsamo, before we were so rudely interrupted, I wanted to say thanks re: your comments about Germany, yes, I think what the author meant was that an SPD-CDU-Green-Left government would differ to the current SPD-CDU/CSU government, if I have this right. OTOH I take it that you disagree with the article's author's view that there is a true center-left option and think rather that any government formed with or without the CSU but with the SPD + CDU (if possible) would be center-liberal, if such a term exists, and really more of the same concerning the most important policies. If that's what you're saying, I think that makes sense (I cannot allow two points of agreement within two posts!) For the record, I have many very serious issues with Merkel's leadership, the austerity she's driven being part of Europe's current predicament - maybe these issues overlap with yours?- and see the anti-establishment, anti-liberal dynamism in Germany coming from the right and far right. I should be very satisfied to see Merkel in trouble - but the "alternative for Germany" is not a good one, IMO.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:30 pm

https://twitter.com/hashtag/secondcivil ... s?src=hash

Some sample letters from soldiers fighting the Red Hats of the MAGA forces in the Second Civil War (American) (bonus is seeing Ben Shapiro and Orrin Hatch's office ineptly troll the thread):

Bob Harry:

My dearest Gladys,
I saw a man lose his life today. His eyes looked past me, toward what I did not know. I kneeled at my fallen enemy.

“I could’ve been on your side,” he revealed between coughs. “But for her emails,” he said as he met his fate.

——

Rick Wilson:

I stared at the dying soldier, his Alt-Reich Douchestaffel uniform covered in blood.

He gripped my arm, eyes wild with fear of impending death.

"One question..." he gasped.

"Anything," I said.

With his last breath he sighed, "What is a clitoris?"

——

Jake Ferguson:

Dearest Agatha, We got Admiral Pence to talk. It wasn’t pretty. We had to bind his hands and feet and sit him at a candle lit dinner with a woman. I hear his cries still! “MOTHER WOULDNT LIKE THIS! MOTHER!!”

——

Pé Resists:

Dear Mom:

Today we found out khakis, red hats and bleached-white polo shirts do not make good camouflage. Tomorrow we will try our Pepe costumes.

——

Eugene Gu, MD:

Grandma: I want to show you something.
Child: Your old holograms?
Grandma: No, a letter.

Dear Mr. Dershowitz,

You aren’t invited to my parties anymore.

Signed,
Martha

Grandma: And that, child, is how I won the Battle of Martha’s Vineyard all by myself.

——

Dearest Martha,

We have been victorious at Bowling Green. There has been a slight delay in signing the surrender terms, mainly due to confusion of Commander Cofeve, he seems to be unaware between the use of “Your vs. You’re” and “There vs. Their”.

——

OurLadyOfSporks:

Dearest love, As I continue to oversee the Red Hatted POWs I find myself perplexed. They speak of great victories though they've lost every battle and at great personal cost to themselves. Their concept of winning confuses me greatly.
With love,
Annie

——

Tom Ross

Dear Mr. Lincoln,

Please for the love of god wake up and smack some sense into the Republican Party.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:26 pm

Well, I am confident that for Trump collaborative efforts with Russia - I will not say collusive actions - have absolutely nothing to do with what is concluded at "the scholar level"


I agree as what i meant by "scholar level" on this issue is that the idea of a future "political" closer cooperation with Russia (rapprochement) is not seen as insane and would present many advantages.

From my perspective, the whole "election case" is overblown. It is of course obvious that Putin had no interest in seeing Hilary Clinton being elected. So that he brought some support in order to see her loosing is one thing. But there is nothing new there, actually. State trying to influence elections is nothing new, just like other groups and lobbies. I could add that CNN clearly influenced the democratic primaries by supporting Clinton 100%.

In a connected world, where information is now international and spread through uncontrollable new virtual means, it is inevitable.

My disagreement is on the real impact it had on the election.

no, I don't think the elections turned on Russian disinformation.


This is why i wrote "i agree"... :lol:

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:07 pm

Statmec:

For the record, I have many very serious issues with Merkel's leadership, the austerity she's driven being part of Europe's current predicament - maybe these issues overlap with yours?- and see the anti-establishment, anti-liberal dynamism in Germany coming from the right and far right. I should be very satisfied to see Merkel in trouble - but the "alternative for Germany" is not a good one, IMO.


No they don't overlap at all.
And, i am so sorry to say : " You are right, the AfD is no good for anyone."

Unfortunately, austerity is a natural consequence of the 2008 crisis. It is well known that what the Germans fear the most is inflation, deficits, etc. So i do not think that those sacrifices are the reasons of the rise of the AfD by itself. As i wrote in a former post, German citizens do accept sacrifices if the reason is "good", that is "well explained", that is if they see a point.
West Germany imposed many sacrifices in order to digest East Germany, and as far as i know, it was accepted.

As i said, under Chancellor Schroeder, the Hartz reforms (2002) destroyed the former "social democrat inspired Labor market" more brutally than any "right party" would have dared to impose ...There were huge demonstrations, and discontent from the SPD voters, but in fine, strangely enough, the SPD still won the general election in 2005.
And even though i would have opposed them back then, well those reforms kind of worked and those reforms are no longer contested.

But this is why the migrant crisis, and Merkel management of it, is kind of a "drop in a "full glass". After 40 years of social sacrifices, seeing the arrival of millions of migrants just does not pass. The integration programs is very expensive, and half of those migrants live on social benefits.
This is what broke the legendary German consensus. Especially since Germany has nothing to do with the policies that actually provoked this crisis: No German planes are bombing Syria, No German planes destroyed the Kadafi Regime... This is what the vote for the AfD means.

Actually, i still think that the threats of the rise of anti democratic ideas and parties is much less severe in Germany than in other parts of Europe where they seems here to stay.
Deal with the crisis, and the AfD will be back to single digit score immediately (at least this is my hope).

Note that Bavaria is one of the few region where the AfD has no political representation. So maybe it is about time for Merkel to listen to what the CSU has to say.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:45 pm

I do disagree - praise the lord - on austerity. I do not think it was the natural or only viable response to the financial/economic crisis - the US didn't really do austerity; I do think that the conditions of austerity are part of what ails Europe, not necessarily Germany, but significant parts of Europe, helping form the context for anger about the system, thinking for a moment about Italy. OTOH I don't think the advocates of large-scale refugee admissions considered all the angles necessary for such a program to work, from infrastructure to employment, from education to acceptance. I can see a lot of these issues in Sweden. So I do agree that Merkel's problems in Germany have to do with the way she handled the migrant crisis, and, {!#%@} all, I promise not to keep agreeing with you, it was the US that played an outsized role in creating the conditions for that crisis. Last, I don't think that a vote for the AfD is as simple as voting about this. I hope I'm wrong.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:56 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Well, I am confident that for Trump collaborative efforts with Russia - I will not say collusive actions - have absolutely nothing to do with what is concluded at "the scholar level"


I agree as what i meant by "scholar level" on this issue is that the idea of a future "political" closer cooperation with Russia (rapprochement) is not seen as insane and would present many advantages.

From my perspective, the whole "election case" is overblown. It is of course obvious that Putin had no interest in seeing Hilary Clinton being elected. So that he brought some support in order to see her loosing is one thing. But there is nothing new there, actually. State trying to influence elections is nothing new, just like other groups and lobbies. I could add that CNN clearly influenced the democratic primaries by supporting Clinton 100%.

In a connected world, where information is now international and spread through uncontrollable new virtual means, it is inevitable.

Glad to see we disagree on this! It's a huge relief. Really. Not the place to go through the issues - and I'm out of the Trump thread - but part of the answer to your question is the elections. I would ask if this is all so normal and just part of life why the secrecy and why the panic . . .

Balsamo wrote:My disagreement is on the real impact it had on the election.

I don't think that the impact on the 2016 election of Russian bots, fake news, hacking, etc is known. Not sure what to disagree with but happy for disagreement for the sake of it.

Balsamo wrote:
no, I don't think the elections turned on Russian disinformation.


This is why i wrote "i agree"... :lol:

Well, this is the case a lot of journalists and others now make. I think the claims are, er, "overblown." As a thought experiment, subtract Russian disinformation and think about what the US would be left with. A bitterly divided population, severe racial and class conflicts, widespread distrust in institutions, money and corruption dominating politics, estrangement of the electorate from their representatives, failure of core national myths, the blowback from Bush's wars and Obama's continuation of them, values and "identity" clashes, years of right-wing hysteria about "them," angry white men, etc. I just think that a lot of different factors, not Russian disinformation, led to Trump's victory.

One funny thing that led to that victory can be seen in an anecdote: My wife and I were talking about how individual states race to the bottom to subsidize and attract business by eroding their tax bases; we were reflecting on The Grauniad's series on city and state subsidies for technology companies. I mentioned that for many reasons states themselves are problematic - because of states, we don't have standard healthcare, Medicaid, educational opportunity, and so on. Abortion and marriage equality will be part of this variance, soon I think. My wife said, Yeah but who wants Trump and the Republicans running things nationally? And I said - of course - but if we voted nationally and by straight population, we wouldn't have Trump in the WH and the Republicans would be in a minority in Congress. In the case of the 2016 presidential election, an archaic set of institutions, designed in part to protect slavery FSS, contributed to Trump's victory. More so than Russian disinformation, egregious as I think their campaign was.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:12 am

"It was still at the stage of clubs and fists, hurrah, tala"

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:11 am




I may not go to Poland after all.
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:05 am

I forgot to mention, on the subject of rabid nationalism in Europe, Sweden advanced to the quarterfinals (first time since 1994), edging Switzerland 1-0, and will be a massive underdog to the UK. In fact, I believe the Swedish side is ranked last - yes, behind Russia! - among the final 8.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:02 am

I spent over an hour today reading the #secondcivilwarletters Twitter feed . . . I'm hoping to have a grip on things by tomorrow. I am canceling the 4th on account of the criminal bastards who are kidnapping children and calling it national security. {!#%@} them all. Come the revolution and all that.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balmoral95 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:23 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:



I may not go to Poland after all.


Good idea. I can't imagine ever setting foot there again.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:43 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I forgot to mention, on the subject of rabid nationalism in Europe, Sweden advanced to the quarterfinals (first time since 1994), edging Switzerland 1-0, and will be a massive underdog to the UK. In fact, I believe the Swedish side is ranked last - yes, behind Russia! - among the final 8.


Current ranking among the 8:
Brazil 2
Belgium 3
France 7
England 12
Uruguay 13
Croatia 20
Sweden 24
Russia .............. 70

Hadn't be for that stupid goal we scored, Belgium would be on the highway to the final, while now we have to beat the two best team left in the competition, starting with the best on Friday...Not all victories are good.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:03 pm

LOL true dat. I am rooting, of course, for Sweden. As is my wife, with a strong nod from her also to France. After our trip to Berlin and Sweden, we are home for a bit, then in Paris for 2 weeks later in the fall, where she can dazzle me with her command of the French language. She has a strong affinity for France. My 2nd choice is Brazil.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:21 pm

Statmec:
My 2nd choice is Brazil.


HOW DARE YOU! :evil:

My turn:

Can't wait to see "The three lions" sending those SS looking herrings eaters back home on Saturday... :mrgreen:

Seriously, how is it you so fell in love with Sweden? Really wondering as it is quite original, nothing wrong with it of course. I visited the country once, about 25 years ago, and really enjoyed, although it was in November, and my first experience was quite cold as i arrived late at night and my luggage did not follow me. So was only wearing a light shirt and my jacket...Really enjoyable although adventurous trip. I really admired people social conscience back then, it is hard to believe there are now close to 20% ready to vote for a far right party, absolutely unthinkable back then.

Seriously, if you don't mind sharing it, i would be really interested. Such a love affair with a cold northern country is quite unusual.
PS: I love Swedish food, especially herrings in this white sauce full of seeds (forgot the name).. ;)

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:30 am

"It was still at the stage of clubs and fists, hurrah, tala"

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:37 am

Balsamo wrote:Statmec:
My 2nd choice is Brazil.


HOW DARE YOU! :evil:

My turn:

Can't wait to see "The three lions" sending those SS looking herrings eaters back home on Saturday... :mrgreen:

Seriously, how is it you so fell in love with Sweden? Really wondering as it is quite original, nothing wrong with it of course. I visited the country once, about 25 years ago, and really enjoyed, although it was in November, and my first experience was quite cold as i arrived late at night and my luggage did not follow me. So was only wearing a light shirt and my jacket...Really enjoyable although adventurous trip. I really admired people social conscience back then, it is hard to believe there are now close to 20% ready to vote for a far right party, absolutely unthinkable back then.

Seriously, if you don't mind sharing it, i would be really interested. Such a love affair with a cold northern country is quite unusual.
PS: I love Swedish food, especially herrings in this white sauce full of seeds (forgot the name).. ;)

LOL too funny . . . no problem: I had zero interest in Sweden until a close relative moved there some years ago. I figured it would be a boring "vanilla" place full of identical, modern, prefabricated boxlike homes and stores. :) The first time I visited my relative the plan was to spend three days in Sweden, then travel to Copenhagen and maybe Germany the rest of our time in Europe. We never left Sweden, we liked the place so much. Probably the sense of lagom, which in part is tied to the (now waning) social consciousness you mention, was appealing - but also the place is just friggin' beautiful. I have come to know my relative's friends, as we spend 4-7 weeks a year in Sweden. And have met other people on our own. Every 3-4 weeks I spend there, even in dark of winter, I have enjoyed. I too like the food, not the herring but for sure the kanelbullar, the reindeer, the köttbullar med lingon . . . (I usually go in summer or fall . . . !!) The Sweden Democrats are likely to be 2nd biggest or largest vote-getter come September (they're now polling #2 but usually exceed their poll numbers in the actual voting), to your point about how badly the mass migration has been handled, not just by Merkel (WaPo recently described Merkel's migration approach as "The greatest miscalculation of Angela Merkel’s career").
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:54 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote: The Sweden Democrats are likely to be 2nd biggest or largest vote-getter come September...., to your point about how badly the mass migration has been handled, not just by Merkel.

Mass migration is ALWAYS poorly handled, if handled at all. Its a numbers game. Immigrants have to be barely noticed to be acceptable to the greater majority culture: especially if some bottom line cultural values are in conflict.

Did Merkle really encourage immigration because of a perceived labor shortage?...….Hard to believe, but so are all the alternatives.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Balsamo » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:34 am

Thanks,

Now i can understand...(not your Xmas trip though)...but summer and fall are fine.

the I too like the food, not the herring but for sure the kanelbullar, the reindeer, the köttbullar med lingon


Not the herring ? I guess you had to disagree with something... ;)... Just so you know, i hate the Kanelbullar the same way i hate cinnamon bakeries from all over the world (now it is unfair, as i don't like dessert in general), but the Swedish meat balls are for sure the best in t he world (whatever lingon might be)...Reindeer is a must, especially given that it is usually a treat for the family, a special meal...Just a way to translate as you are probably the only one who leaned Swedish.
The funny is that i got to taste every dish that you mentioned during my seven day stay...5 were at Malmoe...and of course the reindeer was the goodbye dinner...
And to conclude with an agreement, it is indeed a beautiful country.

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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:44 am

I cannot defend my love for kanelbullarna - my wife dislikes them intensely - but only go with the flow. OTOH my wife doesn’t like bread generally but finds Swedish bread to be very tasty. So it all balances out :) She’s a fan of coffee, which I make but don’t drink, and says that Swedish coffee is quite good, not as good as Italian coffee but of surprisingly quality. Another thing I like about Sweden is the strength of the labor movement and what that means for the lives (and status) of working class people. It's a jolt to the system for an American - to see what could be, with that as well as with social welfare programs.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:25 am

And almost on cue, as to the last bit of my note, WaPo today ran a column entitled "Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world", handily comparing US worker status across a number of dimensions to the rest of the OECD, with data broken out by country. The piece concludes with the observation that "Only 12 percent of U.S. workers were covered by collective bargaining in 2016 — among all the nations the OECD tracks, only Turkey, Lithuania and South Korea have been lower at any point this millennium" but doesn't break out data for this point. The latest OECD data I've seen has Sweden's comparable number at 90% - and the US at 11% and Sweden at 67% in labor union "density" (membership rate based on all employees in a country).
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:20 pm

If you have an effective "humane" social safety net...…..you "almost" don't need a union.....course, its all interactive.

Wage Slaves....about sums the USA up.
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:39 pm

TPM's "best of" #secondcivilwarletters . . . https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ ... warletters
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Re: Populism and Nationalism in Europe Today

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:29 pm

I know we don’t discuss Thud anymore here but I wanted to pass this along:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/07/05/politics/scott-pruitt-epa-resigns/index.html
A joke going around Moscow during The Great Terror:

The NKVD knocks on a door.
The inhabitants ask who it is.
“NKVD.”
“You’ve got the wrong apartment. The Communists are upstairs.”


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