The revelation to some, that Congress & D.C. has been in general hijacked by Corporate, Foreign, and Special Interests run amuck... is too much to swallow for many.
CNN & MSNBC has long been the propaganda media for these Corporate, Globalist, etc. establishment forces, and so they, along with those cronies in Congress that have been there for 30 years or longer(Pelosi, Waters, McCain, etc.) who have continually passed new laws and agreements that bring us harm (Repeal of Glass & Steagall, NAFTA, ACA, etc.) are fighting hard to keep their lies and deceptions propped up.
Trump, as loathsome and despicable as he is to many people who have yet to open their eyes to the truths (noted above) is the one that has been trying to expose the corruption. The 'drain the swamp' candidate turned President has done more to expose the slow decay of sovereignty, of liberty, and the middle (working) class that has been ongoing for over 25 years, it started in earnest with Bush and continued through Clinton, Bush, and Obama unopposed.
Yes, Trump as patriot, as defender of people's rights and American independence, of working class Americans, is a tough pill for many to follow. He is seen by many as crude, crass, and obnoxious.
And that is largely because CNN, MSNBC, W.Post and others have spent many months programming you into believing he is worse than Mussolini, he is everything you fear, and more.
People have a choice, they can continue to believe the propaganda, the lies being fed to them by those 'news' sources noted above, or they can challenge those sources rather than just accept them... read the Wall Street Journal, go to alternate news sources (Bloomberg, Fox News) and begin to realize what is really going on. There are literally alternate realities between some of these sources..
How do you decide who to believe?
So you say it's "Corporate, Globalists". vs Trump
Please explain how the multi-billionaire, CEO and sole owner of multinational company "Trump Incorporated" is NOT a corporate globalist.
Because he doesn't want to be?
Because he is already so rich, he can't be bought off with 50 or 60 million like Obama and Clinton?
Look take Trump out of the equation... too many of you are fixated on Trump. He is not the one who has put this country 20 Trillion dollars in debt, he is not the one who has put 100 million people on Welfare...
Trump didn't repeal Glass & Steagall, Trump didn't give us NAFTA, Trump wasn't pushing TPP... all that has occurred in the last 25+ years, and the decline in jobs, wages, benefits, etc. has nothing to do with him.
Trump is the result of all the corruption and collusion going on in D.C. he is the big F U people gave who are completely fed up, the people who lost their homes, or their pension plans, or had to declare bankruptcy, people who lost their jobs because of NAFTA, or CAFTA, or the lack of any tariffs or taxes on foreign imports from China.
If I had been Trump, with his money, I'd have bought a place in Iceland, a place in Switzerland, and a place in the Bahamas, I would have renounced my citizenship... and watched in comfort as America collapsed in on itself, rather than do what Trump did, and spend his own money, and put up with loads of BS to take on the headache that is being the President.
I give him credit for that. He had better options IMO, and he chose to become President instead... thank Obama for that, if Obama hadn't ridiculed, harassed, and humiliated Trump for years leading up to 2016 (justifiable or not because of the Birth Certificate issue) I don't think he would have run, I don't think he would have gotten his dander up enough to get fixed into his thoughts "I'll Show him! I'll show them all!"... that's how I think it started. And as he traveled, met people, and truly saw Americans and heard their stories... I think he chose to become their champion, and actually go to D.C. to try and get things done for them.
The people were ready for Trump because of a quarter century of the corrupt in Congress selling out the American people every chance they got.
But Trump ran initially because Obama got under his skin, and chose to humiliate him, thereby motivating him to run... and when the media turned on him and tried to destroy him, that just got him more motivated and more serious about it.
Trump's smarter than you or I could ever hope to be... that is why he is a Billionaire and the President. What is amazing is that people buy into this belief CNN and others try to foster, that he is an idiot... well idiots don't become President when being opposed by the media and D.C. just like they don't become billionaires by being dumb businessmen.
There is a political establishment, and a corporate elite. They feed off each other, but they are distinct.
Trump is not part of the political establishment. He is very much part of the corporate elite.
This can be seen by:
1) the actions he has already taken in office:
FCC rolling back consumer protection regulations(1), which benefits the telecommunications industry, not consumers. Gutting the EPA(2), which benefits the oil and gas industry, not people who like clean water and air. Rolling back Dodd-Frank, which benefits the banking industry, not ordinary savers and earners etc (3).
2) his own business practices:
Where are Trump Inc. products made? China, Bangladesh, Honduras, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Germany, Taiwan, Israel and the US(4). How many of those products made abroad could have been made in the US? I'd wager a high percentage of them. Why aren't they? Because it's cheaper to make them abroad and ship them to the US. That doesn't help US manufacturers who can make those goods, or the ordinary people who work for them, but it does help Trump Inc. profits.
So no, this man is not a champion of the working classes. Never has been, and in my opinion never will be. He is a CEO from a privileged background, who used his wealth and influence to lobby politicians to do his bidding. No different to the rest of the corporate elite. The only difference is that now he can bypass the lobbyists and tell politicians what to do directly.
To use an analogy, imagine a hen arguing that their newly elected leader, Mr. Fox, is a real champion of hens. That hen is so naive he is telling other hens that the fox-like ears, nose and whiskers on the new leader are nothing to worry about. He's also blind to the fact that most of the people Mr. Fox appointed to assist him, all have fox-like ears, noses and whiskers too. In fact he's so desperate for a champion, he is telling the other hens to ignore the fact that Mr. Fox and the other foxes helping him, have already started dismantling parts of the hen house that protect hens from greedy foxes.
Don't be a naive hen . . . Ken.
(1) http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news … /98894350/
(2) http://www.motherjones.com/environment/ … udget-cuts
(3) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/busi … tions.html
(4) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fac … 4#comments
Naivety... is reserved for those who think Obama who signed a nice 60 million dollar book deal, didn't sell out. Or that Clinton, Podesta, Uranium One, Clinton Foundation, where hundreds of millions (combined) were garnered from Russia, and the Clinton Defense Fund (China), and their ties to Saudi Arabia, etc. etc. weren't sell outs.
You have some nice links, Post and Times being the biggest BS papers still going in the USA. Talk about biased, fabricated, and propagandized information... those two sources are it.
Where is this better option than Trump?
Trump is an international businessman that has taken advantage of all the idiotic laws and trade agreements this country has passed the last 25 years... and he admitted that openly, he has stated (correctly) that he would have been an idiot not to take advantage of those things.
But he didn't help pass NAFTA... the Clintons did.
He wasn't proposing to pass TPP.... Obama was.
He didn't create the NOT ACA... Obama and the corrupt in Congress did.
Trump isn't what has caused all the problems, Trump isn't what caused the 2007 collapse (Congress and the Clintons did when they repealed the Glass Steagall Act, when they revised the Community Reinvestment act of 94)...
People that I would otherwise consider rational, even intelligent people, refuse to accept who is to blame for things... out of party loyalty, or some other bias... some of them probably because they are die-hard Marxists, or Globalists, and they just don't come out and say it.
Trump was elected President, because the people felt all the other options were worse... except perhaps Bernie, who got screwed out of the Democratic nomination by the most corrupt and criminal politician to run for the POTUS in our lifetimes.
This isn't the Blue Team vs. Red Team. It is corporate elite (with help from their political establishment sidekicks) vs. the rest of us. The choice in the election was always between the political establishment (Clinton) and the corporate elite (Trump).
Don't insult mine and everyone else's intelligence by trying to suggest Trump is some kind of people's champion. He is the living embodiment of a corporatist, and you know he is. You're getting closer to the truth when you say you think he was the best of a bad choice. You're wrong, but at least that's more honest.
Trump and his ilk are exactly who caused all the problems. Regulations intended to protect ordinary people get repealed because of lobbying by people with enough money to buy political influence. People like Trump. They lobby their way out of anything that threatens profits. Whether it be labor laws, banking regulations, safety standards, environmental protections, local planning regulations.
Are politicians wrong to succumb to such lobbying? Of course. But don't pretend money from corporations just falls into the hands of politicians by accident. It gets there because CEOs like Trump make damn sure it gets there. Whenever a regulation gets repealed, you can bet there is a corporation behind it, or more likely a whole industry, with an army of lobbyists.
They don't even have to do that now though, because gullible people have given them the keys to the White House. They fell for Trump's "I'm just like you" schtick. If they thought about it objectively though, they would realize there is nothing Trump has done that could lead anyone to believe he is interested in anything but his bank balance.
And no, I'm sorry, it's not the fault of "globalists", or "marxists", or immigrants, or women who have abortions, or gay people, or black people, or transgender people, or Muslims, or any of the current right-wing targets. The politics of fear is just a tool to keep us fighting among ourselves. You, and those who spread that narrative, are only making it easier for others to control you, but you are too blind to see it.
If you are so desperate to lay blame, then lay where it is deserved: at the feet of people who place profit above every other human consideration, i.e. the corporate elite, and the political establishment that enables them.
Stop being the hen that praises the fox. He and his other fox friends are not on your side. You are deluding yourself if you think they are.
It's not I that is "blind", or "desperate" or "insulting" ... I may see things more clearly, or have a greater grasp on the bigger picture... perhaps I am not explaining the bigger picture well enough...
"the election was always between the political establishment (Clinton) and the corporate elite (Trump)."
No... this is wrong. This was an election against THE establishment, you separate two things that CANNOT be separated. The political IS OWNED by the Corporate... not all politicians, many of those who have been elected post ACA and Bank Bailout... since 2010 still have some backbone and resistance to the corrupt and criminal entities in D.C.
Pelosi, Waters, McCain, Reed, and any others that have been there for 30 years or longer, you can bet are the biggest enemies of the American people that there have ever been in D.C. politics... they are, like Clinton was, there to do everything possible to protect the 1% from the needs and best interests of the American people... they are the evil within.
It is true that Trump may be a Capitalist 'pig', and he may be a corporate elite... but he is not owned by them... he is the OUTSIDER... he represented the anti-establishment sentiment in America... he represented the Middle Class that has been trampled and destroyed by the corporate friendly policies that were passed by CONGRESS the past 25 years.
The Root of our problems stem back to the 90s and the Clinton Admin... which allowed and signed off on the repeal of the Glass Steagall act, the rewrite of the Community Reinvestment act, and most of all NAFTA... everything they did allowed the Banks, the 1% to rape the middle class of this country, and to gut the Industrial base and take their industry to 3rd world nations often AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE, American tax dollars actually went into building most of the factories and industry in places like China and Mexico that took our Jobs!!!
SO... where we are at now, is Trump fulfills his promises... he rewrites NAFTA or trashes it all together, he taxes China made products or certain commodities, he enforces the penalties for hiring illegals on major corporations... in other words his actions reinvigorate the Middle Class, the jobs, the wages...
OR... the system will collapse on itself in ways no one wants to think of right now... in which case Trump will be gone and the system in place, will break down likely into Martial Law, followed quickly by global unrest and violent adjustments that lead to global conflict.
We are in that grey area where things can correct for a sustainable amount of time.. admittedly this will be at the expense of countries like Mexico and China suffering economic hardships, and it being a scenario where companies are forced by fear of tariffs and taxation to stay in America.
OR we are on the verge of major upheaval, if the economy worsens. In which case the tens of millions of discontented Americans that helped propel Trump into office, will be joining forces with the Bernie Supporters (the young Marxist/Socialist types) to essentially overthrow our 'Corporate' masters and their 'Political' front men.
The system needs to survive ten more years, relatively intact and as is, after that technological developments will have advanced tenfold or more from where they are right now, and we will be living in a new age where we are connected in collective ways that many would consider sci-fi today...
Maybe then we can begin on a massive, global effort to reduce the human population in a humane and conscious way, and reverse the poisoning of the earth with pollution and radiation that will soon be at levels toxic to all life... while at the same time, beginning our first steps to explore the universe and colonizing Mars.
It will either be the Best of times... or the Worst of times... in the not to distant future. There is a lot in play, and not everyone can win, but everyone can lose if it goes badly.
"No... this is wrong. This was an election against THE establishment, you separate two things that CANNOT be separated. "
There is a symbiotic relationship between the political establishment and the corporate elite, but there has always been veil of separation between them (albeit a thin one). In fact an entire industry grew up around bridging the gap between the political establishment and corporate elites. What you call "the establishment" is actually three elements: a corporate elite, a political establishment and a lobbying industry that ties them together.
Tump is undeniably a member of the corporate elite, albeit it an unconventional one, but more importantly, he represents an alliance between several disparate factions whose agendas broadly align, and spell bad news for ordinary people..
The first is the corporate elite. The most powerful faction. The agenda of this faction is very simple. To resist anything that threatens profit, including (and especially) government regulations. To that end it has achieved significant success. Trump and several of the people he has appointed to key government roles are representative of this faction, as are George Soros, the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch etc.
The second faction is the radical right (distinct from centrist/ moderate conservatives). The agenda of this faction is to destroy (or severely curtail) the state, specifically the federal agencies that form the executive branch. This faction also draws some of its key positions from the "alt-right" movement. Stephen Bannon is a representative of it. So are various members of the political establishment within the Republican party, and prominent members of international far-right parties such as Marion Le Pen of the National Front party in France, Nigel Farage of UKIP in the UK etc.
The third faction is the oligarchs, particularly of Russia and her allies. These are essentially business people with direct political power. The agenda of this faction is to 1) reduce the U.S. capability (and willingness) to use punitive measures that restrict aggressive Russian expansion ; 2) undermine the U.S. democratic process as much as possible.
In some cases these factions make for strange bedfellows (e.g. Russia and the Republican establishment). You can see that tension playing out as some Republicans express their dismay at the current administration's closeness to (and alleged collusion with) Putin and co. But their agendas broadly align.
The common denominator is the goal to reduce the size, capability and reach of federal government. That single goal delivers the corporate elite more profit; the radical right smaller government; and Russia and her allies a more corrupt, isolationist US government that keeps out of her way.
How does Trump fit into the equation? Although he is the face of this malevolent triumvirate, and is himself part of the corporate elite, it's hard not to wonder how much he understands about the bigger picture. There are two possibilities as I see it:
1. He has no idea about the wider geopolitical situation. He thinks Putin respects him as a businessman, and Stephen Bannon is a wise advisor (rather than a misguided, harmful ideologue with all the makings of another Hitler).
2. He fully understands his role as the face of this unholy trinity of factions, but doesn't care as long as he profits from it.
So as I see it, this people's champion image you are trying to push is massively inaccurate. Trump is either a successful hustler who is in way over his head; or he is a very clever, but unpatriotic and unethical mercenary with no interest in anything but profit.
Based on everything we know about Donald Trump, I think it's more likely he is the unwitting pawn in a game being played by others, for their own ends. There are lots of reason to suspect Putin has his claws in him; lots of reason to suspect Bannon is taking advantage of him for his own agenda; and lots of reason to suspect the various industries that stand to gain from an emaciated executive branch are more than happy with his current actions.
Of course, time will tell. I'll be happy if Trump proves me wrong. I don't think he will though. I only hope the FBI and CIA are able to effectively do their jobs to defend the Constitution if the President and/ or Congress are unable (or unwilling) to.
Well you certainly made an effort to weave the web and show how they all connect together... extracting Russia, for which there is no evidence of ties.
The only evidence of Russian collusion and payoffs is with Podesta, Clinton, Schumer, etc. the 'opposition' is in bed with Russia if anyone is.
Now you left out the military complex, and when you talk about the corporations that ties into the trade agreements, so time will prove your theory out... if he raises tariffs or taxes on Mexican made or China made products, I would say the debunks your theory that he is in the bag for the 'corporate elites'.
No effort required. The pattern is clear, if you care to look.
If taxes are raised on China or Mexico it's not because Trump is anti-corporate, it's because Stephen Bannon is. Read some of the interviews with Bannon from 2014 to understand his ideological position. He is no fan of the corporate elite. I would go so far as to say he is anti-corporate. But Trump trusts him.
That's why I said these factions make strange bedfellows. Bannon is aligned with Trump, not because he agrees with him ideologically (Trump is too far left for Bannon) but because he is useful for furthering Bannon's nationalist, anti-state agenda.
The other corporatists Trump has given jobs to are useful for the same reason. They are ready and willing to dismantle the apparatus of the state, and sweep away the last vestiges of an executive branch capable of protecting ordinary people (and hindering profits).
On Trump's part, he needs someone smart to lean on because he is out of his depth. Interestingly, there is currently a power struggle within the White House between Bannon (far-right faction) and Priebus (political establishment) as to who gets to pull Trump's strings. Priebus will lose that battle, because Bannon can spin opposition as nothing but the establishment resisting change. Trump has also established a trust with Bannon from the days Bannon ran Breitbart.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the former FSB officer, Vladimir Putin. The whole story about Kompromat, hacking, wikileaks, fake news and propaganda etc. has "FSB active measures" written all over it. If there is hard evidence of inappropriate collusion with Russia, then I hope the CIA and FBI are able to present it, and that Congress will do its job to defend the Constitution.
In the meantime we must take seriously the fact that many of Trump's key people have very close ties to Russia (like commerce secretary Wilbur Ross). Not only does Putin's agenda align with both other factions I've mentioned, but the far-right faction and the corporatist factions are more ideologically aligned with Putin than they are with each other.
When you start really looking, you see that the "opposition" is not between liberals and conservatives. It is between those who would use wealth (and the power it brings) to control our lives through the mechanism of politics, and those who would resist such control. Then you might see that the politics of fear is just another tool used to keep those who would resist divided, and therefore weak. Once again, immigrants, gay people who want to get married, women who want to have abortions and all the other typical right-wing targets, are not the problem. They are scapegoats.
When you talk about the effort to divide, you are talking about the Democrats, the left, they push the divide by always bringing up race, religion, sex... it is what they have done for decades now.
They have done their best to impose Republican = White, all the while teaching White = Wrong (yes I am simplifying).
Trump isn't pushing any of these things... he IS pushing no more Illegals, he IS pushing no more Refugees. You could say even that he is anti-Islam. And the thing is the majority of Americans are fine with the anti-illegal, anti-refugee, and anti-islam stance.
People are FOR better wages, better jobs, lower taxes, lower healthcare costs... if Trump brings those things to the people, it doesn't matter how he does it, the vast majority of Americans won't care.
It doesn't matter that the media has spent 9 months trying to convince people that he is a racist, sexist, bigoted pig... they can spend another 8 years trying to convince Americans, trying to program Americans into believing it. It isn't going to work.
It all comes down to jobs, wages, the economy. If the economy gets worse, Trump is gone in 4 years. If it improves, he will be around for 8, and Pence will probably follow him. Its that simple.
Hello Ken, I have been following this thread with great interest. I am considering both your and Don's exchanges with rapt interest. I am a Tom Clancy fan after all.
At this point I would not be confident interjecting, with the exception of this one point: I think you should give some consideration to your perspective that it is only the Democrats or the Left, that benefits, (or promotes), from a divided electorate. It is unfortunate, (for me), that it sounds conspiratorial, but I can see a possibility that there are non-Left, non-Democrat interests that would also benefit from our division.
Totally agree GA, there are those on the Right that are in collusion with powerful Corporate, Pharma, and Foreign/Global interests and long ago put the interests of the American people 2nd, or 3rd in line.
The Problem IS corruption in D.C. ... more than a quarter century of unchecked attacks on the laws, regulations, and trade agreements that protected America's sovereignty, America's Industrial might, and America's best interests in general. And that corruption is evident on both sides of the isle, but of the two... the Democrats have fallen entirely out of touch with 'working class' Americans, with National Patriotism, and with putting America & Americans' interests first.
I can certainly agree with your perspective of the corruption, and corrupting influences in our government, and on our government officials, but I am hesitant to attribute it to a grand global conspiracy. It may be so, but my reality can't except the implications such an admission would entail. I am more inclined to attribute it to the human instinct to protect what is yours. The more money you have, the more power you have for that protection.
In agreement with your placing primary blame on Democrats, I would say that it is more of a problem of pushing too hard too fast, than one of entirely malignant Democrat intentions. I think too many Liberals, (aka Democrats), just don't understand the reality that the rest of the world doesn't understand that a great Kumbaya campfire will solve everyone's problems.
I think that if we had a history of only Conservative government leadership, then civil progressions, like Civil Rights and Suffrage issues, (to name only two of many), would still be the the norms of the 1900s. We needed, (and still need), the push of Democrat-supported progressive ideals to move our nation forward.
Even so, I don't think a 'Buggy Whip factory' analogy is unreasonable. It may seem that we have lost manufacturing and production jobs to trade agreements and cheap overseas labor, but it is my perspective that those jobs were going the way of those buggy whip factories regardless of any modern trade agreements - they may have just accelerated the process.
I can also agree that we must always balance our national and global interests with the perspective of what benefits us first, and the rest of the world second, but I strongly disagree with a Nationalist perspective that only considers only our continental interests. Supporting a military base in the Philippines, or a government program to improve the lives of a 3rd world nation is just as much in our national interests as a program to retain Detroit's car manufacturers is. A Nationalist agenda would attach no importance to either of the former, and focus entirely on the later. Instead, it would allow a nation like Russia or China to have those bases, or the goodwill of those 3rd world nations. Surely you don't see that as a good thing for us.
Now that I have thoroughly hijacked the thread, I will answer the OP's question that I believe an amalgamation of sources is needed to form an informed opinion. A bit of Fox News, a bit of CNN, a bit of NBC and ABC, The Washington Times and the New York Times, and a few deep-linked internet sources to round it all out. ;-)
Things are always more complex, I would not say any of your points are wrong.
What we are in great danger of right now, is not allowing the pendulum to swing back in the other direction.
The great source of America's success up to this point in history, was its ability to swing to one extreme, and then back to the other, without devolving (except for once) into all out war amongst ourselves or overthrowing the government.
But we have essentially been on a 25 year swing in one direction, one that has greatly benefited China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, etc. at our expense as a nation, and our expense as a thriving and inspiring healthy upwardly mobile society.
Trump is the not so pleasant effort by the people to try and regain some control, to try and rebalance things so that the 'middle class' has better jobs, better healthcare, better futures... the fact that for the majority of Americans, getting by is harder now than it was in the 80s proves that things have moved in the wrong direction for the majority of the 'working class'.
The resistance the 'ruling elite', the corporate and intelligentsia, the banks and Wall st., are currently throwing up against this, for certain means that an uglier resolution to the growing disparity in America is yet to come.
The stupidity arrogance, and greed of these people are going to bring the whole system crashing down... perhaps that is what they are after, for certain there ARE elements working within the guise of the Democratic Party that are trying to achieve just that. Anyone who has die hard Marxist, Radical, or Jihadist beliefs certainly will work to bring it about.
Too many millions of Americans have had enough, Trump spoke to them, and found enough of them to get himself over 60 million votes... and yet the resistance against redoing NAFTA, against putting tariffs on China's products, of doing anything that could create jobs and a more positive environment for small business seems at an all time high... anything to derail Trump or actions towards these goals.
Meanwhile, we have deployed tens of thousands of troops, tanks, artillery, etc. to Russia's borders, well, Obama did, along with everything else he could do to provocate a war with Russia without actually engaging in military action.
Trump is doing what he is being advised to do by his chief strategic advisors. Those advisors happen to be Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller.
Their agenda is bigger than Democrats vs. Republicans. It is about dismantling the state and ushering in an era of ultranationalist independence, isolationism and protectionism. This can be seen both in the hostility towards global institutions (EU, NATO, UN, WTO etc), and to global economic integration.
Tied up with that agenda is the notion of identity, or more accurately, protecting an identity they perceive to be under attack: the white, western, Judeo-Christian identity. They see cultural liberalism (and secularization) as a direct attack not only on that identity, but also the values they believe it represents. And this is where their agenda takes a more sinister aspect.
The success of that agenda is dependent on fear and division. The more fearful and divided people are (or feel) the more popular an "anti-illegal, anti-refugee, and anti-Islam" stance is likely to be, which is why this agenda involves actively stoking fear and division.
Make no mistake "better wages, better jobs, lower taxes, lower healthcare costs" etc. are not the goal. This is about ideology. Read almost anything Bannon has said in any serious interview. It's essentially about what Bannon sees as a "cleansing" of the country of all non-legitimate (by his reckoning) ideals and beliefs (and people).
That's a refrain the world is all too familiar with.
And I think you are wrong when you say "if Trump brings [good jobs and wages] to the people, it doesn't matter how he does it, the vast majority of Americans won't care". I think there will be many people who care enough to oppose this regressive agenda. The question is, how much damage will be done in the meantime.
"The common denominator is the goal to reduce the size, capability and reach of federal government."
"So as I see it, this people's champion image you are trying to push is massively inaccurate."
Unfortunately for the whole web you're weaving, reducing the size, capability and reach of government is in the people's best interest. Making Trump a true champion of the people...if he can accomplish that single goal.
How do I? I have to trust in Trump even though we do not know what he bases his decisions on. I listen to his speeches and I listen to him only. He seems to be trying to please himself and the Republicans who voted for him. He also does not want the Democrats to dislike him. He is a moderate in many ways and this is a good thing. He wants to protect the country from all illegal aliens, which is of course common sense. He wants to bring back jobs and get the economy percolating again. I still do not see why we should be hating him. Our other choice was an obvious criminal. Give him a chance, I say. Ignore the haters, I say.
Well the question wasn't directed at whether or not we should trust Trump, though it has drifted in that direction in many of the conversation threads here.
What I was wondering, and trying to explore, was how do we decide who to believe, when it comes to those reporting to us what is going on?
But yes... ultimately the best person to listen to about what Trump is trying to do, and why, is Trump himself... until he proves through his own actions and efforts, not to be trustworthy.
And that we can only decide on, after we see what direction things go, with taxes, jobs, and the economy in general. The ACA, NAFTA, etc. are parts of those issues which will impact people's economic stability... at the end of the day, its all about the economy... the more who are doing better 3 years from now than they were 3 years ago.
Yes. The economy must percolate. How do we get that pot to boil? Get the people jumping. Jumping beans! What makes them jump? Have you ever held a jumping bean in your palm? I have! There is a little live worm inside of it!
Q. What makes the worms within us LIVE????
A. Freedom/ liberty, self reliance, low taxes, freedom of market ...
simple as that.
I just got done watching a movie on Amazon called, 'The Brainwashing of my Father' - and really, what an eye-opener (the reviews alone were eye-opening, ha!). Why are so many people being brainwashed by places like Fox News; and more importantly, how long has it been going on? There is a history and a trail of 'how we got here' since the 80's - and since I was actually around during that time, I remember when things like MTV & Rush Limbaugh were startups. Trump isn't mentioned anywhere, but its amazing the similarity between Reagan's 'up and coming' and Trump's.
The point is, none of these 'media' or 'government' accusations are NEW - and all government, including BOTH major political parties are guilty of all kinds of atrocities. If you're one of those people who believes one side is evil and the other bears no blame - then your mind has been messed with.
The reason why you read/watch news across a spectrum of sources while NOT limiting yourself to news outlets that cater to specific points of view - either conservative or liberal - is because they are all tainted and written toward their base audience. The broader your scope, the more complete of a picture you will get.
As for Trump, I'm not sure why his supporters are so mad about media not covering many positive stories about him. If he would put away his twitter account, stop being such an *ss and give them some positive stories to report on... Things would be different. Essentially, there isn't much 'positive' there to report on. A cook is only as good as their ingredients and Trump keeps churning out semi-rotten stuff all by his lonesome - no 'twisting' needed.
Ken, prior to citing further videos that distorts the facts about Europe, or making bold statements of a similar ilk; please ‘fact check’ your sources; then perhaps our discussions can be more productive.
The advice published today, to help people identity ‘fake news’, propaganda and biased reporting is the simple rule of the 3 W’s:-
Who is publishing the story; why are they publishing it; and what is their agenda (including any hidden agenda).
These two videos give excellent guidance on achieving the 3 W’s.
How to Spot Fake News: - https://youtu.be/AkwWcHekMdo
4 Ways to Spot a Fake News Story: - https://youtu.be/g5ON3u5rrmI
While biased reporting is generally not good, in that it distorts the truth, and gives you a false image of reality, not all propaganda is bad e.g. it can be used for good to encourage people to change their attitudes in a positive way. This video, covers this point, and helps you to distinguish between good and bad propaganda.
How to Control What People Do: - https://youtu.be/8Q-3qwEDyPM
Although you are blind to how the last video you posted in this forum was edited in a misleading manner; as you made quite clear in your last statement, this video below gives a simple example of just such a manipulation of video footage:-
Leaked Video Exposed as Ridiculous Propaganda: - https://youtu.be/0cEVMXArLtw
As regards your false claims that millions of Muslim refugees have overwhelmed Europe (when in fact it was only 1.2 million in 2015), inferring that Muslims are set to become the dominant religion in Europe (which is false information), this video below (which is factually correct from verifiable sources) spells out the facts, and puts the picture straight.
The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained: - https://youtu.be/RvOnXh3NN9w
Hello again Nathanville, As previously mentioned, your, and Ken's exchanges are an interesting follow for me.
Just as an effort to offer a spectator's view - I have found your counter points, (videos), to be no more credible than Ken's. Generally speaking of course.
You seem to imply that the UK's immigrant influx is no great problem, but I would ask that doesn't your recent Brexit vote belie that contention? If our, (American), perspectives are so skewed, then doesn't that imply that your Brexit voter perspective is just as skewed?
Granted that I have not researched the validity of either perspective, and that my only source of information has been what I have read, I must admit to a bit of skepticism regarding your explanation that all these UK immigrant problem stories are just biased news reporting.
As a further explanation, I will offer that percentages mean beans to me. They can be presented to support almost any position desired. The reality of actual effects is what matters. Could it be that your Bristol perspective is less than intimately associated with the more directly affected Southern UK border areas? Would you say that Londoners would have the same perspective?
Thanks for your feedback GA, it’s good to hear from you.
Yes I can understand that from an American perspective it’s difficult to see things from a British or European perspective; equally there are many American issues which the British just don’t understand e.g. from the British perspective American’s obsession with guns just seem sheer madness to us.
Yes you are right; the UK’s immigrant influx is an issue which tipped the balance in the Brexit vote; but not because of the refugee issue. The immigration issue that relates to Brexit is linked to European citizen having an automatic right to live and work in any EU member State; just like someone from New York have the right to move to Texas.
Boris Johnson and others who campaigned in favour of Brexit did a good campaign to make about half the population feel that Europeans from other member States were taking their jobs. In reality, just as many British people live in other member States as people from other member States live in Britain. So in trying to close our borders to other Europeans post Brexit could get politically and socially complex; but that’s for the British politicians to sort out over the next two years of negotiations with the EU.
Having said that, the issue has split the country; not unlike the American population seems to be split on a number of issues since the election of Trump. The result of the Brexit vote was marginal, 52% to 48%, so feelings on this subject within the population is strong on both sides; with no sign of reconciliation any time soon.
Nothings perfect, of course we do from time to time have some immigration problems with refugees (just like any other country, including America); but they are no more significant than any other social issue that Governments have to deal with e.g. how to tackle issues relating to the poor, unemployed, homeless, sick, disabled etc. In Britain’s case most of these issues are dealt with by the welfare state, NHS, Social Care, Government policies on employment etc., which on the whole is successful, albeit there are some who do slip through the safety net from time to time; usually because they don’t seek help when they should.
However, there is too much misinformation being published in newspapers and on the web, which blows things like the refugee crisis out of all proportion; and understandably (in the absence of personal experience) American’s seem to be content in believing what they read in the newspapers and on the web about Britain and Europe as being factual. Yet American’s are quick to dismiss the accounts of people who have first-hand experience of actually living in Britain/Europe.
As regards your last point, Britain is separated from Europe by sea, so the main point of entry into Britain from mainland Europe is Dover and London. And in actual fact it’s the cities (including Bristol) that are most affected by immigrants; whether it be refugees, EU citizens or from outside the EU.
The population in Bristol for example is 77.9% British; so (like London and all the other cities) we are very dependent on immigration. Which is what makes the Brexit vote interesting when you look at the results e.g. all the cities (except one) who are heavily dependent on immigration voted overwhelmingly in favour of staying within the EU; whereas the towns and villages in England, who don’t see much in the way of non-British people voted overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit.
The result in Bristol was 62% in favour of remaining within the EU; in London it was 59.9% in favour of remaining within the EU.
To show how divided and split the nation is on the issue; voting to remain across the UK is as follows:-
• England voted 46.6% in favour of remaining within the EU.
• Northern Ireland voted 55.8% in favour of remaining within the EU.
• Scotland voted 62% in favour of remaining within the EU, and
• Wales voted 47.5% in favour of remaining within the EU.
Nathanville, one part of your reply almost made me jump out of my seat in the grip of a serious "Wait a minute!" moment.
It was your description of the distribution of the anti-Brexit vote;
"...The population in Bristol for example is 77.9% British; so (like London and all the other cities) we are very dependent on immigration. Which is what makes the Brexit vote interesting when you look at the results e.g. all the cities (except one) who are heavily dependent on immigration voted overwhelmingly in favour of staying within the EU; whereas the towns and villages in England, who don’t see much in the way of non-British people voted overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit. "
My Aha! moment was the instant comparison to our, (U.S.), distribution of the votes that elected Pres. Trump. In both cases, metropolitan voters had an opposite perspective of non-metropolitan voters regarding what is good for their nation.
Wait... I know this is a Duh! realization - but it is not the surface obviousness of that realization that grabbed me. It is the nearly identical national reaction to similarly divisive national questions.
I am certain there is something important to be understood, (maybe even a revelation), from this similarity. At least for my own personal understanding anyway.
I will have to ponder on this awhile. I hope you catch the thread when I come back with it.
Pretty close to spot on... though I would classify CA, NY, D.C., ...the West Coast and North East in general as the hotbeds of progressive, liberal, social, and intelligentsia (huge number of colleges in CA and MA for instance)... and also the hottest of hotbeds for high taxes, and heavy dependency on Federal Funding... or in other words, major contributors to our massive national debt.
Neither NY, nor CA, could stand on their own without the federal support that they get. They are the most heavily taxed citizens in the nation as it is.
Come on Ken, back up a few steps, and leave the labels and rhetoric in the bag for a moment. At least relative to the point of my comment you responded to.
I haven't got it yet, not enough time to think about it since Nathanville's post. But, when I read the part describing the Brexit vote distribution, some thought, beyond the obvious ones that represent the Duh! parts of the explanation, (like the declarations you just made), was about to pop out. Alas, the flash of the Eureka! moment scared it away. I will have to coax it back out.
Even though both nations have many similarities, we have more than a few ideological differences, (as Nathanville noted in his reference to Brit's views of our fixation on guns and our Second Amendment rights), so I think there is more than coincidence, and the reality of the obvious Liberal vs. Conservative, young vs, old, or 'Enlightened' vs non-enlightened, (that's on you Credence2), differences to be wiggled out of that almost-born thought of mine.
Now, I am shooting from the hip, and thinking out loud, and I do wish I could think of a better explanation than a cliche', but, it might be something to do with what can be described as a major paradigm shift, (*sigh),
I certainly think Donald Trump's election victory fits that bill for the U.S., and I am guessing that the Brexit vote might fit the bill for UK citizens.
So, what factor could be the common foundation for those other obvious explanations, that might explain such similar voter reactions?
Before hearing about the Brexit vote distribution, I was comfortable with the obvious explanations, (as mentioned above), of Pres. Trump's election victory. But now I am certain there is something more to understand.
Of course, this could all be nonsense, and I am just imagining something that isn't there at all - the reality might be that it's just the old "that's life, and it is what it is," but I do intend to figure it out. It's nagging me that it is something more important to understand about basic human nature.
I'm not sure I can help bring light to it for you. That would require me to be infinitely more familiar with Britain's wages, jobs, economics in general... however Nathan did say that those areas were high concentrations of foreign workers that supported staying in the EU.
Similar could be said for the various parts of America that went heavily for Clinton, also almost to a region they were heavy Sanctuary City states or regions. If you super-impose the maps of the nation where voting Democrat was heaviest, with areas that are also Sanctuary areas... they are identical.
As I am just a couple years from having left NY, I have an interesting perspective on this... if you look into who has moved from NY since 2007... you would see that NY lost more than 4 million people over the last ten years, the majority of which were higher education (2 years of college or more) citizens. Yet the number of people living in NY has roughly stayed the same at just under 20 million...
What has occurred over the past decade, is the more well educated, 'middle income' people have fled the state and those numbers have been replaced largely by immigrants (legal and illegal) and refugees.
In the area we lived in, IBM 'downsized' some 10,000 jobs during the course of a decade (2004-2014). And that is a small microcosm for how everything in NY outside of the Capital region and NY City radius has been trending.
The 10,000 IBMers who lost their jobs, and some of the support businesses that survived off of the work created by servicing those people and IBM, making for 11,000+ lost jobs. Make up the types of people who decided to move elsewhere, as their property taxes, school taxes, and costs to heat a home during the winter easily ran over 10,000 dollars a year.
What occurred to that county that lost those 10,000 IBM jobs, is similar to the stories occurring all over America for the last 25 years.
Stories about people losing their homes, their pensions, their 401ks, and their jobs... in places like Ohio, Michigan, PA, and Upstate NY this is a prevailing theme.
And those millions of people who have fled NY... they have moved to places like FL, NC, AZ... and they remember all too well what occurred in NY, the taxes, the high costs, and the majority of them don't want a repeat of it.
Hello again Ken,
You may have helped more than you thought. Security might be a key. to what I am trying to discover.
Maybe the thought I am trying to develop is foundational(sp?). Again, remember I am thinking this through as I speak, but maybe an analogy to a structure, say a house, is an approach to try.
All the obvious explanations of ideologies and personal economic circumstances that appear to explain both instances may be the house. And maybe the thought I am looking for is related to the foundation of the house, not the house itself. Consider, when we see a structure - we see the obvious. Do we think about the foundation supporting that structure?
Many see Trump supporters as, well, you've heard the descriptions, but what if that is only the house? What if the real issue is a fear for personal security. A fear of deeply held beliefs being dashed. Nothing at all to do with partisanship or ideologies, but everything to do with having a primal view of life being threatened?
I'm thinking that same description might apply to Brexit voters also. What if all the obvious explanations are just unconscious camouflage to hide the real fear - the fear of having one's life views dismantled?
That would certainly seem to explain the almost identical behaviors of Brexit and Trump voters - folks that are an ocean apart. And it might also apply equally to metropolitan vs. non-metropolitan voters. Even if the life views - security - of each are different, the magnitude of the decision they faced would still be the same threat. A threat to their security of their core belief in their understanding of what is a right life.
A Liberal faces a refutation of their belief that theirs is an enlightened perspective. A Conservative faces a similar refutation of their belief of personal responsibility being their rock. The same dilemma would apply to all ideologies. Whether they are British, American, or Aboriginal - the real issue is a threat to the security of their personal core beliefs.
There is more, but it's almost 4am, and I intended to stop this three hours ago. My apologies to all. I am sure this has bored the hell out of you. It can't be anywhere near as interesting as jousting with an idiot that just doesn't see how wrong they are about whatever it is you are sure they are wrong about.
Sorry folks. Thanks for your new York story ken, I think it has set me onto the right track.
Even the main-[left ]stream media is admitting ," there are probably no ties between the Russian and Trump " .............Time for you guys , who so admire your mindless media , to own up to your failure to progress in the five stages of grief - You are stuck in the Denial phase .
Time for putting on your ," big boy pants " and move on to the next NON- issue.
Security... certainly many no longer feel secure about anything.
And another KEY part of it, people no longer believe the government is looking out for THEIR best interests.
Our government seems fine letting in millions of illegal immigrants, our government does not enforce the laws which would require multi-billion corporations like Toll Bros. and Tyson to hire Americans to do the work over illegals.
Our government supports trade agreements like NAFTA, which allows Mexican drivers to transport their shipments to anywhere in the USA... those thousands of American truck drivers who used to pick up those loads at the border are now out of work, as one small example of how it hurts American workers but helps Mexicans & Corporations. There is no benefit to American workers with NAFTA, CAFTA, or any trade agreement imposed in the last 30 years... each and every one of them strip both America and American workers of protections and rights.
Our government supports H1-B H2-B and other visas which allow companies to hire foreign workers to REPLACE American workers, these programs were supposedly intended to fill voids where highly dangerous or highly technical positions were in need, but they are abused, more than a hundred thousand jobs every year that could be filled by an American go to a visa holder instead.
We could go on with this list... but in general what Americans see, those that can see past Party or Race, is a government that is screwing them over in favor of Corporations (and by extension foreign migrants) and banks, and even a faith less than a third in America follows (Islam).
When Disney terminates the employment of 500 Americans so that they can bring in foreign visa holders... for just common everyday jobs... people notice.
When we have a President that refuses to reference a religion, or anything closely related to it, in a negative way, like saying the word 'jihadist'... people notice.
When people drive into a new development where new homes are being built, and the hundreds of workers they see there are all speaking Spanish... yet their cousin the contractor who used to build houses can't find work... people notice.
It's not just economics... people can see that their own government is discriminating against them, and that being an American is NOT the advantage is used to be.
You are right Ken... "People notice..."
Let's hope our incumbent politicians 'will notice," now.
I want to thank you for your contributions to this thread, indirectly it led to me discovering new information, when I otherwise wouldn't have.
You have excellent skills for communicating in written form, which lends one to review their position, and explore new avenues, rather than coming at them in a directly confrontational way. Even when you do counter someone's position it is done with a flare of grace.
In fact, I believe this thread right here led me to finding this well put together jewel... which is nothing short of explaining the biggest of all our current problems the Nation, and the working class of America, are facing:
Folks, ya gotta stop with these kind words! I enjoy slinging a well phrased ban-safe snarky comment as much as the next person, (maybe more), but now, after these recent props, I am worried about feeling guilty even considering it. (Nah! but you get my point)
And talk about short memories - I am certain there are more than a few past and present voices that would be glad to offer an Amen! to that. Diane thinks I am unchivalrous , Jean thinks I am picking on her, ahorseback thinks I am a snowflake, Cred is sure I am using The Force... and Alternate Prime even got me banned for 24 hrs. for responding with a cartoon of laughing Boy Scouts. They can't all be wrong.
But thanks Ken. For the words and the link.
The topic of your link would make an excellent thread. You start it and I will be glad to join in. It is a topic on which I do have some strong opinions. And one that I think is just as pertinent to our nation, today, as all these Donald Trump threads.
I will even drag Credence2 and Wilderness into it. You won't find a sounder foundation to build on. ;-)
If you remember the period, (when the Democrats were in power), when the alarmists, (mostly Republican), were screaming China was going to own us - via their investments in our Treasury Bonds, well I think they were right about Chin'a danger to our nation. They were just wrong about what the real danger is. Your linked documentary is an excellent start for that discussion.
Yes , but when could you ever be forum classified by better Forum Dwellers ! Can't have thin skin to hang around here , I thought you held up rather well ,personally !.......:-}
You are OK. in my book, GA.
I will be more than happy to add anything meaningful to a proposed thread on the topic. I certainly don't deny that Ken has a point as to our current economic stress. I too believe that the true causes and solutions are not seen by all of us in the same fashion.
I hope you get some time to watch the whole video, (I only watched about 25 minutes so far), it is over an hour long. And there is a purposeful message behind it, but even so, it makes very valid points.
And, as you mentioned, they are points that I think very few of us stop to consider. It is so much easier to just latch on to sound-bites than it is to stop and think about all the tangents of those sound bites.
"The topic of your link would make an excellent thread. You start it and I will be glad to join in. It is a topic on which I do have some strong opinions. And one that I think is just as pertinent to our nation, today, as all these Donald Trump threads."
Ask, and you shall receive:
https://hubpages.com/politics/China-ove … US-Economy
I will eventually get around to a review and edit, to add more data most likely. But before that, I look forward to seeing what you and others think.
Ken, your comment regarding NAFTA and the trucking issue have caused me to back-up a step, and adopt a more cautious approach.
"Our government supports trade agreements like NAFTA, which allows Mexican drivers to transport their shipments to anywhere in the USA... those thousands of American truck drivers who used to pick up those loads at the border are now out of work, as one small example of how it hurts American workers but helps Mexicans & Corporations."
I take the obvious inference that after NAFTA Mexican truckers are free-hauling throughout the U.S., and that this has cost thousands of American trucker's jobs.
Without support of any parsing, or semantics, or time-line trick questions - in the broad sense of your statement - it is simply not true. My question would be, were you aware this was untrue?
To sketch the details for other readers of this thread, here are the "Cliff-notes" relative to your statement
Prior to the 1993 NAFTA agreement - Mexican trucking lines could only cross into a 20-mile enterprise zone in the U.S. They had to drop their loads there and U.S. Truckers picked them up to continue the shipping routes. NAFTA opened the U.S. to Mexican truckers. So those Enterprise drop-zone requirements were eliminated.
Those U.S. pick-up load truckers must be the ones you say lost their jobs to NAFTA.
But, that isn't the the reality of what happened. First, the NAFTA article for this wasn't to be implemented until 1995. And further, Trucker's Unions, and political pressures ensured that it didn't even happen then.
As of 2001, it still hadn't happened, Mexican truckers still had to use the 20-mile Enterprise drop zones, so those American trucker jobs weren't lost at this point - 8 years after NAFTA.
There were a couple more roadblocks, pilot programs, and political machinations after that, but the bottom line is that as late as 2011, Pres. Obama still upheld the blockage of that particular article of NAFTA. Almost 20 years after NAFTA, Mexican trucking companies were still restricted from full access to U.S. trucking privileges.
The article I referenced; NAFTA and the U.S.-Mexican Trucking Dispute, a Carbaugh, Journal of International and Global Economic Studies, 4(1), June 2011, 1-10, a study from Central Washington University, has the details of my Cliff-Notes summary.
Further, another article in my search indicated the situation remained unchanged as late as 2014. I stopped looking there. If I am wrong, I will regret my laziness, but...
Have I missed the point of your comment? Are you referencing a NAFTA effect post-2014? Or have I completely misunderstood your comment?
Hi GA, your comments are enlightening; it’s given me a new perspective on American life, and I look forward to any further thoughts or observations you may make.
Ken quite rightly pointed out that to understand the similarities in more depth would require being more familiar with how Britain’s wages, jobs and economics compare to America; an area I’ve spent the past couple of years trying to better understand, but there are so many variables it’s difficult making direct comparisons.
The approach I’ve used is viewing hundreds of videos of American’s who’ve spent time in Britain (either working, studying or visiting) to gauge from them their impressions. It’s been a useful exercise, but limited. Some of the main themes that frequently come up in listening to such Americans include:-
• The British are quite spoken and polite.
• That there’s a lot of regional accents and dialects
• Generally positive feedback on the NHS.
• Healthier eating the UK.
• Public transport in Britain is far better.
• Houses and everything else are smaller.
• We drive on the wrong side of the road and love roundabouts.
• We get a lot more holidays e.g. up to six weeks (four weeks by law) a year, plus public holidays, and
• Britain is very Green and Pleasant, etc.
Below are just a few of the hundreds of such videos on YouTube, just to giver a flavour of what Americans (who’ve been here) think of Britain.
Differences between Livings in the US vs. the UK: - https://youtu.be/NA_wgxYqHJM
Differences between British and American Culture: - https://youtu.be/krEO7nGknwI
Differences between England and US: - https://youtu.be/n-isrXSPh5A
Confessions of an American in England: - https://youtu.be/RupGK7lGZdw
Hello again Nathanville,
I am a bit embarrassed to have gone-off so openly in those couple 'Eureka moment' posts. I still think there is an important understanding to wiggle out of it, but I am the one that will benefit from it, and it didn't really add anything to the thread. I should have just pursued it quietly on my own.
But even so, I think that the result will be more important to understand than any number of cultural or economic efforts of understanding. So, Like Forrest said; "And that's all I have to say about that."
Regarding your point(s) relative to Ken's comment; I disagree with both of you on the need for more understanding of national economics, (jobs, wages, governmental program expenditures). I think that is a secondary consideration for support of either position. Such an understanding can only benefit the support of a perspective - not the formative factors behind it.
But I don't care to get into that discussion any further. It's just my opinion that that's not the deciding factor. And I would not agree with any foreseeable defense of your cultural decisions. No offense intended.
I will offer this American's explanation of my high of opinion of the British peoples;
After the portending year's events leading up to WWII - when you folks were knocked off your pedestal of Imperialistic arrogance - in colony after colony, you faced the reality of those years, and the years of WWII, with a stoicism that I find admirable. That the future turn-out was inevitable doesn't diminish your acceptance of it. (A good read for this perspective, that I found highly informative, was "Churchill: The End of Glory' by John Charmley) It is well worth the time, and few bucks it costs on most used books sites.
Next might be my good opinion of your parliamentary style of governance. I can imagine that your Ministers and Lords might be equally as corrupt or corruptible as any of our Congress members, but I like the concept of the power of a "Vote of No Confidence." (as you mentioned). That doesn't mean I think that style would work as well for U.S. governance - just that I like the mechanism.
Lastly, and perhaps least importantly, you folks strike me a just so damn civil.
I will offer one thought, and it pertains to my 'Eureka Moment', relative to understanding the differences in our national perspectives. (a good effort would probably qualify as a candidate for a Master's thesis - a task well beyond my pay grade)
I think a look at American's reverence of Individualism - it was the perspective at the root of our nation's formation, will be at the base of a fair comparison. Nothing I have read of English history holds any understanding. You folks were always a nation, (or Kingdom), expanding. From your earliest Kings, you were groups combining to become a larger kingdom/Nation. Whereas American's were individuals combining to form a nation.
Once more, Will Aspe is proven right. I just can't help being long-winded. ;-)
Thanks GA for correcting me, and I apologise if I’ve overstepped the mark on any point. I shall keep quiet about the points you don’t want any further discussion on.
However, the only comment that caught my attention; and I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it (for the record), is your comment:-
“I can imagine that your Ministers and Lords might be equally as corrupt or corruptible as any of our Congress members”.
It’s an interesting point in that because elections and political funding is heavily regulated in the UK by the Electoral Commission (unlike America) we don’t have politicians in the pockets of business corporations. The Electoral Commission is an independent government body that is only answerable to Parliament e.g. not answerable to the Government.
Before any election campaign the Electoral Commission lay out strict guidance and spending limits to each political party and individual political candidates e.g. the maximum a candidate can spend in their campaign is typically about £15,000 ($18,684). Then after the election all expenditure has to be itemised and sent to the Electoral Commission with the receipts, for careful scrutiny; and publication on their public website for transparency.
In the 2015 General Election the Conservative’s total spend was £15,590,221 ($19,419,179). However, on scrutinising the Accounts the Electoral Commission discovered that there was at least £104,765 ($130,317) of payments unaccounted for and a further £118,124 ($146,887) spend was not reported.
Consequently, just last week, the Electoral Commission fined the Conservative Government £70,000 ($87,073) and passed its files of the former Conservative Party Treasurer to the Metropolitan Police for criminal prosecution; which can result in a fine, and even imprisonment if he's found guilty of fraud.
Likewise, last week 12 police forces (who have been working closely with the Electoral Commission) passed their files on to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) on 20 Conservative MPs who had similar irregularities in their campaign spending during the 2015 general Election.
So in the UK, although politicians might be corruptible, there is little opportunity for them to become corrupt without a high risk of facing the full force of the law.
Now you have me worried Nathanville,
I looked back to your comment that I responded to, and my original response. I didn't see any part of your comment that needed an apology, nor did I see any part of my response that I intended to be seen as corrective. That you read my comments to seem so can only mean the fault is mine - for poorly expressing what I was intending to say.
So hold on to your apology, and take a second look at my response to be sure you didn't misread my intentions. To that point... I will offer my own minor, (lowercase), sorry, for causing you to have similar concerns. It's all good. ;-)
Regarding my 'political corruption' remark; it was really more of a backdoor escape hatch for me. I am not as familiar as I could be about your political office and election oversight safeguards. That remark was simple my nod to the universality of human nature. Maybe I am not completely wrong, and the real issue is a matter of degrees. Maybe I can save that escape hatch for later use. Hmm...
It looks like I need to add that subject to my reading list. I promise to rank it above my latest Thrift Store book find; Nancy Reagan's My Turn, so I can be better prepared the next time I pop into this subject.
But, I did find one of my statements that clearly indicated something unintended. There are very few topics I don't want to, or won't, discuss. The point I thought I was making was that on some contentions there is very little benefit to further discussion because either; my thoughts are relatively firm, (and I try to never hold that position unless I have given much thought to forming them), or I can see that the other person's thoughts are as firmly held as my own - and all that would be accomplished would be fruitless arguing.
Of course there may be a third reason - that I view the other person as such a knucklehead as to be not worth the time or effort to engage them beyond a jab or two. (yes, I do realize I could be offered a mirror for my own consideration of that perspective)
You and me both, GA. Nathan's figures for permissible won't buy a single 10 second TV spot nationwide, so I skimmed a Wikipedia article on British parliament to try and get a glimmer of the differences in our systems.
And decided that it's ALL differences - no similarities at all. A big segment if the house of Lords is appointed by the church (the church!!) - no election. Others are hereditary, and yet others are appointed by their fellows. Still no election - the people have no say in who will govern them. The Queen appoints the Prime Minister - still no election for the highest positions in the government.
This seems so far outside our concept of free elections of governing legislators that there is nothing to compare them. About all I really figured out was that the constituencies in the UK are far smaller than the equivalent in the states, which might be why the nearly nonexistent spending (by our standards) works there.
Thanks wilderness, your observations are very well expressed.
I fully agree, there are no real similarities between the political system in the UK and the USA.
For clarity, there’s two ‘Chambers’ in Parliament; the House of Commons who are elected by the people (once every five years), and the House of Lords, who are not elected. For a Bill to become law it has to be approved by both chambers, but under the ‘Unwritten Constitution’ the House of Lords cannot stop a Bill from becoming law, they can only delay it by adding ‘amendments’ which has to then to be reconsidered by the House of Commons.
Following a General Election, the leader of the political party (or parties) who are best placed to form a government (usually the one who wins most seats) becomes Prime Minister; the Queens role is largely just ceremonial e.g. to rubber stamp her approval.
Over the years, the question of members in the upper chamber (The House of Lords) not being democratically elected has been debated by the main political parties, but none have any incentive to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected upper chamber.
The current situation suits the Conservative Party (right wing) because as an unelected chamber the House of Lords don’t have as much power that an elected upper Chamber would have.
Also, the current situation suits the Labour Party (left wing) because the vast majority of Lords tend to be more ‘socially’ minded, which gives their Bills an easier passage but puts more pressure on the Conservatives when they are in power.
This short video briefly explains in simple terms how the UK Parliament works: - https://youtu.be/RAMbIz3Y2JA
LOL While much sounds reasonable (to an American Colonial) and quite workable, that bit about hereditary or church appointed lawmakers would make any American shudder and run the other way. I suppose that could be because British politics evolved out of just such a thing - hereditary leaders or at least those what "governed" from a position of financial or physical power while American politics came right from the individual citizens right from the start.
But it IS quite interesting to view another system, quite foreign in many ways, but one which works quite well for the people that make it up. Thanks for the link - the video was helpful, though one wonders what happens when the Queen or the house of Lords doesn't rubber stamp parliament. Are they just political faces, maybe like lobbyists influencing the legislature, or do they have actual power?
Hi Wilderness, Once again I have shown my tendency to jump the gun.
After reading your comment I remember reading some stuff about the election of Ministers. And it agrees with what you surmised. They are drawn from small 'electorates', and somewhat similar to our party's promotion of candidates - but not closely similar. I seem to recall that candidates are mostly deemed acceptable, (by other Ministers or power-brokers of a party), before they are promoted to the citizens for the office.
A process that is nothing like our candidate's campaigns for election. And it completely escaped my memory that the House of Lords were appointed. And exactly with the mostly aristocratic qualifications you mentioned.
I really have to do better.
Yes ‘wilderness’, the British Democracy is the oldest in the world, with its foundations in the Magna Carta of 1215, so many of its modern traditions and customs have evolved overtime since that point. It’s also why we only have an ‘unwritten’ constitution based on ‘common law’ (medieval law) e.g. ‘freedom of speech’, and other customs and laws since; which the Law Courts have to make a ruling on when there’s a dispute over its interpretation.
The Queen is essentially just a figurehead; the expression being “the Queen reigns, but she does not rule”. The only true powers she really has these days is when she holds the weekly audience with the Prime Minister (No records of these audiences are taken and the proceedings remain fully confidential). During these audiences she has the right to be consulted by the Prime Minster, the right to encourage the Prime Minister, and the right to warn the Prime Minister.
However, the other remaining powers the British Monarchy retained after the civil war of (1642–1651), known as ‘Royal Prerogative’, have over the centuries been passed to the Government.
These powers are specifically the powers to appoint and dismiss Ministers, regulate the civil service, declare war, make peace, direct the actions of the military, and negotiate and ratify treaties, alliances, and international agreements.
The Prime Minister having ‘Royal Prerogative’ for these specific powers is a bone of contention with many because it means the Prime Minister has powers under ‘Royal Prerogative’ to make some fundamentally important decisions without the consent of Parliament e.g. to declare war; albeit Prime Ministers do often (but not always) consult Parliament rather than use their ‘Royal Prerogative’.
The last time a British Monarch refused to give ‘Royal Assent’ to a Bill passed by Parliament was in 1708. The House of Lords do however flex their muscles more, and do on occasions come close to causing a ‘Constitutional Crises’; this is commonly known as ‘ping-pong’ e.g. when the House of Lords keep returning a Bill to the House of Commons with amendments that the House of Commons then vote down and return back to the Lords only to have it returned back to them time and time again, essentially with the same amendments.
In such situations either the Government or the Lords will eventually back down to avoid a ‘Constitutional Crisis’. It’s usually the Lords that back down, but the last time the Government backed down was in 2015 when the newly elected Conservative Government were trying to slash the welfare state by making £12 billion ($15 billion) cuts to ‘Benefit Payments’ of the poorest members of Society. The Lords refused to budge and on that occasion the Government eventually scrapped their planned cuts in order to avoid a constitutional crisis.
Hi GA, I assume you mean Government Ministers in the House of Commons? If so then a quick summery is as follows: -
There are 650 Constituencies in the UK of similar voting size; typically about 72,400 voters in each Constituency in England. In a General Election, the General Public in each Constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) to represent them in the House of Commons.
To stand as a candidate for election an individual must get the signatures of at least 10 citizens (members of the pubic who are entitled to vote in a General Election, and who live within the Constituency the candidate intends standing). The candidate also has to pay a deposit of £500 ($625). Their deposit being returned to them if during the General Election they receive more than 5% of the total votes from the voting pubic within their Constituency.
The candidate can either stand for a specific party or as an Independent. To stand for a specific party the candidate needs to be elected by the party members within that constituency.
The election of Party Leaders is entirely up to the Political Party: -
The Conservatives choose their leader by MPs choosing candidates and whittling them down to two MPs (through a series of ballots); then the winner of the final two candidates is decided by the party members in an election.
Labour’s approach to electing their leader is to allow MPs, Trade Unions and Party Members to all select candidates, and then for MPs, Trade Unions and Party Members to choose the leader through an election using a form of proportional representation.
The Leader of the political party that forms a Government following a General Election becomes Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister then chooses his or her Cabinet e.g. the Ministers who are appointed to Office e.g. Minister for Health, Minister of Defence etc., are all chosen by the Prime Minister; which makes the Prime Minister a very powerful person; which has it pros and cons.
I hope this gives some clarity.
Hi GA, it was the little comment’s like “But I don't care to get into that discussion any further.” which I read as meaning that perhaps I was labouring some of the points too much e.g. I know Ken and I don’t see eye to eye on matters that are personal to us so we’ve both gone on a bit too much about specific points; but you’ve eloquently explained well enough so I’m content with what you’ve stated; thanks.
Glad to hear it Nathanville,
Just imagine how much easier text communications would be if they could also convey inflection and body language.
What if you were talking to an Italian? The server would fill up in the first sentence!
Wilderness, I should look it up to provide a link, but I remember an effort few years back, from a coder that offered a protocol to animate text - based on emotional intent. Such as an angry comment would have the text vibrating as you read it, a conciliatory intent would have soothing undulations, and so on...
Cute, but obviously an unsuccessful plan.
Nathan, yes you keep providing me what I do consider properly constructed and politically correct sources that describe the refugee crisis, that supports your position.
I do not agree with those sources, I do understand that they are likely the government backed viewpoints, they are the preferred outlooks by most in EU still. I just don't accept them because they go counter to what I have researched already.
Now... your last video link correctly explains the Syrian issue, but the 'refugee' problem is greater than that. For instance, lets consider Sweden, tens of thousands of refugees that have been taken in by Sweden the past few years do not just come from Syria... they come from Somalia, and other parts of Africa.
As of 2010, 1.33 million people or 14.3% of the inhabitants in Sweden were foreign-born. Of these, 859,000 (64.6%) were born outside the European Union.
In 2013, immigration reached its highest level since records began with 115,845 people migrating to Sweden.
47% came from Syria, followed by 21% from the horn of Africa (mostly Eritrea and Somalia).
Nearly two weeks into October 2015, a record figure of 86,223 asylum applications was reached.
And of course it is far worse for countries like Greece and Italy, which are far easier to reach than Sweden is.
http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/media/ … 16_624.gif
But please forgive my lack of full focus into this topic, and for giving video connections without also noting that I do not fully support their opinions... rather, I used them to show the overall seriousness of the matter. So while I agree with the general overview of what was shown in those links I do not subscribe to every facet and fact spoken.
I am currently far more interested in figuring out what is transpiring with Russia, and how close we may be to a full blown military conflict with Russia, and the reasons for it. That has absorbed the majority of my 'free time' researching... as I consider this a more problematic issue for America, and also the web involved far more compelling.
The Immigration, or 'refugee' crisis is pretty self explanatory to me... I see that the EU has a very different outlook on it than I do, but in a couple of years, when the Welfare systems have been over taxed as they will be in some of the lesser populated nations, and as the violence skyrockets in the near future, you will see a very different outlook developing on the matter.
If you remember Ken, I was talking about the Russian tensions when you digressed to the refugee crisis in Europe, insisting that you know the topic better than I do, based on the news reports and other sources on the web; in spite of the fact that you live over 4,000 miles away while this crisis unfolded on my doorstep, so I’ve seen and experienced it first-hand.
Yes I have seen it first-hand, not just in Britain but from our annual two weeks holiday, driving all the way down from Calais to southern France; and then spending the day in Belgium before returning to Dover. Also, we regularly nip across to France and Belgium in the spring and autumn on day trips to shop in their open air markets; and again in early December for Christmas shopping.
Not only do we see the refugees for ourselves when we cross over to Calais, but we’ve also witnessed the convoys of private cars and vans of British people voluntarily taking food and clothes parcels, and toys for the children, to the refugee camp.
• Even Banksy left his mark in the French refugee camp at Calais, when he painted the mural below of Steve Jobs (son of a Syrian refugee) who co-founded the Apple computer company in the USA.
FYI:- Banksy is the renown world famous street artist from Bristol.
Although I hardly every watch the Euronews TV channel on cable TV, because it tends to be rather boring and dry; we did have it on a lot during the height of the refugee crisis because at times like this their ‘No Comment’ broadcast gave continuous uninterrupted, unedited airing of the refugees as they made their daunting journey from Hungary to Germany.
Euronews TV is a multilingual European wide news channel, based in France, but which usually broadcasts either in English, or with English subtitles. One of their programme formats (between on the hour news headlines) is what they call ‘No Comment; which most of the time seems pointless to me e.g. cameramen just film where the action is in Europe and just let the camera roll for hours on end without any comments, or voiceover. I guess the advantage is that you can watch a march or a demonstration anywhere within Europe live, without any commentary or written comments on the screen to influence your thoughts; it’s left up to you to make your own interpretation of what you’re seeing. Which for the Refugee crisis was extremely useful as you saw the events live (as they unfolded) e.g. the stress, the trauma, moments of occasion violence and chaos, the tears of joy etc.
This short ‘No Comment’ clip from Euronews is when Obama visited England in 2014: - https://youtu.be/jTif9WNIgg0
As regards Russia, as I’ve previously made clear; I am as concerned about the tension with Russia as you are. However if your research on the Russian issue is as flawed as your understanding of the European refugee crisis then I’m not sure how confident I could be with any conclusions you may come to.
The one thing that concerns me is that we don’t make the same mistake of appeasement that Britain and France made to Hitler in the 1930’s right up to the end of 1938. It meant that when we realised we had been duped by Hitler we were not prepared for war, and consequently Britain was ill prepared to defend its airfields, industries and cities from the daily bombing by Hitler for the first two years of the war; albeit Churchill was the first to deliberately bomb civilian cities, some claims being so that Hitler would retaliate to take the pressure away from British airfields and war factories being so heavily bombed.
At this time, the only way Britain will disarm its nuclear warheads is if the current Labour Party wins the next General Election in 2020. In Britain it’s only the extreme left wing Socialist parties that’s anti-nuclear bomb, and want to see Britain disarm our nuclear capability. Britain’s Socialist Labour party lurched to the extreme left following the 2015 General Election, although the most extreme left wing Socialist Party in Britain is the Green Party; who also wants to see Britain abolish its nuclear weapons.
I've learned with age, that people can be right in the thick of things, be right at the scene, and still not see what is going on, or be able to project out years down the road to where it will lead.
So lets just put an end to the debate on 'refugees' shall we, you seem intent now only on saying I am wrong or my opinion 'flawed'... I'll trust my first hand experiences in the world far more than I trust or value your second hand tales from your grandma, or from someone you know who has been to the Middle East.
Your experiences of seeing refugees on a nice little trip to go shopping, do not match my experiences of spending six months of my life being part of a 'reactionary security force' overseeing a camp full of refugees. Your experiences about hearing about the wars in Iraq, or the upheavals in Egypt, or whatever your friends discussed with you does not equate to my being in those countries and dealing with the issues, the people, and the realities there.
You... like most Europeans, are sheltered and secluded, and most of your views and outtakes on these issues are limited.
Europeans from what experiences I've had, are great people, big hearts, want to do the right thing...but they really have no clue about the dark, dangerous, discontented forces they have let in.
If you haven't been there, if you haven't seen it, my words can't do it for you... I can't explain Somalia to someone who hasn't been there, hasn't seen the savagery, the insanity, the inhumanity... but I can tell you, those depths of inhumanity just don't leave someone when they move to a new address, and are given some free food and money.
Wish I was wrong... but when I read a story of a women being beheaded in the streets in Sweden, of acts of arson, rape, terrorism... its what these dark and dangerous 'men' know... its what they teach others... its like a cancer. You can't reason with it, you can't appease it... you can only destroy it wherever you find it...
And such thoughts right now are an anathema to you, to Europe at large... and that is why I say, sadly, you worry about the wrong 'enemy'... you fear that Putin and Russia will be the next Nazi Germany... but you don't know how to deal with the enemy within, the enemy you have let in. It will hide behind women and children, it will hide behind seeming acceptance and niceties, until it is ready to show how ugly it can be.
Were the SS and the concentration camps in Germany, and the Japanese soldiers and the kamikaze pilots during the 2nd world war not as evil as you describe Muslims to be? Now look at Germany and Japan.
So I guess you’re horrified that Londoners elected a Muslim as their Lord Mayor last year; and that Bristol also elected a Black Socialist as its Lord Mayor.
Sadiq Khan elected new Mayor of London 2016: - https://youtu.be/ChY4nooWgGs
Labour's Marvin Rees elected as the Mayor of Bristol 2016: - https://youtu.be/mP3JuOcymkU
Belittling the horrors of the 2nd world war in Britain because of tales from my grandma is rather insensitive. The destruction of Bristol through years of continuous air raid bombings by Hitler’s war planes is every bit as real as the destruction of Syrian cities by the Americans and Russians; that’s historical fact and not some fairy tale.
You are focusing on the religious aspect of it... that is but part of it... what I am trying to focus your attention to... is that when you allow tens of thousands of murdering, raping, savage young men into your country as 'refugees'... do not expect them to change their ways, or how they convert others to their ways, simply because you give them a place to live and some free food and money.
They are still the same 'people' they were. They may hide this, for a while, until they are settled in and figure out the new rules, and build a new pecking order in their new home... then it will be back to normal.
That's all I was saying... they will hide behind the women and children, and the media will run rampant with stories of how the children suffer, how the mothers are trying to care for their children, to gain sympathy and support. But for every child, there are plenty of men, ten per child? twenty?
Like you say... I'm probably wrong. It's very possible my experiences in those parts of the world jaded my perceptions, and have me seeing a larger threat than what is really there.
Either way I don't have to live in those countries. The religion issue is only an issue in regards to how it is preached, and used to convert discontented young men into careless wanton murderers, by various 'groups'.
There are nations I would one day like to travel to, like Azerbaijan, which is one of the more civilized and progressive nations in the world, and it is more than 90% Muslim. They don't have jihadists running around preaching unchecked in their country... they don't allow 'prophets' to stir up civil unrest and call for murder.
I feel that your posts and positions taken, are a microcosm of EU's position on the matter, you don't want to recognize the threat and eliminate it, out of some strange fear of doing so would make you bigoted, racist, whatever label you want to put it under. This is why the evil will gain strength and spread...
If it were a White Supremacist group, that was supporting shipping people all over the world, to commit terrorism, to engage in wars, to rape and murder, to preach anti-government hate in the name of the 'prophet' Hitler do you think your government would be allowing it to fester because they were afraid of how they would be perceived as racists, or anti-whatever?
As I said, I would like to end this line of discussion... I see no point in furthering it.
I don't understand where belief can be a basis of anything when it comes to trusting what is being reported as evidenced by diametrically opposed reporting from news sources such as CNN and Fox. The mere opposite facts are suspect as to whether either are truthful. Believe one over the other based on what? Who they are based on their slogans?
I would rather look at Trumps actions and actual words that come out of his mouth to make any estimation of the truth. Look into the background that is continuing through administrations in both parties and the people they appoint and re-appoint to run the government. Read about it because our precious news media is not allowed to report it as they are owned as well. Wall Street had nothing to loose as Trump brought them in just as Hillary would have. The IMF and World Bank have nary a mention by either the administration, Fed or news media as globalization and valueless paper is loaned to failing countries to in-debt them to the inevitable World Currency we are headed towards. Trump is a mere puppet in the grand scheme of things as we throw names at each other and quibble over failed policy blunders. The masters are well ensconced and are not even in the spotlight where real truth is.
"And that is largely because CNN, MSNBC, W.Post and others have spent many months programming you into believing he is worse than Mussolini, he is everything you fear, and more."
All they did was play the clips of things he's said. He's shown himself to be who he is. Nobody forced him.
They have gone well beyond that, they have twisted his meaning whenever they could, belittled and demeaned when possible, they have deliberately chosen not to report a great many things, while outright fabricating information that was untrue.
There is a good example of some of that here on this short video:
This is not new or just related to Trump, though I admit they have taken it to newer levels these past months because of their disdain for Trump, which is not necessarily a bad thing, because more and more people who watch lose that 'suspension of disbelief' and determine that it is indeed BS... or as Trump has labeled it, correctly, 'fake news'.
And this is good, because for a long time CNN has gotten away with egregious misrepresentations and falsehoods, and I know this for absolute fact, because I have been involved in situations they have reported on, and watched them spin a tale that was 180 degrees opposite of the truth... and this was back in the mid 90s.
‘The pot calling the kettle black’, an old saying dating back to the 17th century, which means that the person is guilty of the very thing they are accusing the other person of; back in the days when both pot and kettle were heated up over a sooty coal fire.
This expression seems very appropriate when people dis CNN, while citing Fox News as being a reliable news source.
We don’t get Fox News in Britain (thank goodness), but we do get the American Bloomberg and CNN on Cable TV in the UK; not that I watch them often. When I have switched over to CNN news briefly, and they’ve been reporting about events in Britain, all the facts are always twisted (political spin and propaganda); so I quickly switch to something much better.
However, Fox News does frequently get into the British News simply because of all the ridiculous lies they tell about Britain; the lies are so outlandishly false that it makes it comical to watch. And it makes it even more comical (sadly), when Trump then quotes from Fox News as evidence for some ridiculous and false claim he’s making.
Although, as yet, I haven’t seen anything on Bloomberg that I’ve been knowledgeable enough about for me to form an opinion on how creditable their news reporting is e.g. whenever I’ve briefly flicked channels to Bloomberg they’ve always been covering American news that I know little about.
One thing I have found interesting... is that most people formulate an opinion about something, and that opinion sticks forever.
40 years ago, the Washington Post broke Watergate, and people remember that paper for it, above all other things. They formed an opinion. Now that paper is under new ownership, has an entirely different staff... it is the same paper in name only, yet many people that formed their opinion of the paper 40 years ago seemingly don't realize that... they credit the paper with the same honesty and integrity it had back in the 70s.
Same can be said for politicians... we would have no Congressmen and women with 30+ years in office, if people realized how much they are changed by how things work in D.C.
Same for CNN, 25 years ago it had a different staff, different ownership and was run with an entirely different modus operandi than it has today.
You said a lot Nathanville, but didn't answer the question.
Fair point, I did say a lot, yet didn’t really answer the question.
I was just pointing out that Fox News, which you mentioned as an alternative new source, isn’t a reliable source; and neither is the Daily Mail, which Wikipedia banned from the 8th February as a source for its articles as Wikipedia has deemed the Daily Mail to be an unreliable news source.
YouTube is also an unreliable source as it’s a free for all (as most of the Internet is).
All I can do is give my opinion based on my experience and knowledge from the perspective of a Brit. In that respect, few people would dispute that Wikipedia is a reliable source who can be believed and trusted because they are hot on using reliable sources that have been ‘fact checked’.
Beyond that the only news sources I have any trust in are the:-
• British news media broadcast on British TV, and
• Al Jazeera
British TV News, which includes the British Sky TV News and BBC TV News, is heavily regulated by independent government organisations, in accordance with a specific set of criteria which the TV news media has to abide by to ensure fair and balanced reporting. It’s not perfect, but it does prevent the British TV news channels from making outlandish statements that can’t be verified with ‘fact checking’, and it also prevents the news channels from being openly bias in their reporting.
Although Al Jazeera is a TV channel run by an Arab royal family in the Middle East, which I am sure will make many American’s baulk. They operate using Studios, equipment and staff expertise they bought from the BBC when it had to make cuts in funding; and they take pride in unbiased reporting. It’s a News channel I frequently watch on cable TV because so far, whenever they’ve reported on current affairs in Britain, their reporting has always been non-biased, and there’s been no political spin e.g. they’ve tried to report events ‘as is’ e.g. giving the views from both sides of the argument and leaving it up to the viewers to make up their own minds. Unlike American TV news, who seem to almost always put political spin, or slant the story with propaganda, when reporting on events in Britain.
Well Damn, Nathanville! I am one of those Americans that "baulk" at the mention of Al Jazeera as a reliable news source.
But, your two comments that I have read seem sensible, and whether I agree with your points or not, they were sensible enough to send me on a trek to check out Al Jazeera. I will get back to you with my thoughts. Hopefully they won't be the same as the ones I have on RT.com as a reliable news source.
If you are right, thanks in advance. If my initial perception was right, damn you for causing me to waste more valuable time. ;-)
Thanks GA, I am keen to hear your feedback on Al Jazeera, because I've only got the British prospective. So it will be interesting to learn whether (in your view) Al Jazeera is as unbiased in reporting on American affairs as I find them to be on British affairs.
AL Jazeera is a good alternate source... but it has a bias.
RT is a good alternate source... but it has a bias.
Fox Business (prefer it over Fox news) "" "" ""
Bloomberg I like too.
So lets take a look at some examples of what is being reported by various news agencies:
RT on Vault 7 -
PBS on Vault 7 -
MSNBC on Vault 7 -
I love this... so RT is talking about everything that was revealed by WikiLeaks, what it means, how it works, etc. PBS is more the middle ground, not much on specifics, talk about how it effects things, but basically a non-informative piece. And then there is MSNBC... 'well we aren't going to talk about it, but lets get right in to talking about how wrong Trump was in calling out Obama for tapping him' ... and then they go to a hearing in Congress, which seemingly shows/tells us that there is no way a President can spy on a citizen without a warrant... but if you know anything about the NSA... or if you paid attention to some of the other news sources... you know this is a falsehood, a cover up...or an oversight, CIA and FBI can't do it.... buuuuut the NSA (through PRISM)... the only one the NSA answers to IS the President.
So, when you have the time, compare RT to MSNBC and see what they are saying... then check out PBS... or Bloomberg... do this every once and a while... and then check out Fox news.
Fox on Vault 7 -
Fox usually gives you more information, more facts to work with, than anyone... stay away from Hannity who is too biased... you'll find that if you aren't plugged into CNN or MSNBC and sucked in by their BS, that Fox usually is the best news source all around for facts and straight talk.
I am amazed that you consider RT as a good alternate source for news; especially as it’s funded by the Russian government and regarded by many in the free world as no more than a propaganda machine for Russia.
Several stories I’ve seen in recent years about the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria from RT, supports my feelings that RT is little more than a mouthpiece for Russia.
Well sure... when it comes to the Ukraine and Russia that is what is going to be spread, state propaganda. They cater to the Russian perspective, got it.
Do you think it is different for CNN & MSNBC when it comes to Liberal agendas in America? You think they didn't bend over backwards to cover for Obama on everything? How about the Iran deal? How about Benghazi? Did they dig into the tons of weapons shipped from Libya to rebels in Syria? No of course not.
Here is the thing... RT reports news about America, about WikiLeaks... you very little news on what is going on in Russia, or Germany, or China on CNN or MSNBC, they even try to ignore WikiLeaks as best they can.
RT is a good source of news, one of the best. Because you can be confident that it is NOT corporate propaganda, conservative propaganda, or liberal propaganda... RT is not catering to those interests looking to dumb down Americans and keep them ignorant.
You have to learn how to take the INFO from news sources without also taking their propaganda and swallowing it whole.
Being British I don’t know enough about MSNBC to have a view; but we do get CNN on cable TV in Britain, and as I’ve said previously, when it comes to reporting about events in Britain CNN do twist the facts, although unlike Fox News and the Daily Mail, they don’t create Fake News about Britain. These are the basis on which I judge CNN and Fox News.
As regards RT News, Russia is known to want to undermine democracy and the economies in the West, for its own political agenda. If you live on the boarders with Russia, as we do in Europe, then by their own actions, it’s something you are constantly made aware of.
Russia is forthright when it’s in a position to be so, but it’s also very good at subtlety and subterfuge.
Russia is desperate to gain credibility in the West, so unlike Fox News and the Daily Mail who do at times tell outright lies, RT is very careful to keep its reporting to appear factual so there is no risk of them being discredited.
However, from what I’ve seen of RT News, they are very good at reporting on the very things that helps to undermine democracy and economic stability in the West (which is what Russia wants), but I haven’t seen so much evidence of RT News focusing on the positive stories that would help to build confidence in a nation, and strengthen its economy.
I agree, an astute perception that goes beyond the norm if I may say so.
I would say you are spot on about RT, but that is why what they report is worth looking in to, they will talk about things American news sources will not, as will Al Jazeera, I never said to buy into everything they are telling you... but to consider it, and compare it to other sources.
For print news, there is still nothing better than the Wall Street Journal, you will find out more truths and news worth reading in one day's WSJ than you will find in a month's worth of the Washington Post IMO.
For news about foreign affairs a American HAS to go to outside sources where tv/cable/internet is concerned, there is literally next to nothing in terms of what is going on in China, Africa, anywhere on American (MSM)news compared to what you will learn from foreign news sites. Though there are some lesser known cable channels, and Bloomberg, that are more revealing in nature of the global scene.
Americans are probably the least informed non-3rd world nation in the world, the majority of Americans only speak one language, in many other nations, a good portion of their population speaks more than one language... and in most other 'developed' nations, they are aware of the goings-on of the rest of the world far more than Americans are.
That aside, I would love it if you could give a couple examples, or links, that would help better explain or show how RT is deliberately making an effort to undermine the economies of the west for its own political agenda.
I realize that every nation is more or less 'out for itself' that I expect... in many ways America (and most assuredly China) is as bad as any nation for this, or at this. So what makes Russia or RT so untrustworthy or different?
I agree with you Ken, that “Americans are probably the least informed non-3rd world nation in the world”. American’s I sometimes correspond with by email have a false image of current affairs in Britain and the rest of Europe; fed to them by American TV and News media. Then when I try to correct them, they dismiss what I say and arrogantly insist that they know better because its in the News (even though they are over 4,000 miles away); it’s frustrating.
However, we Brits are just as bad as Americans at only speaking one language; fortunately, most Europeans speak English, so when we go on our annual holiday to France and Belgium communication isn’t a problem. In fact at times it can be embarrassing because a lot of French and Belgium people we meet love to show off how good their English is; as soon as they realise we’re British.
As regards examples from RT on how Russia is deliberately making an effort to undermine the economies of the West for its own political agenda. It’s difficult to give any simple examples in that Russia’s had over 45 years of experience from the ‘Cold War’ in covert propaganda e.g. they work on the subconscious mind to influence people’s thoughts.
The best way to understand Putin’s true intent is to spend hours carefully listening to him speak on RT; which I’ve done over the last few days in order to give this reply. The RT News Channel targeting the Russian audience, frequently interview Putin; and copies are on YouTube, in Russian of course, but many of the videos do include subtitles in English.
Usually, when Trump makes a statement that turns out to be publically embarrassing he accuses the ‘Press’ of ‘Fake News’. When Putin makes a statement that turns out to be diplomatically embarrassing he accuses the ‘Press’ of misquoting him; as you might notice if you do spend time ploughing through some of his lengthy interviews on RT.
The only time RT shows its true colours is when Russia’s caged is rattled by the West. This video (although not RT) might be of some interest: - https://youtu.be/8PgSX-WD96Q
Another (rather lengthy interview), which was on RT, Putin’s was diplomatic in his words, worded as to sound as if Russia respect America and wants to be its ally in keeping world peace; then in the middle of his speech he let it slip that the nation with the most nuclear weapons dominates the world; and that he (Putin) wants Russia to be that Nation.
This RT video also makes interesting watching (Russia and Balkans expert Marcus Papadopoulos interview with RT):- https://youtu.be/Z_7RLGaDW5o
With respect to this, Russia was furious last year when they (as the favourite) didn’t win the Eurovision Song Contest; adding insult to injury, Ukraine won with a political song which vehemently attacks Russia for its invasion of Ukraine; as per this video (again not an RT video):- https://youtu.be/iWvauAhNuts
On this occasion, Russia’s song entry was by far the best, and under normal circumstances there’s no doubt they would have won; but they lost valuable votes due to protest voting because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, rather than accepting they lost votes because of their invasion of Ukraine, RT went further by accusing the European Broadcasting Union of vote rigging; an accusation that was investigated and found to be unsubstantiated.
Ukraine’s, political song entry in last year’s Eurovision song contest, which rattled Russia’s cage is this one (the important bits that spell it out in black and white are sung in English): - https://youtu.be/oxS6eKEOdLQ
I was somewhat versed in the first two, the whole song thing is something I would label trivial and irrelevant, but that's me... I don't mix major economic or war related occurrences with entertainment related issues.
America and its allies have repeatedly interfered with Russian politics and events the past few years, in escalating efforts against Putin, and just before Obama left office, he deployed many units of reserves/U.S. troops to various locations along the Russian border... not to mention he expelled 35 Russian diplomats from America, and hit Russia with more sanctions...
In short Obama couldn't have been any more aggressive or instigative as he walked out of the White House short of ordering a military offensive against Russia. But you will hear hardly a peep about what is going on in America.
Do you think any of that gets reported here?
Troop Deployment to Germany
Troop Deployment to Poland
Troop Deployment to Latvia
etc. etc. etc.
We... under the guise of NATO... are amassing an Army along the Russian border... ALL along the Russian border. Including South Korea and anywhere else we can get access to through 'allies'.
I wouldn't say this is exactly a preparation for invasion, akin to what we did before invading Iraq. But... Obama began a preparation for invasion, akin to what we did before invading Iraq.
And our media said/says almost nada about. But they pound away at Trump being a Russian pawn, and his whole administration for that matter... those stories about 'Deep State' and 'Shadow Government' might not be that far off.
This from a guy that hate's Trump. Despises him... but even he gets just how whacked things are getting:
Well, you've proven that you watch a lot of YouTube, LoL! Do you remember the reason why Obama took sanctions against Russia before he left office? It was supposed to be our response to them regarding their hacking into our systems. This is also the reason why everyone is so concerned about Trump and his interactions with them prior to taking office. Even John McCain - a Republican - says there are 'shoes to drop' yet on Trump & Co's Russian contacts.
Maybe its all just a diversion and Trump has done nothing wrong. But, if that is the case, he isn't exactly forthcoming with nearly as much 'reasonable proof' on his side as they have on theirs.
If Trump had acted as concerned about Russian interferance - instead of taking everything personally and insisting the Dems were 'just making it up' to gang up on him - his 'I had nothing to do with Russia' claims would be more believable. Everything is all about him, and he could care LESS that someone was messing with our systems (both dnc & rnc). It made him look bad on that subject, and since he never changes his attitude about anything - it continues to shed a bad light on him. Plus, he had all those nice things to say about Putin on the election trail. Its not like questioning his Russian ties is unwarranted.
I, personally, don't think Trump nor his campaign has done anything wrong with the Russians - although there are some bank account transactions that are still in question. I haven't went much into researching those, yet; and I know he has investments everywhere.
Yeah, all this is concerning because he can't really do his job as president very well if/when few people around him are trusting him. I'm guessing that's why he has such a problem with leakage. They are making him look like a fool - not by doing the leaks, but when he complains like a child about them on places like twitter. It doesn't exactly portray him as an effective leader - and really, is that how a 'leader' would respond?
Trump needs to figure out that twitter isn't his friend just because he can see a bunch of positive feedback from his supporters, instantly. He's too addicted to the ego-rush; and its just not a form of communication that is working for him.
As far as Obama deploying troops... yeah, I'm guessing he's following orders from what everyone is now referring to as 'deep government'. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there IS ONLY ONE government - doesn't matter whose guy is in office; every potus & member of congress works for the same people no matter what political party they are members of. The widening of our divisions was done intentionally because the 'ebb & flow' of the people divided is good for the economy & other manipulative things. We need to stop jumping through their hoops. They are the ones who always win in the end.
Ken, the Eurovision Song Contest isn’t just entertainment. It was one of a number of experiments in the 1950s in Europe (in the aftermath of the 2nd world war) as a means to help reduce the risk of future wars in Europe. Historically, for thousands of years there have always been wars in Europe; this past 70 years is the longest period in history where European countries haven’t been fighting each other.
The concept of the Eurovision Song Contest is the principle of ‘Make Love not War’. The Slogan for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, was ‘Building Bridges’.
If you lived in Europe you would have a different view. With reference to your link to ‘Secular Talk’, I have a lot of respect for him, and I often watch his videos. However, on this occasion, I think he’s wrong.
Living in Europe, Russia is a real threat e.g. they are forever showing their aggression towards us. Typically, Russia regularly fly military planes over different European countries. Obviously we have to respond by scrambling our military planes to give the appropriate warnings and then escort the Russian fighter planes out of our air space. The last time this happened to Britain was 2015, when two Russian military planes flew over Cornwall, England, and then were escorted from our air space by the RAF.
That’s nothing compared to Sweden (currently a neutral country), as Russian Military planes invade Swedish air space at least one if not twice a year. Although Sweden normally scrambles its own planes (not that they have a large military force) they were took by surprise during the Easter holiday in 2013, when six Russian aircraft carried out a simulated attack on Stockholm and Sweden failed to scramble their own military planes. On that occasion it was Demark who responded, and escorted the Russian planes out of Sweden’s air space. Then in 2016 Russia carried out a ‘simulated nuclear strike’ against Sweden.
As worrying for Britain is that every year since at least 2014 (if not earlier) Russian subs have been caught lurking off the naval bases in Scotland. This is of particular concern in that it’s from these bases that Britain operates its four submarines as a deterrent against Russia.
Each of Britain’s four nuclear deterrent submarines carries a total of 16 nuclear missiles (each one 8x more explosive than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima during WWII). The subs operate in rotation so that at any one time there is always a British sub hidden in the depths of the seas for a six month period; ready to deploy 16 nuclear bombs on Russian cities in the event that Russia attacks Britain. Each submarine has it orders in a sealed envelope, in a safe on the sub, so that in the event that the British Government are wiped out in a nuclear attack the submarine can act independently in accordance with those instructions:- https://youtu.be/s_rj68I9HA0
And what are the reasons for this?
Again, your position while absolutely valid for someone living in England, or Sweden for that matter, but what are the reasons behind it?
Is it because NATO states are trying to get former Soviet states to join NATO, something Russia was promised would never happen?
Is it because of Sanctions by EU and America?
Is it because EU and America have tried to interfere with elections in the Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere in former Soviet states?
Is it because America violates Russian airspace?
Is it because America gives weapons and economic support to terrorists who war against Russia's ally Syria?
Is it because America (via NATO) like to amass massive amounts of tanks, artillery, etc. along the Russian border?
You seem completely in lock step with the anti-Russian propaganda 'news' sources are feeding to you... without any acknowledgement that America and the EU is more than responsible for any actions the Russians taken, they have done plenty to agitate the situation and heighten the drama.
No Ken, it’s more deep rooted than that:-
• It stems back to a time (pre-war) when Russia tried to spread communism throughout Europe through infiltration and subversion.
• It stems from their aggression towards Europe during the ‘cold war’, and their continued attempt to spread communism throughout Europe through infiltration and subversion.
• I remember the ‘cold war’ well, on the night of the 20th August 1968 my brother was playing with an old radio, tuning into different English speaking stations around the world when he happened to tune into a Czechoslovakian radio station broadcasting to the world in English at the time when Russian tanks rolled into the streets. The presenter continued broadcasting (giving step by step events of the Russian invasion) right up until the point when Russian soldiers burst into the room; then ‘silence’; a very chilling experience.
Actions speak louder than words e.g. not just Russian’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, but also other invasions since, including that of Ukraine in 2014.
No, Russia is aggressive. Given every opportunity, they want to expand their ‘Empire’ and their influence across the world.
Really... like China is doing?
Like America&England has done?
Have you ever been to the Middle East?
Have you ever fought in a war?
Do you even know what your own government and mine has done?
How many nations we have invaded, how many governments we have toppled how many millions we have killed?
Do you know why Russia invaded Ukraine? The real reasons why they are putting pressure on the neighboring states?
Its EXACTLY the same thing you would do, if you were Putin, and you had a clue.... Russia doesn't want those nations joining NATO anymore than you want Ireland joining Russia... imagine that, if one day Ireland said, well, we want to be part of the Russian alliance, and we are going to let them put their missiles and armies and naval ports here in Ireland, and all those missiles are going to be pointed right at London... so many missiles that they will blot out the sky when they rain down on the city.
That's what NATO plans on doing in Ukraine, and any other nation that joins it... Russia is being pushed into a corner, its being poked, and prodded, and starved... and do you know why?
Because YOUR government WANTS the war... because the people controlling your politicians and mine WANT the war... and you are buying into everything they are selling you.
And Putin will give it to them... because he will have no choice, the sanctions are causing a Russian recession, the fall of oil and gas prices are causing it to... and trust me, if they weren't trying to break Russia right now, prices of oil and gas would be at all time highs. Ever think about that?
Funny how a decade ago Oil was at all time highs... and now, a decade later, it is at an all time low??? At the same time they are trying to collapse the Russian economy... an economy that depends on its energy resources?
We will go to war with Russia... we will kill hundreds of thousands of Russians... just like we have toppled nations in the Middle East and killed hundreds of thousands there.
At least we know Russia truly does have weapons of mass destruction... here's hoping they don't use them to end civilization as we know it.
China is a separate issue; but seeing you mentioned it (presumably to demonstrate that Russia is not the only aggressive nation in the world), then I’ll quickly add a few thoughts:-
China is another communist regime, and with any communist regime I find their lack of respect for human rights, freedoms and democracy appalling; we only have to remember the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 to remind ourselves of what the Chinese regime is really like.
However, unlike Russia, China isn’t threatening the world; it was their neighbour (Japan) who was the aggressor during the 2nd world war. At least China is making a concerted effort to work with the West rather than against it. Our neighbours, and close friends (two doors up from us) are Chinese, and they love their country. They often return home to China to see family and friends; the only reason they’ve immigrated to England is because they wanted to have two children.
America is seen as world peace keepers by the West, but not so by Russia or certain factions in the Middle East e.g. ISIS. In this respect, if it wasn’t for America’s help to Britain during the 2nd world war (albeit, late in coming) then Britain would have lost and Europe would now be under a fascist German regime.
From the times of the Romans (Italy) until the latter part of the 19th century Britain, along with just about every other European country and Russia, have constantly fought each other for lands and where possible conquered lands the world over. In the end Britain proved the most successful because we had the strongest navy; and consequently built up the British Empire that controlled a quarter of the world’s population.
However, that’s past history, since then Britain has either lost its colonies through war e.g. the American war of Independence (1775-1783) and the Irish civil war in 1922, or it’s handed the lands back to those wanting independence, like Canada and Australia.
These days, British people are not proud of our disgraceful rampaging around the world during our Empire days. During the 20th century it was Germany who made two attempts of European domination, but that was thankfully stopped on both occasions, thanks to the grateful support from America.
No of course I haven’t been to the Middle East, but I have friends and colleagues from there (including a taxi driver, originally from Iraq); so I know what it’s like through their eyes.
No I haven’t fought in a war, but I lived through the 30 years of terror campaign in Britain from the IRA, and I know exactly what war is like for civilians from my mother and grandmother, who lived in Bristol during the blitz years when Hitler consistently bombed British cities during the 2nd world war.
Some years ago, both my mother and grandmother told me of their experiences of the blitz years, which I recorded on tape and later transcribed. During that time Hitler dropped 919 tons of high explosive bombs and tens of thousands of incendiary bombs on Bristol; totally destroying 81,830 houses, and badly damaging thousands of others. On just the first night of the raids on Bristol (Sunday, 2 Nov 1940), the Germans dropped 5,000 incendiary and 10,000 high explosive bombs.
On the first night of the Blitz on Bristol, in the words of my grandmother:-
“And then there was that raid while we were in the Salvation Army Hall; singing the halleluiah chorus. We weren't allowed to leave cus there was a terrific lot of flack around; that could kill you, you know. So we kept on singing; mind you we were worried about Grace (my mother), we were on the platform and she was in the main Hall; we wondered if we could get to her in time if anything happened."
And my mother (only a child) then said: - “When we came out; the sky was all bright red.
(Grandmother) "Yeh - and it was awful."
(Mother) "That was the night the Bristol Blitz started, it lasted for several days."
(Grandmother) “Many a time, everybody had to dive under the shop counters during raids. Then there was that time when a bus load of school children going up Clifton way had a direct hit; Oh it was so dreadful, all the children were killed."
Bristol Blitz (which my mother and grandmother lived through):- https://youtu.be/vIVaXQu5LUI
Of course I know why Russia invaded Ukraine, and why they harass neighbouring States; Russia is our neighbour (bordering Europe), so we are acutely aware of their actions and politics. Russia sees Ukraine and the other countries in Eastern Europe as rightfully theirs, which they lost through the revolutions in those States at the end of the 1980s; and which they want back. Unlike Britain who has handed back most of its Empire (mostly peacefully), and who has no interest in reclaiming.
Russia doesn’t need to put bases in Ireland for us to feel their threat; Russia has 7,000 nuclear warheads (more than America), and in a nuclear strike we are only four minutes away from Russia. The only reason Britain developed a nuclear defence in 1952 is because Russia developed their nuclear weapons in 1949, pointing some of them in the direction of Britain.
For Your Information, sanctions were only imposed on Russia after Russia had invaded Ukraine; before that time (from the end of the cold war until 2014) Europe was beginning to develop trade ties with Russia.
And I would like to add one other query... why exactly are you worried about a Russian invasion, or what Russia might do... when you have opened your borders to tens of millions of 'refugees' who appear to despise your culture and religions, and seem determined to remain secular rather than assimilate?
I see this in London, Brussels, parts of Sweden and Germany... definitely in France... they aren't going to conform, they are waging a slow generational war on all those cultures, all the while being supported and housed by the very nations they are intent on destroying.
And you are worried about Russia?
Ken, what you quote about refugees in Europe is a prime example of news media propaganda (especially American news media). It’s nothing like you explain, or even think; and I ought to know as I live here.
London is a very cosmopolitan city, and it’s safe to walk the streets; contrary to false claims by Fox News and Trump. In fact most Muslims do assimilate into British Society (I’ve worked with many of them before I took early retirement, and know a number of them socially), and the British Government works very closely with the MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) to help with that assimilation.
The Muslim Council of Britain is a highly respected organisation, established in 1997, which unites all non-extremist Muslim factions e.g. Sunni and Shia under one umbrella; and which works closely with government organisations to represent the views and interests of Muslims within the confines of British law and society.
Ken, it bemuses me, and never ceases to amaze me, how some Americans are presumptuous in assuming they know better than we British in what British Life and Society is really like.
To add insult to injury, by you adding two videos of the same event gives the illusion that it’s a common occurrence (or was that your intention).
• If you count the numbers (about 20 abreast by about 20 rows, its less than 400 people); not a significant number of protestors by British standards.
• Also, the protests were against America, not Britain; not surprising considering how prejudice America is against Muslims.
• Besides, it was a peaceful demonstration, without any violence, where no one was hurt and which didn’t break any laws; albeit you can be rest assured that the authorities will know who the ring leaders are and will be monitoring their activities very carefully.
The protest you highlight in these two videos is exceptional; it’s not representative of the vast majority of Muslims in Britain, and is not supported by the Muslim Council of Britain.
If you want to see what a true protest on this subject matter is really like, then watch these videos:-
Bristol: Standing Together in Solidarity: - https://youtu.be/KPUUvvxohBo
Refugees welcome protest Bristol: - https://youtu.be/v3fLfcTF2x4
Your third video is a ‘classic’ case of ‘pure propaganda’ e.g. taking clips of video footage out of context and splicing them together to create one illusion, then superimposing ‘key’ emotive and provocative words and statements (often taken out of context) and making false statements with voiceover to reinforce that illusion.
The image the video portrays gives a completely false image of the realities in Europe; and I should know as I live here. You are being duped by the propaganda you see, rather than experiencing real life in Europe as I experience it. As I said at the start, it bemuses me, and never ceases to amaze me, how some Americans are presumptuous in assuming they know better than we British in what British Life and Society is really like.
I am glad I bemuse you. I could certainly say that the reactions those protests that both I and you put links to, are indeed in protest against America.
Isn't that interesting, that people in England feel the need to protest America, and tell America what it should and shouldn't do?
You don't have to fear the 'one world' effort will get sidelined, even if Trump were fully inclined to do everything possible to secure the borders, protect the Nation's sovereignty, and re-establish trade agreements that favor the Nation and its citizens rather than the corporations, banks, etc. I doubt he could do much, as the MSM, Congress, and much of the judicial system will counter his efforts at every turn.
As they are doing now. And it is interesting is it not?
The President of the United States, is completely powerless to enact a supposedly simple 90 day ban on travel, from just a handful of nations.
The President of the United States, who supposedly doesn't want to escalate matters with Russia is restricted from recalling tens of thousands of American troops from Russia's borders.
What it shows us, is the President of the United States, really has no power, and no authority, and is merely a figurehead, a front man, for those who do.
What you want to call propaganda, is what I call absolute fact (in regards to the last video) and what you consider fact, I consider propaganda. No one 'super imposed' millions of 'refugees' flowing into Europe, that is fact, plain and simple.
Ken, you should check your facts before you make bold statements.
No one is denying there was a refugee crisis in 2015, but it is disgraceful when a propaganda video takes carefully edited clips out of context and add them to other footage, then adding their own voiceover and statements; to fulfil their own agenda of presenting a grossly exaggerated picture.
As I said, you should 'fact check' your claims. The video did not show clips of millions of refugees flowing into Europe, as you claim.
Only 1.2 million refugees in total entered Europe in the whole of 2015 (The height of refugee crisis); mostly Syrian, but not exclusively. The single highest point in the refugee crisis was July, when for the whole of that month the total number of refugees was 107,500 people.
Therefore, what the camera showed was only tens of thousands, not the millions you claimed.
In 2013, the total population of Syria was 22.85 million, of which 3.8 million became refugees in 2015. Of the 3.8 million Syrian refugees in 2015 667,000 fled to Lebanon, while others went to Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. Turkey took in 1.7 of the Syrian refugees in that year, while the rest (less than a million) made their way to Europe.
As the population of the EU is 509.7 million (significantly larger than the USA population), the 1.2 million refugees in 2015 is only 0.2% of the total population. The population of Germany (who took the lion share of refugees) in 2015 was 82.2 million, of which 92.2% are of European origin and only 4.2% from the Middle East.
So ‘Fact Check’ your information (from reliable sources) before making bold statements.
Well, lets consider that, what exactly is the 'refugee' crisis... clearly it is more than 1.2 million in just 2015. Maybe just from Syria, but Syria is a smaller problem than those surging up from Africa my the millions, every year.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/644 … king-point
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/705 … -residency
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2 … ugees.html
Sorry, I'm not buying your version... I realize that is the politically correct thing being force fed to Europeans, I realize that propaganda and politics make it practically illegal for you to have any other viewpoint on the topic other than the one you have... but I don't buy the BS.
Just like I don't buy the BS as to why we are sending thousands of American soldiers, tanks, artillery, fighters, all along the Russian border.
The sanctions, the interference in their politics...are because NATO and the Military Industrial complex, along with other interests, want to break Russia.
At stake is control of trillions in oil, and natural gas in Russia and the North Pole region, break Putin, break the Russian government and make Russia nothing more than a propped up dictatorship from which to steal all the resources from.
Then they can get back to jacked up oil and gas prices the likes of which we haven't seen since the '06-07 and beyond. That is why there will be war with Russia soon, they do not want to continue with oil and gas prices being at record lows for long, this is costing them hundreds of billions in profits, just to bring Putin to heel... and they don't have the patience to wait it out, if their isn't a coo, an overthrow of Putin in the very near future, they will risk WWIII to take him out.
That is why Trump, and anyone in his Administration who isn't inclined to go to war without damned good reason, who has no beef with Russia... is being labeled a Russian 'conspirator'... there are a lot of powerful players that want this war.
Again... I don't know why anyone in Europe would be more worried about the Russians, than the millions of militant young men pouring into their countries as 'refugees' who have no interest in assimilation... and who will soon become militant insurgents within, and more of a threat than those outside your borders, like Russia.
Check your facts Ken; it wasn’t just 1.2 million Syrian refugees and millions from Africa in 2015, it was 1.2 million refugees in total. The percentage breakdown of those 1.2 million refugees is as follows:-
• Syria (49%), Afghanistan (21%), Iraq (8%), Eritrea (4%), Pakistan (2%), Nigeria (2%), Somalia, (2%), Sudan (1%), the Gambia (1%) and Mali (1%).
With reference to the first newspaper article you link to (Express), the first line of the article states that Sweden is absorbing the vast majority of the migrants coming to Europe. If you check your facts you will know this is a ‘false statement’; which you should know anyway as it has been well published that Germany has taken the vast bulk of refugees.
The total number of migrants to Sweden in 2015 was 162,877, of which 58,802 were subsequently granted political asylum. (Source, Sweden’s official government website)
In 2015, the Swedish population was 9,851,000, of which only 4.6% are Muslims.
….need I go on…..
The 2nd newspaper article (also Sunday Express), first line states “Brussels attempts to dig itself out of its huge migration hole by bringing in proposals to forcibly send refugees home”; again another fabrication of the news.
Under European laws this option already existed (even before the refugee crisis), and has been exercised by each member State since the start; even by Germany. The process is known as ‘processing’. During the processing process, each immigrant is interviewed by immigration officials to determine whether they will be granted political asylum, with free legal representatives and interpolators being individually assigned to each applicant, so it’s a slow process; albeit Germany are far more efficient at processing applicants than any other European country. Also, asylum seekers do then have the right to appeal if they are refused refugee status, which slows the process even further.
The success for asylum seekers across the EU being granted political asylum since 2015 is as follows:-
• Syrians (94% recognition rate), Eritreans (90%), Iraqis (88%), Afghans (66%), Iranians (65%), Somalis (60%) and Sudanese (53%).
The 3rd article you list, Aljazeera, is actually factually correct; except the news article is over a year old and therefore out of date e.g. since then the influx of refugees has plunged, and so that crisis is over.
And also, to dispel the myth that all refugees are Muslims, I would like to point out that even from Syria as well as Muslims there are a small number of Kurds, and even some Christians that have come to the EU as Syrian refugees.
The main religions in Syria include:-
• Muslims 92%
• Christians, 7.8%
• Jews, 0.2%
"However, we Brits are just as bad as Americans at only speaking one language;"
Come on now; we vacationed in Scotland and northern England last year, and they certainly don't speak the Queen's English in Scotland! I hear Ireland is worse, Welsh is an official language and we found signs in Gaelic in northern Scotland. That's at least 4 languages!
We had a wonderful time in your beautiful country and I'd love to return one day. Three weeks was simply not enough - we never got into Ireland or Wales at all.
Well said wilderness, you are completely correct; only 3% of people in the UK speak the Queen’s English.
Across Britain there’s far more than 30 different accents and dialects (plus over a dozen more in Ireland); plus at least five Gaelic languages (at least two in Scotland), in Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.
As you said, Welsh (Cymraeg) is the official language in Wales (Cymru) e.g. all public announcements in public places (like railway stations,) are given in Welsh first, and English is shown in smaller print underneath on road signs.
Like Scotland and Wales, Cornwall was never conquered by the Romans, nor by subsequent invasion forces to Britain, so Cornwall (Kernow) retained its original Celtic roots. “Welcome to Cornwall” in Cornish being “Kernow a’gas dynnergh”. In recognition of this Cornwall was granted ‘Minority Status’ in 2014, which means they have the option of self-determination (like Scotland and Wales) if they so desire e.g. like Scotland and Wales did through referendums.
This video, made by a pressure group before Cornwall was granted ‘Minority Status’ paints the picture a little more graphically:- https://youtu.be/Cmtqn8wANLY
As a Bristolian (born and bred in Bristol) my accent and dialect is Bristolian; so I normally speak as shown in this video:- https://youtu.be/an53La-MxnI
Also, Wales has one of the longest place names in the world (58 letters long), and in Welsh it reads:
In English it means "Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave.".
This video teaches you how to pronounce it:- https://youtu.be/1BXKsQ2nbno
They quote what he actually said. People draw their own conclusions.
Well that part is easy. A quote is a quote right?
But when one channel is telling you he is crazy, and that nothing at all happened, he was never spied on.
And the other channel is giving sources and dates and telling you certain things did happen, and that (obviously) someone was 'spying' on certain people because they keep leaking these reports (IE - Flynn) ...
Again... the question, how do you determine who to believe?
Facts are what we need. Opinions based on facts. Are these so hard to get ahold of? I can barely read or listen to the news any more. Why do you ask the question? The obvious answer is we can believe in No One. We can only hope to believe in what Trump himself says. And if he lies or is mis informed or acts in ignorance, heaven help us. We are pretty much at his mercy, at this point. Everyone else is purposefully misleading us based on their own agendas or ignorance on the truth/facts of the matter.
Motivation = Joy of Life.
Joy of Life = Motivation
Independence is fun.
Come on guys, do you want to live with your parents forever?
Come on guys, can you really trust a government to take care of you?
Come on guys, do you really want to sit around playing video games all day?
Come on guys, do you really want to to collect what little you can obtain from welfare checks?
No one will give you what you want in this life.
Find your dreams, your passions and fulfill them.
How can you do that if you are forced to pay overbudensome taxes??????
As a Brit, I’m intrigued to frequently see in these forums how Americans often seem to equate the desire for low taxes, coupled with more of a laissez-faire government, for a better quality of life!
I don’t know what taxes people pay in America, but in Britain the taxes on the wages most people earn at work is 32% (in simplistic terms), but no one pays any taxes on the first $15,000 (£11,500) of their wages; so the low paid pay little or no taxes on their income.
On the flip side, we don’t pay the $10,000s on medical insurance, because in Britain Healthcare is completely free at the point of use for everyone (paid for by the government from taxes).
The NHS Explained https://youtu.be/bDdZCv5v2Rg
Therefore, in spite of what may be high taxes in Britain, because we don’t have to worry about how we’re going to pay for our healthcare, we do have a high quality of life.
Every penny earned is taxed in America, and even when we pay for insurance, it has this thing called deductible, which means we have to pay even more money, before the insurance kicks in... anywhere from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars depending on the insurance.
Today wages aren't worth half of what they were thirty years ago. Jobs pay less, salaries are taxed more, and due to inflation what is paid is worth substantially less.
On the whole, apart from the blip in 2008 (world rescission) the British economy has been relatively stable since the early 1990s; inflation has been very low, so wage rises have also been low, albeit they have generally kept up with inflation; unemployment has also stayed reasonably low; and apart from tweaks to the system when power switches between Labour and Conservative governments, taxes have generally stayed the same.
Areas where there have been marked changes is house prices have rocketed, making it difficult for first time buyers; and fuel bills (gas and electricity) have also become very expensive, partly due to the introduction of the ‘Green Tax’ which is 13%. The purpose of the Green Tax is to pay for the conversion costs from dependency on fossil fuels to being dependent on green, renewable energy; and partly to make every home in Britain more energy efficient.
The main thrust of making British homes more energy efficient includes free loft insulation, free replacement of the central heating system, if over 10 years old, and free wall insulation; plus, in some cases, subsidised insulation of solar power panels on roofs e.g. if south facing.
In my case, I already have the loft insulated and our central heating boiler is only 8 years old; however, I took advantage of the free wall insulation, which has reduced the amount of gas I use to keep our home warm during the winter; and therefore slightly reduced my energy bill.
Obviously once the conversion to renewable energy is nearing completion the price of energy to consumers is likely to fall because the energy itself from the sun, wind and sea are free and plentiful.
As regards switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, the government target was to become 20% dependent on renewable energies by 2020, 30% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The British government is ahead of target; last year Britain became 17% dependent on renewable energy, and early this year 20%; and is set to become about 25% dependent by 2020. Scotland, along with Germany and Denmark have done considerably better, all three countries are already near 100% renewable energy (at times, dependent on how windy it is, and the time of day or night).
Germany’s and Denmark’s success as at May 2016:- https://youtu.be/z44Mq7mXoCE
One other thing that has improved significantly in recent years is the State Pension. Currently in Britain, everyone who’s worked for more than 36 years of their life is automatically entitled to State Pension from the age of 66. The government’s on going policy is to increase State Pension in ‘real terms’ each year. The formula they use to determine the annual increase in the State Pension is to increase it by:-
• 2.5% per year, or
• In line with inflation, or
• In line with the average increase in wages
Whichever of the 3 is the greater.
The total % of taxation ? Is probably comparable , or is your higher ?
And what do we "get for our money ?"
Good question ahorseback, I don’t know if the total % of all taxation in the UK is comparable with the USA? I’ll try to give as a simplistic overview of taxation in Britain, and look forward to any views you may have on how you think it compares with America.
In simple terms, taxation on spending (VAT) is a flat rate 20% on all Goods and Services e.g. food, clothes, meals etc.
Taxation on income in the UK is a lot more complex, taxation on employees is different to what the self-employed pay, and of course Businesses pay their own taxes on profits. For simplicity I’ll just stick with taxes employees pay.
As an employee, what % of tax you pay on your wages is very dependent on how much you earn; complicated further because there are two taxes (NI and Income) and also ‘tax credits’ for the low paid and unemployed. Tax Credit is the reverse of Tax e.g. the government pays you instead of you paying the government.
For simplicity in the examples below I’ll combined the two taxes and any tax credits as a single figure.
Below I’ll give different earnings before and after tax if single and over 16 e.g. Gross and Net (if married, disabled, have dependants etc. then you get more tax credits):-
• Annual Wage £5,000 ($6,092); Net income after tax and tax credits = £6,960 ($8,480).
• Annual Wage £10,000 ($12,184); Net income after tax and tax credits = £10,563 ($12,869)
• Annual Wage £20,000 ($24,368); Net income after tax £16,868 ($20,552)
• Annual Wage £30,000 ($36,552); Net income after tax £24,444 ($29,783)
• Annual Wage £40,000 ($48,736); Net income after tax £32,019 ($39,012)
• Annual Wage £50,000 ($60,920); Net income after tax £39,820 ($48,517)
• Annual Wage £100,000 ($121,840) ; Net income after tax £75,534 ($92,031)
• Annual Wage £200,000 ($243,680); Net income after tax £144,463 ($176,014)
In my case I’m married and retired on a full pension that’s just below the tax threshold; so I don’t pay any tax on my pension; and being over 60 (just) I get free travel on public transport, and other concessions.
My wife now works part time so she doesn’t now pay tax. However, because she has a bad back that affects her mobility she gets PIP (Personal Independence Payment) from the government; which is £2,865 ($3,491) per year. Because she gets PIP, and because I’m her househusband e.g. I look after her for more than 35 hours per week, I qualify for the Carer’s Allowance from the government; which is £3,229 ($3,934) per year.
Because of my pension, my Carer’s Allowance is pushed into the taxable bracket and therefore would normally be subject to 20% income tax. However, because my wife doesn’t earn enough to pay tax she’s entitled to transfer some of her income tax allowance to me, and coupled with the marriage tax allowance, the two allowances offsets most of the tax due on my Carer’s Allowance; therefore I end up paying virtually no income tax.
This is how you decide who to believe. Start by eliminating any organization with a brand "Fair and Balanced" or "The Most Trusted Name in News". If they label themselves liberal or conservation, turn them off too. Of those that remain, read or listen to as many of them as possible. Pay attention to stories that several of them chose to report - not isolated articles that only one organization spends time and inches on. Of those stories, cast off any that don't have at least three sources for what they are reporting.
With what you have left, keep a healthy skepticism. Six months later you'll find out (maybe) what was true and what was not. That's the best you can do.
Kathleen, you are just too cynical. ;-)
It doesn't take 6 months, it usually only takes minutes, (or at the most a couple days), to get the drift of what is going on.
I listen to CNN most of the day. Not because I believe they are factual, (in some cases they may be), but because I can be sure that if there is a club to beat Conservatives with - they will be promoting it.
So, if I hear something that I think is important to understand - then I go looking at the 'Right-leaning', (because yes, I do consider CNN a Left-leaning source), reporting, and then any other source that might have a perspective. Typically, a ten minute Google search fills my needs - but sometimes it does take a couple days worth of reporting to let the chaff settle and the facts, (as scant as they may be), to show their face.
Just as a note; your postings leave me with a perception that our views aren't always very similar, but, I am always glad when I can respond to one of your comments.
Because the English language is cool.
J'aime le week-end.
No. Don't follow your gut. Then you will only accept what you want to hear. There is too much of that already. Question every source. Drill down to the basic information you can get to without anything added to it - from a variety of sources, from a variety of sources, from a variety of sources. (Did I mention use a variety of sources? Do that.)
GA Anderson: We seem to go back a forth upon that which we agree or not. I don't really fit into one box very well and I have long suspected you don't either. .
This country made a serious turn in the wrong direction when Reagan took office, then again with Bush II, and now with Trump. How do we fix this? Well, what do those three have in common? Let's start with that.
I love it ! The left has been so politically disoriented for a couple of decades and now what changes ? You are Looking for an agenda , a plan , strategy , an offensive , ..........Trump has so upset your sensibilities as to render yourselves even further into the La La land of dysfunction .
Wake up call , Obama was a light-weight , he was simply up against the right and you elected an absolute Image of progress ! Trump on the other hand is doing battle with the right , the left and the total bias of media AND is a true mover and shaker . But image and likeability isn't part of his plan . He welcomes your Face- Book mentality.
You're losing again ! Congratulations.
No, you keep listening to your slanted news sources - that have been saying the same damn things for decades long before Obama came along. I don't hang out up on facebook, and I don't sit in front of a tv screen or radio all day listening to people brainwash me. I'm willing to bet that you do. How do I know that?
Because everyone who is pro-Trump regurgitates the same erroneous stuff about 'the rest of us'. What do you listen to? That is what comes out of your mouth. Its not new - not even sort of. If it was, you might be able to make a point or two, but its not. It is this 'old stuff' that Trump was able to tap into and manipulate people with. He's a master at dividing, manipulating and conquering - and your wishy-washy minds (that apparently can't think for themselves anymore) fell for it.
Well that last picture explains what is going on right now with our 'liberal media' trying to tell us what a bad boogeyman Russia is... they 'hacked' the elections, they 'control' the White House, they are a threat to us all.
Load of garbage, the biggest threats to our nation are in our Congress, and in our Courts... they are dooming us all to a bleak future.
Harping about the conservative media is a -HAS BEEN issue ! ....... For instance , take Fox News , Rush , Brietbart even ,..........You have effectively covered less than 3 to 4 % of the total mainstream news media ! Yet for years now CNN , MSNBC , CBS , ABC , CNBC , 90 % of the rag news papers , 100% of the internet TRASH , and absolutely every news APP known to "Smart Phones ", .......
And what do you expose ? 99 percent of ALL News Media ; Is Left-Stream News Media ! AND , not only that but they have the total mindless naiveté of the liberal ideologists believing that THAT is a fair and balanced News Media !
Welcome to Disney Reality !
<99 percent of all news is based on the left-stream mindless naiveté of liberal ideologists.>
You are too kind, ahorseback!
99 % of all news, today, is based on lies.
It was not like this in the past … or has it always been, to a some extent, since the founding of the country?
Perhaps the game has been stepped up to the fever pitch we behold today over the years.
No one is being honest.
….except Trump, who liberals constantly proclaim is lying.
He really needs to be honest.
Well Trump does need to be more openly honest and less "twitter" page , sensationalized Kathryn , We are seeing for one thing , a previous president who passed the popularity test in the usual leftist
" sophomore home room class " that Trump never will , for the benefit of likability , which doesn't effect leadership whatsoever .
Liberals sure do like- to- like their "leaders ".
When did you ever "like" the most productive of the bosses you've ever had at work
Problem , Dime store novella's and 10c cowboy story days are done , The left -stream media has bought into the dime store novel days of the eighteen hundreds lock ,stock and barrel . Sad part is ; democrats all across America bought IT ALL too !
The sensationalizing media HAS always been there , today however given our incredible ability to broadcast immediate and up to date truths , current events , politics and the incredible size of media alone , it SHOULD be far more honest and far less Bull Shyte oriented .
I like your 99% better.
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