Alex Tsakiris, host of Skeptiko, interview by Gayle Kimball

#41
Where did Pizzagate enter this discussion?

The number one reason to hate Hillary, is that as secretary of state, she initiated several wars - none of which could be said to have helped anyone. Furthermore, she had announced her intention as president to step up the war in Syria. What was the war in Syria for? Supposedly it was to help noble pro-democracy forces overthrow Assad's regime - which supports a far milder form of Islam, that is, for example much less oppressive towards women. The word 'hate' is strong, but nothing else seems appropriate for her.

US support consisted in funnelling weapons to the opposition forces, and I seem to remember that back when Obama was in power there was a congressional report that stated that much of this support (i.e. weapons) had ended up in ISIS hands.

President Trump seems to have done his best (constrained by the fact that he doesn't (yet?) have total control over US foreign policy, to ensure that the Russians succeed in returning a peaceful Syria to Assad.

Whether or not Assad could be bettered in theory is not the point. When you remove a tyrant in the Middle East you get an extended period of turmoil because so much of politics is about the various variants of Islam.

David
I think Pizzagate is a better reason :)
 
#43
Interesting to see the absolutism in the second statement after reading the first.
Why do you respond in little quips, rather than write something a little more substantial? I can't quite understand how my statement that President Trump prefers economic sanctions can be seen as 'absolutism'.

I get the feeling that there are a number of people here who hate war as much as I do, but they can't quite stomach the reality that the Democratic candidate was far more warlike than the Republican who actually won the election!

I don't think Hillary was kidding about her plans for Syria. I think if she had won, or had somehow bullied herself into office after the US 'voted the wrong way', by now there would be a major war in Syria, with a huge danger of escalation into an East-West conflagration. I can see the enormous cognitive dissonance for peace loving Democrats - how could this have come about?

Does anyone want to seriously argue that Hillary would not have done this?
Lol. How’s that going?
It is on a knife edge, but the 'remainers' are clearly wary of thwarting an explicit democratic vote to leave the EU.

David
 
#44
It is on a knife edge, but the 'remainers' are clearly wary of thwarting an explicit democratic vote to leave the EU.
One man’s ‘knife edge’ is another man’s ‘total fucking mess’ I suppose. I’m just surprised you think ‘the people’ knew what they were voting for. Plenty have said they hadn’t realised the consequences. At best it was a yes/no vote in a non-binary situation.
 
#45
One liners sometimes illustrate the point succinctly.

Your confidence in Trump has been an often discussed topic on these boards. Many have wondered why you have such confidence in your sense of his motivations and future actions. You then, in a single post, use as a pejorative your interpretation of Obama's change in policy/action during his second term while expressing confidence that Trump's supposed preference for sanctions will continue to be his "preference".

To many there is little to no evidence of Trump's motivations as it relates to many matters of national interest (including foreign policy and use of military force). Its pretty easy to imagine Trump doing the proverbial "180" on any of these topics.
 
#46
One man’s ‘knife edge’ is another man’s ‘total fucking mess’ I suppose. I’m just surprised you think ‘the people’ knew what they were voting for. Plenty have said they hadn’t realised the consequences. At best it was a yes/no vote in a non-binary situation.
I think they voted - indeed we all voted - for a total withdrawal from the EU. The EU is extremely slippery and totally undemocratic. If you leave any ties with the EU, it is like leaving small piece of a cancer in your body.
The president of the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker was not elected by popular vote, or even by an electroral college. The MEP's were given a vote, but they only had one candidate!

David
 
#47
Your confidence in Trump has been an often discussed topic on these boards. Many have wondered why you have such confidence in your sense of his motivations and future actions. You then, in a single post, use as a pejorative your interpretation of Obama's change in policy/action during his second term while expressing confidence that Trump's supposed preference for sanctions will continue to be his "preference".
Well I dare say that it is conceivable Trump might be nobbled one way or another, but weren't you disappointed by Obama's second term? That probably wouldn't mean that you would not applaud X's first term if it seemed to be going well.

What did you think about Hillary's Syria plan? I guess you probably voted for her, so you must have some view!

David
 
#48
Didn't research Hillary's plan. Liked Obama and tend to think he's a good, intelligent man. Too early to retrospect on his job as President to my view. Time will tell ultimately.

I voted for Hillary in part because I was interested in seeing the female glass ceiling broken and that I tend to be more left of center. She was a tougher vote for me though because I just struggled to find her as authentic. The ambition was too much for me but there was no way I would vote for Trump. The way he carries himself/speaks to others is antithetical to me. I simply can't even start an "end justifies the means" calculus with someone so clearly ill-behaved.
 
#49
I would just like to add my two cents on this topic. As far as the Pizzagate thing is concerned, I do find the wording in the e-mail to be suspicious, to say the least, but I don't think I would go as far as to convict anyone over it. I think there is nothing wrong with speculation, as long as we don't present it as a fundamental truth: just put it out there and tell people: "hey, look at this- the wording on this email doesn't make sense. Why?"

The problem with things like this is that people will act on it, even if the evidence is at best tentative. Take vaccines, for instance; vaccines have been used since the time of William Jenner to stop the spread of smallpox. Spreading information that there are poisons in them will lead to a lot of people spreading diseases that could be easily prevented, like measles.

In general, I think we should try to stick to the evidence as best as we can, especially if we want to remain credible. As far as the whole pedophile network thing, I would argue that a stronger case could be made against Jeffrey Epstein and his extensive connections, and the fact that the plea deal lead to several details of the case to be sealed from public view. If anything, that is what we should be looking at, in my opinion.
 
#50
I would just like to add also that I am pretty much a political atheist. I don't really believe in one political party or viewpoint: I think both of them have something to offer.
 
#51
Didn't research Hillary's plan. Liked Obama and tend to think he's a good, intelligent man. Too early to retrospect on his job as President to my view. Time will tell ultimately.

I voted for Hillary in part because I was interested in seeing the female glass ceiling broken and that I tend to be more left of center. She was a tougher vote for me though because I just struggled to find her as authentic. The ambition was too much for me but there was no way I would vote for Trump. The way he carries himself/speaks to others is antithetical to me. I simply can't even start an "end justifies the means" calculus with someone so clearly ill-behaved.
Although I will respect whatever choice you make when you vote, I would like to quote the immortal: "a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a choice for evil." So I am proud to say that I did not vote at all during the election, and I probably won't vote in this next one either. Not until this whole two party gang system goes the way of the dinosaurs.
 
#52
Although I will respect whatever choice you make when you vote, I would like to quote the immortal: "a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a choice for evil." So I am proud to say that I did not vote at all during the election, and I probably won't vote in this next one either. Not until this whole two party gang system goes the way of the dinosaurs.
Well I didn't vote for President Trump, because I am British. The problem is that one side is often a lot better than the other, and not voting doesn't seem sensible. The trouble with talk about 'evil', is that it is such an absolute expression. I'd certainly not describe the president as 'evil' (unless he was indeed involved in abusing kids), indeed when you think about it, he is really putting his life on the line - so much hatred has been whipped up against him.

I think it is fair to attach the word 'evil' to people who like a war for personal aggrandisement or for financial reasons. I would put Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, David Cameron (who participated in the Lybia attack, and would have done something similar in Syria), and Bush junior, in this category.

David
 
#53
. I don't think the US should attack any other country unless:

A) They can do the whole job - not just oust the head of state.

and

B) Demonstrate that the country in question is threatening the safety and security of US citizens.

David[/QUOTE]
I totally agree. IMO, Trump is a Russian Bot :), but we shall see. BTW, Hillary was Obama's Secretary of State during his first term, John Kerry, his second term. Obama's second term was hampered by the US congress, thus, he couldn't accomplish any of his plans, which was regrettable.
 
#55
I was going to ask you if Fox New was the only American new source you follow, why not try the New York Times for a change, then I realized that the NYT had not mentioned the Epstein-Acosta case at all, I wonder why? Last night, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show (my favorite) devoted half an hour on this case, it turned out that Epstein had more than a hundred underage victims, not just thirty. It should be on YouTube soon.
 
#56
Although I will respect whatever choice you make when you vote, I would like to quote the immortal: "a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a choice for evil." So I am proud to say that I did not vote at all during the election, and I probably won't vote in this next one either. Not until this whole two party gang system goes the way of the dinosaurs.
You may as well say that choosing Coke over Pepsi when you are thirsty is a choice between 2 evils - and seeing one as lesser depends only on one's level of desperation for hydration.

The two party system will not go away unless those who are seriously over it vote. Okay, I live in a country where it is compulsory to turn up on polling day and have your name ticked off on the register. Voting isn't compulsory, turning up is. Our citizens still obediently mostly go for Tweedledum or Tweedledee with predictable reliability. But more are voting independent, and more are voting dickhead. The proposition that the balance of power remains with evil A or evil B no longer holds. The pity is that the balance of power can rest with complete clods. Still, it putting the wind up the major parties.

The problem with wishing things might go the way of the dinosaurs is that what came next was no more exciting and enticing. We don't get happy vacuums. We get more of the same - only mammal rather than dinosaur. Disengagement isn't the solution.

Have voted Green for years - not because I like them (I think they are idiots), but because I am forlornly hoping that they might get beyond being just a repository for pissed off Labor voters and actually formulate a policy agenda that might draw genuine attention. That's a hopeless case and I am now voting Independent.

If the disaffected turned out in the USA and actually voted you might disrupt the BAU fiasco. If you don't, you won't. Obama made it very plain that he needed the pressure of an electorate to get the changes it wanted. And what happened? Come the mid-terms, the people who celebrated his election stayed at home and the Dems lost power. That was dumb and petty and stupid and naive.

Same thing happened to Trump (mercifully). If you are smart you don't vote in a President because you like his agenda and then crap on his power base in the mid-terms. That's dumb politics. I live in a country with a different kind of stupidity, but our system makes it possible for a sufficient number of pissed off voters to create real headaches. That's not the case in the USA. You have to figure a better way of voting AND driving change.

Years ago I listened to a raging speech by the uber salesman, Zig Ziglar, who essentially said that (and I paraphrase for context)"if you don't vote you lose your griping rights'.

Let me be clear here. I am a dedicated exponent of what I call 'Inactivism' - non-participation. There are a lot of things we should not do in order to drive change. Voting ain't one of them. Don't participate in the idiotic BS that passes for a campaign by all means. But vote - with intent and vision. You want to break up the present 2 party circus? Vote for a disrupter. It will be a long time before they are at risk of winning. and by then there may be good candidates.

There is no point in being an electoral celibate and bitching about the bastard children the system produces. We don't seriously take sex education from nuns or racial cultural awareness from a white guy.

If you don't vote you don't have skin in the game., Try it and see the difference - its about influence, not results.
 
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