Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00 UTC
Comment: Hate him or love him (or somewhere in between), Trump has been elected to improve the US condition amidst a disastrous set of circumstances, dangerous enemies and a virtual 'no win situation'. But it took a narcissistic, and crass showman with some actual good intentions and a willingness to literally (and figuratively) put his a** on the line - to try and address what are surely numerous insurmountable challenges. And at the end of the day, he just might fall prey to the very forces he is now trying to fight.
Scott Adams' Blog
Sun, 29 Jan 2017 23:09 UTC
For new readers of this blog, my starting point is the understanding that human brains did not evolve to show us reality. We aren't that smart. Instead, our brains create little movies in our heads, and yours can be completely different from mine. We see that situation now. Half the country thinks President Trump is well on his way to becoming a Hitler-like dictator. But many other Americans think Trump is an effective business person with good intentions. They can't both be right.
I use the word "filter" to describe an optional way of looking at the world. A good filter is one that makes you happy and does a good job of predicting what happens next. Let's use that standard to compare the Hitler Filter to what I call the Persuasion Filter.
The Hitler filter clearly isn't making people happy. The people watching that movie are protesting in the streets. Meanwhile, the people who see Trump as a good negotiator looking out for the country are quite happy with the job he has done so far. The Persuasion Filter says Trump opens with a big first offer and negotiates back to something reasonable. If you don't recognize the method, it looks crazy, random, and racist.
But what about predictions?
Comment: Adams' follow up: The Canadian Option:
My most agitated liberal friend sent me a link today about Justin Trudeau announcing Canada would take all of the Trump-banned immigrants because diversity is their strength. My friend said that was an example of real leadership.Trump has defended his action, emphasizing its temporary nature and the fact that it is not a "Muslim (all-inclusive) ban":
His conclusion is debatable, but didn't Canada just solve all of Trump's problems? If humane treatment of immigrants is the goal, Canada is the right place. They have polite behavior, free healthcare, and lots of space. That's a win-win-win.
Or am I missing something?
Canada also gives us a test case to compare to America's plan. In five years we can check back and see how it turned out for them. If it worked, we can reassess. Until then we obviously need to wall-off Canada. But that's another topic.
Now that I think about it, the Middle East has a lot of space too. Remind me again why Muslim countries are banning Muslim immigrants. Is it because they are Hitler?
"To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe," Trump said in a statement, adding that there are more than "40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order."
"We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days," he clarified.
Trump then explained his executive order, which bars entry of foreign citizens from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iran, motivated by the urge to be "protecting our own citizens and border."
He then questioned the reaction of the media, saying that former president Barack Obama actually issued a related order, adding it was during Obama's term that the seven countries picked for Trump's ban were pinned.
"My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror," Trump said.
Sat, 28 Jan 2017 18:31 UTC
So I was outraged, and then I read the executive order. There are many full texts of the order online, such as at CNN, the NYT, the WSJ or Independent. According to most reports Trump was banning "nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days." This bars people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. US Senator Elizabeth Warren said "Let's be clear: A Muslim ban by any other name is still a Muslim ban," and Senator Chris Murphy claimed "Trump has now handed ISIS a path to rebirth." Media, such as Vox and the Independent, compared the ban to banning Jews from entry during the Holocaust and bashed Trump for signing the order on Holocaust memorial day. World leaders are "condemning Trump's Muslim ban," according to headlines.
I had to see for myself, so I read the executive order. The order does seek "to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States." It says that it seeks "Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern." It also says "I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order." And it targets Syrians specifically. "I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest."
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:57 UTC
Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Frank Underwood are just a few recent examples of the enormously popular characters who have, each in their own way, stood in for the role of the complicated bad guy who fascinates millions of Americans.
Antiheroes have long found homes in Westerns, gangster movies, and crime dramas, such as Al Pacino's portrayal of Miami drug kingpin Tony Montana in "Scarface." Tony begins an epic decline and fall in the film with a nasty fight with his wife at an exclusive Miami country club. She publically humiliates him in front of a bunch of dumbstruck, WASPy, black-tie wearing, golf-playing white hairs by loudly accusing him of being a murderer, a drug dealer, and incapable of being a decent father.
Comment: Postmodernism is a pathological, schizoidal philosophy. It's also fundamentally self-defeating, because it is fundamentally wrong and anti-human. Like it or not, the only way to win in a society as infected by it as is our Western civilization is to use its rules and weaknesses against itself. However, introducing chaos into the system creates uncertainty as to what direction the "new normal" takes.
Why? Because Putin "has been working assiduously not just to delegitimize American democracy by interfering with the election but to destabilize Europe and weaken if not destroy NATO, which he blames for the Soviet Union's collapse." And based on what Trump has been saying about the alliance and the E.U., it appears that, as of noon on Friday, Putin has a co-thinker in the White House.
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:21 UTC
Comment: This article has been translated by SOTT.net. Original article can be found here.
Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?
"The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I've been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.
Comment: Notice that Al Jazeera did the exact same thing in Libya:
Behind the Headlines: NATO Slaughter - James and Joanne Moriarty expose the truth about what happened in Libya
If you were a journalist in Libya during this time you were relatively safe; not because these animals respected journalists as neutral observers, but because the journalists were on their side. The Moriartys have evidence of embedded journalists, not least from Qatar-owned Al Jazeera, whose staff were among the terrorists from day one, personally calling in airstrikes and working side-by-side with the terrorists.
Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that."
US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard returns from fact-finding mission to Syria: 'The Syrian People Desperately Want Peace'
Thu, 26 Jan 2017 03:33 UTC
It is clear now more than ever: this regime change war does not serve America's interest, and it certainly isn't in the interest of the Syrian people.
Comment: More on Rep. Gabbard fact-finding mission in Syria:
Rep. Gabbard calls on US to stop 'supporting terrorists' after meeting Syria civilians and Assad
The Hypocrisy of Michael Moore, Corporate Feminists and Controlled Opposition of Women's March in Washington
Sun, 22 Jan 2017 15:53 UTC
Trump inauguration TV ratings second biggest in 36 years - With online viewings included, biggest ever?
Sun, 22 Jan 2017 14:57 UTC
The swearing-in of the 45th president was seen by 30.6 million viewers across 12 networks.
The only inauguration over the last three decades that tops Trump's number in the linear ratings? Barack Obama's first inauguration back in 2009, which had a record-setting 37.8 million viewers. So Trump was down from the last new president to take office.
But before that, to get an Inauguration Day number this high, you'd have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan in 1981, who was seen by 41.8 million viewers (Nielsen released tracking for inauguration ratings back to 1969).
Sun, 22 Jan 2017 00:00 UTC
Other media happily followed suit with lowball estimates of Friday's crowd. Two points: one, there is not, and never will be, an official estimate of crowd size for either the 2009 inauguration or last Friday's. The National Park Service stopped doing such estimates in the 1990s. Two, the issue normally would be analyzed by looking at satellite photos, but Friday was too cloudy for such pictures. Hence the uncertainty.
The obvious question, of course, is when the Times's photo of Trump's inauguration was taken. Brit Hume - a far more reliable source than the New York Times - weighed in on Twitter: