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Showing most liked content on 08/17/17 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    The Trump Administration effectively backed China into a corner over North Korea - and this was months in the planning. If fighting had broken out against NK - and China stood by and did nothing to prevent it - then leveling retaliatory sanctions against China would have been seen as both palatable and just. It would have exposed them for what they still are - a power-hungry dictatorship willing use puppet regimes like North Korea to advance their economic agenda. Now, to be fair, President Xi Jinping is probably a fairly good person interesting in reforms, but he doesn't necessarily have complete control over the Chinese military or foreign policy. There are still many of the "old guard" in China who are reluctant to cede power -- which is why, after all these years, it is still a brutally repressive regime. For all we know, XI may have planned this with Trump, knowing what the Administration was doing all along. We have tremendous economic power that we can bring to bear against China to achieve peace and stability in SE Asia - if we are willing to use it. Trump's "buy American and hire American" policy terrifies China. So too do the NAFTA renegotiations, since China dump products in Mexico in violation of NAFTA trade agreements (it has to do with the certification of point-of-origin wrt products used in assembly plants in Mexico). China needs us far more than we need them. But Trump's slogan it is largely a bargaining chip. He has no interest in isolationism or protectionist trade policies. As with all thing Trump, you have to read between the lines. Everything is a negotiation tool with him. If you are chasing the shiny object, then you are doing exactly what he wants you to do.
  2. 1 point
    I posted this last Saturday. It was an announced on Friday that a review of trade violations against China would (and did) start on (this last) Monday. Here is a link to the Friday news story about the trade investigations. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/11/trumps-china-trade-crackdown-coming-monday-241558 On Monday, North Korea announced that maybe they won't be launching missiles at Guam after all . Remember, citizens born on Guam are US citizens - launching missiles at Guam is no different than launching missiles at Hawaii or Los Angeles (or Portland, OR). It was not just a coincidence that NOKO's announcement just happened to occur three days after the trade sanction investigations against China were announced. It also has to be remembered that, last April, when Trump launched the 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airbase (after Syria used chemical weapons) the Chinese President Xi Jinping learned about the attack over dinner at Mara Lago, where he was dining with Trump. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/10/syria-strikes-were-aimed-at-china-control-risks.html For those of you on this forum too young to remember Reagan (I was 13 when he was inaugurated), the Left was pissing themselves over the belief that "Mad Ronnie" was going to start a war with the Soviet Union. The Soviets also believed it. He stood up to them and eventually the Soviet Union collapsed. After 8 years of Obama's "strategic patience" which allowed NOKO to develop nuclear weapons and will soon result in Iran having them as well, it's good to see that we finally have a President who understands how to use "strategic impatience."
  3. 1 point
    Nicky

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I won't waste my time challenging this statement. It should be clear to every Objectivist why it's monstrous in its dogmatic dismissal of rationality and individual moral responsibility.
  4. 1 point
    Am I supposed to be impressed by your wit? You have stated a position that you are completely unable to back up. I'd be embarrassed to do so.
  5. 1 point
    Eiuol

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    It's interesting you say that, I was originally sympathetic too. I thought it was more like being vocally militant against any fascistic inclination, Nazis especially. Then I learned that their self-defense was that the mere hateful statements was actual violence. It does have its appeal in the face of actually violent Nazis and fascists, but antifa gets wrong the function of free speech (in other words, they're anarcho-Communists). Although it 's also true no one I've seen does any good at defending free speech. White nationalists only defend it as a means to preserve "white culture", instead of arguing that its merit is that it hinders and combats those irrational voices. I feel similar about the monuments. I don't feel like it is a pressing need to fix it. Even strategically, it fuels white nationalism. I'd opt to make philosophical cases against all of that nationalism. My case only extends to how this monument is government property. There is good reason to de-legitimize the statue. The difference with Roman statues is one, the government that built them don't exist. Two, Roman statues were not erected for historical revisionism. People built them to somehow legitimize Confederate grievances, not really to say "hey, Robert E. Lee did some cool things". More like "Lee fought for us, may the south rise again". Often, things like the Partenon are so old we don't know why they were made. The symbolism is different. The institution to decide is the federal government, which can define whether its own monuments and states' monuments that represent that federal government's mission. Symbolism, here, is about the Confederacy. Local councils do not deserve a say, so any lawful measure is fine; these are not local symbols. I do not want public monuments, so I can't offer a foundational principle. There is no legitimate principle for the government to establish official symbols. So, I like your market solution.
  6. 1 point
    DonAthos

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Insofar as those flags, parks and monuments are sympathetic to the Confederacy, and by extension to what the Confederacy stood for, I think in this case the "cultural left" has a point. All right. I think it's fine that monuments to the Confederacy don't bother you; but can you understand why they might bother others? As to the idea that this is "southern whites' history," well, in a sense it is all of our history, is it not? I don't know that the Civil War belongs exclusively to the south, or more to southern whites than to southern blacks, for instance. I'm a west coaster, but I still consider the Civil War part of my heritage as an American. (But then, I consider all of history part of my heritage as a human being, so... I guess I'm suspect of one group "owning" some particular history, just as I am suspect of ideas of cultural appropriation, etc. Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.) Besides, if we were discussing, oh, erecting laudatory statues to Hitler, Goering, et al., in modern-day Germany, do you think it would excuse the project to say, "well, it's their history"? We have lots of awful things in our (i.e. the world's) history. Lots of great things, too. But it says something about us which parts of our history we admire and aspire to (commemorating with a flag, park or monument, for instance) and which we condemn and repudiate. Let's say he wasn't. Regardless, that's not why that statue was erected. He stands as a representative of the Confederacy, which was a country created specifically to preserve the institution of actual human slavery (and for which Lee, "not that bad a guy," served). Statues like these went up in the 1920s, as Eiuol noted, as part of a rising tide of racism, which coincided with a resurgence in the KKK and etc. The timing (and intention) was not accidental. And the majority of the people defending these statues and symbols today -- though they might sometimes claim otherwise -- do not do so out of some pure historical interest. If the Spanish Steps were, today, an ongoing source of inspiration for modern Romans seeking to oppress the Gauls and Moors and so forth, then I'd entertain an argument that they ought to be paved over. I wasn't there at the time, but I imagine that the Romans themselves would have been on board, in a sense; when Caligula was (rightly) assassinated, how many of his statues do you suppose survived the week? They understood the importance of symbolism. Nazis and Confederates today (or however we want to term these groups, "neo-" whatevers, "alt-right," white nationalists, etc.) want to preserve these sorts of monuments because they have not given up the essential fight of the Confederacy. They are, as they always were, enemies of liberty and of the republic.
  7. 1 point
    Eiuol

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    As suggested in the Yaron Brook video that 2046 linked, the monuments are artwork, not just artifacts of history like finding Machu Pichu or Auschwitz. Even more, since the 1920s (when the Robert E. Lee statue was built) aren't so long ago, we know why these monuments were built: to glorify or celebrate Confederate soldiers (who fought in large part for the "right" to own slaves). They are not built to be reminders of history. They are not Civil War era artifacts even. Rather, they are state-sanctioned pieces of artwork that are intended to honor Confederates and to intimidate those who see Confederate soldiers as evil or unAmerican. Don't forget that the most prominent defenders are literal Nazis and white supremacists. That they are the MOST worried is a sign of what these statues mean. The Unite the Right rally was using a symbol for racist ends to support a racist agenda. Those who attended, given that unification was the intent, endorsed or apologized for the supremacists who went. If there were those who attended and rejected, explicitly, the supremacists, I'd like to see it.
  8. 1 point
    Nicky

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    On a separate note, it also strikes me as extremely stupid to drive dangerous ideologies underground. That's when they turn from obnoxious loudmouths into violent insurgents. And this bunch might just prove better equipped for mass killing than the Islamists. So I really wouldn't poke the bear. The guy who drove his car into the lefty agitators was just some idiot who flunked basic training. Someone who didn't would go about mass murder a lot more efficiently. Just leave them alone, let them protest and march, expose and shame politicians like Trump who show any sympathy for their cause, and that will be that.
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