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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #421 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
It is a source of extreme annoyance to Putin and the Russians that, at low ebb, the West encroached on this sphere, right up to the borders of Russia.


But the whole point is that Russia has no right to any of those territories. It was a conquering empire, forcing unwilling peoples under its wing, and the Soviet Union committed incalculable atrocities against those said peoples who are unwilling to forgive or forget. My whole beef with Russia is that they have never shown any repentance for those sins, just as Turkey has never shown any repentance for equally sordid Ottoman atrocities.

Montenegro is a matter of Balkan history. The formation of Yugoslavia after World War I was a product of Serbian pan-Slavism, itself enthusiastically cheered on by Russia before the war. It was a terrible mistake to even create Yugoslavia, as the events of World War II and the Yugoslav Wars were a consequence.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #422 
That post wasn't a response to yours. I agree they have no right. The problem is that I think the risk of trying to enforce the rights of those countries are too high for America, Britain, and the world. I'm largely a foreign policy realist. Unfortunately, there are clear limits, even for superpowerswers, about what can be achieved in IR.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #423 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
That post wasn't a response to yours.


You have a problem with me replying to your posts then?
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #424 
No, certainly not. I just wanted to make the context of my previous comment clear. I agreed with what you said in the one just before it.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #425 
So it has been confirmed the FBI used the Steele dossier, Clinton campaign funded opposition research, to apply for the FISA warrants against Carter Page:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/carter-page-fisa-applications-fbi-steele-dossier/



"This sensational allegation came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy. The FISA court was not told that the Clinton campaign was behind Steele’s work. Nor did the FBI and Justice Department inform the court that Steele’s allegations had never been verified. To the contrary, each FISA application — the original one in October 2016, and the three renewals at 90-day intervals — is labeled “VERIFIED APPLICATION” (bold caps in original). And each one makes this breathtaking representation:

The FBI has reviewed this verified application for accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001 procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s).

In reality, the applications were never verified for accuracy."
Peter

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Reply with quote  #426 
The above sounds bad, or would have had I not assumed that none of it was true. Not because I question your personal integrity, but because I imagined you were quoting some Trump-supporting news organ or political figure, and there is a very established habit among these of misrepresenting anything that might seem damaging to Trump as itself a misreresentation. As the liar-in-chief also does on his own behalf. Anyway, and without even looking for it specifically, today I came across confirmation that my assumption was correct.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #427 
National Review was, rather famously, a Never-Trump outlet, and McCarthy is certainly no Trump shill. It doesn't make much sense to dismiss McCarthy or NR as Trump supporters. That just doesn't line up with the facts. Besides, one can just as easily point to the hysterical anti-Trump bias displayed by the likes of CBS. The fact is that, whatever Trump's very real faults, even many supposedly professional journalists have let the mask slip, and seem unable to keep to fact-based, balanced criticisms of him. One of his many bad qualities is bringing out the worst in his opponents - but that doesn't excuse them. They should be held to account for all their lies and hysteria, just as he should.

Anyway, more importantly, you have just posted a source that conflicts with McCarthy's assessment. That doesn't tell us which is correct, nor get to the central facts that McCarthy notes. Indeed, McCarthy's legal expertise, as a former federal prosecutor and an authority on national security law, show when comparing your source with his article. He goes into considerable detail. He has, in fact, been doing so for many months, in often forensic and painstaking articles, well worth reading. I know no comparable source on issues like this. He originally dismissed claims of FBI malfeasance, and is no Trumpist, but came around as the evidence pointed that way.

Here is another source, again not from a Trumpist, even if a conservative, that agrees with McCarthy:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/fisa-warrant-application-supports-nunes-memo
Peter

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Reply with quote  #428 
It was actually an AP fact check quoted by CBS, not CBS's own research. There are all kinds of reasons to be anti-Trump, even fanatically so, though I agree that there is no justification for opposing Trump to slip into the kind of lies and obfuscation he spews out on a daily basis. And no need for it either, the facts are damning enough without any embroidering. For what it is worth I highly doubt myself that there was any kind of organised collusion between the Trump campaign, still less the candidate himself, and the Russian agencies interfering in the election process. This is because the Russians would have taken one look at the shambolic crew around Trump and assessed them as not trustworthy partners, so got on with things by themselves. It's a shame more of the American electorate weren't as perceptive.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #429 
The AP is little better. If you want sensible coverage of Trump, you need to go to Trump-sceptical conservative outlets. The usual left-liberal, mainstream media has let the mask slip and abandoned journalistic standards to a significant degree to play the official opposition (if Trump is re-elected, will CNN even survive? They have so aligned themselves with attacking Trump for anything and everything). There are huge swathes of the media, not to mention masses of the #resistance, that have slipped into routine hysteria, lies, and silliness. Indeed, the so called resistance, which is literally aimed at trying to make his presidency illegitimate, is dangerous for the very future of the American polity. Ironically, of course, these folks have shot themselves in the foot, on several fronts. Firstly, their idiocy has actually helped Trump with the rest of the public - the Democrats lurch to the hard left is damaging their electoral prospects. Secondly, the actions of the Democrats have meant Trump has governed more as a conservative than he would have otherwise. Like Jovan, I don't trust his change of heart, from liberal to conservative, and think he would have reached across the aisle if he was able. But the fact Pelosi and Schumer and their cohorts have joined the resistance has meant Trump has had to stay fairly faithful to the Republicans.

I also highly doubt there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, not least because the evidence isn't there. The investigation has been going for years, and little substantive has come from it. The only charges have been either for actions predating the campaign or process crimes, and Mueller has reportedly stopped focusing on collusion and moved to rather absurd (given that it would involve second-guessing a president's legal actions as chief executive) obstruction of justice claims.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #430 
Associated Press (AP) is a not-for-profit news agency which does not offer opinion pieces, its remit being purely to provide sober and factual reporting for the benefit of other news organs. It would have much to lose and nothing to gain by submitting a 'fact check' that was less than factual and plainly motivated by bias. And its work did indeed have a sober and factual air, as opposed to the shrill, accusatory tone of what you quoted. Another and allied standard tactic of Trump defenders is not to bother defending him, since he's plainly indefensible. Instead you generate a smokescreen by attacking anyone who attacks him. Been a lot of that going on, ever since election day and in fact before.

However, Trump opposition that crosses the line by attacking the legitimacy of Trump's presidency, in the way that, say, Donald Trump attacked the legitimacy of President Obama, is misconceived and wrong. He is the legitimate President. He is also an utterly incompetent and unworthy President, already shaping to be the worst ever. If he can be removed from office by legitimate means maybe that would be a good thing, though more likely it would be unwise as first the Trump base would never accept it as having been anything but a coup by the establishment forces they so despise and second Pence is no great prize either. Far better to focus on denying Trump the Republican nomination in 2020 and if that fails a second election victory.

Both you and Jovan are right to doubt Trump's conservative convictions. The man in fact has no political convictions of any kind, being an opportunist weathervane who will go along with any wind he sees as blowing in his favour. 'Actions predating the campaign' are precisely what so concern Trump and his team. Once a special counsel is appointed he can range very wide indeed. How likely is it that a man as profoundly dishonest as Trump has been in public life has been honest in all his business dealings? Not very, one would have thought. How likely is it that a man as stupid and ignorant as Trump has cleverly concealed any wrongdoing there might have been? Wouldn't rate the chances of that too high either. Finally, while there will always be a grey area between legitimate exercise of authority and illegitimate obstruction of justice it is possible for a President to clearly exceed his authority and be plainly guilty of the latter, and this is a reasonable avenue of investigation despite any blurred lines.
jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #431 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
Associated Press (AP) is a not-for-profit news agency which does not offer opinion pieces,....


Peter, if you actually believe that I have some land on Ellesmere Island I'd like to sell you for a winter holiday home. The AP is owned, as a co-operative, by the major newspaper and electronic media corporations of the US, the overwhelming majority of which suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. I've been #NeverDrumpf since he was first bruited about as a candidate, and I like to think I don't suffer from TDS, but I wouldn't trust any body controlled by the major media outlets to tell the honest truth about Drumpf.

As a personal aside, the first news story I ever wrote was picked up by the AP, and  went out 'over the wire', only to discover that my state chapter of the RTVNDA had voted to forego the $5 or $10 payment for a wire story. (Yes, I was a radio journalist in a previous life! [rofl])

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'Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.' C.S. Lewis God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.! Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #432 
I was going to say that that is not a far reading of McCarthy's article (and I don't think it is of the quote), but I realised I forgot to link to the article. My fault. That probably caused some confusion. I have linked it now. I would say that McCarthy's article is his usual detailed and forensic account, far more so than what you posted, and that the quote is fully justified in the context (nor particularly shrill anyway).

The AP is the usual mainstream media outlet. It is left-liberal, but this is somewhat restrained by its professionalism. In the age of Trump, the AP may not have gone full CNN, but it has certainly lowered its standards. I would trust McCarthy far more than it. Neither he nor I am Trump defenders if you mean we are slavish defenders of Trump nor even supporters of him. National Review is the most famous Never-Trump outlet. I would trust an outlet like it over either more Trump friendly ones or much of the mainstream media, in reporting on Trump. The latter has just lost control. There's good reporting, but there's also so much hysteria, distortion, and one-sidedness that has engulfed even the likes of the AP.

The difference between Trump trying to delegitimatise Obama and #resistance is that the latter has a lot of at least partial support from aspects of the media and establishment that serve as hugely influential reference groups for the nation. Trump was a ridiculed fringe dweller at the time.

As McCarthy himself has been at pains to point out, some seem to have forgotten Trump is the chief executive. He has wide discretion over how investigations under his ultimate control are conducted, such as whether or not prosecutorial discretion is applied or where limited funds are used, and he decides who serves as a subordinate executive officer, like Comey. Unless Trump himself is implicated in illegal activities and trying to cover them up (as Nixon was in the break in at the Watergate hotel) it would take an absurd second-guessing of his quite lawful authority to accuse him of obstruction of justice. It would also be highly ironic, given the way in which the media-Democrats and FBI leadership latched onto those parts of the recent IG's report that went to huge lengths not to second guess operational decisions by agents.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #433 
My physical geography is excellent, Jovan. You would find me a particularly hard sell for that particular piece of property. Though give current warming trends a few hundred more years to operate, and who knows? Certainly we never will, as by then we will long since have found out the correct answer to another question we disagree on. You have my full permission to come and gloat over my torments should you be in the right. Even though it's a little unfair, since I will have no such opportunity should my position be correct.

I knew Trump Derangement Syndrome would come up, and as a precaution looked it up in advance. My dictionary, which as well as comprehensive is foresighted, given its 1990s publication date, defines it thus: Trump Derangement Syndrome n. Deflective epithet applied to an accurate perception that President Trump is a) no good and b) up to no good. In other words, it's all part of the picture where attack is not just the best but the only means of defence, so instead of addressing the criticisms you assail the critics.

The Carter Page question will resolve itself in time, and I have neither intention nor inclination to look into it further. While i don't doubt the FBI is capable of dishonesty I do doubt it would be so clumsily and evidently dishonest as it is accused of being in such a high-profile case, bound to come under intense scrutiny. Similary with AP; they do have a reputation to maintain and it seems unlikely they would risk it with a falsified fact check, one that can readily be shown as false too. But in the end it's wood, trees. Even if this particular tree turns out to be rotten at core, that shouldn't be allowed to distract attention from the extensive array of sound trees constituting the case against Trump as an unfit person to occupy the great office he does.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #434 
Didn't CNN have a reputation to maintain?

Anyway, it seems Trump might be idiotic enough to really take military action against Iran. As Larison says, America seems to have an addiction to regime change:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/our-regime-change-addiction/

It would be great to see the Mullahs go and the Shah return, but not through Western meddling and certainly not through beginning a possibly catastrophic military conflict. The neocons seem to have forgotten nothing and learnt nothing.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #435 
The conservative "family values party" has a real public relations problem on its hands as the midterm elections approach, thanks to a policy put in place by a President from their party that is not really a conservative and has few discernable family values.  This could be a long term legal nightmare for the United States, not to mention a huge moral falure.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5996747/Many-immigrant-parents-never-kids-separated-border.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/25/politics/separated-families-by-the-numbers/index.html

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