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geek tragedy

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Member since: Thu May 13, 2004, 12:50 PM
Number of posts: 68,868

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Facing Mexicos fury, Israel backtracks on Trump border wall praise


A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry stressed Saturday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not commenting on US-Mexican relations when the Israeli leader said earlier that US President Donald Trump was “right” in pushing for a wall along the US-Mexico border to block illegal immigration.

The backtracking came after Mexican officials phoned Jerusalem and angrily demanded a clarification, the Haaretz daily reported on Saturday night.

Earlier Saturday, Netanyahu had welcomed praise from Trump for Israel’s security barrier. Referring to the recently built fence along Israel’s border with Egypt, the prime minister said the measure had been a “great success” in keeping out migrants, who mainly came from African nations.

“President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” Netanyahu wrote in English on Twitter, Trump’s preferred method of communication.

“[Netanyahu] referred to our specific security experience which we are willing to share,” spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon wrote on Twitter.

POS rightwing ethnonationalist governments are forming a new axis of evil and alienating the rest of the world in the process.

Palestinian family was first to help bus crash victims, call police


A Palestinian family was the first to rush to the scene of a fatal West Bank bus crash on Thursday night, called police and administered aid to victims under pouring rain until rescue forces arrived, the Ynet news website reported Friday.

Cpt. Sivan Raviv, the medical officer of the IDF’s Binyamin Brigade, told Ynet that members of the family helped save the lives of some of the bus’s Israeli passengers.

“Usually we are scrambled to a scene after calls from the regional hotline on such accidents. This time it was members of the Palestinian family who called police quickly to report the accident,” Raviv said.

“They didn’t think about it or consider it,” Raviv added. “They saw saving lives as their first priority. When we got there we saw the family trying to extract passengers and treating them.”

Trump's approval ratings are the highest they'll ever be. And they suck.

Congress hasn't taken one difficult vote, he's still in the honeymoon phase of his presidency, and the economy is only going to get worse under him. He hasn't had a single setback yet, no event beyond his control to test him.

There are a lot of people still holding out hope for this profane beast. Just wait until things go sideways, and then all the bad stuff that they know in the back of their minds is true will start becoming harder to deny.

Time to brand Trump's border tax as The Wal-Mart Tax

Because by far the biggest payor of this tax will be Wal-Mart, and that will mean higher prices for Wal-Mart shoppers.

The End of the American Century-


The inaugural address of Donald Trump did not contain the word justice or cooperation or ideals or morals or truth or charity. It has only one reference to freedom. It did mention carnage and crime and tombstones and a variety of words never uttered before in a presidential inaugural. Since then, the president has doubled-down on his desire to build a wall on America’s Southern border and has said his administration will re-evaluate accepting refugees from designated Muslim countries and cut back by half the relatively small number of refugees accepted by the Obama administration. I spent seven years as editor of Time before I worked in the State Department as under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs. While I was editor of Time, I never wanted to be the first of Luce’s successors to pronounce the end of the American Century. In part, this was because of a misunderstanding of the term. Most people thought it meant American power or hegemony and there was not much diminution in America’s global power. What it really means is America as a global model and guarantor of freedom and rule of law and fairness.

Trump ’s administration is the death knell of the American Century.


And that was often the case. And no other nation, I promise you, ever talked to that foreign minister about transparency. That is America’s strength, not its weakness. The Chinese, and now the Trump administration, will resolutely practice non-interference in other nations’ affairs. America First is not a policy that any of our allies around the world want to hear. Our adversaries are delighted. Our power and influence with our friends and adversaries came in large part because we were the one nation that did not always put ourselves first.

American presidents operate along the realistic and idealistic sides of the foreign-policy continuum. But ever since Woodrow Wilson, Americans have always seen themselves as being the moral beacon that Luce talked about all those years ago. As Obama has said many times, our ideals are our policy. Trump appears to see those ideals as, at best, irrelevant, and at worst, effete.

Having traveled around the world on behalf of the State Department for the past three years, I can promise you that governments do not worry that America is too engaged—they worry when we disengage. And wherever we may disengage around the world, we are never replaced by a better actor. The president’s vision of putting up our national drawbridge and hunkering down mirrors the transformation of Great Britain to Little England after the end of World War II. The American Century was a term of pride for many and it represented the flowering not only of American power but American values.

That seems to have ended beginning last Friday.

The American Century, RIP.

It's time we refuse to call Donald Trump the leader of the free world. He is not, and no American president ever will be again.

Germany: New settler homes cast doubt on Israels commitment to 2 states


Germany on Wednesday issued a harsh condemnation of Israel’s approval of thousands of new settlement homes in the West Bank, saying Jerusalem’s actions cast doubt on Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Tuesday’s announcement of new construction went “beyond what we have seen… in the last few months both in terms of its scale and its political significance,” Reuters reported.

He said Berlin now doubted whether Israeli leadership remained committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state. Without such a commitment, he warned, there would be little basis for Mideast peace.

Only the Trump regime refused to criticize. Even Australia got into the act.

Trump Prepares Orders Aiming at Global Funding and Treaties

Source: New York Times

The first of the two draft orders, titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations” and obtained by The New York Times, calls for terminating funding for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria.

Those criteria include organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization, or support programs that fund abortion or any activity that circumvents sanctions against Iran or North Korea. The draft order also calls for terminating funding for any organization that “is controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism” or is blamed for the persecution of marginalized groups or any other systematic violation of human rights.


The second executive order, “Moratorium on New Multilateral Treaties,” calls for a review of all current and pending treaties with more than one other nation. It asks for recommendations on which negotiations or treaties the United States should leave.


Taken together, the orders suggest that Mr. Trump intends to pursue his campaign promises of withdrawing the United States from international organizations. He has expressed heavy skepticism of multilateral agreements such as the Paris climate agreement and of the United Nations.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/us/politics/united-nations-trump-administration.html?_r=0

The era of America's global leadership is over. Never again will the President of the United States be known as the leader of the free world.

New settlement homes are just a taste, Netanyahu tells MKs


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the 2,500 new West Bank settlement homes approved a day earlier were just a “taste” of things to come now that Barack Obama is no longer in the White House, and said he would discuss the issue with US President Donald Trump.


But, the prime minister said, “We are leaving the period. This building [approval] was a taste. We are going to be doing many things differently from now on,” he said.

The US is no longer the bad cop for his pro-apartheid coalition members.

Sanders praises Trump for nixing TPP, delighted to work with him on pro-worker policies

Source: Washington Post

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), who campaigned hard against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in last year’s Democratic presidential primaries, praised President Trump for an executive order to officially pull the United States out of the deal.

“I am glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone,” Sanders said. “For the last 30 years, we have had a series of trade deals – including the North American Free Trade Agreement, permanent normal trade relations with China and others – which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and caused a ‘race to the bottom’ which has lowered wages for American workers. Now is the time to develop a new trade policy that helps working families, not just multinational corporations. If President Trump is serious about a new policy to help American workers, then I would be delighted to work with him.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/23/sanders-praises-trump-for-nixing-tpp-delighted-to-work-with-him-on-pro-worker-policies/?utm_term=.616c4af34cee

Rule number 1 when in the minority in DC: Don't praise the majority. EVER.

America, You Look Like an Arab Country Right Now. Welcome to the club.


Dear America,

We have been watching the drama of your presidential elections with much interest and curiosity for some time now. It’s hard not to notice the many similarities between our own countries and yours. From fiery inauguration protests and bitter disputes about crowd size, to the intelligence service’s forays into politics and the rise of right-wing extremists, it appears that you are traveling very much in our direction—and at the same time, like us, becoming a curiosity for foreign correspondents trying to explain what’s happening in your region to the world. You might be distraught about where you are headed, but we aren’t! Perhaps this will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and recognize how similar we are.

Let’s start at the beginning. During the campaign we were surprised to learn of the influence that the head of the American mukhabarat (state security, i.e. your FBI) can wield over the election process, simply by choosing to pursue a certain line of investigation. As you may know, this has been a constant feature of our politics since independence. Our surprise turned to astonishment when we started to witness the blossoming feud between the then-president-elect and the American mukhabarat, another important feature of Arab politics.

On top of that, we started to hear reports of foreign meddling in your elections, which some say may have influenced the result. Of course, we are quite familiar with that situation, too, not least because of the efforts of your own administrations over the decades. Yet it came as a surprise to hear talk of “foreign hands” and “secret agendas” in a country like America. We sympathize.

On the bright side, this was also the moment that the conspiracy theories started to spread. You know us; we’re quite fond of conspiracy theories—particularly when they involve plots by external powers—and consider ourselves connoisseurs of the genre. Your plots are a bit rough around the edges, we have to admit, but top marks for creativity. Was the election of Trump a Russian conspiracy? Was talk of the Russian conspiracy a liberal conspiracy to undermine Trump? Did the mukhabarat leak information to help Trump? Did the mukhabarat leak information to hurt Trump? Was media coverage of Trump’s mukhabarat conspiracy theories part of a liberal conspiracy theory to bring him down? They’re all so deliciously complex and open-ended, much like our own.

Things started to get even more interesting when your liberals started to rally around the heroic CIA branch of the mukhabarat in order to fend off the threat of extremists in power and external meddling from Russia. You will recall that we have had similar experiences in recent years in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria, and we were disappointed when the world didn’t understand our position. Nonetheless, it was moving to see these public displays of affinity for state security, the enlightened guardians of the nation.

Painful precisely because it's on point.

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