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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 03:46 PM
Number of posts: 24,691

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Add a step #6 to the "Assad strategy" for dealing with the opposition to dictators.

1: When massive peaceful protests occur, repress them as them as violently as you can get away with - snipers, arrests, torture, etc.
2. This may work to quell the protests. If so, reward your military and security services and go back to being a dictator.
3. If #1 doesn't work right away and massive peaceful protests continue, keep up the repression. (You have to come up with a strategy to keep the international community at bay. A friend on the Security Council is useful for this.) Start talking about the presence of "criminal gangs" or "terrorists" among the protestors. There may not be any yet, but it's good to get the talking point out there for future use.
4. If your military and security forces continue to prove to be ineffective in suppressing dissent, don't worry. Keep up the armed repression. Eventually frustration will build up among factions of the protesters and some will become willing to resort to violence given the apparent futility of peaceful protest. Or outside groups will begin to take advantage of these frustrations.
5. At this point you can unleash your military and security forces to the full extent and hope you don't lose the civil war you have created.
6. If your military seems to be losing the civil war you have created, appeal to appeal to the international community to help you fight the terrorists - who weren't there in step #1 but are now.

I think this is a strategy that is workable in many repressive countries when populations get fed up with living with no rights.


This is from a 3/3/12 post.

UK union wants to keep EU's "series of labor rights, including limits on excessive hours, rules on

work-life balance and health and safety protections."

Apparently Prime Minister Cameron wants reduced EU worker protections to be applied to the UK if it is to remain a member of the EU.

Of course, the left - particularly under Corbyn - wants nothing to do with reduced worker protections. Indeed, the EU's social and labor policies are what many on the left, including Corbyn, find best about membership in the EU.

Trade union members could vote for UK to leave European Union
Union leaders at TUC conference say members could vote no in referendum if PM undermines employment safeguards

Millions of trade union members could vote against the UK staying in the EU if the government waters down workers’ rights.

Leading unions at the TUC annual conference in Brighton will say on Tuesday that if David Cameron undermines employment safeguards in his renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership their members could vote no in any referendum.

Steve Turner, the TUC’s international spokesman, will tell delegates: “We hope that Cameron’s efforts to weaken workers’ rights will fail but if they do not, we are issuing a warning to the prime minister: you will lose our members’ votes to stay in the EU, by worsening workers’ rights.”

A statement by the TUC general council, released before the debate due to take place on Tuesday afternoon, said that thanks to EU directives workers enjoyed a series of rights, including limits on excessive hours, rules on work-life balance and health and safety protections.


MJ: Nativists weren't always the kind of people who attended tea party rallies and watched Fox News.

The 5 Times America Elected Donald Trump

If you can't believe that Donald Trump is still the GOP front-runner, then consider this: America has elected the likes of The Donald before. There are, deep in our history, plenty of men who brazenly exploited nativist sentiments to win the White House or strengthen their grip on the office. Here are five US presidents who, if they lived today, might, in Trump's words, "make America great again."

Theodore Roosevelt

Nativists weren't always the kind of people who attended tea party rallies and watched Fox News. In the early 1900s, some of the strongest opposition to immigration came from the labor unions that helped usher Theodore Roosevelt into the White House. In his first Congressional address, Roosevelt called for requiring immigrants to meet a "certain standard of economic fitness" and pass a literacy test—a measure that would effectively exclude many Southern and Eastern Europeans. After meeting stiff congressional resistance, Roosevelt brokered a compromise that established an immigrant head tax of $4 and created the Dillingham Commission, an investigative panel stacked with nativist legislators. Its reports accused Southern and Eastern European immigrants of displacing native workers, living in crowded and unclean housing, and performing poorly in school. Unlike Trump, however, Roosevelt never signed a GOP loyalty pledge. Instead, he left the Republican Party in 1912 and formed his own.

Warren Harding

Before "Make America Great Again," there was "America First!"—the slogan that in 1920 swept Harding and his fellow Republicans to power on a platform of curtailing a tide of immigrants from politically unstable parts of Europe. Harding signed the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, effectively cutting in half the number of immigrants admitted into the United States. The act also favored immigrant groups from Northern European countries while steeply limiting immigration from other parts of the world. "I don't know much about Americanism," Harding later said, "but it's a damn good word with which to carry an election."

Herbert Hoover

Hoover proved that rich guys with no experience in elected office can become president and that America can be for Americans. At the dawn of the Great Depression, he issued an executive order calling for the "strict enforcement" of a clause of the Immigration Act that barred the admission of immigrants who were "likely to become a public charge." Turning away virtually all working-class immigrants, his administration slashed legal immigration from 242,000 people in 1931 to 36,000 the following year. And Hoover stepped up raids on the homes and workplaces of undocumented immigrants, causing more than 121,000 people, most of them from Mexico, to leave the United States. Hoover touted his record on immigration during the 1932 election, but it ultimately wasn't enough to keep him from getting thrown out of office by a bunch of LOSERS who had been FIRED.


The other two presidents mentioned were John Adams and Woodrow Wilson.

"But presenting people with the best available science doesn’t seem to change many minds."

Viewed from afar, the world seems almost on the brink of conceding that there are no truths, only competing ideologies — narratives fighting narratives. In this epistemological warfare, hthose with the most power are accused of imposing their version of reality — the “dominant paradigm” — on the rest, leaving the weaker to fight back with formulations of their own. Everything becomes a version.

Altruism and compassion toward the feelings of others represent the best of human impulses. And it is good to continually challenge rigid categories and entrenched beliefs. But that comes at a sacrifice when the subjective is elevated over the assumption that lurking out there is some kind of real world.

The widening gyre of beliefs is accelerated by the otherwise liberating Internet. At the same time it expands the reach of every mind, it channels debate into clashing memes, often no longer than 140 characters, that force people to extremes and trap them in self-reinforcing bubbles of thought.

UN: Assad, ISIL, al-Qaeda committing Mass Atrocities, Endangering Int’l Security

Mass atrocities by Government forces and non-State armed groups continue to take place in Syria, causing immeasurable suffering to civilians and contributing to a spillover of violence affecting international peace and stability, a United Nations-appointed panel said today.

The Commission reported that “members of ISIS have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Aleppo and Ar-Raqqah governorates including acts of torture, murder, enforced disappearances and forcible displacement.”

Other non-State armed groups continue to commit violations, including summary executions and shelling deliberately targeting civilians. For instance, Homs city has been rocked by over a dozen car bombs since this April. The armed group Jabhat Al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for some of these attacks. Meanwhile, armed groups continue to shell Government-controlled areas of Aleppo and Damascus, causing civilian deaths and injuries.

The report stated that the Government also commits violations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, with impunity. Between January and July, hundreds of men, women and children were killed every week by the Government’s indiscriminate firing of missiles and barrel bombs into civilian-inhabited areas. In some instances, there is clear evidence that civilian gatherings were deliberately targeted, constituting massacres, as detailed in the report. Hospitals in restive areas continue to be targeted and Government forces refused to allow aid deliveries of essential medicines and surgical supplies. Humanitarian aid continued to be obstructed as a weapon of war. Meanwhile, in Government prisons, detainees were subjected to horrific torture and sexual assault. The methods employed and conditions of detention support the Commission’s long-standing findings of systematic torture and mass deaths of detainees.

Several States continue to deliver mass shipments of arms, artillery and aircraft to the Syrian Government, or contribute with logistical and strategic assistance. Meanwhile, other States, organizations and individuals support armed groups with weapons and financial support. The weapons they transfer to the warring parties in Syria are used in the perpetration of war crimes. The Commission is recommending the imposition of an arms embargo and called on the international community to curb the proliferation and supply of weapons.

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