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Messages - Wayward Son

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101
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 06:13:21 PM »
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LOL, you have to be kidding.  See the defense of Biden.

What do you mean by that, Seriati?  Are you saying that we shouldn't investigate Trump for the same reason we shouldn't investigate Biden?  Or are you saying that both Biden and Trump should be investigated for the same reason?

Or, because "there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain," we should investigate Biden but not Trump?

I'm confused.  ???

102
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:57:12 PM »
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Okay I apologize for not making the hypothetical situation more clear. It's just some random guy being investigated, someone who is not politically connected, so there is no issue there where it looks like Trump is investigating for his own personal reasons.

But in your hypothetical situation, cherry, why is the President investigating this random guy?

If it's not personal, then it must be for some governmental reason.  What reason is that?

Is there some formal investigation in the Justice Department?  If so, when was it announced?  What started the investigation?  For what reason is this random guy being investigated?

Is it some local investigation of possible corruption, that asked the Justice Department for help?  When was the request made?  Who made it?  Why was it needed?

After all, the President just doesn't start random investigations himself.  He may ask the Justice Department to start one, but then he hands it over to them.  Then the Justice Department may request help from the Executive Branch, and they usually give it, by having the local diplomats contact the foreign governments.  It is usually coordinated through them.

So why is the President getting involved with the investigation of this random guy?  What is so important that it is elevated up to his level?  And why, for goodness sake, is the President's personal lawyer involved??

Even for some random guy, wouldn't you want to know the answers to these questions?  Just to be assured that he wasn't being targeted for some obscure political reason?

Even for a random person, it still needs explanation.

And for his likely opponent, it needs plenty of explanation.

103
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 04:09:19 PM »
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Let's say it was someone like Marc Rich, an international commodities trader, hedge fund manager, financier and businessman who as far as I know was never a politician and never ran for public office. So if the same allegations against Trump were true but it wasn't a politician he was talking about, would it still be a crime? Trump tells Ukraine he wants an investigation into the finances of some Marc Rich type guy and if he doesn't get it then the arms deal will be put on hold. Is that an impeachable offense? Is it a crime? Is it even wrong?

Yes, I think so.

You wouldn't have any problem with Trump using his position as President of the United States to investigate a private citizen for his own personal reasons?  That he will put on hold badly needed arms to a country that is defending itself against Russian aggression because he wants dirt of some guy?  Do you really think it is moral and "usual" for a President to possibly affect the security of an ally, and possibly our own nation, just to check out a private citizen?  :o

The fact that he was doing so against his most likely opponent in the next election just makes it worse.

104
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 01:46:20 PM »
Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

Isn't hearsay literally not evidence?

The answer is no.  Hearsay is a type of evidence.  As FindLaw discusses:

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Hearsay is defined as an out-of-court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted. These out-of-court statements do not have to be spoken words, but they can also constitute documents or even body language. The rule against hearsay was designed to prevent gossip from being offered to convict someone...

Hearsay evidence is not admissible in court unless a statue or rule provides otherwise. Therefore, even if a statement is really hearsay, it may still be admissible if an exception applies. The Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) contains nearly thirty of these exceptions to providing hearsay evidence.
(Emphasis mine.)

Courts rightfully excluded hearsay evidence to prove that something is true or not.  However, this does not mean it is not "evidence," shown by the fact that there are multiple exceptions to the rule.  And for purposes of an investigation, in order to gather evidence that may prove or disprove someone's guilt, I believe it is certainly considered evidence for further investigation.  Otherwise, any report given to a police officer would be considered "hearsay" if the officer reports it to someone else. ;)

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Doesn't the whistleblower report outright say that the author of it did not personally witness the events in question, but only heard others say they heard it?

As I have heard from multiple sources, and as the report says, the answer is also no.  The whistleblower stated that he was "not a direct witness to most of the events described."  However, this means that he was a witness to some of them.

And, by statute, even not being a witness (hearsay) was sufficient for him to file the report.

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It seems pretty obvious to me that the current investigation based on the whistleblower's complaint is based on "evidence."  So it all pretty moot to me.

If by "evidence" you mean "something has spurred on our suspicion" then of course the answer is yes; the report itself spurs on suspicion. But the issue is whether it's based on evidence of a crime, and for that there needs to be an actual crime and evidence that links it to the person being investigated, doesn't it? So what's the crime?

Isn't it using the office of the President to solicit valuable aid from a foreign government for his political campaign?  As I recall, accepting money or anything of value from a foreigner person or government is considered a crime.

Also remember that impeachment does not require an actual "crime" in the normal sense, but includes "high crimes and misdemeanors" which is more expansive than what is covered by criminal statutes.

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Just for example, in the memorandum it shows Trump asking for some favors after a discussion about Javelin missiles. Some have interpreted that as Trump implying that the favors are the price of the missiles, some that he was just moving on to the next point since the missiles were a given anyhow (i.e. that it was Zelenskyy complying with the U.S.). Maybe both are plausible, but the notion that you *could* interpret it as a quid pro quo is not "evidence" of a crime. Otherwise you could take transcripts from anything, suggest 'possible implications' of things not actually said, and then make up crimes that could be inferred from those implications. It sounds like a huge kafkatrap to me. I'm not even saying it's impossible that Trump really did intend it as extortion, but if the only evidence is "he might have meant that when he talked of favors" that's not evidence, it's just conjecture.

Conjecture, like a guy sneaking around a neighborhood at night.  But enough for the police to investigate.

And then when they find out the guy is carrying valuable jewels in his pocket--or a diplomat sends a text message that says "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign"--then it is worth further investigation, right?  Just to make sure those are really the guy's jewels, or that the President really did not imply that assistance was dependent on finding (or making up) dirt on the President's likely rival in the next election.

The nice thing about investigations is that, if no further evidence is found, or if the evidence found is weak, then you can drop it.  But if the investigation brings up more, or even better, evidence, then it's kind of a weak argument that the better evidence should be ignored because the initial evidence was weak, or even inadmissible in court.  That's known as letting the criminal get away on a technicality, something that a lot of people have thought to be an injustice for quite a while. ;)

105
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 12:41:02 PM »
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Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?

It really comes down to what is considered "evidence."

Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

How about suspicious activity?  Can police question someone (aka investigate) based on suspicious actions?  What constitutes "suspicious?"

It seems pretty obvious to me that the current investigation based on the whistleblower's complaint is based on "evidence."  So it all pretty moot to me.

106
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 02, 2019, 03:50:28 PM »
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As far as the impeachment goes this has been coordinated from the moment he was elected. It was always going to be "we are going to get him, the only question is how", and not "well if he does something wrong we'll be there to wipe his nose." And again, lest the word "coordinated" be trivialized, it does not have to mean secret meetings of 'the cabal' organizing and planning their actions carefully. It can mean that various interested parties all observed a similar situation that could advantage them and set about throwing fuel into the fire.

While I'm sure there are quite a few who look for how the situation could "advantage them," remember that most of the impeachment movement comes from Donald himself.

It was obvious (to many of us) that Donald would be a terrible President even before he was elected.  He is a narcissist, a know-it-all, a bully and a blowhard.  He lies openly and obviously, and attacks anyone who opposes him.  He has little to no respect for the law or norms.  Knowledge and competence are less important to him than loyalty and doing what he wants.  He was always out for himself above all others.  It was only a matter of time before he did something illegal and/or stupid.  The only question was when, where, and how bad.

In a situation like this, it's not "well if he does something wrong we'll be there to wipe his nose."  It's "WHEN he does something wrong..."  We have been expecting it; we have been on the lookout for it.  When you know there is a tiger in the tall grass, you prepare for it and keep you eyes open.  And you're not surprised when he comes out.

Yes, people may have jumped the gun before.  Other times, we have seen things we knew were wrong but didn't have enough proof and/or political clout to prove it.  Pelosi was cautious in what she went after.  And even this latest scandal may turn out to be jumping the gun.  But don't fool yourself--Trump is a terrible President, a rotten human being, and this Presidency will be remembered as one of the worst in American history.  And if those in the Deep State--those people who work for the government and try to keep it running--see how things are being messed up, it is not surprising that they would oppose the destruction of what they have spent years of their lives creating and maintaining--the U.S. government.  It doesn't need to be looking for an advantage for oneself.  It could just be that they don't want to see a good thing ruined by a bad President.

107
General Comments / Re: Heart-Bern?
« on: October 02, 2019, 01:23:23 PM »
Fortunately, it may not come to that.

P.Z. Myers said he had a similar procedure done about 9 years ago, and he has been fine ever since.  In fact, he said it didn't even interfere with his work teaching (although he did not say how long he "took it easy" before going back to work).

It remains to be seen if Bernie's condition is as mild as Myers', but it does show that this may not be a big deal.

108
General Comments / Re: Heart-Bern?
« on: October 02, 2019, 12:45:49 PM »
1.  Don't know.

2.A. Hurt.

2.B. No, not until the ship sinks (i.e. Bernie quits or, God forbid, otherwise...)

3.  Definitely Warren.  FiveThirtyEight says that they are both appealing to the same "track."  She is the closest contender to Bernie in this race.  So most of his supporters would, most likely, turn to her.

109
No one is saying that the e-mails can't or shouldn't be retroactively classified.  It happens all the time and is good for our security.

What I'm worried about is telling people that something has been retroactively classified and "You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability" in the "security incidents."  This is an entirely different subject.  While it can be argued that the person should have known something should have a higher classification than it currently held, it is another to say that they are "culpable" of a "security incident" because they did not recognize it at the time. 

Heck, some material that has been classified is then re-classified at a later date.  Should we hold all the people who didn't realize that a classified document would be re-classified at a later date culpable in not handling the information at the later classification level?  ???

And even if it was obvious for some material that obviously should have a higher classification than it had, just how many times do you think that occurred?  A dozen times?  A hundred?  Several hundred?  Enough so that 130 people are accused of being "culpable?"  If so, there was a MAJOR problem with classifications at the time, in that they were relying on the judgement of 130 underlings to classify documents instead of those professionals trained to do so.  ::)  If there are that many that were negligent people handling classified documents and made mistakes, then there is a problem with the system, not the individuals.

Only in unusual circumstances would an individual who does not typically classify documents be held responsible for not noticing that something should have a higher classification than it holds.  Not enough for 130 people to be held "culpable."

110
What bothers me is, if this is so innocuous, why did the letters state that "You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability" in the "security incidents?"

That is a warning that you may have done done some wrong in the past.  Which means that someone at the State Department considers it a possible crime that someone sent these retroactively classified documents to Hillary's server.  And is considering blaming those who sent them for doing so.

The only reason it may be confusing is because one thinks it should be logical and reasonable.  But if this is simply a way of harassing, intimidating, or possibly persecuting former Hillary aides, it becomes quite a bit more understandable. :(

111
According to the Washington Post, the Trump Administration has found more classified information being sent to Hillary Clinton's private e-mail account.  How did they find these new, classified documents?  They reclassified them.

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The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email, reviving a politically toxic matter that overshadowed the 2016 election, current and former officials said.

As many as 130 officials have been contacted in recent weeks by State Department investigators — a list that includes senior officials who reported directly to Clinton as well as others in lower-level jobs whose emails were at some point relayed to her inbox, said current and former State Department officials. Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations, according to letters reviewed by The Washington Post.

In virtually all of the cases, potentially sensitive information, now recategorized as “classified,” was sent to Clinton’s unsecure inbox.
(Emphasis mine.)

How convenient.  If you don't have enough criminal acts to warrant an arrest, create some more ex post facto.  After all, a number of the classified documents were classified after they were sent in the original investigation.  So let's make a list bigger, to make her even more guilty! :)

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Those targeted began receiving letters in August, saying, “You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability” in supposedly newly uncovered “security incidents,” according to a copy of one letter obtained by The Washington Post.

In many cases, the incidents appear to center on the sending of information attributed to foreign officials, including summaries of phone conversations with foreign diplomats — a routine occurrence among State Department employees.

There is no indication in any of the materials reviewed by The Post that the emails under scrutiny contained sensitive information about classified U.S. initiatives or programs. In one case, a former official was asked to explain dozens of messages dating back to 2009 that contained messages that foreign officials wanted relayed rapidly to Washington at a time when U.S. Foreign Service officers were equipped with BlackBerrys and other devices that were not capable of sending classified transmissions. The messages came in through “regular email” and then were forwarded through official — though unclassified — State Department channels.

In other instances officials were relaying email summaries of time-sensitive conversations with foreign leaders conducted over unclassified cellphones.

Those communications are now being “upclassified” or “reclassified,” according to several officials involved in the investigation, meaning that they have been retroactively assessed to contain material so sensitive that they should have been sent only on State Department classified systems.

Many of those who have been targeted by the probe and found “not culpable,” described it as an effort to harass diplomats for the routine conduct of their job.

112
President Donald Trump:

"To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!"

113
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 27, 2019, 01:47:35 PM »

Meh.  I'm not positive because I havn't seen the US legal definitions for quid pro quo, but I believe it's important if you are trying to show the phone call as evidence of quid pro quo.  I believe for there to be an offer of quid pro quo, both parties must understand the terms of the trade.  If Trump had not cut off the money already, or if Zalenskyy had not found out about it yet, then the phone call could be interpreted reasonably as "hey, I just would like a favor", instead of "if you want this then do this".  Perhaps later it would have been better understood, but then the phone call isn't evidence.

I don't think so.  Consider the following scenario:

You're purchasing a yacht from a rich person.  The purchase is going well, and the rich person calls you to congratulate you on something.  During the call he asks you, as a favor to do something odd.  Then three days later you find out that he had previously stopped the purchase for some weird reason.  (How many different reasons has the Trump Administration given so far for stopping the aid?  3?  4?  More?)

Would it be unreasonable to believe that the rich person stopped the sale of the yacht until he had the chance to call you and ask his favor?  And that the continued purchase of the yacht would not proceed until you proved that you were doing that favor for him?

Isn't this somewhat similar to the way that Michael Cohen testified that Trump indicated that he should lie about negotiations for the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow?

114
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 27, 2019, 11:43:56 AM »
Has the Trump Administration explained why they added an extra layer of classification to the memorandum?

According to the complaint:

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According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President's call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information , such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was "not the first time" under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information .

Assuming we saw the memorandum in question, there did not seem to be much in the way of classified information in that phone call.

Per Wikipedia, codeword classification is a way to compartmentalize sensitive information, whether it be Secret or Top Secret.  (I'm not sure it applies to Confidential info.)  What part of that conversation, which we have been told is "perfectly fine and routine," warranted that extra security?

115
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 27, 2019, 11:33:39 AM »
When the aid was cut off, and when Zalenskyy learned of it, is not that important.

Even if Zalenskyy learned 3 days after the phone call that Trump had cut off the aid, he may have interpreted it as Trump showing that he was serious about getting his "favor."

116
General Comments / Re: On Post-Cold War NATO
« on: September 26, 2019, 06:27:42 PM »
Beatles.  No question.  ;D

117
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2019, 11:49:57 AM »

118
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2019, 11:41:15 AM »
Ah, well, what can you do if the facts, written on the "transcripts" itself, are the last refuge of the scoundrel. :)

And to speed up the conversation, here's a article on the White House talking points, which they conveniently e-mailed to the Democrats (including Pelosi).  I notice that your reply to my Giuliani post is right there in Jacqueline Alemany's tweet.  Did you get a copy? :)

119
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2019, 10:58:45 AM »
Which, of course, is why Trump specifically told Zelenskyy to talk to his No. 1 crime investigator: Rudy Giuliani.  He's done outstanding service, working in the Department of...uh...hmm, who is it that Giuliani works for again?  ???  And why was he one of the people Zelenskyy was supposed to talk to? ;)

Yeah, Trump just wants a crime to be investigated.  Just like he never said The Wall would be made of concrete.  ::)

(BTW, just to be clear, the summary is not an actual transcript. 

As it says at the beginning: "CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty Officers and-NSC policy staff assigned to listen.and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place.  A number of factors can affect 'the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation. The word "inaudible" is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.")

120
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:44:07 PM »
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In any event, that's a completely bizarre tack for you to take given your neverending support for the Mueller investigation for which the predicate is far less.  Somehow you seem to believe that the President is required to ignore what appears, on the surface to be a Politician's son getting a job based on graft or improper connections, where the Politcian's father expressly conditioned US benefits on firing the prosecutor that was investigating the same company.

What part of the Constitution do you believe supports your belief that the President is required to ignore what on the surface looks to be a blatant violation of law and abuse of power?

You keep missing the point.

Trump wasn't serious about investigating Biden, because if he was, he would have had the serious investigators do it, not him.  He would have had an investigation opened to do it, before he purportedly pressured the Ukrainian President to investigate.  He had much better ways of doing an investigation than the way he did.  He wouldn't have mentioned Barr five times; he would have referred him to Barr to coordinate the investigation.

However, he didn't have any better way to get dirt on Biden under the table.  Which is why it seems to be the more likely explanation.

121
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:34:53 PM »
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Well lay it out, what statute did Trump violate and how.

That will be interesting to see what Trump violated.

Just remember, it doesn't have to be a statute.  As Wikipedia explains to us laymen:

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The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials, such as dishonesty, negligence, perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of public funds or assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, refusal to obey a lawful order, chronic intoxication, including such offenses as tax evasion. Offenses by officials also include ordinary crimes, but perhaps with different standards of proof and punishment than for nonofficials, on the grounds that more is expected of officials by their oaths of office. The word "High" refers to the office and not the offense. Indeed the offense may not even be a breach of criminal statute.See Harvard Law Review "The majority view is that a president can legally be impeached for “intentional, evil deeds” that “drastically subvert the Constitution and involve an unforgivable abuse of the presidency” — even if those deeds didn’t violate any criminal laws."

Abuse of authority (using the office of the Presidency and withholding funds allocated by Congress) might fit nicely. :)

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I would love to understand the mental process that leads you to believe he didn't want to prosecute Biden if he was guilty.

I'm sure he'd love to prosecute Biden if he was guilty.  But his advisers may have told him there wasn't enough evidence.

Fortunately, for a smear campaign, you don't need that much evidence. ;)

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Well I agree with that, Trump's is a made up crime related -potentially- to actually doing his job to investigate what appears could have been an actual crime, so they do have little in common.

However, I feel no inclination to let you set fake narratives free from pointing out the blatant hypocrisy.

Well, that's what an investigation determines, isn't it?  If there was a crime committed or not.  And we won't know until all the evidence is seen.

And while you may see "blatant hypocrisy," and while there may even be such, there is still the matter of the crimes themselves.  It still doesn't matter if Biden is guilty of a crime or not in regards to whether Trump committed a crime or not.  Unless you're one of those who would be standing in the aforementioned puddle of blood... ;)

122
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:10:43 PM »
Wayward

Do you understand why Trump wanted to know wtf happened? The Steele Dossier had a large part of its origins in assumptions and outright falsehoods that were ironically brought to falsehood during Manafort"s trial. And the fact of the matter is that the DNC was looking in Ukraine especially for the DNC server info. The strangeness is that the origins of the Steele Dossier ultimately seems to be in the Ukraine.

After 2 and a half years of the Russia bull*censored*- where yes Trump was vindicated, he promised he wanted to know how this started and where its origins are. Most people paying attention know its the DNC, and Ukraine.

If the server gets released- Obama has some serious explaining to do.

We have literally gone through an attempted coup.

Except he never really believed that.  He just wanted dirt that he could use for his campaign.

Because he never opened a formal investigation.  He never got the experts involved.  He never got our professionals involved, the ones he's in charge of, the ones who could have done a better job than he could.

Show me that the Justice Department was investigating Biden and had asked for his help.  Otherwise, you're just fantasizing.

123
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:06:24 PM »
BTW, it is better to wait for the entire complaint to be released before jumping to conclusions, since this AP article from September 20 suggests that the complaint is “based on a series of events.”

If true, that means that one lousy transcript means nothing.

124
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:02:56 PM »
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?

As Grant suggested, it would be better for the professional investigators to coordinate with the Ukrainians for an investigation, rather than having a President pressuring the Ukrainians to come up with something.

125
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 04:49:55 PM »
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And no Wayward, I'm not dropping discussion of the underlying crime, since you seem to be asserting that the President investigating a crime is somehow criminal just because it relates to his political opponents.

No, Seriati, don't stop talking about Biden supposed crime.  Please, keep talking about it.  Start a thread on it.  I'll start it for you, if you'd like.

Just don't talk about INSTEAD of Trump's possible crime.

Because, as is obvious to any disinterested observer, Trump did not "investigate" this supposed "crime."  Because if he wanted to investigate it, he would have called in the professional investigators.  That's what they do.  They know how to do it, not some New York real estate magnate.  They are the ones who can do the job.  Even the "Genius Trump" is smart enough to realize that.

No, he just wanted dirt.  He didn't want to prosecute Biden.  He just wanted to smear him.

So discuss Biden's possible crime, Seriati.  Just not on this thread.  Because we're talking about Trump possible crime here.  And the one has little to nothing to do with the other.

126
So you're doubling down on the last time Trump said no commitments was 6 months or a year earlier?  That said meeting was being scheduled earlier in the week and members of his admin said the same thing ealier in the week.

As I said to TheDeamon, maybe you should check the dates yourself.

Yes, the news conference with the Italian Prime Minister was over a year ago, July 30, 2018.

But Trump's interview with Chuck Todd was a mere 12 weeks earlier on June 23, 2019--3 months.  Mike Pence said the same thing that day to Jake Tapper.

And, yes, after that, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said on Fox News that he would meet without pre-conditions on August 28, 2019.  And Mnuchin and Pompeo said so again on September 10, 2019.

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Then IRAN BLEW UP SAUDI OIL REFINERIES and said meeting was cancelled.

At that point you don't think a reasonable reporter would infer that Trump appears to no longer be willing to meet without pre-conditions based on a change of circumstances?  What exactly were they saying before Trump's tweet?  Did you go look?  Were they saying Trump was lying because he apparently had pre-conditions, or criticizing because he was "willing to meet without them after these atrocities"?  What was he reacting to?

Frankly, I don't know where to look to see what Trump was looking at and reacting to.  Does anyone?  What makes you think there necessarily was such a report? ;)

And it still does not excuse him from blaming the "fake news" media that he said he would meet with Iran without conditions.  Because he said it.  Repeatedly.  So did his staff.  Repeatedly.  Days before he changed his mind.

He could have corrected them.  But, no, he assumed (as apparently you do) that they should read his mind.  "Infer" that he changed it.  After all, why should the President actually have to state what is on his mind.  We apparently should all know what he is thinking before he says it, or it's "fake news!"  ::)

Would you have stood for this behavior from Obama?  If not, why do you stand for it from Trump?

127
General Comments / Trump Fights Air Pollution in California
« on: September 25, 2019, 03:43:57 PM »
How does the Trump Administration prove it wants clear air for all citizens.

First, it tries to revoke California's abiltiy to determine their tailpipe emissions standards and to relax those standards (even though many of the the major auto companies have no problem with those rules).

Then a few days later, it threatens to pull back Federal funds to fight air pollution because “California has the worst air quality in the United States,” and "many of the state’s plans to fight air pollution “are inactive and appear to have fundamental issues” that would keep the feds from approving them."

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The EPA is giving California until Oct. 10 to cooperate. If the state does not, the agency said it will begin disapproving its air quality plans. After that point, the agency can block approvals for industrial operations that want to expand within 18 months, and withhold highway funding within 24 months.

So the White House's plan to fight "the worst air quality in the United States" is to either lower emissions standards in the state's cars and/or prevent their air quality plans from being implemented.  Yep, that's a recipe that will sure help a lot!  ::)

128
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 11:34:48 AM »
Who is saying we should not investigate Biden?

If Trump wants to, let him open an inquiry with the Department of Justice.  Put someone in charge of the Department of Justice he trusts to do a good job.  That is how it's done.

So it's settled.  We don't need to discuss Biden anymore.  If someone wants to discuss Biden, let's start a new thread on it.

Let's stick to the subject at hand.  Did Trump unduly use the power of his office to try to get dirt on Biden for his re-election campaign?

Seriati, why did Trump withhold the funds to Ukraine?  You have at least four choices so far.  Choose your answer carefully (more carefully than the Trump Administration is). :)

The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Huh-huh.  Sorry, I'm from Missouri.  If the conversation was completely legitimate and proper, then I want to know exactly why someone filed a whistle blower complaint about it and how it got an "urgent" and "credible" status and why it was not handed over to Congress as required by law.  Not to mention verifying that the conversation that Trump released is unredacted and the one in question.

I don't trust this President, and neither should you.  Let's look at all the facts before jumping to conclusions.

129
I don't know, when did he?  Did you see the media query on whether the tweet meant he had withdrawn his prior offer?  I sure didn't.

Let's review the tweet again:

"The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, “No Conditions.” That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)."

Not much chance for confusion, is there?  "I am willing to meet with Iran, "No Conditions"...is an incorrect statement..." 

Quote
Again though, meet the challenge, show where the "gloss" in the media report is supported from the statements in the tweet (we already know if you guys could you would have already and not devolved into the standard ad hominem arguments that are your go to's these days).  I already pointed out the tweet was on Sunday after a major event on Saturday that scuttled an attempt at arranging a meeting (an actual actual that demonstrates there may be a a change in plan - or did you miss that).  I have no idea what was being said on Sunday - but I put some speculation above - to which he was responding.

In any event, you're going a heck of a long way to ignore the timeline (and I acknowledged the statements from his administration) to justify and try to make "reasonable" the media's overstatement.  Why is that?

What "overstatement" are you talking about?  What "gloss?" 

Trump said that "The Fake News media is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, "No Conditions.""  That is a true statement, because that is exactly what he had been consistently saying over the past few months.

He then continues, "That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)."  When did he tell "The Fake News media" it was untrue?  Oooh, that's right, in the previous sentence!

But "as usual," they were reporting an incorrect statement. Because he just told them he changed his mind a second ago!  ::)

Any parsing of his statement shows that he blames the "Fake News media" for incorrectly reporting that he said that he would meet with Iran with no preconditions, as usual.  He wants you to believe that he never said it.  He thinks his supporters are that stupid.

No gloss.  No overstatement.  Just facts, which Trump conveniently ignores when it suits him.

130
I can't keep up.  Is that a lie, a misstatement, fake news, flip-flop or evolving position or just a witch hunt?

Well, if we could get a time frame for those quotes WS gave, that would help immensely.

He may have been open to talks "without conditions" regarding a Nuclear deal a year ago.

But a lot has changed in just the last few months. "Mysterious" attacks on shipping near Iran, a US drone getting shot down, an attack on Saudi Arabia that appears to have at least had support from Iran if not outright perpetrated by Iran...

I'd say the position has probably "evolved" since a year ago.

Now if those quotes were from last week instead..

You can find when those quotes were made with a five minute internet search.  Probably three minute.  Aren't you curious? ;)

Besides, I already mentioned Pompeo and Mnuchin saying he would meet with "no preconditions" five days before the tweet.  That's less than a week.

As I said before, it's OK for his position to change.  But he doesn't admit it, does he?  No, it's "fake news" that he ever wanted to meet.  We have always been at war with Eastasia...

131
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 24, 2019, 03:13:42 PM »
As yossarian said, if Trump was legitimately "investigating" possible corruption by Joe Biden and his son, he would (should?) have gone though legitimate channels.  Would his asking the Ukrainian President for information hold up in a court of law?  Especially if it is shown that he threatened to withhold funds to the country to get the information (thereby influencing the outcome of the "investigation?")

It is obvious that he did not intend the information for use in a legitimate prosecution.  Thus, it was for the court of public opinion, aka his re-election campaign.

132
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:50:49 PM »
Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

And, of course, regardless of what Biden did or did not do, that has no bearing on Trump's behavior and whether it was a high crime or not.

You know, "whataboutism" is the reason why Trump would get away with shooting someone on 5th Avenue.

Imagine Trump standing on 5th Avenue with a smoking gun in his hand and a body at his feet.  His supporters would immediately surround him and start arguing:

"The Clintons murdered many people, like Vincent Foster, Seth Rich and so many others, and they were never prosecuted for their crimes.  So why do we suddenly want Donald prosecuted for shooting this man?  Politicians get away with murder all the time.  It's a normal thing in American politics.  The only reason people want to prosecute Donald is because he is a Republican and is getting Republican programs instituted, like the Wall, and the Democrats can't stand it.  Why, if Obama had shot someone on 5th Avenue, the mainstream media and Congress would have said practically nothing about it!  You know it's true!  This is just a political witch hunt like all the other witch hunts that Trump has endured.  We should be investigating Congress and the mainstream media about their corrupt use of their powers, not Trump!"

And they'd say this even as the blood puddled around them and soaked into the soles of their shoes. :)

Let's find out if Trump really did threaten to withhold American funds, approved by Congress, in order to pressure the Ukrainian President to come up with dirt on Trump's political opponent.  Because at the end of the day, that is what is really important now, not what Biden did.

If Biden did wrong, prosecute him for it.  But that has nothing to do with whether Trump did wrong or not.

133
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:33:11 PM »
ElectorlaVote.com had a pretty good summary of the Ukraine/Biden controversy, IMHO:

Quote
[T]he company at the center of all of this is Burisma Holdings, a natural gas concern in Ukraine. That company is owned by a client of Hunter Biden's law firm (former Ukrainian government official Mykola Zlochevsky) and shortly after Biden's colleague and business partner Devon Archer joined Burisma's board, Biden joined the board as well (this was in April 2014). Since Biden had no expertise in the area of natural gas, it was a curious choice, as was his generous compensation package (often as much as $50,000 a month). If all of this seems to have a slightly unsavory odor, well, that's a fair assessment. Not helping things is that Burisma had attracted the attention of government authorities prior to Biden joining the firm, and was under investigation by both the UK and Ukraine when he accepted his seat on the board.

As noted above, Joe Biden enters the story in 2016, while he was vice president. As the Obama administration and much of the international community had concluded that the Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin was rotten to the core, Biden—acting as an envoy for the administration—helped oust him, primarily by threatening to withhold aid from Ukraine as long as Shokin was in place.

At this point, Donald Trump's thought process becomes crystal clear. If Biden was acting with an eye toward helping his son, then he and Trump would have done literally the same thing: used U.S. foreign aid as leverage against Ukraine in exchange for personal concessions. The problem for Trump is that he's relying on a lie that Shokin told to Giuliani, and that is entirely unsupported by evidence. To start, although Shokin's office was technically investigating Burisma in 2014, there was little activity on that front by 2016, and indeed, the British had grown frustrated with what appeared to them to be obstruction, as if Shokin was actually trying to protect the company. On top of that, it wasn't just Joe Biden who thought that Shokin had to go. As Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council explained to the Wall Street Journal, "The whole G-7, the IMF, the EBRD, everybody was united that Shokin must go, and the spokesman for this was Joe Biden." And finally, for the Biden conspiracy to be true, Barack Obama would have to have been a willing participant. This is the same man who ran one of the most remarkably scandal- and corruption-free presidencies in memory.

In summary, one can look askance at Hunter Biden, who may have traded on his familial connections to claim a handsome salary from a shady Ukrainian company. However, there is no evidence that Joe Biden's actions vis-à-vis Shokin were undertaken to help his son, or had any other corrupt intent. In fact, there's an argument that getting rid of Shokin actually put Hunter Biden at greater legal risk, since an honest prosecutor was more likely to turn the screws on Burisma than a dishonest one. That means that if Trump is counting on a defense of "I did the same thing Biden did," then he's really stepped in it.

134
I remind you of that?  Lol.  I'll make it even more simple, where in the tweet did Trump "deny he previously offered"? 

It's pretty obvious to me that they (and you) are reading more into that tweet than is there and making assumptions about it in the write up.  There's legit criticisms to be had, I even flagged a few for you, but the inability to even acknowledge that the media seems to be overreading their source troubles me.

He didn't need to "deny he previously offered."  He simply said that him making the offer was fake news, period.  IOW, he denied ever making the offer.

Five days before this tweet, Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin said he would meet with "no preconditions."

The only excuse I can see is if he changed his mind.  But before this tweet, when did he withdraw his offer to meet without conditions?  Does he believe the media can read his mind?  ::)

What disturbs me is how Trump encourages his followers to doubt everything the media reports about him, blames the media for his own mistakes, and tries to hide his mistakes and crimes by casting all reports about them as "fake news."

Not to mention how some people try to find any excuse to justify and try to make "reasonable" this man's claims.  Apologetics should be left to those crazy creationists. :)

135
General Comments / Is it Still DUI if the Horse is Sober?
« on: September 19, 2019, 11:45:01 AM »
Apparently it is.

Quote
wo Amish men drinking alcoholic beverages while operating a horse and buggy carrying a 12-pack of Michelob Ultra and outfitted with a giant stereo system.

It's not something you see every day. But the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department in Ohio say that's exactly what they witnessed during a routine patrol in the county's Amish community.
Deputy Eric Hermsdorfer came across the men while on patrol the early morning of September 15. When he attempted to stop and question them about drinking and driving, they leaped out of the buggy and disappeared into the woods by the side of the road, according to a police report.
Meanwhile, the horse pulling the buggy also took off, but Hermsdorfer caught up to it. The men, though, were gone.
Yeah, definitely not a routine stop.
Hermsdorfer turned the horse over to a local farmer until the two men came forward. The sheriff's department has attempted to call different people to pick up the horse, but no one has answered the phone, according to the report.
The two men could be charged with failure to comply with the deputy's commands, Chief Deputy Joe Dragovich told CNN affiliate WJW.
Dragovich also said drinking and driving laws still apply to the buggy, even if it's pulled by a horse and not licensed.

I would think that the horse would have enough sense not to do anything dangerous, mitigating most of the deleterious effects of the alcohol.

Is this another case of government overreach? :)

136
My main criticism is his first few words: "The Fake News is saying..."  It's fine for him to change is mind; it is not fine for him to pretend he never said it and then accuse the media of lying about it.

Remember this every time he talks about "fake news."

137
Donald Trump@realDonaldTrump:

Quote
The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, “No Conditions.” That is an incorrect statement (as usual!).

Donald Trump, talking with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:

President Trump: “You [Iran] want to talk? Good.”

Chuck Todd: “No preconditions?”

President Trump: “Not as far as I’m concerned. No preconditions.”

At a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Conte:

Quote
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet.  I don’t know that they’re ready yet.  They’re having a hard time right now.

But I ended the Iran deal; it was a ridiculous deal.  I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet, and I’m ready to meet any time they want to.  And I don’t do that from strength or from weakness.  I think it’s an appropriate thing to do.  If we could work something out that’s meaningful, not the waste of paper that the other deal was, I would certainly be willing to meet.

Q:    Do you have preconditions for that meeting?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No preconditions.  No.  If they want to meet, I’ll meet.  Anytime they want.  Anytime they want.  It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us, and good for the world.  No preconditions.  If they want to meet, I’ll meet.

So who you gonna believe?  The lying Fake News media, or President Trump? ;)

138
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 10, 2019, 01:37:00 PM »

You never claim it was proven, just that it has to be believed. Jesus.

I never said it has to be believed.  I only said that I believed it, based on what I believe I know about Trump and the news media.  That between a man who lies regularly, has shown disdain for the law, and has asked people to commit illegal acts for him, and a news media which lives on its reputation to tell facts and which has processes to try to ensure what it prints is true, I tend to believe the latter.  I never said the news media was infallible, or that everyone has to believe this report.  I just wanted to make sure everyone understood that something that is not proven to be true is not necessarily false, and that you actually need proof to prove something is false.

Now why don't you answer the more interesting question (at least to me): if this report is verified by the notes of those at the meeting that Trump has actually promised to pardon anyone who broke the law in order to get the wall built, what does that do to the claims of those who said the report was false and "fake news"? :)

139
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: September 09, 2019, 03:48:05 PM »
Oh, yeah, and as a side note: John  Oliver was talking about Brexit last night, and mentioned that several MPs have quit over the issue, including a certain Jo Johnson, who happens to be Boris' brother.  :o

140
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: September 09, 2019, 03:44:00 PM »
If you're at all interested in the Brexit Crisis, check out Charlie Stross' blog. (Charlie is a British SF author, which gives him the home field advantage on perspective.) 

I'm especially interested* in his statement that the "referendum that was only upheld by the courts because it was non-binding (so the foreign interference and straight-up vote rigging couldn't be held a violation of election law)." They may wreck the UK economy over a non-binding referendum??  ::) 

(*Interested enough to mention it, but not to research to verify it. :) )


141
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:52:37 PM »
There have been a couple of mass shootings lately that not a single person here posted a condemnation of. Using the logic above, this proves everyone here supports and condones mass shootings.

Does that help you?

No, not really.  If I had started a thread loudly condemning a mass shooting by a Conservative, but then had said nothing about previous ones by a Liberals, then there might be a parallel, and you could ask me to clarify my position as to whether it was the mass-shooting or the fact that it was a Conservative who did it that was more important.  But since I didn't, I don't see why I should. (And for the record, I am completing and unutterably against all mass shootings, especially aimed at political opponents, if I wasn't clear about that before. ;) )

And if that situation had occurred, I don't think I would mind clarifying my position with the above statement, if only to dispel rumors. :)

So, no, that is not my logic, and I still would like you to clarify your position on whether you condemn boycotts per se, or only those against Conservatives.  Unless, of course, you'd prefer that we come to our own conclusions without your input. ;)

142
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:25:19 PM »
... a boycott by a business against an individual seems a lot like a boycott by individuals against a business...

No. A private business can be compelled by law to serve a customer. A customer cannot be compelled by law to patronize a private business. I suspect you're just being silly but I'm not sure.

Very true.  However, I was referring to a boycott of a business that boycotted an individual, which is not compelling the business by law to serve a customer.  Rather, it was trying to compel a business through a boycott to obey the law (although I'm not sure the law covers discriminating against customers based on political affiliation and/or being a part of a government administration).

So while you are correct that a boycott by a business against an individual is not exactly a boycott by individuals against a business, and the former is often illegal, it still does not address why a boycott against a business that boycotted an individual is good, while a boycott against a group of businesses that support an evil Administration (in the eyes of those who are boycotting) is evil.

143
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:08:35 PM »
But what if proof never came?

Boom.

More like "Pfft." :)  I never claimed the report was proven.  I am just objecting to anyone who falsely claims that the report is false.

And, BTW, we may find out.  The House Judiciary Committee is subpoenaing the notes from that meeting.  Will it still be "fake news" if contemporaneous notes by the people there confirm the report?  Will it still be a lie if those who took the notes testify in front of Congress that their notes are accurate?

What it could be is an actual instance of attempted bribery.

Quote
Trump is more exposed here than he probably realizes. Legally speaking, it doesn't matter at all whether or not the pardons were actually given, only that they were offered. Further, even if he thought it was a joke, what actually matters is what his underlings heard. If they believed it was a straight offer, then that would be enough to make it an illegal bribe.

Admittedly, anonymous reports must be taken with more than a grain of salt.  But that alone doesn't make them false.  As I said before, we've seen numerous instances where anonymous sources actually told the truth, which was revealed later.  So while we should put them on the shelf marked "Needs further evidence," we should not dismiss them out-of-hand.

And if this report eventually ends with the headline, "Trump Impeached for Attempted Bribery," now that would be a "BOOM!" :)

144
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 06, 2019, 06:45:03 PM »
Quote
Playing the SAT analogy game, a single tyrant is to an entrenched bureaucracy, what a state-run propaganda network is to a decentralized news media with a general agenda. The latter systems (decentralized, with no one person to blame) are the most efficient of the corrupt forms, as no person will ever be obviously at fault, every participant can claim ignorance or that they were following instructions from a higher up (who in turn use lower-downs as fall guys in crisis), and there is no direct line of recourse during a conflict. Further, the decentralized system has a fluctuating degree of truthfulness and slant, so that there is no certain way to measure spin or misdirection, or even to name exactly 'where' the spin is coming from. It ends up coming from everyone and nowhere, because if you pinpoint one case of it there will always be a convenient excuse, or a motte and bailey "hey, why did you take it so literally anyhow, we just reported what we heard". So yeah, it's totally convenient that this system maximally enables the same behavior RT does except that unlike the Russians we in North America don't like being aware that they're doing it.

Doesn't this apply to every system of reporting where a consensus view of reality prevails?

I mean, one of the responses to the accusation that the media has a liberal bias is that reality has a liberal bias.  If reporting the truth accurately favors one side over the other, how can you differentiate that from a decentralized media with an agenda?

Quote
I would actually be satisfied with the bar being set *so* high that it would be difficult, at least initially, to even function as a news network. Let their licences be torched if they're caught ever faking photos or reporting without investigating (i.e. repeating what someone else told them). However I have faith in human ingenuity enough that I know in a different ecosystem where the bar was set much higher people would find a way to do news under those constraints. The means to execute reporting in that manner would have a learning curve and then would eventually become standard. I don't really expect that, although I'm confident that even that level of rigor is doable if that's actually what was required. If the current crop of media companies didn't like it I'm sure a new crop of people who actually feel compelled to serve the public (rather than make a media empire) would step up.

While I would also like to see the news media not be profit-driven, we have what we have.

And everyone, please consider once again, what if proof was found that this story was true?  It is a distinct possibility.  One that declaring the story is a lie discounts.

145
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 06:37:47 PM »
Since the blacklist purpose was to boycott, and a boycott by a business against an individual seems a lot like a boycott by individuals against a business, and since I was referring to a boycott of a business--no, I think you do have to explain. :)

146
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 03:30:22 PM »
Well, without further information of what you do and don't support, what are we supposed to do? ;)

Why don't you just further elaborate on your position, rather than attacking those who ask the question?

147
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 03:09:07 PM »
Well, where do you draw the line between a "good" boycott and a "bad" one then?

148
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 06, 2019, 02:59:40 PM »
Quote
Unless I'm crazy I thought Seriati's point is literally that these 'anonymous reports' are self-serving and not to be trusted. He used the word "propaganda", which has strong connotations of not just this one reporter as being questionable, but rather the entire media network that pays the reporter's salary. In fact the term "reporter" is practically void of most of its content that it used to imply so I would personally avoid being concerned about the pros and cons of each particular writer when speaking broadly about propaganda-related issues.

While I agree that 'anonymous reports' are self-serving and not to be trusted, you can't just declare any such story absolutely false or a lie.  Either extreme will be wrong sooner or later.  This very story may very well be proven (even to the satisfaction of a court of law) to be true in the future.  I rather expect it will.

Remember, "true" and "false" in real life is not a binary choice.  There are degrees of each.  In this case, because the story comes from anonymous sources who cannot be verified or vetted, there is a fairly low degree of reliability in the story.  But low does not mean zero.  There is a chance it is actually true, that the reporter(s) actually talked to people who witness the event and reported it truthfully.  But until we know all the facts, we cannot know which it is.  We can only estimate the probabilities.

Even when I say I believe the story, I am actually only expressing probabilities.  I am only saying that I believe that the story is more likely to be true than to be false, IMHO.

Quote
You've just hit the magic button: as long as a certain percentage of reports turn out to be true it gives green light to throw in spurious ones on the grounds that "you can probably trust us." This is how all efficient state propaganda is conducted, including that done by the KGB: mix a lot of truth in with the misdirection to lend credibility. If literally everything you say is lies the system fails.

But also remember that "the media" in America is not a single entity.  We don't have a state-run media (medium?  ??? ) coordinating with a single purpose.  We have a variety of actors, some good, some bad, some lazy, some indifferent.  So we will never have a media that is always truthful.  Conversely, we will never have a media that always lies, or even coordinates its lies in order to maximize its ability to fool the public (unless the state or something similar takes it over).  So we all have to deal with an uncertain media, which we can never completely trust (and will never earn our complete trust), but which we can never completely distrust, either.

If you demand that the media will always be truthful, and never make a mistake or tell a lie, then you have set a bar so high no media will ever gain your trust.

149
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 11:50:40 AM »
Well, it would help if you actually decried on the record the list of boycotts that TheDrake listed, and had shown outrage at previous boycotts, like the Virginia GOP's boycott of the Red Hen restaurant.

150
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 06, 2019, 11:19:17 AM »
Quote
If liar 1's statements cannot be taken seriously, then you know nothing at all about the events in question. If you think you can glean a probability of Trump lying based on a disreputable report, and then claim you still have basis to believe Trump lied, then you could also hear no report at all, close your eyes, and at any time saying that you believe Trump lied (about whatever you like). Do you see now? You're basically pulling "Trump lied" out of the air totally at random if you're willing to believe liar 1 about the nature of an event. May as well eliminate the middleman and just announce Trump has lied whenever you like. This is why the discussion has to be about whether the reporter should be considered to be a known liar or not. Because otherwise you're writing the news yourself. And that is not 'the other side' of Seriati's position.

Except that the discussion was never about whether the reporter was a liar or not.

We've never mentioned the reporter's name.  We've never analyzed his previous reports.  No, he is just another faceless reporter who had anonymous sources.  We've assumed from the beginning that, since he used anonymous sources, his story must be a lie.  Or, at least, that is what I've understood Seriati's argument to be.

And that is both stupid and irresponsible.

Stupid because some reports from anonymous sources have turned out to be true.  You can't discount all anonymous reports.

Irresponsible because, if you don't give at least some credence to the media, even to reports from anonymous sources, then you have taken away our best resource to keep the government in check.  Because a lot of whistle-blowing occurs from anonymous sources, who see possible illegal activities but don't want to lose their jobs or be punished in other ways.  Which means that the government can keep just about everything in the dark through intimidation.  Which means we are kept in the dark.

Certainly an anonymous report is not worthy of legal action.  But it is worthy of keeping an eye on the government about.  Because it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a President that only evaded obstruction of justice because his underling neglected to follow orders might not have tried to influence illegal behavior by offering pardons.  IMHO.

Of course, if you insist, I can modify my stance, too.  If we discount everything that liar 1 says, then we should also discount everything liar 2 says.  So when someone defends Trump because Trump denied something, he is writing the news himself, too, because we don't know anything, because everyone is a liar, and we can't trust anyone.

And in that case, what else can we do but write the news ourselves. :(

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