The Dangers Of Know-Nothingness

I don’t know which is more maddening–the ignorance of the voters who were willing to turn the country over to a man who had no concept of domestic policy or world affairs and a clear disinclination to learn–or the hubris of an aggrieved con artist who fancies himself immensely more able than he is.

Trump is a walking manifestation of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

The New Yorker has published an article detailing the reactions of experts–aka people who actually know what they are talking about–to Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran accord. The article begins by confirming that Iran is in full compliance with the terms of that agreement, and that the other signatories–including countries we consider close allies–all counseled against Trump’s action.

Critics were scathing about the U.S. withdrawal. James Dobbins, a former U.S. Ambassador to the E.U., who negotiated with Iran after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and now works at the RANDCorporation, said that the decision “isolates the United States, frees Iran, reneges on an American commitment, adds to the risk of a trade war with America’s allies and to a hot war with Iran and diminishes the prospects of a durable and truly verifiable agreement to eliminate the North Korean nuclear and missile threat.”

Wendy Chamberlin, a former career diplomat who is now the president of the Middle East Institute in Washington, warned that by forfeiting American leadership in the one successful multilateral deal in the volatile Middle East, Trump risks making a bad situation worse.

The withdrawal from the agreement comes days before the U.S. moves its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, another controversial decision that has inflamed anti-American passions. “Trump is pouring gasoline on a Middle East in flames already, with his Iran and Jerusalem decisions,” Bruce Riedel, a former C.I.A., White House, and Pentagon staffer who is now at the Brookings Institution, told me.

Trump’s decision also undermines the transatlantic alliance, crafted after the Second World War, between the United States and Europe. The President defied a determined last-ditch pitch by America’s three most important European allies, made during visits by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

Daniel Kurtzer, a former Ambassador to Israel and Egypt now at Princeton University, said Trump has reneged on America’s word and undermined American credibility.

“The United States used to be the leader, the convener, and the engine of international diplomacy. Trump’s actions have turned us into an untrustworthy and erratic diplomatic outlier.”

Re-imposing sanctions on Iran will create the greatest division between Europe and the U.S. since the Iraq War, Mark Fitzpatrick, the executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies office in Washington, told me. “Only this time it will be worse, since not a single European state sides with the U.S. on this matter.” Beyond Europe, American credibility worldwide “will go down the tubes,” he said. “Who will ever want to strike a deal with a country that, without cause, pulls out of a deal that everyone else knows has been working well? America will be seen as stupid, arrogant, and bullying. Pity the poor U.S. diplomats who have to explain this illogical decision to their host countries.”

And then–once again–there’s Russia. As several foreign policy experts have pointed out, Trump’s decision benefits Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.  It strengthens Russia’s hand and diminishes that of the United States. On CNN, Michael McFaul, a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, was blunt. “We’re playing into Putin’s hand.”

Is that collusion? Or just Trump’s trademark incompetence?

The Know-Nothings–Trump and his base–don’t care. They are incapable of distinguishing between bluster and substance.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are watching an un-self-aware ignoramus lay waste to America’s global influence and good name.

43 thoughts on “The Dangers Of Know-Nothingness

  1. Sheila,

    “Meanwhile, the rest of us are watching an un-self-aware ignoramus lay waste to America’s global influence and good name.”

    As I keep saying, we’ve become a NATION OF FOOLS, DEVOID OF ANY CIVIC COURAGE. Let’s face it, Trump is only 50% of the problem.

  2. “We’re playing into Putin’s hand.” I am going one step further. Trump did what Putin told him to do. Even though Russia is a signatory to the Iran deal, its heart was never in it. And since then Iran and Russia have become allies in their support of Assad in Syria. Putin’s aim is to create chaos and division, both inside the U.S. and among the NATO allies. Good job, traitor!

  3. I have NEVER heard the press ask something like this :

    “Mr President, can you tell us WHAT you dislike in the agreement?”

    “What do YOU think the changes should be?”

    “How do you think that might work?”

    This dumb ass knows nothing except it is an Obama artifact.

  4. Alphons,

    “Good job, traitor!”

    Right-on. I would suggest before or after using the name Trump, Pence, Bannon, or Koch the word TRAITOR should always be used when appropriate.

  5. Why do we vest this power in the executive anyway–to pull away from such an important deal? Shouldn’t Congress be involved in decisions of this importance?

  6. “The Know-Nothings–Trump and his base–don’t care. They are incapable of distinguishing between bluster and substance.”

    “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” W.C. Fields

    In my humble opinion the Republican party DOES know something; something we do NOT know. That is WHY they dumped 16 actual politically experienced possible nominees (whether we agreed with them or not) to nominate Trump as their chosen one for the President of the United States. We have watched the Republican party change drastically over the past 20 years or so but until their selection of Trump they didn’t appear stupid or destructive of democracy or wanting nuclear war. Well; maybe their choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate was a clue we missed.

    We DO know that Citizens United allowed the Republican party, and yes, some Democrats, to be bought and paid for so maybe the answer lies with the 1%. We do know that much of what is happening pertains to “follow the money.” A line from “Gone With The Wind” comes to mind; “There is as much money to be made in the destruction of a civilization as there is in building it.” But; is the destruction of our own country the aim of those who own the Republican party, Congress, SCOTUS and Trump and his base? Trump himself brought Putin and Russia into this equation throughout his bid for the nomination and his campaign which was also rife with unspecified neo-Nazi, White Nationalist and KKK foundations. Believing himself to be smarter than anyone else, he denies the Russian connection now that he is being so thoroughly investigated.

    So far his every decision, his every action has simply been AGAINST set governmental policies, decisions, enacted bills, rules, regulations, ordinances, logic, common sense, tradition, history and all past presidents…primarily President Barack Obama. Had President Obama refused to become part of the Iran deal with our long-time allies; entering the United States in the deal would have been Trump’s first official action and not denying Muslims entry to this country…or that effing wall. And so far he has been fully supported by the “No” Congress who stopped much of the progress attempted by President Obama. His own professed political party past presidents have spoken against him…but who did they vote for in 2016?

    “The Dangers Of Know-Nothings”

    I am beginning to fully believe WE are the primary “Know-Nothings” and will remain so unless and until we know why the 1% and the Republican party has thrust Fascism on this country through their choice of Donald Trump as president. And why Congress REFUSES to take the action required of them in our Constitution to remove him; read Article II, Section 1, paragraph 6. There is also that Oath of Office to protect and serve the United States of America and all Americans sworn to by all of Congress as well as Trump and Pence which has become meaningless.

  7. I would add that we are hopelessly watching Trump kill American democracy. There is no resistance to anything he does; the Republican congress is willing to approve any Trump idea, regardless of its consequences. The neutered Democrats and the press/media are afraid to challenge any of Trump’s “ideas”. How crazy is it that Al Franken and the Attorney General of NY and some other Congressmen resigned because of sexual harassment scandals, while Trump continues to be free to say or do whatever he wants? Trump is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m betting he wins a second term thanks to his loyal supporters and the rest of us looking away.

  8. Recommended reading:

    “Impeachment. A Citizen’s Guide.” Cass Sunstein

    “… the story of impeachment every citizen needs to know. This is a remarkable essential book.” Doris Kearnes Goodwin.

    paperback

  9. My first thought when reading this was that trump is following the advice of putin and putins contacts close to trump.

    We must maintain awareness that there are trump voters who believe he is the best President in decades and they are ready and willing to fight with anyone to defend him. However, when the reality of his blatant ignorance begins to cause those voters pain, they will follow Fox Noise and find a way to blame Obama.

  10. Finley Peter Dunne’s fictional bartender Mr. Dooley once said that the world’s problems are not due to what people don’t know. They are due to what people do know that ain’t so.

  11. Trying to politely inform people who voted for trump of the repercussions of his actions has not worked. I’m tired of being nice. Idiots are idiots and I’m now treating them like idiots. We cannot allow these peolpe to drag our country back to the feudal age.

  12. Geraldine,

    “Idiots are idiots and I’m now treating them like idiots. We cannot allow these peolpe to drag our country back to the feudal age.”

    We need to explain to them with SUFFICIENT FACTS [ unavoidable severe downside] that only an IDIOT would follow the likes of Trump, Pence, Bannon and Koch.

  13. I have been wondering lately what was on the mind of Ben Franklin when he said, “We’ve given you a Republic, if you can keep it.” Did he view the general public as lazy slugs who whould not bother to vote? Did he believe, if peace ever came to Europe, outside forces would eventually get around to more serious attempts at victory over us? It’s anyone’s guess.

    Both of those things have come to pass. Nearly half of us don’t vote, claiming there isn’t any difference between the candidates or that their votes don’t count. And with Europe enjoying its longest peace in centuries, Russia has decided that now is the time to destroy us by destroying our system of government in a cyber war. Having bought and paid for 45, they are still going after our voting systems, because there has been no effort by the Congress or the President to protect them.

    The Russians are now best friends with Iran, while we play with the Saudis and the Israelis. The Saudis have protected and funded terrorists for years and the Israelis only want us to go to war on their behalf to turn the Middle East into an inferno from which they believe only they will arise. And now we have the willfully ignorant 45 who doesn’t know enough to leave well enough alone. He’ll do what they want because they threw a big party for him.

  14. Begin with three words: OBAMA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. Then, add John Bolton and Benjamin Netenyahu. Stir in some Mike Pompeo and you have not just a mockery of democracy, but a stew for all-out dissemblance of reason, logic and hope for peace.

    Maybe some hero will step forward to remove this cancer in our government. Maybe that hero will be from a country that actually DOESN’T want to blow up the world, or create death and chaos for the sake of creating death and chaos. We, in the United States, don’t seem to be able or desirous of saving ourselves from our own mistakes.

    Trump and Republicanism is hell-bent on getting our nation gutted and thrown into the same pot that brought the devil’s soup of Hitlerism.

  15. Peggy,

    I agree with EVERYTHING you have just said. On the home page of my website: http://www.StrategicPower.org, for almost ten years, I have had the following quote from Professor Albert Einstein, “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”

    We must go deeper to the ROOT CAUSE of our affliction or we will be doomed. We’ve been terribly deceived.

  16. Nothing clever to say, no positive thoughts, very depressed. Why is nothing public about the millions of Russian Oligarch money being funneled to the Republican Party. They are going to steal another election and our democracy. Don’t tell me the Democrats are just as bad. That is rolling over and letting them have their way. If the Dems do not take back the house, the future is not just bleak, it is non-existent.

  17. Charlie,

    I don’t blame you for being very depressed. How could you be otherwise as you observe the DEADLY GAME between the IDIOTS and the FOOLS?

  18. Vernon,

    “Maybe some hero will step forward to remove this cancer in our government. Maybe that hero will be from a country that actually DOESN’T want to blow up the world, or create death and chaos for the sake of creating death and chaos.”

    It can’t come from someone in Europe. They are still relying on N.A.T.O. for their defense against the Russians. They can’t afford to alienate Trump or he can make them militarily IMPOTENT.

    We going to have to clean-up our own mess, if we’re to survive this POLITICAL PLAGUE.

  19. Trump is indeed a walking manifestation of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, especially when dealing with real-world economics, law, and diplomacy with entities big enough to hit back. However, he is effective at what he does know: serving his own personal emotional and political interests by manipulating the emotions of bigots and fools.

    He’s doing a good job of serving the interests of his paymaster Putin: driving Iran further into the Russia’s embrace, splitting up NATO to increase Russia’s power over Europe, and destroying the influence and reputation of the United States for a generation.

    Meanwhile, Trump and his cronies are doing a good job of personally cashing in via promotion of their own businesses, bribes from lobbyists, and doling out taxpayer money and regulatory favors to themselves and their partners.

    Politically and emotionally, “successfully” starting a war with Iran or some other target is a consummation devoutly to be wished from Trump’s standpoint. And unilaterally renouncing the Iran nuclear agreement should be seen as a deliberate step toward that goal.

    On the emotional level, a “splendid little war” offers Trump an unmatched opportunity to strut about in high dudgeon on the TV screen and before crowds of howling supporters, snarling contempt at both foreign and supposed domestic “enemies” while denouncing the latter as “traitors”. What fun!

    Politically, it offers a quick “wag the dog” solution to the problem of distracting the American news media and public from the rapidly snowballing revelations about the utter, fundamental corruption of his Russian-backed regime. Perhaps it will even offer an opportunity to employ more muscular solutions, especially if some well-timed terrorist attacks stampede the Congress, news media, and public into another post-9-11-style panic.

    Rally ’round the flag, boys, rally ’round the flag. By Jingo! You’re with us or you’re with the terrorists. Don’t be an “enemy of the people” by listening to “fake news!” Watch what you say, or they’ll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a political criminal.

    Just in time for the November elections, perhaps?

  20. Sheila,

    “Critics were scathing about the U.S. WITHDRAWAL. James Dobbins, a former U.S. Ambassador to the E.U., who negotiated with Iran after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and now works at the RANDCorporation, said that the decision “isolates the United States, frees Iran, reneges on an American commitment, adds to the risk of a trade war with America’s allies and to a HOT WAR WITH IRAN and diminishes the prospects of a durable and truly verifiable agreement to eliminate the North Korean nuclear and missile threat.”

    Earlier today, Israel attacked multiple Iranian targets in Syria. This was within 48 hours of our withdrawal from the Iranian deal. If nothing else, Trump will turn out to be the REAL ANTI-CHRIST.

  21. I’m afraid the relationship between Donald Trump and Steve Bannon has all the earmarks of the one between Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. More than likely, it will present, in a much shorter period of time, UNFORTUNATELY, the same basic result.

  22. Bottom line is the NEO-CONs who have made their reappearance want nothing less than the total surrender of Iran to the USA and Israel. The NEO-CONs want an unconditional surrender of Iran similar to the conditions imposed upon Germany and Japan in 1945. It is no secret the USA and Israel want regime change to go along with the Unconditional Surrender of Iran. Nothing less will do.

    The sanctions The Trumpet (aka Agent Orange) is threatening to impose will be test of resolve by the other signers of the Iran Deal. The expectations of the NEO-CONs is American power will force the other signers of the Iran Deal into unconditional surrender.

    I suppose a plan is a foot to create a False Flag Gulf of Tonkin type of incident, or some bogus claim of WMD’s to justify an attack on Iran.

    A similar demand will likely be made against Kim Jong-un of North Korea, i.e., Unconditional Surrender.

  23. Monotonous; are those sanctions Trump is threatening to impose the sanctions President Obama lifted as part of the release of 4 American detainees in Iran? The sanctions were lifted when President Obama agreed to RETURN $400 million to Iran which Iran had paid us for arms they never received? Trump accused Hillary Clinton of making the deal to pay $400 million to Iran for the release of the detainees. He has blamed Hillary and President Obama of everything but the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

  24. Monotonous,

    This should be called “The Double Whammy Mission.” Armageddon in the Middle East along with Nazi like anti-Semitism in America. That’s been the master plan of the REAL DEEP STATE since the late 60’s.

  25. I completely understand the depressed feelings of Charlie. It seems we have become a nation made up of dolts who can’t see the difference between real politics and reality show antics. Or can’t understand that “not so great” (Hillary) would have been far superior to “outright disaster.” Who would rather listen to their fundamentalist “pastors” than think for themselves.
    Until the vast majority of citizens begin to really take an interest in their government and learn to think critically, the whack-jobs and con artists will hold sway. Is it any wonder that when an authoritarian regime comes into power the first thing to be attacked is intelligence. Legitimate news outlets are called “fake” and important, highly complex jobs are given to nincompoops and thieves (DeVose, Pruitt, Perry, et al). Wonder how long it might be before blogs like this one are shut down? Critical thinkers are thrown into jail in China & Russia.
    Mr. Turner, I have ordered your book and look forward to reading it before it becomes banned.
    To quote Pogo, “We have met the enemy and they are us.”

  26. Well, Ms. Kennedy, maybe we should just call it what it is – blind ignorance. It doesn’t matter the agenda behind it, it is ignorant in its basis, its construct and its projected image; and ignorance doesn’t recognize ignorance. We have been breeding ignorant individuals by the school load, and still we hear the teachers cries going unheeded and ignored. Education is not wanted for the masses.., which is ignorant in its very statement! But they make sure their offspring are thoroughly indoctrinated and integrated into positions of power. And it goes either or any side. Why so many family members in our government? We have over 377,000,000 Citizens since when is one family better than another? pardon my french but FUCK THAT. That is not democracy that is a dictatorship of the self-thought-elite. part of that Dunning-Kruger Effect, ya know. I didn’t think we had royalty and lords or barons here – guess the medieval mindset just brings that along. eh?

  27. Many, many thanks for this post Sheila.

    Given what is happened over the course of the last two days to be quite frank I am frightened, frightened by the abject stupidity of this current administration and this total buffoon we have serving as our President. Given all his absurd ideas in regard to what he terms is being “America First” he is wrecking both our foreign policy and our national security in ways that will impact us for years and years very negatively.

    From what I’ve read he has hedge fund managers serving in important positions on the National Security Council as if the skills and knowledge they have in making money are an even-Steven substitute to the knowledge and thinking required at that level regarding protecting this nation and its interests around the world. Everything that he espouses is incoherent and while the vast majority of Americans may have tuned all this out to save their collective sanities we’re treading on thinner and thinner ice each and every day while they are tuned out.

    Yesterday, the Heyl Ha’Avir le Israel carried out a series of air strikes deep into Syria, attacking Iranian Quds Force targets, command and control facilities primarily, using bombs and missiles that is sure to lead to a response from Iran against Israel. Whether it will be carried out by Hezbollah, the Quds Force itself, or other Iranian proxies isn’t really important. A response will be forthcoming and you can bet on that. How will Trump’s government respond to that and when it does what will our response to what follows that be? With the Russians cozying up to the Iranians for a variety of reasons managing what could be a catastrophe will be that much harder and very likely much more dangerous.
    Right now, other than SECDEF Jim Mattis, there is no one in this current administration that is capable of thinking rationally about containing and not escalating further the brewing cauldron that exists in Syria. Both Bolton and Pompeo have indicated publicly their collective penchant for confronting Iran militarily which skews any diplomatic responses to this and renders them more than likely moribund. How does this government, as an example, handle a potential direct Russian intervention into this situation which could lead to events spiraling quickly out of control because regardless of what Russia does Israel will defend itself and they have the capability of wreaking the great damage on any hostile target within Syria proper with, essentially, total impunity? The Israeli Air force is that good.

    Given what the Trump administration is done regarding the Iranian nuclear deal they have seriously eroded, if not crippled, our ability to be an honest broker in regard to this situation or anything else that happens elsewhere in the world that threatens peace and stability. It’s like the lid on the pressure cooker has been removed by someone or something that has no idea, absolutely no idea, regarding the import of what they’re doing. Thus we run risks that are very grave and very likely to grow even graver perhaps by the hour in real time. The head clown and all of his subordinate clowns have put us all in a very dangerous position where war has been made much more likely and the risks of confrontations leading to it quickly have increased geometrically.

    I just finished reading an article in the US Naval Institute’s “Proceedings” regarding a potential naval conflict in southwest Asia with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army/Navy where the United States Navy, other than Indiana University being my alma mater, gets its rear end kicked badly by a Chinese navy more adept at naval combat and the rigors that it entails than we are. While this hypothetical scenario ends in a ceasefire it leaves this country and its maritime power in the Pacific badly damaged and incapable of responding to any other overt Chinese moves and veritable a shunts the linen on us being the preeminent naval power in the Pacific. Its author, a navy captain, reflects on the impact of the Republican Congress’ Sequestration on maintenance, readiness, force size/composition and training. All of these shortfalls and also the lack of leadership innovation that is permeating our naval services right now leads to a terrible defeat where we are surprised by a much better deployed and equipped force. It’s not hard to think of this scenario being painted in this article happening to any of our other armed services as they confront monstrous operational tempos all over the world without enough ships, aircraft, vehicles and most importantly, people. Baron Von Clausewitz’s “Fog of War” could end up being a very thick blanket that leads to catastrophic consequences for this country.

    I think of all the bluster that the Trump administration and Mr. Trump himself continue to spew out and I think of the shortfalls that I read about every month in “Proceedings” in articles written by junior officers as well as flag rank officers venting over the situation they are finding themselves in it scares the living daylights out of me. We are not ready, either in terms of military readiness nor national will to be able to respond to the threats that are emerging or any additional ones that this Administration is creating because of its completely abject incompetence. In essence, we’re playing for time and time is running out. To make matters worse the level of incompetence at the highest levels of our current government are making things worse, far worse, in ways that have yet to be realized. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans have no idea at all regarding the grave risks we are running and confronting both the ongoing crises we’re dealing with if as well as those that could be developing overnight such as yesterday’s Israeli air strikes and the blow back to them that is surely going to come.
    As someone that is studied American foreign policy and national security policy for most of my adult life, having never been an actual practitioner and, as a result, always knowing that I don’t have a lock on everything either, that time held idea that cooler heads will always prevail and save us from our own mistakes is now moribund. The cooler heads are either retired or dead and what we’re left with is the most incompetent and grossly under prepared foreign policy team in very likely over a century and a half. With Trump having the idea that we should turn away from our international commitments and alliances and focus on ourselves we are putting into jeopardy, a grave jeopardy our own security and our ability to influence events in a positive and rational way particularly when they seem to be spinning out of control in multiple theaters at the same time.

    Unfortunately, if we do as Trump desires the existing world order, what there is left of it, will be managed by either China or Russia with us already having had our role diminished by becoming a less than honest broker on the world stage. The countries of the world that looked toward us for guidance and help in maintaining regional and international stability will no longer have us to turn to as the world descends into further chaos and conflict. Eventually that conflict will involve us right here at home because the international order that was set up at the end of World War Two that was designed to both keep the peace but also keep us safe here at home will be run by other management and we will not like it. That’s not even coming close to taking into account of how all this change will affect the international economy and ultimately us in that way as well. Instead of being the arbiter of positive change and stability, even with our flaws, we will be the agent of chaos, chaos the likes of which we have never seen and we’re only in to a year and a half of this buffoon’s Presidency. God help us since, very likely, no one else will.

  28. Let’s get real.

    Trump is finally realizing that governance is beyond him and has to find something else that satisfies his ego. Netanyahu proposed a way for him to satisfy his now questioning base. Fulfill an ill conceived campaign promise to insult diplomacy by dropping the Iran diplomatic agreement.

    Netanyahu is also maniacal. He wants war with Iran. Reinforcing that Iran has somehow found a way past the terms that they are confined to by the agreement gives him the excuse that he needs.

    What we will soon find out is what Trump gave away in order to release 3 North Korean prisoners as another move to kindle the affection that he thought he once had with his base.

    In the absence of grown ups running the western world Putin is orchestrating it now. China and North Korea are doing the same for the eastern world.

    Putin and Netanyahu vs Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping with the US sitting on the sidelines. What could possibly go wrong?

  29. Tom,

    Terrific analysis.

    The rest of the Western World isn’t going to forgive us for this. Our actions are atrocious. You better believe, they will NEVER FORGET.

  30. William, yesterday you said this: “Hey, Over It. If you’re going to vilify The Left and persons of color,at least get the name correct,It’s Professor Weinstein.”

    You are correct about his name. It is Bret Weinstein. I incorrectly reported it. My apologies.

    Regarding the other part of you comment, I did not vilify the Left or people of color. That’s quite an ironic statement to make, considering the subject matter. Weinstein, a left-leaning professor, was branded a racist for opposing a racial group denying another racial group access to campus, a clear case of segregation. Weinstein’s stance was obviously principled, but in the end those who wished to stop any speech not in support of themselves won. This entire controversy was within and among “The Left,” by the way (whatever that means).

    As far as race goes in this story, does the fact that Weinstein was a white Jew and those who opposed him were a coalition of students of color and their supporters change the fact that Weinstein’s right to express himself, on a liberal college campus of all places, was taken by an angry mob who were then supported by the university’s administration? One of Sheila’s points yesterday was that campuses are not as anti-free speech as conservatives claim they are. I think that in general, Sheila is wrong. Supporters of far left ideology who place their own identity politics agendas above the academic traditions of truth-seeking and free speech are common in the humanities and in liberal arts schools in general.

  31. Felix,

    “On the emotional level, a “splendid little war” offers Trump an unmatched opportunity to strut about in high dudgeon on the TV screen and before crowds of howling supporters, snarling contempt at both foreign and supposed domestic “enemies” while denouncing the latter as “traitors”. What fun!”

    Uh, there won’t be a splendid little war. Israel will be goaded into attacking Iran (as they did today) until Russia steps in. Then, Israel will probably nuke Syria. Do I need to go any further? Splendid? Little?

    No, this scenario will be exactly what Donald Trump has been leading up to for his entire, miserable life. Maybe he’ll enjoy presiding over ashes and pegged Geiger counters.

  32. Regarding today’s topic, think how lucky we were to have Lincoln to prosecute the Civil War, FDR begin the New Deal and defeat Fascism, Kennedy to prevent a nuclear war over Cuba.

    We had better hope leadership like that is not required for the next few years.

  33. Like so many others, I find Trump’s actions inexplicable. However, I found his campaign totally transparent: that is, hate everything and everyone who is different. We have to hope that somewhere, somehow, wiser heads will prevail.

  34. Oil price tops $77 after US withdrawal from Iran deal. The price of crude oil has risen to an almost three-year high, following US President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, as well as bullish US crude inventory numbers.

    Trump announced the return of a raft of sanctions against the Iranian regime within the next 180 days unless a new, alternative agreement is reached, in a move which will dramatically impact the supply side of the oil market.

    After the nuclear deal, Iran retook its position as a major player in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), becoming the group’s third-largest exporter of crude oil at 2.6 million barrels per day in April.

    Saudi Arabia, which has publicly backed the US decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, already announced its willingness to fill the oil market demand and retake lost market share in the process. The oil kingdom ceded market share to its regional rival Iran when the latter re-entered the market in 2016 after the US government lifted sanctions on crude exports.
    ==============================================================
    US weapons manufacturers’ stock price soars as Trump pulls out of Iran deal.

    While President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal has been negatively criticized by most of the international community it has brought good news for some. Weapons manufacturers.

    The stock price of all of the top US weapons manufacturers shot up just as Trump announced he’s pulling his country out of the pact which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program.

    The latest price surges are a continuation in rising share prices for weapons manufacturers since Trump entered office promising “historic increases” in military spending. Since January 1 Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing are all up more than 20 points. https://www.rt.com/usa/426264-weapons-stocks-trump-iran/
    ============================================================
    This sounds about right, we cannot manufacture the vast amount of products American Consumers use, thing like clothes and electronics, but we can make weapons, just need a place to use the weapons of war.

  35. “I don’t know which is more maddening–the ignorance of the voters who were willing to turn the country over to a man who had no concept of domestic policy or world affairs and a clear disinclination to learn–or the hubris of an aggrieved con artist who fancies himself immensely more able than he is.”

    I’m not responsible. I voted for experience. I voted for Hillary and she won the popular vote.

    Someone research, please, the members of that crazy Electoral Collage who foisted this disaster on us. Who were they and why did they do it?

  36. OMG; thank you, thank you, thank you! Someone else who wants to know who and why; I thought I was alone.

  37. There is a huge uploadable file now on the Internet of all of the Facebook posts by Russian trolls to influence the 2016 election resulting in Agent Orange in our Whitehouse. I wish that I could hire the now bankrupt Cambridge Analytics to figure out if that alone sufficiently tipped the Electorial College scales.

  38. Pete; one problem with the Electoral College is the states which require all members to vote the majority vote in their state rather than their own choice…or in this past election, probably their own conscience.

    At the Republican Convention I watched states report their individual candidate’s vote count then turn them all over to Trump. Our history books will reflect this as his ego reports his popularity. I was happy and proud to watch Bernie at the Democratic convention give his support and his vote to Hillary but maintained his history making 46% of the the vote. That and his coffers filled with donations from “the people” at a record breaking level with none from corporations.

    We will never know the full count on Russian interference or money into Trump’s election any more that we could know who made the smelliest deposit in the outhouse.

  39. The Electoral College was specifically designed to prevent a mindless tyrant from becoming President. Unfortunately, the Republicans had their state legislatures change the law to require the EC delegates to vote the majority. That rendered the EC moot and useless….as witnessed by the last two minority Presidents we spat into the face of the world.

  40. Vernon; that sounds illegal to me and a violation of the Constitution. Of course; it also sounds typically Republican to me.

  41. Trump cannot admit to error, so he stands by his ill-conceived campaign promise but not by America’s promise to the world. Driving Iran and its oil further and tighter into Russia’s arms might just be icing on the cake to Trump, but there’s a distinct possibility that pleasing and enriching Russia may be the main driver of the decision. Consider this…

    Page 30 of the infamous “dossier” says Russia offered to give Trump a nice percentage of the oil profits which would result for Russia if U.S. sanctions were lifted. Trump is willfully ignorant of history and current dynamics of foreign policy, but he understands profits and greed VERY well. For all the media’s apparent ignorance of why Trump won’t criticize Russia, perhaps they should read through to the end of the dossier. It appears Putin has Trump’s number, and it’s in the billions.

  42. If we don’t mind the slaughter and subjection of thousands of Middle East citizens, if we don’t mind paying much higher gasoline prices, if we really think that America’s Pacific pivot is best accomplished by stepping away from Europe, if we think the best way to crush the liberals of the American northeast is to build a wall of non-communication between the U.S. and Europe, if we think the best way to achieve order in the Middle East is to enable one strong dictator to whip it into compliance, then turning the Middle East over to Vladimir Putin is a brilliant and effective move.

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