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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,649

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America's heart of darkness: Making sense of the nonsensical allure of MAGA


America's heart of darkness: Making sense of the nonsensical allure of MAGA
Yes, the Trump movement is nuts. But a deeper explanation invokes history, psychology, economic factors and more

By MICHEL GUELDRY
PUBLISHED JULY 31, 2022 12:00PM


(Salon) The Republican-MAGA movement's reactionary agenda is clear enough. But the deeper motivations of many Trump supporters, at least beneath their absurd and offensive stated beliefs, is much less so.

What we might call the Great Demolition plot includes establishing a corporate oligarchy, a neo-feudalist regime based on long-term minoritarian rule and a malevolent pseudo-Christian theocracy undergirded by state thuggery and social authoritarianism, all of it infused with an incoherent ideological blend of anarchic libertarianism (on guns and most forms of regulation) and fascistic nightmare (white supremacy, antisemitism and numerous grades of conspiracy theory).

Millions of Americans support this regressive and oppressive agenda, but their views are not identical or monolithic: There are the probably well-meaning but horribly misguided Joe and Jane Average, the bloodthirsty fascists, the apoplectic culture warriors, the scheming plutocrats, the uniformed sadists, the gun-radical civilians, the Christian nationalists and "Dominionists," the QAnon believers, the con artists and grifters, the conformists, the deeply traumatized and the profoundly misinformed. All understand themselves to be "patriots," of course.

Clearly, there is a wide spectrum of motivations, beliefs, personalities, interests and objectives, intensity of conviction and degree of lunacy among these mistaken millions. But how can one account for this herd-like descent into paranoia, cultish-nihilistic rage against reality, and proliferation of sociopathic behaviors? A general answer is that extreme beliefs bear little if any connection with the object they purport to discuss. They stem from complex and often subterranean interplay between biological forces (such as neural-hormonal wiring or gender), constructed biographies (whether individual or collective), economic interests, one's sense of belonging and social networks, and "belief formation," meaning the cognitive, affective and behavioral dynamics of decision-making.

....(snip)....

Britain and the United States, to cite the obvious examples, were able to develop generally successful and more or less democratic governments over time because powerful potential enemies were far away, while internal dissenters often emigrated or were crushed. Historically, this included Roman Catholics in the U.K. and anarchists, socialists, Black radicals and other political dissidents in the U.S. In America's case, two vast oceans allowed for safety from external invasion and also for considerable social, individual and ideological diversity. Yet after the traumas of 9/11, the war on terror, the Great Recession, the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan and the COVID pandemic, Americans reacted as many other peoples have done before them, sliding downward into mass intolerance and violence. ...............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2022/07/31/americas-heart-of-darkness-making-sense-of-the-nonsensical-allure-of-maga/




GOP officials refuse to certify primaries: "This is how Republicans are planning to steal elections"


(Salon) Republican election officials in at least three states have refused to certify primary votes, in a sign of things to come amid the party's baseless election fraud crusade.

Numerous allies of former President Donald Trump have echoed his lies about voter fraud on the campaign trail. Trump-backed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt both claimed evidence of "election stealing" before any votes were cast. Colorado secretary of state candidate Tina Peters has twice demanded recounts of her Republican primary race after losing by double digits. Nevada gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert filed a lawsuit alleging that his GOP primary loss was a "mathematical impossibility," even after a recount he requested confirmed the results.

While candidates are free to challenge the results of their elections under various state guidelines, Trump-allied election officials pose a more insidious threat. Echoing the same false narratives as Trump and his endorsed candidates, county officials in New Mexico, Nevada and Pennsylvania have tried to circumvent state laws and refused to sign off on primary results.

Republican commissioners in Otero County, New Mexico last month refused to certify primary results in their GOP-dominated jurisdiction, citing unspecified concerns about Dominion voting machines. These apparently stem from TrumpWorld's crusade to stoke baseless allegations that the machines had "flipped" votes from Trump to Joe Biden. The Otero County commissioners ultimately relented and certified the votes amid concerns that they could go to jail after state officials took them to court. ..............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2022/07/30/officials-refuse-to-certify-primaries-this-is-how-are-planning-to-steal-elections/




Former Michigan GOP executive director says Trump and Republicans should be criminally charged......


Former Michigan GOP executive director says Trump and Republicans should be criminally charged for election lies


(Detroit Metro Times) Attempts by former President Donald Trump and his supporters to overturn the 2020 election is likely just the beginning of unprecedented attacks on democracy in Michigan unless the Republicans are held accountable.

That’s according to a national election expert, state lawmaker, and former head of the Michigan GOP.

“When you have a president who seeks to stay in power despite losing an election, that is an attempt to install a dictatorship,” Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said in at news conference Thursday. “That’s what was happening here, and the threats are ongoing.”

Many of the Republicans running for local, state, and federal elections in Michigan this year continue to peddle conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud. The danger is that Republicans who lose in this year’s elections will falsely claim they were victims of voter fraud, rather than concede, a centuries-long tradition in any democracy.

Jeff Timmer, who served as Michigan Republican Party Executive Director from 2005 to 2009, said he never dreamed that his former colleagues would disregard election results at the risk of undermining democracy. ..............(more)

https://www.metrotimes.com/news/former-michigan-gop-executive-director-spells-out-why-trump-and-republicans-should-be-criminally-charged-for-election-lies-30673798




If Donald Trump were Black, he'd be in jail already


If Donald Trump were Black, he'd be in jail already
If you're Black in America, it's almost too easy to go to jail. Trump's whiteness protects him

By D. WATKINS
Editor at Large
PUBLISHED JULY 29, 2022 6:30AM


(Salon) If Donald Trump were Black, he'd be doing about four in the box by now. If Donald Trump were Black and poor, he'd probably be booked for the rest of his remaining years. But he's not. Trump is very white, very privileged, and therefore very free.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not an advocate for jail. I strongly believe the system doesn't work. I've had both family members and close friends spend long amounts of time incarcerated — decades, even — and none left felling reformed, refreshed, inspired and ready to contribute to society in the most positive way possible. Some were 100% innocent and lost time. A few others were fortunate enough to change their lives for the better despite the system's ills. But many of these relatives and friends ended up back behind the wall almost as soon as they made it out, hindered by little to no opportunity. The fact is going to jail is extremely easy in America, a country with the highest incarceration rate in the world. It's so easy to go to jail here — unless you are Donald Trump, of course.

Honestly, I'm at a loss for answers on why Trump has been protected for so long. Is he just lucky? Did the Founding Fathers hide a get out of jail free clause in the Constitution? Is racism or stupidity on the part of the people who operate the criminal justice system to blame, or is it a fear that his hair will incite a prison riot?

We know about Trump's sexual assault allegations. We know how Trump tried to disrupt the 2020 election to throw the results in his favor. We know about the dozens of FEC complaints lodged against him for campaign finance violations. We know he destroyed presidential records. We know in his January 6 speech he told a mob of angry MAGA protestors to march to the Capitol, and fueled by his words, they beat up police officers and broke into the building in hopes of finding public officials and disrupting the certification of the Electoral College votes. They were looking for the vice president, chanting, "Hang Mike Pence." We know Trump verbally approved of that sentiment. (That's not conspiracy?)

....(snip)....

I'm a USA-born citizen just like Donald J. Trump; however, it is so easy for me to be arrested, prosecuted and go to jail. I literally just have to go outside and I could be arrested. I remember stopping to see a friend who lived in Perkins Housing Projects in east Baltimore after a basketball game. About 40 of us were laughing and joking and enjoying our day when amped-up police officers pulled up with squad cars and cheese buses, jumped out like cowboys and locked up every Black dude in sight. Our charge was literally being outside while Black. ................(more)

https://www.salon.com/2022/07/29/if-donald-were-black-hed-be-in-jail-already/





Michigan Supreme Court: Law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation


(Detroit Free Press) Michigan law bans businesses, landlords and others from discriminating based on whether a person is gay, transgender or otherwise identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, according to a landmark ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court.

The 5-2 decision will have a sweeping impact in the state, where for decades landlords could evict someone or business owners could fire someone solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The case ultimately came down to how the justices defined "sex." Specifically, whether that word in the context of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act — a 1976 law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex — refers only to gender, or more broadly also includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

"Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily constitutes discrimination because of sex," wrote Justice Elizabeth Clement, a Republican, for the court's majority. ........(more)

https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2022/07/28/michigan-supreme-court-law-bans-discrimination-sexual-orientation/10175560002/




Germany and the End of Globalization


Germany and the End of Globalization
The number of democratic countries around the world is shrinking steadily, and autocratic countries are registering more patents than the West. A new era is dawning – and it could have dramatic consequences for our work, our money and our lives.

By Thomas Schulz, Martin Knobbe, Martin Hesse, Simon Book, Simon Hage, Georg Fahrion, Michael Sauga und Gerald Traufetter
27.07.2022, 13.54 Uhr


(Der Spiegel) These days, even stoic government leaders seem overwhelmed by the barrage of world crises, tremendous upheavals and changing times. The global financial crisis, the refugee crisis, Brexit, the climate collapse, the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine have all happened in succession. It's more than enough to make a person dizzy. And yet, all this now simply feels like a preview for the massive change that is only now starting to role in: The age of globalization is coming to an end.

Six months ago, that very sentence would have seemed laughable. Economists had calculated that even the pandemic was just a dent in the never-ending frenzy of global trade. Politicians had declared that the ever-growing interdependence of nation-states remained one of the few irrefutable certainties of world politics. The best way forward to a good future, they would have said, would be to move even closer together, networking trade, companies and the economy even more deeply.

Globalization has never been a purely economic phenomenon. For three decades, it was the defining world order, the guiding principle informing all political decisions. It determined how and where we work and how well we live and even who is a friend and who is a foe.

Linked to this was a clear vision of the further development of humanity: that the world would become ever more prosperous, and thus necessarily ever more modern, ever more liberal, ever more democratic. And that it would constantly become more Western. That economic ties would also create common values. And, more importantly: peace – at least more than ever before.

....(snip)....

Global trade won’t collapse entirely, of course. Economies and companies are too closely networked, and the mutual dependencies are too great. Still, as German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock puts it, "it has already been proven wrong that trade alone creates change." And the thesis of the "end of history" promoted by the political scientist Francis Fukuyama shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall and often used in the past as justification for unrestricted hyper globalization, has proven to be just as wrong: The thinking was that liberal democracies and Western market economies would inevitably prevail as the dominant political order.

But for the past several years, studies have noted that freedom and democracy are in retreat worldwide, and that autocratic regimes are on the rise and are becoming more powerful. Between 1970 and 2010, the share of democratic governments in the world more than doubled to 53 percent. Since then, however, the trend has been steadily downward. At the same time, autocracies are increasingly successful economically. They are now the source of a 60 percent share of all patent registrations. ..............(more)

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/germany-and-the-end-of-globalization-prosperity-under-pressure-a-4f0b98ce-a2a5-4889-8375-d0dcf64cee2c




Ron DeSantis makes plans to regulate "woke CEOs"


(Salon) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) gave a briefing on Wednesday detailing his plan to regulate what he refers to as "woke CEOs." In front of a banner reading "Government of Laws, Not Woke CEOs," DeSantis said "The leveraging of corporate power to impose an ideological agenda on society represents an alarming trend."

"Do we govern ourselves through our constitution and through our elections or do we have these masters of the universe occupying these commanding heights of society?" DeSantis said during the press conference, covered by Florida news outlet The Free Press. "For every master of the universe who's prattling on about, you know, no emissions and all this stuff, I don't see very many of them giving up their private jets," he furthered.

"Gov. Ron DeSantis slams 'woke capital' and ESG, says Forbes in a Tweet, along with footage from the briefing.

The three main components of DeSantis' plan are as such:

Prohibit big banks, credit card companies, and money transmitters from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs.

Prohibit State Board of Administration (SBA) fund managers from considering ESG factors when investing the state's money.

Require SBA fund managers to only consider maximizing the return on investment on behalf of Florida's retirees.
...............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2022/07/27/ron-desantis-makes-plans-to-regulate-woke-ceos/




Is This the Future of Urban Resilience?


Is This the Future of Urban Resilience?
Affordable housing. Flood-proofing. Rewilding. A massive project to reroute Toronto’s Don River is pushing the boundaries of green infrastructure.

ByDanielle Bochove
July 27, 2022 at 8:00 AM EDT


(Bloomberg CityLab) What began as a defensive measure to protect Canada’s largest city from extreme flooding has evolved into one of the most ambitious urban resilience projects in the world.

Toronto’s Port Lands district — about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) southeast of the financial district — has languished for decades, an industrial wasteland jutting into Lake Ontario. But now, as part of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project, 600 acres are being reshaped, creating 64 acres of parks, 75 acres of wildlife habitat, a new 1.5-kilometer meandering river course and — eventually — housing to accommodate some 20,000 residents.

The project’s scope is vast — not just in terms of its physical footprint, but in its vision of what urban living could be.



“We’re really using it as a catalyst for city building,” says Christopher Glaisek, chief planning and design officer for Waterfront Toronto, the tri-government body overseeing the project. “We’re building something that’s very natural and environmental, but its location and its plan are integrated completely with the urban renewal plans for the area.”

....(snip)....

Moving a River

On a glorious late spring day in June, the area is an endless expanse of diggers and dust. Hundreds of acres of scraped, sunbaked earth, dotted with futuristic bridges reaching across dry, newly excavated riverbed, underscore the colossal scale of engineering.

More than 20 separate projects are underway at the site. In addition to shifting the river and elevating the land around it, new roads and basic infrastructure must be laid; the neighborhood, and its light-rail transportation system, will follow later as funding is secured. Roughly 1.3 million cubic meters of earth have been shifted since construction began in 2017. Along with earlier flood-protection work completed to the north of the site in 2021, this phase of the master plan has a budget of C$1.25 billion ($969 million). ............(more)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-07-27/is-toronto-s-port-lands-flood-protection-project-the-future-of-urban-resilience?srnd=premium




Is This the Future of Urban Resilience?

Is This the Future of Urban Resilience?
Affordable housing. Flood-proofing. Rewilding. A massive project to reroute Toronto’s Don River is pushing the boundaries of green infrastructure.

ByDanielle Bochove
July 27, 2022 at 8:00 AM EDT


(Bloomberg CityLab) What began as a defensive measure to protect Canada’s largest city from extreme flooding has evolved into one of the most ambitious urban resilience projects in the world.

Toronto’s Port Lands district — about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) southeast of the financial district — has languished for decades, an industrial wasteland jutting into Lake Ontario. But now, as part of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project, 600 acres are being reshaped, creating 64 acres of parks, 75 acres of wildlife habitat, a new 1.5-kilometer meandering river course and — eventually — housing to accommodate some 20,000 residents.

The project’s scope is vast — not just in terms of its physical footprint, but in its vision of what urban living could be.



“We’re really using it as a catalyst for city building,” says Christopher Glaisek, chief planning and design officer for Waterfront Toronto, the tri-government body overseeing the project. “We’re building something that’s very natural and environmental, but its location and its plan are integrated completely with the urban renewal plans for the area.”

....(snip)....

Moving a River

On a glorious late spring day in June, the area is an endless expanse of diggers and dust. Hundreds of acres of scraped, sunbaked earth, dotted with futuristic bridges reaching across dry, newly excavated riverbed, underscore the colossal scale of engineering.

More than 20 separate projects are underway at the site. In addition to shifting the river and elevating the land around it, new roads and basic infrastructure must be laid; the neighborhood, and its light-rail transportation system, will follow later as funding is secured. Roughly 1.3 million cubic meters of earth have been shifted since construction began in 2017. Along with earlier flood-protection work completed to the north of the site in 2021, this phase of the master plan has a budget of C$1.25 billion ($969 million). ............(more)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-07-27/is-toronto-s-port-lands-flood-protection-project-the-future-of-urban-resilience?srnd=premium




The walls are finally starting to close in -- so expect Trump to announce his 2024 run soon


The walls are finally starting to close in — so expect Trump to announce his 2024 run soon
Boy has it been a bad week for Donald Trump

By HEATHER DIGBY PARTON
PUBLISHED JULY 27, 2022 8:45AM


(Salon) I will be shocked if Donald Trump doesn't announce his candidacy in short order. Why? Because for the first time since he became president, beguiling Republican voters with his astonishing upset in 2016, Trump seems to be losing his iron grip on Republican voters.

Sure, he still has many avid followers but that sense of control and command over the party, the awe at his sheer ability to survive and prevail even when he loses, is suddenly looking a bit weak. Watching his appearances over the last couple of weeks, it appears that Trump is aware of the shift and since giving up is clearly not in his nature — particularly when the need for vengeance and vindication is his reason for being — he will have to try to grab the spotlight and take control sooner rather than later.

And boy has it been a bad week for Donald Trump.

In fact, it's been a bad summer. The January 6th Committee hearings have obviously gotten under Trump's skin. His shrill, shrieking tantrums on Truth Social, his sad social media platform, attest to that. He seems brittle and unfocused at his rallies, even though his most devoted supporters still cheer for his patented insults and chant along with the greatest hits. The act is stale — but he's too narcissistic to admit it.

On Tuesday, Trump went back to Washington, D.C. for the first time since his ignominious departure on January 20th, 2021. He was there ostensibly to deliver a policy speech on law and order but when has he ever delivered such a thing? He had his prepared remarks which sounded suspiciously like a reworked version of his infamous "American carnage" inaugural address but, as usual, he quickly devolved into his schtick, whining about the 2020 election and mocking people for sport. His only "policy" pronouncements were an idea to round up homeless people to put them in camps outside of America's cities, the summary execution of drug dealers and allowing the president to call in the National Guard to crack heads without regard to governors' wishes, basically turning the service into a presidential Praetorian Guard. ...............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2022/07/27/the-walls-are-finally-starting-to-close-in--so-expect-to-announce-his-2024-run-soon/




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