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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Links - 1st November 2016 (US Election)

The Dangers of Hillary Clinton - The New York Times - "The dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency are more familiar than Trump’s authoritarian unknowns, because we live with them in our politics already. They’re the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They’re the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn’t recognize itself as either, because it’s convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly. Almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years has its roots in this establishmentarian type of folly. The Iraq War, which liberals prefer to remember as a conflict conjured by a neoconservative cabal, was actually the work of a bipartisan interventionist consensus, pushed hard by George W. Bush but embraced as well by a large slice of center-left opinion that included Tony Blair and more than half of Senate Democrats. Likewise the financial crisis... Indeed what is distinctive about Clinton, more even than Bush or Obama, is how few examples there are of her ever breaking with the elite consensus on matters of statecraft."

Gay Couple Say They've Received Death Threats For Supporting Trump - "the men told Bellini they’ve been asked to stay away from gay-friendly establishments and have received death threats from people angered by their praise for Trump. One message in particular, they said, told them to drink bleach."

Jill Stein thinks nuclear war is less likely under Trump. - "for us to step in and say, “No, we’re taking over here, guys,” that’s not consistent with international law. For better or for worse, international law gives a certain recognition to existing governments. So Russia is consistent with international law. We would be in violation of international law to go in and impose a no-fly zone, and effectively declare war against Russia for being in the skies there. Let me just clarify that in terms of the nuclear threat, Hillary Clinton is a disastrous nuclear threat right now in a context where we’re already off-the-charts in the risk of nuclear war. She has stated in this context that she’s essentially opening up a battlefront with Russia."

Hillary the Hawk: A History | Foreign Policy - "Should Hillary Clinton win the White House, the United States, already at war for 15 years, would be led by a president deeply aware and comfortable with the military. It’s impossible to know which national security crises she would be forced to confront, of course. But those who vote for her should know that she will approach such crises with a long track record of being generally supportive of initiating U.S. military interventions and expanding them."

Forget the Election: Why Hillary Clinton May Be the Most Hated President - "If not for the fact that her opponent is Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton would almost certainly be losing this election... the latest leaked campaign documents are damning in their revelation that the Clintons are exactly what their nemeses always feared: back-stabbing, calculating, venal, opportunistic. Regaining the public trust will be an uphill battle, and perhaps an impossible one, in this political environment. While there is no smoking gun that should prevent Clinton from becoming president, the latest WikiLeaks e-mails are unrelenting in their portrayal of Clinton as a purely political creature... the 2008 Clinton campaign discussed attacking Barack Obama for his past use of cocaine... The latest exchange to make headlines Monday includes an e-mail from Podesta, sent days after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, in which the Clinton campaign chair lamented that the shooter, Syed Farook, was not a white man—a message that her right-wing critics seized upon as proof that she had an anti-terrorism agenda driven by political correctness... As usual with the Clintons, there is the impression of impropriety, but no clear wrongdoing"

How Hillary Clinton Grappled With Bill Clinton’s Infidelity, and His Accusers - - "privately, she embraced the Clinton campaign’s aggressive strategy of counterattack: Women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Mr. Clinton would become targets of digging and discrediting — tactics that women’s rights advocates frequently denounce... Mrs. Clinton told Ms. Sheehy that if she were to question Ms. Flowers in front of a jury, “I would crucify her”... Mrs. Clinton herself took aim at Ms. Flowers in a June 1992 appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” better remembered for Mr. Clinton’s saxophone playing. Mr. Hall asked Mrs. Clinton about Ms. Flowers: “You know what her problem is?” “She’s got lots of problems,” Mrs. Clinton said."

Clinton’s Samantha Bee Problem - The New York Times - "the Democratic Party’s problem in the age of Trump isn’t really Jimmy Fallon. Its problem is Samantha Bee. Not Bee alone, of course, but the entire phenomenon that she embodies: the rapid colonization of new cultural territory by an ascendant social liberalism. The culture industry has always tilted leftward, but the swing toward social liberalism among younger Americans and the simultaneous surge of activist energy on the left have created a new dynamic, in which areas once considered relatively apolitical now have (or are being pushed to have) an overtly left-wing party line... Fallon’s apolitical shtick increasingly makes him an outlier among his peers, many of whom are less comics than propagandists — liberal “explanatory journalists” with laugh lines. Some of them have better lines than others, and some joke more or hector less. But to flip from Stephen Colbert’s winsome liberalism to Seth Meyers’s class-clown liberalism to Bee’s bluestocking feminism to John Oliver’s and Trevor Noah’s lectures on American benightedness is to enter an echo chamber from which the imagination struggles to escape. It isn’t just late-night TV. Cultural arenas and institutions that were always liberal are being prodded or dragged further to the left... She has moved further left than any modern Democratic nominee, and absorbed the newer left’s Manichaean view of the culture war sufficiently that she finds herself dismissing almost a quarter of the electorate as “irredeemable” before her donors. Yet she still finds herself battling an insurgency on her left flank, and somewhat desperately pitching millennials on her ideological bona fides. At the same time, outside the liberal tent, the feeling of being suffocated by the left’s cultural dominance is turning voting Republican into an act of cultural rebellion — which may be one reason the Obama years, so good for liberalism in the culture, have seen sharp G.O.P. gains at every level of the country’s government... [Trump is] occupying “a space in American politics that is uniquely transgressive, volatile, carnivalesque, and (from a certain angle) punk rock”... the new cultural orthodoxy is sufficiently stifling to leave many Americans looking to the voting booth as a way to register dissent."

FYI, Hillary Clinton did not actually tweet that ‘sick’ Donald Trump burn - The Washington Post - "Clinton’s “so, so real” tweet, her personal “slam”, the message celebrated the Internet-over for defying the impression that Clinton’s too insincere and/or manufactured, was actually engineered for just that purpose by a member of a team of highly paid experts."

How the P.C. Police Propelled Donald Trump - "To understand Trump’s seemingly effortless seizure of the public spotlight, forget about programs, and instead zero in on the one complaint that seems to unite all of the disparate angry factions gravitating to him: political correctness. This, more than anything, is how the left created Trump. I am not referring here to the daily political correctness that became normal after the 1970s, the reflexive self-editing that we’ve all learned to do, almost unconsciously, in the name of being nice to other people. This early “correctness” was always awkward and artificial, but it wasn’t overly onerous... Today, however, we have a new, more virulent political correctness that terrorizes both liberals and conservatives, old-line Democrats and Republicans, alike. This form of political correctness is distinctly illiberal; indeed, it is not liberalism at all but Maoism circa the Cultural Revolution. The extremist adherents of this new political correctness have essentially taken a flamethrower to the public space and annihilated its center. Topics in American life that once were the legitimate subjects of debate between liberals and conservative are now off-limits and lead to immediate attack by the cultural establishment if raised at all. Any incorrect position, any expression of the constitutional right to a different opinion, or even just a slip of the tongue can lead to public ostracism and the loss of a job. (Just ask Brendan Eich.) There is a huge vacuum left by this leftist attack on speech, and Trump is filling it... The great mistake made by both liberals and their most extreme wing on the American left is to assume that ordinary people, once corrected forcefully enough, will comply with their new orders"

Emory students distressed by pro-Donald Trump chalkings - "The president of Emory University said the school would review security-tape footage and potentially discipline students found to have written the name of Republican primary front-runner Donald Trump in chalk across the campus. President James W. Wagner said the university’s Freedom of Expression Committee is meeting to determine whether the name of one of the presidential front-runners in the two major parties makes other students feel unsafe and is thus punishable under Emory’s student conduct policy... After the student protesters made their way to an administrative board room, Mr. Wagner was called in to listen to their complaints, which included comparing the name “Trump” to Nazi symbology. “Why did the swastikas receive a quick response while these chalkings did not?” one student asked Mr. Wagner, referring to an event where the Nazi symbol had been drawn on a Jewish fraternity house... The editor of the Emory Wheel on Wednesday penned an editorial that denounced Mr. Trump as an “offensive man,” but encouraged students to engage with his ideas, rather than try to sweep him under the rug. “Institutionally prohibiting an ignorant, hurtful or violent idea does not destroy it; it allows the idea to grow and worsen in the shadows, far from the moderating effects of public scrutiny,” junior Zak Hudak wrote. “The best way to destroy an idea is to confront it.” Mr. Hudak continued that, if students refuse to confront difficult topics, then “we lose our purpose as a university.”"

Hero Saves Baby From Car, CNN Blurs His Trump T-Shirt

Trump is right about radical Islam: Raheel Raza - "There, I said it: Donald Trump is right.* With an asterisk. Before we get to that asterisk, you may be asking yourself: Why is a female, practicing Muslim human rights activist like myself saying what many in Trump’s own party cannot bring themselves to say? Because Trump is right. About certain things. Certain things about radical Islam, which I have been calling to the world’s attention for the past 20 years... I too proposed “a moratorium on immigration from Muslim countries for a set period till matters here settle down.” A year before he did."

Third parties could throw Clinton vs. Trump into chaos - "when voters were given a chance of which candidate to invite to their backyard barbecue, 47 percent picked Trump and 39 percent chose Clinton. Trump also scored higher when voters were asked who’d be better at creating jobs, at taking on ISIS and who was “more inspirational.”"

Donald Trump star vandalized; LAPD investigating - "Otis, an heir to the Otis family's elevator fortune, said in an interview with CNN on the Walk of Fame that he was vandalizing the star to help the 11 women who have accused Trump of sexually assaulting them, and other victims who he said could come forward in the future."
If people are violent towards Trump, it means Trump causes violence!

Australian street artist who painted Hillary Clinton in bikini covers her image in niqab after council complains - "The initial version of the mural, by an artist known as Lushsux, generated complaints from residents in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray after it depicted the US Democratic presidential candidate in a stars-and-stripes swimsuit with $100 bills tucked into her waist. The local Maribyrnong council deemed the mural sexist and ordered that it be removed within ten days. “We believe that this mural is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, and it is not in keeping with our stance on gender equity,” said Stephen Wall, the council chief executive. Lushsux then proceeded to dress Mrs Clinton in a full-body veil, writing alongside the mural: “If this Muslim woman offends u, u r a bigot, racist, sexist Islamophobe”... Lushsux has previously sparked controversy with his US election-related murals, including one showing Mrs Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump kissing and another known as “Melania and her two Trumps” which showed Mrs Trump naked above the waist with images of her husband’s face covering each of her breasts.

Donald Trump star vandalized; LAPD investigating
If people being violent to you means you incite violence, we can blame battered wives for inciting violence

LGBT Magazine Calls Peter Thiel 'Not Gay' Because He's a Trump-Supporting Republican - "LGBT Magazine The Advocate, the latest to target Thiel for his support of Trump, is arguing that he’s “not a gay man” because “he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity”... Weirdly, after calling out the founder of PayPal as not really gay for being a conservative, the article concedes that: “This does not mean that LGBT culture is homogenous or that all LGBT people have the same ideological viewpoints or values,” adding: “But it does mean that they all understand, on some level, the notion of gay culture.” Surely thinking for yourself is liberating, right?"

Gawker's Gizmodo Is Calling For Y Combinator Sam Altman's Head For Not Firing Peter Thiel - "This is despite the fact that Altman actually endorsed Hillary Clinton and attacked Trump... Is this the beginning of a witch-hunt in Silicon Valley?"

I Listened to a Trump Supporter - "I asked her if she supports Trump’s Mexico wall. She told me, “It doesn’t matter if I do. Hillary wants a wall, too. That wall’s gonna happen.” She wasn’t simply making this up. She’s heard this from many sources, Clinton being one of them... I asked about Trump not paying taxes. She said she wouldn’t pay taxes either, if the government custom-tailored tax laws to let her. I asked about Trump wanting to deport Muslims. She said she doesn’t believe he will. That he’s just talking tough. I asked what, if she hates Clinton so, she thinks about Trump’s campaign contributions to her. What’d she say? “That’s smart business.” She said if she could afford to bribe politicians to save her more money, she would too. But only because you must to stay competitive. She said it’s an awful system, but you can’t blame people for playing the game the way the rules were written. The people to blame, she said, are the people who wrote the rules. And those people are Clintons (and Bushes, and Obamas). I asked about Trump’s support of the Iraq War. She said she doesn’t care, that at least he’s willing to call it out now... A few times, she seemed ashamed of things Trump’s said or done. I’d ask her to unpack her feelings. She said he sometimes upsets her, but “If you wait and wait for a flawless candidate, you’ll never find one.” She said she’d be much prouder to vote for Trump if he’d tone down his rhetoric... No amount of insulting her from an ivory tower is going to change her mind. No amount of guffawing about her lack of education, her self-deception, her racism, or her internalized misogyny is going to change her mind. The only thing she’ll listen to is a promise of real change to the system that’s hurt her... this feels like the left is laughing at her for her unwillingness to get in line and support the things that have left her broke and broken."

Donald Trump may be dangerously ignorant, but I understand why Americans will vote for him - "I have never seen the US electorate more confused and uneasy, not just about what nearly everybody regards as the appalling choice of candidates with which it somehow finds itself landed, but about its own philosophical principles. Quite literally everyone we met was planning to use his vote either as a protest against the loathed alternative, or as a reluctant acceptance of a leader – and a programme – for which it had no enthusiasm. And this in a country where optimism, and the unquestioned belief in democratic institutions, was once a quasi-religious faith. The disillusionment of this election – and the obsessive anxiety which it has produced – will have serious consequences for the American psyche however it ends. But it is very important to understand the argument that came up repeatedly: this election and the forces that are driving it are more complex than they seem. Just as the Brexit vote was not only about immigration as its critics pretended, so the American antipathy to Hillary Clinton is not just about her notorious baggage (dishonesty, corruption scandals, policy failures, etc.)
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