Tuesday 28th of January 2020

white house improvements: repainted in goose-shit (off-green greenback) colour...

trumpum   This year may well go down as the most disrupted year in global politics since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the subsequent implosion of the former Soviet Union.

However, the likelihood is that 2020 will be worse and bloodier.

Conditions that spawned global unrest on every continent in 2019 are unlikely to recede. Rather, they are likely to worsen in the face of a slowing global economy and little sign of causes of disaffection being addressed.

Washington as disruptor

In a word, the world is in a mess, made more threatening by the retreat of the Trump administration from America's traditional role as a stabilising force.

If anything, Washington is a disruptor in its abandonment of international agreements. These include: the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, previously the Trans-Pacific Partnership, aimed at liberalising Asia-Pacific trade. The US has also withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that froze Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Washington's defenestration of the JCPOA and its reimposition of tough sanctions on Iran has further destabilised the world's most volatile region.

All this and more, including an unresolved trade conflict between the US and China, virtually guarantees 2020 will stretch the sinews of a fragile global order.

An evolving US-China technology war and risks of a technological decoupling add to the gloom.

The world is in worse shape than during the GFC

The global financial crisis of 2007-08 was a period of intense uncertainty as a global financial system buckled. But, for the most part, that distress was confined to governments, boardrooms and the offices of international lending institutions.

The GFC did not fuel widespread global unrest as a shell-shocked financial world came to terms with the reality of a regulatory framework that had failed.

In 2019, the story has shifted dramatically.

Mass protests over the skewed benefits of globalisation accompanied by faltering confidence in a democratic model are challenging the assumptions on which a Western liberal capitalist system has rested. Local grievances are fuelling protests against an established order in places as far apart as La Paz in Bolivia and Beirut in LebanonEndemic corruption is looming larger.

If there is a defining issue that is driving popular unrest more or less across the board, it is that people do not feel they are sharing the benefits of an extended period of global economic expansion.

In January, Oxfam reported that the world's 26 richest individuals owned as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

Billionaires grew their combined fortunes by $US2.5-billion-a-day ($3.66 billion) in 2018, while the relative wealth of the world's poorest 3.8 billion people declined by $US500 million a day.

A rich-poor gap is widening across the world to the point where it is no longer possible to argue that an economic growth model that advantages the few is lifting all boats.

Inequality and anger

Something had to give.

Professor Henry Carey of Georgia State University acknowledges differences in causes of localised unrest now sweeping the world, but he also identifies shared characteristics. He writes:

Each protest in this worldwide wave has its own local dynamic and cause.

But they also share certain characteristics: fed up with rising inequality, corruption and slow economic growth, angry citizens worldwide are demanding an end to corruption and the restoration of the democratic rule of law.

Carey makes the useful point that, as the world becomes more urbanised, overcrowded cities are staging points in a global wave of unrest.

In 1950, there were only two mega-cities with populations of 10 million or more — the New York metropolitan area and Tokyo. Today, there are 25 such megacities.

Of a world population of 7.7 billion people, 4.2 billion, or 55 per cent, live in cities and other urban settlements. Another 2.5 billion will move into cities in poor countries by 2050, according to the United Nations.

In other words, poverty, gang crime, drug trafficking and all the other ills associated with an impoverished urban environment will become less manageable as overcrowding gets worse in cities, parts of which have become urban slums. Carey writes:

Ignored by the municipal government, [overcrowded urban settlements] usually lack sanitation, clean drinking water, electricity, health care facilities and schools […] The injustices of this daily life underlie the anger of many of today's protesters. From Quito to Beirut, extreme marginalisation of so many people living in big dysfunctional and dangerous places has boiled over into deadly unrest.

In these circumstances, it is no accident that Latin America, with the world's slowest economic growth and most glaring inequality, has exploded in the longest-lasting violent protests.

In Chile, where economic grievances boiled over into days of mass protests, an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit was abandoned because of security concerns.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-10/2019-marked-by-global-unrest-bloo...

 

Can Trump be blamed for all the crap?... Not quite... The shit-giving has been equalled by Boris Johnson, Scumdungison (Orstraya), Macron and many other political intellectually brain-dead champion athletes of Europe and of North, Central and South America. 

victoria nuland’s pastries have gone stale?...

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To deal with ‘Russiagate,’ however, Trump has pursued a hard-line policy towards Moscow, expelling Russian diplomats, closing consulates, approving sanctions, and siding with allies such as the UK in their “highly likely”claims – but no evidence – against Russia. That has done nothing to appease or mollify his critics, however, while making any sort of cooperation with Russia on international security issues, counter-terrorism or nuclear disarmament that much more difficult.

The semi-official agenda for the Lavrov-Pompeo meeting is not terribly informative. What could they possibly discuss about Ukraine, when the two countries can’t even settle on basic facts? Russia maintains that it has no troops in the Donbass and that Crimea rejoined its motherland voluntarily, after a US-backed coup in Kiev. Meanwhile, Washington insists Russia “invaded and occupied” Crimea and the Donbass after freedom and democracy came to “Kyiv” with Victoria Nuland’s pastries.

Russia sent an expeditionary force to Syria at the invitation of Damascus, and has been fighting terrorists ranging from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) to rebranded Al-Qaeda, and everything in between. The US, whose troops are in Syria without legal invitation, has recently redeployed them to occupy oil wells and deny them to the government – which it never gave up on overthrowing.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/475441-lavrov-pompeo-washington-meeting/

 

 

I think that the writer of the article at top is living in dreamland... We've been living in "cacad'oie" (goose-shit) way before Trump's. The Obama years were full of smelly events hidden by nice turn of deceitful phrases, while the G W Bush years were more than shitty all around. If we want to define a post-Reagan shit-dump, we cannot go further forward than Bill Clinton who basically released the phenomenon of derivatives upon the financial system, turning it into a huge gambling den. His Kosovo adventure was a deceitful job as well.  So what is the difference between Trump's crap and the others? Well, Trump does not lie about the shitty colour: he loves it.

poor trump is harassed by young girls...

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Poor Trump. This [his] tweet didn’t sound very chill [“Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!”]. And Thunberg knew it. Like the majority of girls growing up in the digital age, she has been cyberbullied before – by Trump himself, who, after her celebrated speech before the UN General Assembly, sarcastically tweeted, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

Both times Trump has tweeted about her, Thunberg’s responses have been jocular, and sarcastic in kind. This week, she changed her Twitter bio to: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.

In her handling of being cyberbullied by the president of the United States, at age 16, Thunberg has become an inspiration for girls two times over – first as a climate activist, then as a social media ninja.

But that doesn’t mean that Trump’s cyberbullying of Thunberg is any less despicable, or dangerous. What it says to girls all over the world is: no matter what you do, no matter how much you achieve, powerful men can and will try to cut you down.

This message is depressing, scary and not without potentially dire consequences. It’s a message that has contributed to a precipitous rise in the suicide rate among girls. It’s a message that has contributed to rising anxiety and depression among girls and young women. It’s a message that Trump’s wife, Melania, is supposed to be combatting, with her campaign against cyberbullying.

But girls don’t need Melania Trump to be their role model in fighting against online harassment. They have each other, and they have Thunberg.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/14/trump-president-gr...

 

 

Read from top.

and the winner is... trump the white guy, again...

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This is why both Warren and Sanders are hated by the Democratic establishment.

It’s also why much of the corporate press is ignoring the enthusiasm they’re generating. And why it’s picking apart their proposals, like a wealth tax and Medicare for All, as if they were specific pieces of legislation.

And why corporate and Wall Street Democrats are mounting a campaign to make Americans believe Warren and Sanders are “too far to the left” to beat Trump, and therefore “unelectable”.

 

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/15/donald-trump-democ...

 

 

Meanwhile:

 

It got dumber. Partisan supporters of various candidates weaponized the whiteness of white candidates. I think that’s gross, but there’s at least an internal logic for, say, Booker, Castro or Yang supporters to play that game. But supporters of white candidates attacked other white candidates for their whiteness.

The Twitter hashtag #PrimariesSoWhite started trending. A Warren supporter Tweeted “#PrimariesSoWhite because Joe Biden kept a very strong plurality of black support that eliminated the paths for Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.”

Huh. Did Biden force black voters to support him? Did he refuse to tell them to back a black candidate? Are those black people at fault for liking Biden? If those black voters swung their support to the equally white Warren, would she suddenly be at fault?

Lots of Democrats are talking about the “structural racism” of the primary system. But none of the non-white candidates complained about the rules at the beginning. Is it only structurally racist if Democratic voters support white candidates? Are the black voters who prefer Biden to Harris or Booker complicit in this racism? If Buttigieg bombed out, would we hear about the structural homophobia of the Democratic Party?

No doubt many of these activists are sincere in their beliefs. But some are just grabbing the most convenient weapon they can to tear down other candidates or get more oxygen for their candidates.

 

Read more:

https://nypost.com/2019/12/15/democrats-dont-see-the-diversity-thats-sta...

 

 

Buttigieg is the only viable opponent to Trump. Will the Democrats be ready to go with him, instead of the others who have bad history, heavy baggage and socialist delusions (for the US)? This does not mean that Buttigieg is sure to win — but the others are sure to lose... 

 

 

Read from top.