Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day in France with Donald Trump

There are a lot of reasons not to like Donald Trump. Some, admittedly, are better than others. Today, I have a really trivial one to add to the list… Given his antics in Europe right now, he’s forcing me to change my annual post about how I prefer Armistice Day to Veterans’ Day.

Here’s what I would like to have posted today, had we been living under a sane administration…

vonnegutI don’t dislike the military. I think we, as a nation, spend far too much on it, and I think that we’d ultimately be better served by investing a great deal of that money on education, alternative energy research and any number of other things instead, but, in general, I don’t have an issue with the military. I’m proud of my grandfathers’ service during WWII, and I acknowledge the fact that, had my father not served during the Vietnam War, and learned a trade, I might never have gone to college, or, for that matter, left rural Kentucky. With that said, though, I’m in agreement with Kurt Vonnegut on the subject of Veterans’ Day. Here, for those of you who have never read his brilliant novel Breakfast of Champions, is a clip.

…I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things…

I know times change, and references to WWI no longer carry the same significance they may have in the past, but it seems to me that the world could use a holiday dedicated to the absence of war. Which, again, isn’t to say that our men in women in uniform aren’t deserving of respect. They are. The sacrifices they make are enormous. But, with that said, might it not be more meaningful to acknowledge their service with a celebration of peace, rather than a Veterans Day sale at the local strip mall and a discounted meal at Hooters?

Here, with that said, is what I feel as though I have to post today instead…

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day that World War I, “The War To End All Wars,” came to an end. In commemoration of this, our President was to have joined other world leaders yesterday at Aisne-Marne, where American Marines who fought at the World War I battle of Belleau Wood are buried. This would have been especially poignant, given that yesterday was also the 243rd birthday of the Marine Corps. Donald Trump, however, did not attend the ceremony, cancelling his long-standing plans, and choosing instead to stay at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, tweeting about how Democrats, in his opinion, are attempting to “steal” elections in Florida by insisting that every vote be counted.

In Trump’s defense, there was light rain in Aisne-Marne yesterday, and it may have been determined that Marine One could not safely make the trip from Paris. With that said, however, he could have made the trip by other means. As former Obama staffer Ben Rhodes said yesterday, “I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years. There is always a rain option. Always.” And, it should be noted that other leaders, including U.S. generals John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, and Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were all able to make the 50 mile trip from Paris to Aisne-Marne by car.

[above: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, undeterred by the light rain, lays a wreath at the Aisne-Marne memorial.]

The criticism was harsh, even from the right. “It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary, and then remain (in his room) watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow,” said David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

I particularly like what Winston Churchill’s grandson had to say on the matter.

While I suppose it’s conceivable that the 50 mile drive from Paris might, in the opinion of Trump’s security detail, pose a threat of some kind, I suspect our President, based on what we know of him, just chose not to go, perhaps having decided to save his energy for this morning, when he’d need to really turn on the charm for Vladimir Putin in hopes of earning himself an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

Speaking of Putin, if I were the suspicious type, I might wonder if Trump pulled out of the trip to Aisne-Marne yesterday because he knew that Putin, who likes nothing more than seeing the NATO nations on the outs with one another, would enjoy it… If I had to guess, though, I’d say that Trump just didn’t want to be on a podium between French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, knowing that everyone in attendance would be measuring them against one another and mocking him for his stupidity. [Trump, if we’ve learned nothing else over these past two years, is much more comfortable in the company of despots than with our historic allies, who clearly make him feel like a fraud.]

Oh, speaking of Trump’s stupidity, according to the French paper Le Monde, yesterday he confused the Balkans and the Baltics to the great confusion of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian leaders he was meeting with. [He was blaming them for the war in Yugoslavia.]

For what it’s worth, Trump eventually had to leave the U.S. embassy in Paris, and, when he did, he had to listen to Macron saying the following. “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” the French President said. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” he added, it what sounded like a comment intended specifically for Trump, who has taken to calling himself a nationalist lately. “By saying ‘our interests first’,” Macron said, “we erase what a nation holds dearest — its moral values.”

But, yeah, Trump, the man who ordered thousands of active duty troops to the border to fight an imaginary enemy because he thought it would help his party win the election, chose not to visit the graves of 2,289 American soldiers… real soldiers, who died in a real war, fighting a real enemy. And, somehow, in spite of this, there are still a number of Americans who see Donald Trump, who himself avoided military service during the Vietnam War by claiming to have bone spurs, as a pro-military president. It’s really un-fucking-believable.

Some people, I suppose, so desperately want to believe that they’re supporting a strong, heroic leader, that their critical thinking skills just shut down. They hear Trump say things like he did a few days ago about how Obama had refused to fund the military, and they just accept it without question. They like thinking that Trump saved the U.S. military from an anti-American president who had wanted to destroy it. The facts, however, don’t support that view of history. For example, when Donald Trump says that his $716 billion in military appropriations this year is the most ever, it’s just not True. Obama authorize $726 billion in military spending in his 2011 budget. And let’s not forget that, just a few weeks ago, Donald Trump gave the order to cut the budget at the Department of Veterans Affairs by 5%, no doubt to help cover the recent $1.5 trillion giveaway to America’s super-wealthy… No, Donald Trump, you can be sure, doesn’t give a fuck about the troops, unless, of course, they’re heading to the southern border to help him make the case that an invading army is approaching.

One last thing… I’d never heard it before, but Imperial War Museum just recently released battlefield audio recorded the morning of November 11, 1918 near the River Moselle, where the Americans were fighting, just as the a armistice was going into effect. It’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever heard… After a minute of heavy shelling, the guns go quiet, and then, a few seconds later, you can hear the birds beginning to chirp again.

[An estimated 17 million people lost their lives in World War I, which raged in Europe for four years.]

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81 Comments

  1. Posted November 11, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    It wasn’t just yesterday. He apparently showed up too late today to walk along the Champs Elysses in solidarity with other world leaders.

  2. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism.

    It must be true because some French guy said it is true.

  3. Sad
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    What is wrong with you FF?

  4. Adam Schiff by proxy
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s not only that nationalism is on the rise around the globe, but also its pernicious twin, authoritarianism. From Poland to Hungary, Brazil to the Philippines, liberal democracy is being challenged everywhere and America must rise to its defense. We must be freedom’s champion.

  5. stupid hick
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Sad, IMO, the only plausible explanation for FF’s spiral during the past two years is Trump.

  6. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    It is fine if you detect something wrong. Could you be more specific?

  7. wobblie
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Juan Cole’s comments on patriotism and nationalism seems appropriate for this discussion thread.

    https://www.juancole.com/2018/11/macrons-nationalism-dehumanization.html

  8. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    How honest is Juan Cole being here? He just wrote an article that defined what Trump must mean when he calls himself a “nationalist”, but, in writing the article, he miraculously avoids addressing Trump’s own explicit attempt to define how he himself defines himself as a “nationalist”?

    I love the part of the article that says: Although there have been some debate about the definitions….” Really? No kidding? Do you think?

    I also thought it was pretty awesome how Cole put in quotes, words he made up, as to what ficticious “patriots” and “nationalists” might say. How is Juan’s article not trash?

  9. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Q said USSS ‘stay’ alerts prevented travel.

  10. LUMOS
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Donald Trump has yet to visit our troops in battle.

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    There have been a grand total of two (2) US troops killed in Afghanistan this year.

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I know you long for the good old days of 2010 when 499 were killed.

  13. M
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Adding to the list of insults to America’s men and women in uniform, Donald Trump said today that the outstanding votes of soldiers should not count in the Florida election, stating that we should only count those votes that were counted by election day. (By law, ballots from our soldiers oversees postmarked by the 6th still have until this Friday to be received and counted.)

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1061962869376540672

  14. wobblie
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    This was a year ago. He has not changed.

    https://www.newsweek.com/trump-us-military-deaths-war-zones-are-first-time-six-years-716981

  15. wobblie
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Then of course there is always the ongoing slaughter to civilians.

    https://thehill.com/policy/defense/390262-military-actions-killed-nearly-500-civilians-in-trumps-first-year-report

    The “anti-war” Trump presidency has been as much of a bust as the “deal makers” presidency. As the vote continues to come in, it is beginning to look more and more like a “blue wave”.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    If we read Maron’s statements and Juan Cole’s article where are we led to believe meaning comes from?

    Where does meaning actually come from?

    Anybody else see the huge fucking problem?

    While we are thinking about meaning and how it is not (and should not) be derived from appeals to authority maybe Mark can say a few more words on the true meaning of Veterans Day. We will surely profit from more writing from an authority like Mark, who is in a position to tell the rest of us what Veterans Day actually means. I am sure we could even get a couple of actual vets to support Mark’s judgments after they wake up from their hangovers after a free night of looking at Boobs at Hooters.

  17. Lynne
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Yes, FF. I see a huge fucking problem. I cannot believe that anyone would defend Trump’s horrible comments about nationalism. I can buy the argument that he is too stupid to know what that word really means to a lot of people and isn’t intentionally trying to give dog whistle support to Nazis and Nazi-types, but that doesn’t seem to be the defense you are giving him. Yet somehow I am not surprised that you are willing to look the other way while our president makes racist and threatening statements. Disgusting to be sure but I have come to expect that.

  18. site admin
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    “We will surely profit from more writing from an authority like Mark, who is in a position to tell the rest of us what Veterans Day actually means.”

    Mark was quoting Kurt Vonnegut, a former prisoner of war, and survivor of the firebombing of Dresden.

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    You are assuming a bit much, no? Where have I defended Trump here? Point it out. I am actually with Vonnegut. I am trying to preserve what is sacred!

    You, Lynne, seem to not only know the meaning of things to you, which is to be expected; but you also seem to know what words mean to the recipients of messages; as well as, what the actual intended meaning of messages is. You must be a pretty busy lady. But that is great, if not somewhat miraculous because it sounds like you are a great authority on meaning. So answer my question: Where does meaning come from?

    I am willing to accept the meaning supplied by you, Maron, and Cole but I need to know where it was sourced: Where did you get it?

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Site Admin:

    I am fully aware of Vonnegut’s past and service. I respect what he has to say just as I respect what organizations like Vets for Peace have to say. I must have overlooked Vonnegut’s essays on “Veteran’s Day at Hooters”….Maybe you can provide a link to those essays so I can pull myself out of ignorance? Until that happens though, I am also going to respect veteran organizations that believe that veteran’s day has more actual meaning, to actual vets, than discount trips to strip malls and free looks at Hooter-girl- boobies.

  21. Lynne
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    FF, if only someone would come up with something to help. Perhaps a list of words and what they mean? Gosh. If only we had such a thing.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism

  22. Oliva
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a newly made-up meaning: Cynicism is the great underminer of the possible, the good, when it becomes habit or a regular state of mind. (And online belittling contests are such a drag.)

  23. Oliva
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    yes Lynne! I Merriam-Webster’s.

  24. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Wow Lynne. Is that the middle-class-American-white-man’s-ultimate-authority-and-guide-to-meaning I have heard so much about? I think I heard that those meanings were originally inscribed in gold tablets, found in a midwestern farmers field sometime in the 1800’s. We are lucky to have access…Maron must be reading from a different guide, though, because he said “patriotism” and “nationalism” are exact opposites and in your ultimate guide to meaning they are listed as synonyms (with variance). Are you trying to say that American-middle class- white man’s-meaning should take authority over French meaning? Explain.

  25. Oliva
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I *heart* m-w.com, that is!

  26. Oliva
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Ick, FF. Some space for imperfection, s’il vous plait. Dictionaries are works in motion. And it’s true that the synonyms are pretty loose there and that some additional reflection by a reader is helpful, especially if it reduces senseless argufying. But surely you know that!

  27. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Preservation of the sacred is a form of cynicism. Interesting.

    Oh great defenders of the authoritarian impulse let your words be heard! And when your words are heard tell the hearers of those words what those words mean to them! And if you hear someone else speaking words to others, tell them what their spoken words actually mean and tell the world what the hearers of those words heard in terms of meaning!

    #

  28. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Where is Sad when you need a break?

    I need a break.

    I will pick this up later if anybody is interested.

    I really believe this is an important conversation even if I am guilty of going the silly route.

    Maron and Cole’s statements and timing,imo, were complete disgusting, imo. In this moment they are destroyers of the sacred…For politics…Disgusting!

    Talk later.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s words speak for themselves. His actions are in complete concert with his words and make clear their meaning. I find it ironic that someone defending Trump would criticize Macron (not Maron) and Cole’s statements and timing as disgusting. Trump couldn’t even show up to honor veterans of WW1 because of rain– and the threat of protesters and people generally smarter than he is.

    The realities of war are what destroy any idea of the sacred in it, FF. I’m not anti-war at all and appreciate the sacrifice of our vets, but I don’t believe veteran’s day to be sacred. Only a nationalist would believe such nonsense. War is ugly and very very human, not at all Being antiwar seems like an exercise of great privilege to me. Believing war is sacred seems like an exercise of justifying the exertion of great power and insulating it from any due critique.

  30. EOS
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who wants to redefine nationalism as a negative term is likely a globalist supporter. Nationalism is a bit like a person who feels it is a moral obligation to protect and care for one’s family. If everyone took care of their own responsibilities there might be enough money left over for the government to fix the !$&@ roads. It is no surprise that foreign governments want to shame Trump for his America first policies. They may soon have to pay their own share, and they are not happy about it.

  31. John Brown
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    That porn humping, daughter coveting, wife ditching, pootin loving, Saudi selling, tax cheating, Lynch mob leading, money laundering, Nazis whispering, veteran disgracing cocksuck ain’t fit to be dog catcher.

  32. Alex
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I like the cut of your jib, Mr. Brown.

  33. iRobert
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    …and those are his better qualities, JB.

  34. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    I am not sure where you get your ideas from.

    I don’t think War is sacred.

    I also don’t think of Veteran’s Day as necessarily sacred either. However, I do think Mark deserves push back when he attempts to deliver the meaning of Veteran’s Day as merely the interaction between veterans, chicken wings and boobs. Mark deserves more than push back actually, but, I believe it is rude to insult the host.

    I tend to think about the sacred in terms of metaphorical space. Any reference I made to anything sacred above was in reference to one of two sacred spaces, so to speak:

    1) The sacred space which allows for the possibility of actual PEACE.

    2) The sacred space which allows for the possible emergence of actual MEANING.

    Armistice day is a beautiful thing. It existed in actuality as a sacred space for Peace and I am 100% down with Vonnegut when he encourages us to think of the day, once a year, as a sacred space for the possibility of continued peace. Which is precisely why Macron’s obvious sniping of Trump, at an Armistice ceremony (!), for political ends, was so utterly disgusting. For me it goes further, though, because Macron did not just undermine the conditions for the possibility of maintaining the sacred space for peace; but it was the instrument which he used which was even more unacceptable. Macron was a double-dick-head because he passive aggressively, from an assumed position of authority, gave us a definition of what it means for Trump to self-identify as a “nationalist”. As if Macron is the arbiter of meaning because he is “an educated man”, as Juan Cole stated, and as if the person who is self-identifying as a nationalist (Trump) has no say in what he means because he is a less educated man. Note: Cole gave us Social Sciences’ definitions of the words “nationalism” and “patriot”, while simultaneously failing to account for Trump’s own words on what it means for Trump to call himself a “nationalist”.

    You might disagree but I don’t think the true source of meaning ever arises from a context of authority and submission–I don’t care how convincing you might find a guys French accent. The condition for the possibility for the emergence of true meaning is a state and space of mutual and honest exchange. There can be disagreement but the shared space must be maintained.

    The left is so out of touch they think the French guy a hero. Your hero threw verbal firebomb, from an absurd position of authority, at an armistice ceremony. I say absurd because his shit does not even add up. Patriotism is the exact opposite of Nationalism? Okay. except it is not….

    I say Macron spoke from a position authority because his ideas are the result of his minds delineation of two separate constellations of ideas and then his slapping the label of “nationalist” on one constellation of ideas–as it suited his political ends.

    Not sacred. Not smart.

    I had one reaction: Mr. Macron and Mr. Cole, will you please, shut the fuck up!

    p.s. I love how you assume you really know the real reasons why Trump failed to make it to all of his scheduled events. Come on, it was Armistice Day it seems like we could all afford to take a break from all of the assumptions we have sourced in our individual bias and feelings of hatred? I guess not.

  35. Sad
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    And now rambling.

    Interesting twist.

  36. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I feel proud of what I just wrote, Sad.

    If you think I should feel ashamed, then please tell me why I should feel ashamed.

  37. iRobert
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    FF, your views as Jean has redefined them, are wrong. You lose.

  38. iRobert
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Don’t feel bad though, FF. I argued with Jean the other day. My position that rape is good turned out to be wrong.

  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    To be fair to Jean I really wasn’t clear about where the violation of the sacred occurred. Who knows? Maybe Jean actually agrees with me? She has shared some pretty cool ideas about the importance of true discourse in the past.

  40. Sad
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    So you agree with FF iRobert?

    Trump is just misunderstood? And the left are big meanies who won’t give the guy a break?

  41. iRobert
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I do agree with FF that Trump is misunderstood, Sad. But that’s where the similarities in our views end. It looks to me as though most people, both left and right, are too stupid and/or deranged to see how obviously stupid and deranged Trump is.

  42. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, rape and war are bad, I have been told.

    The experience of world peace compared to the experience of seeing boobs for free, is a false-equivalency, I have learned.

    I can’t give a full accounting of all those different tables of vets with their friends and family at IHOP yesterday but I am confident whatever they were talking about and experiencing was less valuable than world peace. Can’t prove it. The pancakes weren’t that good though.

  43. Sad
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you .

    Good night.

  44. Kit
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Trump also cancelled his planned Veterans Day visit to Arlington cemetery today.

  45. iRobert
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I think it is best if Trump cancels all his public appearances. He is incapable of being anything but a terrible embarrassment.

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    FF’d— I based my statements about why Trumo skipped the armistice day thing based on reporting by reputable outlets, Times etc about his feelings re Macron and Merkel and the White House statement on why he wasn’t there (weather) v the actual weather (light rain) . Now I think maybe he’s just sick and hiding it. He’s been extra strange In Recent public appearances.

  47. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Sad,

    It is not that I believe Trump is simply misunderstood. The left intentionally misrepresents. Misrepresentation and it’s practice is the closest thing the left currently has to a religion. The world is shaped at the level of words and logic. It is a war between fact and fiction; the power of reason versus the power of fallacy.

    I think it is important that we try to represent accurately.

  48. Sad
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    FF the president continually states things that are not true. Or do I just think that because that’s how it’s presented?

  49. wobblie
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    FF, I assume you want to hold HW to your same high standards. When there is verifiable truth available, one should use it. For example, Scott initiated a suit to bring an injunction to stop the vote counting in Florida. That suit was settled yesterday. The Judge stated that Scott had presented no evidence of voter fraud. Those are easily verifiable facts. HW, wants to pretend that these facts represent something else. When his distortions are pointed out, he resorts to name calling and misdirection. You are more sophisticated, but also either make up facts or distort them when convenient. Without any support you make the blanket statement, ” The left intentionally misrepresents.” What is it that HW does? Or Trump with the made up statement that Acosta “laid hands on” the intern. Completely made up, and consequently backed away from the very next day.

    When I make a mistake in facts, I readily have admitted them. You and HW are quit happy going through life believing in falsehoods, or so it seems.

  50. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Why would I tell you which battles to fight? Why would I let you tell me what battles I should fight? You sound like you are tattle taling on your big brother. I don’t know anything about the Florida recount. Why would I comment? Please do point out when you think I am believing a lie. I will address the accusation as best I can.

  51. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe you are going back to the Acosta “put hands on her” argument as a peice of evidence that I believes lies. I will not address that again. I think your argument there is dumb. You like your argument. Fine. Have fun with it.

  52. wobblie
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    FF, I know details are unimportant to you folks on the right. As the CNN lawsuit will demonstrate, the use of the language, and the doctored video were key to the WH having the right to ban Acosta from the press room. As it turns out banning reporters from the WH press room has been litigated. The only legitimate reason is “security”.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/11/legality-revoking-jim-acostas-press-pass/575479/

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Whatever reason Trump didn’t go, it wasn’t the rain: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/can-trumps-helicopter-marine-one-fly-rain/575695/

  54. Anonymous
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    This FF character demands ever detailed links, proof and quotes, yet doesn’t seem to provide or need any at all for his broad statements about “the left.” Seems likes a double standard to me.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Yes that is his MO. He also likes to ask a slew of rhetorical questions and demand that people answer all of them precisely as he asked them with no larger context or he will dismiss any points they do make. Like a damn lawyer insisting, ‘ yes or no? yes or no only!”

    I have compared him before to The logician from Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. Spark Notes summary “Logician – The Logician is a highly rational man who appears only in the first act, but who is referred to several other times. He believes strictly in the laws of logic, though his attempts to prove anything often collapse.”

  56. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, my questions are so demanding.

    “OMG it’s like FF asks us for the reasons we have for saying the stuff we say”.

  57. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie,

    You have explicitly refused to answer the very non-rhetorical question I asked. That question was:What in your opinion are the relevant differences between the supposedly “doctored video” and the “undoctored video”? That is, I don’t see a relevant difference in the videos. If you don’t want to offer your opinion that is fine. However, know this: It makes zero sense for you to express such certainty that the WH doctored the video in order to get a desired effect while simultaneously admiting you have not compared the videos and after announcing you have no interest in comparing the videos. Because logic. So to recap: you seem to have an interest in having an opinion but you also seem to have no interest in gathering evidence that supports that opinion. It is fine if you want to roll like that but it does not make sense….

  58. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    I don’t think of logic in terms of constructions or tricks. I see logic as sort of a form of pollution control. Clean up the pollution and the truth might shine through.

    Some of the stuff you say is cool and stands by itself nicely. But most of your ideas fail to apply to any of the issues being dealt with. I wouldn’t even call it missing point. It is more like a chronic and semi-random application of your ideas onto different conversations and topics.

    For people who don’t know or remember Jean says she does not believe in logic. You might want to keep that in mind the next time Jean shares her thoughts on some else’s logic….

  59. iRobert
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Is it that logic was devised from a privileged white male mindset? Is that the problem with it, Jean?

  60. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    iRobert– there is nothing inherently wrong with maleness or whiteness if that’s what you are implying I think. There is something wrong with ‘logic’ as applied (twisted) to re-enforce existing power structures. as it so often is. It just so happens that white straight men are the dominant demographic in our culture right now, so attempts to flatten the hierarchy and provide equal opportunity will naturally identify straight white men just as they do the wealthy. It’s completely… logical.

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Logic and reason are just about as reliable as gut instinct in producing the truth historically, by which I mean, not much. Confirmation bias infects our thought process as do existing power structures. The scientific method is more reliable but has still been shown to exhibit bias, by employing the scientific method. Most logic models do not challenge their own hypothesis as a condition of proof. That’s their weakness.

    So technically, FF’s counter as question listcicle should be useful to that end. But his questions are usually misdirecting from the question at hand v probing into it. They are rhetorical questions that rely heavily on logical fallacies. Many things seem logical but are not. Very often rules of logic are invoked to defend cultural and structural bias. Logic can be twisted to great effect when confirming bias.. HW is sure he is the height of rationality for instance.

  62. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I know that adding my perspective is often disruptive to the discourse here. I do tend towards the contrarian. I like to look at all the facets of an argument. And I should not have said I don’t believe in logic (that was a hyperbolic attempt to disrupt some pat bullshit); I should have said I don’t trust logic. Anyone who lived through a chunk of the 20th century and its failings should know better than to trust what logic alone reveals to us as true. There was a whole lot of bad think that passed itself off as rational, and was subsequently debunked over the course of the 20th century… We mostly learned that labels and categories and all the logic that employs them are unreliable.

  63. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    It amuses me to no end that the most repeated statement I’ve ever said here is “I don’t believe in logic.” Man, that one really must have really poked at a soft spot…

  64. wobblie
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    FF, if you follow the discussion thread you will see that I finally watched the video. The fact that the doctored video is a clumsy hack does not mean it did not establish its intended effect, ie. low information folks (Fox viewers for example) will have seen the doctored video and may very well imagine that Acosta hit the intern. The WH statement stating why they revoked Acosta’s press credentials accompanied the doctored video. The WH can now plausibly argue to its supporters that they had cause. Whether they ultimately win in a court of law is irrelevant to them. The Trump supporters will just think that it was those evil liberal judges–probably a Mexican judge eh?

    This is much like your obfuscation over the Charlotville videos. To my knowledge, even though according to our President there were “good people” on both sides, the Nazi’s and KKK and White Power folks are the only ones who have been convicted of assault and battery–feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  65. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Jean,

    My super-duper reliable gut instinct has informed me that you don’t know what you are talking about. I have valid feelings you are making stuff up. My gold-star-rated-intuition tells me that your authoritarian impulse is very strong.

    Believe it!
    Do it!
    (No further questions.)

  66. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Wobblie,

    I don’t remember anybody saying that “Acosta hit the intern”. Not the president. Not the WH. Nobody in the thread. I did see somewhere in a comment section somewhere that someone said Acosta kind of Karate chopped her arm. I assume it was an exaggeration. I did not see Acosta striking her arm in either of the videos. I asked you to watch the supposedly un-doctored video so that you could report on what you saw. I did not ask you to report on how clumsy the doctored video was or wasn’t. By the way, what do you mean by clumsy? I am so confused. Are you saying clumsy because the supposedly doctored video was not very effective at showing Acosta hit the intern? I would agree with that. Neither of the videos seem to show that in my opinion but I can’t see a big difference in the videos in the first place. (But that is just my opinion.) Apparently, the white house agrees with that too because the WH did not accuse Acosta of “hitting” her. Without knowing the rules of dismissal I just offered an opinion. Acosta was inappropriate in his behavior, imo. I was asking for your opinion. How would you judge? How ought the WH deal with someone who was doing what Acosta was doing? In order to answer that question a person needs to comment on what they perceive Acosta doing, no!?

    What do you see? What are you told we should have seen? Those were the relevant questions within our discussion, imo.

    Why are you trying to report back on what the so called uninformed-foxnews-crowd saw Acosta doing in the videos? What is that like 100 million people? How do you know who is watching Fox? How do you know what they saw? Are you going on super-duper-reliable-gut-instinct or did you read a survey about fox viewer opinion on the Acosta press conference thing? WTF are you talking about?

  67. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Obfuscation?

    What was Corey Long doing off camera at 5:30 in the “Duerst is the Worst” video?

    What was Deandre Harris doing off camera at 5:33 in the “Duerst is the Worst” video?

    You apparently have a high degree of faith in the rational AUTHORITY of the criminal justice system. That is fine. Set your faith aside for a moment. Why don’t you tell us what you saw. A report from you would have been great. It still would be great.

  68. stupid hick
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    “It is fine if you detect something wrong. Could you be more specific?”

    Never mind and please carry on. It’s not you, it’s me.

  69. Sad
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    But really SH. Should we be worried?

  70. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    If you detect aspects you should feel worried about, then you should identify the specific aspects that give you concern.

  71. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I have been hinting at my theory that the left has an “authoritarian impulse” problem of which they are totally unaware….

    Just wondering if anybody has any theories that might explain something I am wondering about: Why isn’t there a call from the left to get the female intern’s side of the story? Did I miss it? Some say they have viewed the video on their computers and the contact was definitely incidental. Some say they have viewed the video on their computers and they know that there was definitely no contact at all. Some say they do not need to watch the video, because they have been told by sources that are definitely reliable that the WH doctored the video and therefore the white house’s judgment can’t be trusted.

    Why wouldn’t the left be asking to hear from the young lady? Surely she has something to say about the extent of the contact. Surely she has something to say about the degree of pressure that was placed upon her arm. Surely, we should have in interest in how she felt about the interaction. Did Acosta ask about her feelings? It would be weird if he did not, right? As far as I know Acosta only said “it is a lie” and he “did not touch her”. Is this one of those “our perspective takes authority over all other perceptions” sort of thing? It seems like the interns proximity to the act in question carries a natural sort of privilege in terms of perspective, no? That privilege does not extend to her, says who?

    Am I wrong to take almost zero comfort knowing that there is some old guy online named Wobblie, who has viewed the video and that in his judgment everybody involved should feel “secure”, without regard to how everyone involved in the actual incident may or may not feel?

    Allow me to give a summarizing paraphrase of all the people on the left who have the most beautiful souls:

    “Believe it! Do it! No further questions.”

  72. wobblie
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    FF, I have watched most of the press conference at this point. Trump was an idiot. He should have just moved on, instead he kept turning back to Acosta. Trump controlled the situation and was going to continue to insult Acosta. The intern reached across Acosta, and he just turned to the side. Trump had engineered the situation to create the confrontation. He clearly was enjoying going off on Acosta. If he had wanted to he would have simply ignored Acosta, and taken a question from another reporter, or turned around and left.

  73. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Ok. What is your point?

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    FFS– I distrust logic precisely because of my anti-authoritarian impulses. The Rhinocerous was an anti-authoritarian play. There are many intellectual history lessons from the 20th century. Chief among them for me (and others) though is that categories, strict ideology and what is commonly perceived as rational are to be questioned more than believed. Also, that democracy is vulnerable to authoritarianism/fascism in times of crisis and division. But that came from Plato really. But I could just be making this all up.

  75. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    All strict ideologies have authoritarian vulnerabilities, FFS. If you had been paying attentiuon, you would have noted I have written here a great deal about that tendency on the left as well as the right. Liberalism is fundamentally about accepting multiple perspectives. Democracy is a liberal system.

  76. wobblie
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    FF, I was only trying to respond to your critique. Since you have decided that being dismissive is the appropriate resp0nse I can only conclude that my comments concerning the Trump administration attempts at obstipation is correct. Thank you for supporting my argument, I did not expect that.

  77. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry Jean. I just re-read what you wrote. I thought you said guy “instincts are more reliable than reason”. My bad. I was trying to be funny, but the joke is on me because I misread what you were saying.

  78. wobblie
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve gone soft on JH recently. Her ideology is horrific. She believes that all ideologies are ” authoritarian”, I’m sorry that is ludicrous. Admittedly she state, “authoritarian vulnerabilities” what the fuck does that mean? JH is a proponent of a failed system. Neo-Liberalism gave us Trump and will vomit up the next neo-liberal autocrat. I have only let her comments go un-challanged recently because, (as a good leftist I have joined the popular front against Trump), in general she is a proponent of evil. I am admittedly using short hand to describe her position, but pro-fracking, pro-nuke, pro-war all seem evil to me.

  79. Satan
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Although I admire her work, I’m trying hard to find redeeming qualities in Jean so that we don’t have to spend eternity together.

  80. Anonymous
    Posted November 18, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    How can you say that Trump doesn’t love the military?

    No President has as thoroughly and consistently insulted the US military as Trump. https://t.co/hcPwyFM7Tf— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) November 18, 2018

  81. Anonymous
    Posted November 18, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    As iRobert pushed my comment off the front page, I’ll try again.

    “After skipping Arlington on V-Day, Trump says SEALS were too slow getting Bin Laden.”

    And to think that people actually believe Douchey McBoneSpurs loves the military.

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