The United States(!) of A

factotum's picture
factotum started the topic in Thursday, 27 Aug 2020 at 11:12am

Septic Tanks are going to Septic Tank

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 3:21pm

Aaah Hutchy what can we do with you when you post nonsense like this.

"Saying to another countries leader that billions of aid comes with strings attached is normal and laughable as an impeachable event "

A superficially true statement but one that usually applies to strings like "spend it wisely"., " build hospitals and schools" or some such

In Trump's cse of course the string was "give me the dirt my opponent's son..."

Now I know you are probably still trying to work out that up/down thing (hint; the metal bit goes down) so you might have difficulty distinguishing between aid being conditional on the way it is to be used and aid being conditional on providing political assistance to an individual, but give it a go. It's a pretty important distinction in politics and helps prevent democracies (particularly ones that have developed a bit of a wobble like Trump's America) degenerating into kleptocracies. (Yep you might have to look that one up).

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groundswell Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 3:23pm

Off topic but does anyone know what thread that was where someone was talking about USA and i commented the gun laws there are rediculous but their cannabis laws are good? been trying to find it for an hour.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 3:30pm

Paging Udo.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 3:54pm
Hutchy 19 wrote:

No worries Stu .

I have tried to think of the myriad of ways you mentioned , am a bit of a history buff and can't think of one other way that would be better than Capitalism .

Maybe after a break you can respond as I am always keen to look at any ways that may be better .

Because there isn't one, because any other system takes freedom away from people, capitalism is really just the freedom to trade, and the right for people to own and build capitol.

Any alternative takes away that right and puts way too much power in the hands of an authority be it government/state/royal party whatever.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 4:15pm
groundswell wrote:

Off topic but does anyone know what thread that was where someone was talking about USA and i commented the gun laws there are rediculous but their cannabis laws are good? been trying to find it for an hour.

Was that the woke vegan / unemployable van life / sandy vagina / home reno thread?

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 4:29pm

haha

Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19 Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 5:00pm

BB - I have no interest or time to waste trying to work out what you are saying .

When I wrote "Saying to another countries leader that billions of aid comes with strings attached is normal and laughable as an impeachable event " I assumed that any half bright person would realise I was talking about the Ukraine . The $US 400 million was military aid .

As I said all aid should come with strings attached . Eg don't steal the money and spend it on what we have agreed .

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 5:07pm

Indo on fire today! Love it when they get all nasty and personal when they can't mount a solid rebuttal (stu, guy, BB take note).

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 5:09pm

Mate you should start every post with " I really don't know what I'm talking about but........."

"The Trump–Ukraine scandal was a political scandal in the United States involving efforts by U.S. president Donald Trump to coerce Ukraine and other foreign countries into providing damaging narratives about 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden as well as misinformation relating to Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Trump enlisted surrogates within and outside his official administration, including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr, to pressure Ukraine and other foreign governments to cooperate in supporting conspiracy theories concerning American politics.[1][2][3][4][5] Trump blocked payment of a congressionally mandated $400 million military aid package to allegedly obtain quid pro quo cooperation from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump–Ukraine_scandal

Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19 Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 5:32pm

BB- As the co founder of Wikki recently said ( on utube ) it has been corrupted and only provides the progressive view now . Very sad and not a source I use for pollical reference .

Another view could be that Trump asked for Ukraine to explain why Hunter was given a job paying huge money that he was unqualified for . Good question .

Biden senior also held the Ukraine to ransom when vice president . You won't find this on Wikki .

NY Times

Mr. Biden worked Mr. Obama during their weekly private lunches, imploring him to increase lethal aid, backing a push to ship FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kiev. The president flatly rejected the idea and dispatched him to the region as an emissary, cautioning him “about not overpromising to the Ukrainian government,” Mr. Biden would later write in a memoir.

[Trump, Ukraine and impeachment: The inside story of how we got here.]

So, Mr. Biden threw himself into what seemed like standard-issue vice-presidential stuff: prodding Ukraine’s leaders to tackle the rampant corruption that made their country a risky bet for international lenders — and pushing reform of Ukraine’s cronyism-ridden energy industry.

“You have to be whiter than snow, or the whole world will abandon you,” Mr. Biden told the country’s newly elected president, Petro O. Poroshenko, during an early 2014 phone call, according to former administration officials.

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That message was delivered just as Mr. Biden’s son Hunter joined the board of a Ukrainian gas company that was the subject of multiple corruption investigations, a position that paid him as much as $50,000 a month and — in the view of some administration officials, including the ambassador to Kiev — threatened to undermine Mr. Biden’s agenda.

Thanks to President Trump and his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, that subplot has now swallowed the story line. Their efforts to press Ukrainian officials to investigate unsubstantiated charges against the Bidens have propelled Mr. Trump to the brink of impeachment. They have also put Mr. Biden on the defensive at a critical moment in the Democratic presidential primary campaign. As the impeachment hearings go public this week, the Republicans are hoping to redirect the spotlight onto the Bidens.

A look at what the former vice president actually did in Ukraine (he visited six times and spent hours on the phone with the country’s leaders) tells a different story, according to interviews with more than two dozen people knowledgeable about the situation. It casts light on one of Mr. Biden’s central arguments for himself in the primary: his eight years of diplomacy as Mr. Obama’s No. 2.

Mr. Biden dived into Ukraine in hopes of burnishing his statesman credentials at a time when he seemed to be winding down his political career, as his elder son, Beau, was dying and his younger one, Hunter, was struggling with addiction and financial problems. It turned out to be an unforgiving landscape — threatened by Russia, plundered by oligarchs, plagued by indecisive leaders and overrun by outsiders hoping to make a quick buck off the chaos.

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Writing in his 2017 memoir, Mr. Biden said Ukraine gave him a chance to fulfill a childhood promise to make a difference in the world. It also came to serve a political purpose, as “a legacy project, something he could run on,” said Keith Darden, an associate professor at American University who studies Ukraine policy.

Image
George P. Kent, right, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, told impeachment investigators that he had raised concerns about Hunter Biden in 2015.
George P. Kent, right, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, told impeachment investigators that he had raised concerns about Hunter Biden in 2015.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times
In the end, it was an unglamorous holding action, but one that suited Mr. Biden’s Mr. Fix-It approach to the vice presidency — and his view of Ukraine as the front line in a larger battle to contain the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.

“People forget it now, but at that time period, 2014 and 2015, it wasn’t clear Ukraine would survive,” Mr. Darden said. “They were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. They had only 8,000 battle-ready troops.”

A key to Mr. Biden’s relevance as vice president was his willingness to take jobs nobody else wanted. In early 2014, as others on Mr. Obama’s team raced to finish big-splash deals with Cuba and Iran, Mr. Biden told the president he wanted to take on three of the most unappetizing foreign-policy tasks left undone: containing the Islamic State, curbing immigration from Central America and keeping Russia from devouring Ukraine.

Mr. Biden had deep contacts in Europe, and as a senator in the 1990s had had some success persuading President Bill Clinton to take action in the Balkans. He considered himself to be among the few people in Mr. Obama’s orbit who understood Europe and were willing to challenge Mr. Putin — a counter to the national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, who repeatedly warned the president against escalating a conflict with Russia that the United States could not win.

Yet on Ukraine, as elsewhere, Mr. Biden was less an architect of policy than the empowered executor of Mr. Obama’s policy.

“He was the vice president, not the president,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers allied with Mr. Biden who pressured Mr. Obama to help Ukraine’s military.

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The Daily Poster
Listen to ‘The Daily’: Why Military Assistance for Ukraine Matters
American aid to Ukraine has the power to tip the scales in a broader battle between authoritarianism and democracy.

TRANSCRIPT

0:00/26:08
Listen to ‘The Daily’: Why Military Assistance for Ukraine Matters
Hosted by Michael Barbaro; produced by Michael Simon Johnson, Clare Toeniskoetter and Annie Brown, with help from Jazmín Aguilera; and edited by Theo Balcomb
American aid to Ukraine has the power to tip the scales in a broader battle between authoritarianism and democracy.
Michael Barbaro
From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.”

Today — at the heart of the impeachment inquiry was a threat to withhold U.S. military assistance from Ukraine. Why that assistance had been so important to Ukraine, and to the United States, in the first place. It’s Monday, November 11.

Andrew Kramer
The word “Ukraine” means frontier or border land. This was a frontier between two competing empires. It’s been a country torn between East and West, between Western Europe and Russia.

Archived Recording
[SPEAKING UKRAINIAN]

Andrew Kramer
For most of the 20th century, Russia had won out, and Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.

Archived Recording
The Declaration of Independence is on, as of today? That’s what it says. From the moment — It is effective as of today.

Andrew Kramer
Until August 24, 1991, when Ukraine took a step toward the West.

Archived Recording
Good. An already emotional week ended today, as the people of the Ukraine embarked on a new beginning, becoming the fifth republic to break away from the Kremlin.

Andrew Kramer
It was the culmination of a long struggle for independence. And after years of hardship under Soviet rule, Ukraine was now an independent state.

Archived Recording
This is one of the turning points in history. The vote for independence of the Ukraine is, in fact, one of those momentous events that is going to change the rest of history. It’s the end of the Russian Empire.

Michael Barbaro
So once Ukraine becomes an independent country, and it can have its own international relations with the rest of the world, what do those relationships start to look like?

Andrew Kramer
The key issue for Ukraine that defined both its foreign and its domestic policy in the post-Soviet period was the geopolitical struggle for Ukraine’s allegiance.

Michael Barbaro
I reached Andrew Kramer, a foreign correspondent for The Times in Kiev.

Andrew Kramer
On the one hand you had Ukraine, very closely tied to Russia by industrial supply chains, by energy pipelines, and indeed by culture and by history. But the European Union was pulling Ukraine in a Western direction, the European Union in the United States, trying to conceive of Ukraine as integrated into the Western European world. And as Europe pulled in one direction, Russia started to pull back.

Michael Barbaro
And what was it about Ukraine that interested the U.S. and the European Union?

Andrew Kramer
The idea was to encourage the development of a Democratic system, and to prevent the re-emergence of a Russian empire. There was the axiom that Russia without Ukraine is just a country, and Russia with Ukraine becomes an empire. So maintaining the independence of Ukraine was a policy objective to prevent the re-emergence of an expansionist imperial power in Moscow.

Michael Barbaro
It feels like at this point, the Cold War is officially over. But it’s not quite over.

Andrew Kramer
That’s right. There was a feeling that the Russians, although they had acquiesced to the independence of these countries, they had a phantom limb syndrome. They always felt that Ukraine, in fact, should belong to Russia.

Michael Barbaro
Phantom limb as if they could never really believe that Ukraine or Czechoslovakia or any of these countries were not really theirs anymore.

Andrew Kramer
Yes, that’s right. And there’s something more. There’s a cultural issue at play here. Both Russia and Ukraine trace their origin to Kiev. Kiev was the capital of the original Russian state. They feel this was the roots of their country, and they don’t want to see it in another state. So they feel that the Ukrainians are something like wayward cousins in this sense, that it should be obvious to Ukrainians that this is all one culture and one civilization.

Michael Barbaro
So Russians believe that Russia, as a concept, as a place, as a country, as an identity began in Kiev.

Andrew Kramer
That’s right.

Michael Barbaro
But of course the fact that Ukraine is independent means that no matter how Russia feels about it, Ukraine has the right to develop whatever relationship it wants with the U.S. and with the European Union.

Andrew Kramer
Theoretically, certainly, but they also have to be very cautious about not poking the Russian bear. That they have a powerful neighbor and they have to acknowledge the real politics of their circumstances.

What’s developing here is the tug of war that becomes the story of post-independence Ukraine, with the West reaching out to form alliances, and Russia seeking to maintain its sphere of influence in Ukraine.

Archived Recording
Ukraine is trying to decide whether it wants to align itself with Russia’s regional trade bloc or to push for E.U integration.

Andrew Kramer
This really came to a head with two competing trade agreements, which were offered to Ukraine.

Archived Recording
The Ukrainian president arrived in Strasbourg, poised to work on concluding the association agreement —

Andrew Kramer
One from the European Union and one from Russia.

Archived Recording
— with a view to later establishing a free trade area between Ukraine and the E.U.

Andrew Kramer
The European Union offered a more serious and formal trade arrangement with Ukraine that would be, possibly a path to membership in the E.U., although that was seen as a distant prospect.

Archived Recording
After 15 years of eager anticipation, the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is up and running.

Andrew Kramer
And Russia responded by offering a trade agreement of its own, which was called the Customs Union.

Archived Recording
The union, created to ease mutual trade, could be joined by another candidate, Ukraine.

Andrew Kramer
Which was very similar on paper to the European Union, but it was also, in a sense, a reforming of the Soviet Union as well.

Archived Recording
The country is at a crossroads, deciding whether to turn East or West.

Michael Barbaro
This feels like a very consequential moment. Because to join the E.U would feel like Ukraine saying, officially we see ourselves as part of Europe. To choose a trade deal instead with Russia would be to say to the West, we ultimately see ourselves as part of the world of Russia.

Andrew Kramer
That’s right. So while on paper this was about trade, grain quotas, and so forth, this was really about the destiny of the country.

Archived Recording (Viktor Yanukovych)
[SPEAKING UKRANIAN]

Michael Barbaro
And where does the Ukrainian leader at the time fall on this decision, the West or Russia?

Archived Recording (Viktor Yanukovych)
[SPEAKING UKRANIAN]

Andrew Kramer
The Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovych, had generally been seen as a pro-Russian politician. But he had promised that Ukraine would integrate economically with the European Union, while maintaining good relations with Russia.

Archived Recording (Viktor Yanukovych)
[SPEAKING UKRAINIAN]

Andrew Kramer
But in the end, in a very dramatic moment —

Archived Recording (Viktor Yanukovych)
[SPEAKING UKRAINIAN]

Andrew Kramer
— the Yanukovych government announces that they will turn to Russia instead of the European Union for a trade agreement.

Michael Barbaro
He goes with Russia.

Andrew Kramer
He went with Russia.

Michael Barbaro
That was genuinely surprising to me. I mean, here is this country just a couple of decades out of independence, and it is taking the most formal step possible to reintegrate itself with the country it had sought independence from.

Andrew Kramer
That’s right. And this is what a lot of people in Ukraine and in Kiev felt about this decision.

Archived Recording
[CHANTS IN UKRAINIAN] There were immediate protests in Kiev that never let up from the day they began in November of 2013. [SPEAKING TO A CROWD IN UKRAINIAN]

Michael Barbaro
And tell me about these protests.

Andrew Kramer
Well, when I came down to cover these protests in the late fall of 2013, there was already a tent encampment in the center of Kiev, in Independence Square, with thousands and thousands of people on the square, around the clock.

Archived Recording
[SINGING IN UKRAINIAN]

Andrew Kramer
People were genuinely outraged by this decision to lean back towards Russia.

Archived Recording
[SPEAKING TO A CROWD IN UKRAINIAN]

Andrew Kramer
And it was also something of a party, really.

Even though they were always riot policemen — some where hovering on the edges of these protests, sometimes making incursions, making arrests, there were also groups called “titushky,” which were hired thugs who would come in with a lead pipe or knives, straight razors, and would be attacking the protesters.

It started to turn more violent as the winter came on. By February, I was living in a hotel, right on the square, and it became very tense.

When I drove into the city in the early morning, I could see black smoke rising from the center of Kiev from burning cars. And there were a number of very violent confrontations over about two days in late February, in which the police eventually encroached on the square, overran much of the territory that the protesters had controlled, and pushed it back to a few hundred square yards. And at the last moment, the protesters, out of desperation, they started to burn tires and actually anything that was flammable to make a ring around this small, charred bit of pavement that was the only remaining area that they controlled, that they sort of felt this was what was left of their dream of the independent Ukraine.

And then in the final day —

Archived Recording
[GUNSHOT] [SPEAKING UKRAINIAN]

Andrew Kramer
— there was really a cacophony of gunfire.

Archived Recording
[GUNSHOT]

And there were snipers firing into the crowd.

Over this hour and a half, 70 people were killed, and several hundred people were wounded.

It was such a brutal moment that the Ukrainian elite and the international community realized that something had happened that could not be left unaddressed. And there was a revolt in the Yanukovych government against the president. And the police defected —

Michael Barbaro
Wow.

Andrew Kramer
— and betrayed their president, and actually left the city center. And within hours, the president fled the capital.

Michael Barbaro
So what happens next?

Andrew Kramer
Well, what happened next was a move by Russia. Because Russia and President Vladimir Putin had just lost its ally in Viktor Yanukovych. And the very next day Putin met with his security chiefs overnight. And by dawn, President Putin orders what he calls an operation to take back Crimea, which is in the south of Ukraine. And what this was really was an order of a military intervention into Ukraine.

Michael Barbaro
We’ll be right back.

Archived Recording
Russia is tightening its grip on Crimea, as we get reports of an increasing number of troops and takeovers of key military facilities. This despite intense diplomatic efforts —

Michael Barbaro
What is it about Crimea that makes it the most logical place for Putin to try to invade?

Andrew Kramer
Well, Crimea is host to a major Russian naval base in Sevastopol. So the military infrastructure is partly already in place. Also, the population in Crimea is predominantly Russian-speaking. So you would have a receptive population in this area.

Archived Recording
Look at Ukraine and Crimea, down in the south there, jutting out into the waters of the Black Sea, home to a critical port the Russian navy has used for centuries. This morning, more unidentified pro-Russian armed militias, patrolling the streets of Crimea’s capital.

Andrew Kramer
So this was an unacknowledged intervention. These were men who had no insignia on their uniforms. They were called, disparagingly by the Ukrainians, “the little green men,” as if they’d come from space. Mystery men in green uniforms by the hundreds were showing up in their country.

Archived Recording
Vladimir Putin, proudly watching Russian military exercises today.

Andrew Kramer
They surrounded Ukrainian military bases.

Archived Recording
His Air Force controls the sky.

Andrew Kramer
They seized a bunch of the Ukrainian navy.

Archived Recording
His army controls the roads, borders, and military bases.

Andrew Kramer
They overran the local legislature and other centers of power, and really, within days, had seized control.

Archived Recording
Putin rules in Crimea now.

Andrew Kramer
So by this point the political process starts. The de facto authorities declare a referendum. There are no observers, so it’s hard to say exactly what happened. But the people are asked, do you want to join Russia or would you like to remain in Ukraine? And by this point, of course, they are, in fact, already part of Russia. And the results come in, and a majority want to be annexed by Russia.

Michael Barbaro
So Russia, having invaded Crimea, then asks the people of Crimea, do you, basically mind that we just invaded Crimea? And it turns out that the answer is no.

Andrew Kramer
Exactly.

Michael Barbaro
Is it fair to say that Russia was using this kind of vote as a rationale to say, it’s OK that we just annexed Crimea, because in a sense, Crimea was always ours?

Andrew Kramer
Yes, absolutely. The message was, these are our people, and they’re coming home.

Archived Recording
[SPEAKING UKRAINIAN]

Andrew Kramer
So we left off back in Kiev with Ukraine losing its leader. So what is the response in Ukraine to this military incursion by Russia? What happened next was, Russia tried a similar approach in other provinces.

Archived Recording
Just yesterday, at this hour, thousands of Russian troops have been deployed to Ukraine’s border.

Andrew Kramer
They’ve fomented uprisings in Russian-speaking areas. And this led to the war that we have going on in Ukraine today between pro-Russian forces and pro-Ukrainian forces.

Archived Recording
[GUNFIRE]

Michael Barbaro
And what does this war look like?

Archived Recording
[SPEAKING UKRAINIAN]

[EXPLOSION]

Andrew Kramer
It’s been a forgotten war. While there was interest in the first months, it’s settled into a stalemate.

Archived Recording (Barack Obama)
Good afternoon, everybody.

Andrew Kramer
There was debate in the Obama administration about how to respond.

Archived Recording (Barack Obama)
I wanted to provide a brief update on our efforts to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Andrew Kramer
And they settled on what they were calling non-lethal assistance.

Archived Recording (Barack Obama)
— to provide American assistance for the Ukrainian government, so that they can weather this storm and stabilize their economy.

Andrew Kramer
And this was training for the Ukrainian army, ambulances, armored vehicles, body armor, radios, and other types of assistance, which were not deemed to be lethal, or most importantly, would not provoke a retaliatory escalation from Russia.

Archived Recording
It’s time to ask the hard question. Are we willing to stand up to Vladimir Putin’s aggression before he kills more people, does more economic damage, further destabilizes Europe?

Andrew Kramer
So this began in 2014.

Archived Recording
Our options grow fewer and less effective.

Andrew Kramer
Support for Ukraine in Congress had been bipartisan. Both parties had agreed that backing Ukrainian independence was really in the United State’s interests. This was about holding Russia at bay. There hadn’t been much controversy over that.

Archived Recording
That’s why I’m announcing today my plan to introduce new legislation. It will offer Ukraine greater assistance on a variety of fronts.

Andrew Kramer
And this assistance was rolled over in Congress year after year.

Michael Barbaro
Right. And so this is the military assistance that we have now heard so much about over the past few weeks.

Andrew Kramer
Exactly.

Archived Recording (John Mccain)
Give them the weapons they need. Give them the wherewithal they need. Give them the ability to fight. They will fight.

Archived Recording
The world is watching, and the world’s superpower can not be seen as incapable of rising to Russia’s challenge.

Michael Barbaro
OK. So this is the situation after 2014. So what happens to this relationship once President Trump takes office?

Andrew Kramer
From the Ukrainian side, there was an effort to strike up a transactional relationship with President Trump, as sort of, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. President Poroshenko and president of Ukraine at the time negotiated, for example, to buy coal from Pennsylvania. This was politically beneficial for Trump, because Pennsylvania coal miners were really Trump’s base, and Trump had promised to deliver jobs to coal miners in his campaign.

Archived Recording
That’s a great honor and a great pleasure to be together with you, with the president, one of the most reliable, supportive, and partner — strategic partner for Ukraine. We really try to bring freedom and democracy.

Michael Barbaro
So the Ukrainian government is desperate to do whatever it needs to do to get into Trump’s good graces, because in their minds, if they can do that, they can restore a better relationship with the U.S., and one in which the U.S. sees Ukraine as a strategic partner, and leans away from Russia.

Andrew Kramer
Exactly.

Archived Recording (Donald Trump)
Thank you very much. It’s wonderful to have President Poroshenko with us. We spent some time recently in the White House. And I know you’ve made good progress since then — a lot of progress, actually. And I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest place right now to live, but you’re making it better and better on a daily basis . And I do hear very, very good things.

Michael Barbaro
How is President Trump weighing in on this war, waging within the Ukraine between these pro-Russian forces and Ukrainian military?

Archived Recording (Donald Trump)
And I really hope that Russia — because I really believe that President Putin would like to do something — I really hope that you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem. That would be a tremendous achievement. And I know you’re trying to do that.

Andrew Kramer
He’s been very quiet on Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Archived Recording
Silence in the White House, which is pretty distressing, given that we clearly have a powder keg. So will President Trump really put pressure on Vladimir Putin over this latest clash between Russia and Ukraine? Well we pressed the Trump administration repeatedly on that question. Neither the White House nor the State Department would comment.

Andrew Kramer
And amid all this uncertainty about whether the Trump administration is really supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, the Ukrainians learned, by early August of this year, that about $400 million in military aid has been held up by the White House.

Archived Recording
Hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid has poured into Ukraine since 2014. But that could be at risk. Critics say the potential aid cut is an example of Trump capitulating to Russia. Some members of Congress are already sounding the alarm.

Andrew Kramer
And this was the time when they needed U.S. backing. And the aid was a symbol of U.S. backing. It was also quite valuable for their military. But it wasn’t quite clear initially what the issue was, or how serious it would become. There was a creeping awareness in Ukrainian government that the aid might, in fact, be lost by September.

Michael Barbaro
Finally, Andrew, the reason we’re talking to you about this military aid at all is, of course, the phone call that President Trump makes to Ukraine’s president, and everything that we have learned since about the withholding of that aid to Ukraine, unless the Ukrainians agreed to do these investigations that President Trump wanted into his rivals. And based on what you’ve told us, how critically important this aide is, I guess I’m curious what the people fighting the war in Ukraine on the ground, who rely on this military aid, what they make of this series of events.

Andrew Kramer
Ultimately, when I talked to dozens of soldiers, the feeling was one of disappointment. They felt they had maybe lost an ally in this war.

I was at the front in October and met with some soldiers, and they naturally said that they were disappointed. The Ukrainian army is a poor army. They’re fighting with basic weapons — Kalashnikov rifles, binoculars. They’re living in dug out bunkers. Some of the soldiers, for example, are wearing tennis shoes and not boots. It’s a very grim existence. So for them to learn they were losing the military assistance was quite a blow. Soldiers said they were disappointed. So this was really a shock to soldiers to realize that they might be in this on their own.

Michael Barbaro
Andrew, thank you very much.

Andrew Kramer
Thank you.

Michael Barbaro
This week, the first witness to be called in the public phase of the impeachment inquiry will be Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who is expected to testify that he had a, quote, “Clear understanding that American military aid to Ukraine would not be released until the Ukrainians pursued investigations that would benefit President Trump.” In his closed door testimony, Taylor has described a quote snake pit of people around the president, who were willing to use the military aid as leverage over Ukraine, despite the danger it posed to Ukraine.

We’ll be right back.

Here is what else you need to know today.

Archived Recording
So is this a sign that Republicans are prepared to go back on the offense here? I think it is, and first of all —

Michael Barbaro
Over the weekend, House Republicans released their list of witnesses for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry, including Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, Hunter Biden’s business partner, and the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint launched the inquiry.

Archived Recording
I’m excited to see some of these witnesses that we’ve placed on the list. It’s finally — finally we have an opportunity to kind of get to the bottom of what’s going on, and to round out some of the evidence. Heretofore, as you know, it’s been a very one-sided sham of a process.

Michael Barbaro
The witness list appeared to be an attempt by Republicans to shift the focus of the investigation away from President Trump.

Archived Recording
Let’s hope that Chairman Schiff will allow these witnesses to testify.

Michael Barbaro
After reading the list, the chairman of the committee overseeing the inquiry, Democrat Adam Schiff, suggested that he would reject the Republican list and prevent them from testifying.

That’s is for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

Indeed, the drive to provide lethal aid to Kiev was a group effort, pushed by senators and two powerful State Department officials: Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who was the ambassador in Kiev, and Victoria J. Nuland, then the hawkish assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs.

Ms. Nuland was overheard telling Mr. Pyatt they needed Mr. Biden “for an attaboy” to encourage Ukrainian leaders to fulfill their promises, during a 2013 phone conversation about Ukraine, bugged and released to the media.

Bribes, Shakedowns and ‘Sweetheart Deals’
Mr. Biden applied his Amtrak charm to local players like Ukraine’s embattled president, Viktor Yanukovych, with limited effect. Former White House aides recall watching an agitated Mr. Biden ducking in and out of a secure phone booth outside the situation room in early 2014, trying to reach Mr. Yanukovych on his cellphone.

“Where the hell is this guy?” he kept asking, before learning that Mr. Yanukovych had fled Kiev, ultimately for Russia, as huge street protests erupted against his regime’s corruption and his pivot away from Europe and toward Moscow.

Image
Pro-Russian forces in Crimea in March 2014.
Pro-Russian forces in Crimea in March 2014.Credit...Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
Mr. Putin then rushed in, annexing Crimea and backing paramilitaries who invaded the country’s east. While Mr. Biden’s pitch for missiles was rebuffed, he eventually helped sell Mr. Obama on sending about 100 American service members to train Ukraine’s security forces.

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Things seemed to be looking up in May 2014 with the election of Mr. Poroshenko, an oligarch who billed himself as a reformer. At first, the vice president’s hard-edged messages to him on corruption were coated with kibbitz — demands accompanied by Bidenesque inquiries like whether the puffy-eyed president was getting enough sleep, aides recalled.

Within months, though, the State Department began suspecting that the office of Mr. Poroshenko’s first prosecutor general was accepting bribes to protect Mykola Zlochevsky, the oligarch owner of Burisma Holdings, the gas company where Hunter Biden was a board member. In a February 2015 meeting in Kiev with a deputy prosecutor, a State Department official named George P. Kent demanded to know “who took the bribe and how much was it?”

The prosecutor general was fired soon after. But it wasn’t long before the new prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was drawing allegations of corruption, including from State Department officials who suspected he was shaking down targets and intentionally slow-walking investigations to protect allies.

Mr. Giuliani has claimed, without evidence, that Mr. Biden’s push to oust Mr. Shokin was an attempt to block scrutiny of his son’s actions. In fact, Mr. Biden was just one of many officials calling for Mr. Shokin to go. Good-government activists were protesting his actions in the streets, as were eurozone power players like Christine Lagarde, then the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, along with Ms. Nuland and Senate Republicans.

“The position regarding getting rid of Shokin was not Vice President Biden’s position; it was the position of the U.S. government, as well as the European Union and international financial institutions,” said Amos J. Hochstein, former coordinator for international energy affairs at the State Department and one of the few administration officials who directly confronted Mr. Biden at the time about his son.

Ukraine’s energy industry, the country’s geopolitically crucial economic engine, was a central point of contention between the Obama administration and Kiev. Mr. Biden and Mr. Hochstein, echoing a similar effort by European officials, pressured Mr. Poroshenko to reform the operations of the state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz, which controlled about two-thirds of the country’s energy resources.

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(Burisma, a smaller, privately owned company, played no role in Mr. Biden’s pressure campaign, and administration officials could not recall whether the company was even mentioned in meetings the vice president attended on energy matters.)

By late 2015, American officials had grown so frustrated with Mr. Poroshenko’s sluggish response on all fronts that Mr. Biden was dispatched to make the case publicly for reforms to the Ukrainian Parliament.

That December, in a speech that he later described as one of the most important he had ever delivered, the vice president told legislators they had “to remove all conflicts between their business interest and their government responsibilities.” He also singled out the natural gas industry, saying, “The energy sector needs to be competitive, ruled by market principles — not sweetheart deals.”

Image
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kiev.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kiev.Credit...Sean Gallup/Getty Images
His words, like his work in Ukraine over all, were important but hardly decisive.

“A lot of good things would not have happened if Biden hadn’t been focused on Ukraine, but his work did not fundamentally change the overall institutional corruption,” said Edward C. Chow, an expert on geopolitics and energy policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan Washington think tank. “And having his son doing what he did was a distraction that undermined his message.”

Mr. Shokin was eventually fired, but only months later, after I.M.F. officials threatened to withdraw funding.

In the intervening years, there has been much churn and less change. Mr. Putin, facing sanctions, has mostly stayed in check. Mr. Poroshenko was beaten at the polls by Volodymyr Zelensky in April, and remains bitter toward Mr. Biden for calling him out over his handling of Naftogaz during a meeting shortly before the 2016 elections, according to a person to whom he recently complained.

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Some reforms have been put in place at the energy giant: Ukrainian officials agreed to appoint an international oversight board (Mr. Hochstein is now a paid I.M.F. appointee to the panel), but the issue of sweetheart deals remains unresolved.

The battle over Naftogaz has also become wrapped up in the House impeachment inquiry. Two of Mr. Giuliani’s associates in his pressure campaign against the Bidens — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — were part of an effort to remove Mr. Pyatt’s successor as ambassador to Kiev, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had called for reforms to the energy giant.

For his part, Hunter Biden remained on Burisma’s board until his term expired in April.

It was Mr. Trump, ironically, who signed off on Mr. Biden’s request to send the Javelins.

Handling the Story
Mr. Biden wants to move on.

“I carried out the policy of the United States government,” he said during the most recent Democratic debate. “That’s what we should be focusing on.”

But he did not take advantage of a chance to eliminate the distraction four years ago, when the threat resurfaced — in the form of questions from The New York Times and follow-ups from other news organizations — as he flew to Kiev on Air Force Two to deliver the anti-corruption speech to Parliament.

Several aides recalled a surreal split-screen of activity onboard, as Mr. Biden’s team focused mostly on the speech (he urged them to make it tougher), but peeled off for intermittent huddles on how to handle the Hunter story (Mr. Biden dismissed the story as a distraction, and did not engage). The group defaulted to the pushback plan used the year before when the story had first emerged, issuing a statement that Hunter Biden was “a private citizen and a lawyer.”

They emphasized “private citizen,” many former aides said, because the vice president would not even discuss taking the step that could make all questions vanish: asking his son to quit the Burisma board, as editorial boards and Ukraine experts were suggesting.

Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.
Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.Credit...Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
Mr. Biden’s advisers say that he and his son had informally agreed years earlier not to discuss anything pertaining to the younger Mr. Biden’s business activities, as a way to insulate them both.

Bob Bauer, former Obama White House counsel and Biden adviser, said that even pressuring Hunter Biden to quit the board would have constituted a breach of that firewall, and suggested that was one of the reasons the vice president chose not to do it. “The independent activities of an adult child simply don’t create a ‘conflict of interest’ for the parent who is a public official,” he said. “And as a matter of sound ethical practice, it is important for officials in this position to maintain that distance: to be able to show that, in doing their jobs, they could not have been affected by discussions or involvement with their adult children relating to private business matters. Their posture has to be, ‘Whatever you decide to do, I am going to do what I have to do.’”

Mr. Biden has said he first learned of his son’s activities in Ukraine when the story broke in 2014. He told his son, “I hope you know what you are doing,” according to Hunter Biden’s account of their discussion in The New Yorker earlier this year.

If that settled matters between father and son, Hunter Biden’s activities struck many of the officials working on Ukraine policy as an unnecessary distraction, or worse. Mr. Biden’s own aides were so worried about the optics, they enlisted State Department officials to gather facts to determine how to handle the story, according to people who worked with his office.

Yet few, if any, had raised the issue with Mr. Biden directly when it first arose. Most viewed the revelation — unseemly, but not illegal or a violation of ethics rules — as simply not worth risking a scolding from Mr. Biden, who had reacted angrily when Mr. Obama’s aides raised the issue of his son’s lobbying during the 2008 campaign. One person who briefly discussed the matter with Mr. Biden said he was anguished by his son’s personal problems and unsure how to help him recover.

Mr. Hochstein, reflecting the concerns of State Department officials, including Mr. Pyatt, tried to get several of Mr. Biden’s aides to broach the subject with him in 2014. When they declined, he took matters into his own hands, according to three Obama administration officials with knowledge of the situation. It is not clear how Mr. Biden responded; Mr. Hochstein did not disclose details of their interaction.

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But former administration officials involved in the response to the story, speaking on the condition of anonymity, cited one reason above all others for backing off: the vice president’s shaky emotional state over Beau’s illness and death. Mr. Kent, now the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, told House investigators that his concerns had not been addressed by a White House official, who told him that Mr. Biden lacked the “further bandwidth to deal with family-related issues at that time.”

Mr. Biden’s mood in 2019 is no longer grief but anger. His aides accuse the news media of abetting Mr. Trump by aiming the story, now the catalyst for impeachment, back at the former vice president.

“Let’s not forget that this was covered on A22 of The Times in 2015, because it did not fall outside the White House’s ethical guidelines and was simply not a major story,” said Kate Bedingfield, the Biden campaign’s communications director.

She added: “What’s different now? It’s that Donald Trump is aggressively lying about it every day in the hopes that it winds up on the front page.”

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Thanks for reading The Times.

I am sure you doubt this so if you are interested call up Biden . There will be no reference to his sons Ukraine or laptop controversies .

Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19 Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 5:39pm

Sorry BB . Stuffed up my c and p . Tried to clean up but no luck .

I haven't read what I posted but it may help you with Trump being a DH . No problems as I know this already . Just want to point out that Biden is to .

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 5:37pm

Imagine Biden if he was accused of bribery, he could honestly say he has no recollection of anything.

Even if it was suppose to have happened yesterday.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 5:50pm

"I haven't read what I posted"
Neither have I. Probably done with you Hutchy, your stuff is drivel.

"Imagine Biden if he was accused of bribery, he could honestly say he has no recollection of anything.

Even if it was suppose to have happened yesterday."

Maybe, I'm not a big fan of Biden, so I have no idea why you are dragging him into a discussion about Trump's well documented attempt to bribe the Ukraine. I suppose it gets my post of the front page and distracts any readers from the main issue. Not that it matters. The whole thing is in the history books now and will stay there.....but keep living in your private fantasy world if it makes you happy. Personally I like to be on the right side of history, take the long view, see it the way people will in a hundred years when the evidence can be considered without the emotional kick. But yeh I can see that some people really don't care much about that, the truth, for such types, is optional. If you can't cope with the real world Indo, a good fantasy is the next best thing I suppose.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 6:22pm
blindboy wrote:

Trump Admits To Bribery During Morning Fox News Interview
https://bipartisanreport.com/2019/11/23/trump-admits-to-bribery-during-m...
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/21/trump-bribe-ukraine-2...
https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/01/19/sotu-crow-bribery.cnn
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/30/trump-ukraine-alleged-br...
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/news/2020/01/21/479664...
https://sidebarsblog.com/trump-ukraine-bribery-extortion/
https://www.inquisitr.com/5712973/cohen-trump-ukraine-president/
https://www.inquisitr.com/5712973/cohen-trump-ukraine-president/
https://www.newsweek.com/former-defense-secretary-trump-attempt-extort-b...
https://dpl-surveillance-equipment.com/miscellaneous/trump-attempts-to-b...

Ten posts stating that Trump would withhold aid until Biden’s corruption was exposed?

So fucken what?

Which planet are you living on that political corruption should remain hidden?

You should be working for Scomo with that attitude.

Hey BB ….you should join us in 2021. Even the Democrats and their cronies in the media have moved beyond that attempt to paint nuggets of shit as gold. Let it go bloke.

Real talk - Your inability to concede to a historical reality accepted by everyone else is tainting anything you have to say in current times. Nothing you have to say day to day now has any credibility until you realise that the lies you peddled with such vigor in the past are….lies.

Put on the Big Boy pants, bloke. I don’t expect someone as foolhardily proud as yourself to commit to a bout of public self flagellation over the issue but at least let it quietly subside into the background.

Remember Molly’s catch phrase- “ Do yourself a favour”.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 6:21pm

Yawn. Sane old shit.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 6:25pm
blindboy wrote:

Yawn. Sane old shit.

Lol.

You’re not wrong. It’s like you’re stuck in 2016. The funny* thing is that you’ll probably go to your grave believing the lies you are parroting, despite the purveyors of the lies moving on with their lives and later conceding that it was all just political machinations. .

*sad

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 6:28pm

More of the SOS.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 6:52pm

Like I said , you’re about half as smart as you think you are bloke.

Right now, with your “Trump & Ukraine!!!!” Rubbish you’re the internet equivalent of a school boy from 1953 who was taught to hide under their desk during a Soviet era cold war nuclear attack, now preaching to millennials about the need to practise their under-desk nuclear drills.

No shit. You are literally stuck in a past which NEVER HAPPENED.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 7:09pm

The bottomless pit of bullshit.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 7:18pm

Finally some truth.

Between you and me, BB I don’t reckon you’ll find bottom in our lifetime.

Enjoy the descent though bloke!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 7:22pm

SOS

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 8:12pm

Real talk - Your inability to concede to a historical reality accepted by everyone else is tainting anything you have to say in current times. Nothing you have to say day to day now has any credibility until you realise that the lies you peddled with such vigor in the past are….lies.

An ex-school teacher who thinks the martians are going to invade circa 1953…..is that really your legacy?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 8:23pm

Same old sad shit.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 8:28pm
Hutchy 19 wrote:

No worries Stu .

I have tried to think of the myriad of ways you mentioned , am a bit of a history buff and can't think of one other way that would be better than Capitalism .

Hutchy puts his Miss Representation dress on!

Did I say that....or....are you just misrepresenting me?

Anyway, he's joined at the dance by Dolt Rex shaking his petticoat after two mugs of fruit punch and Indo Dreaming who's knowledge of the past is limited to a VHS copy of Nat Young's History of Surfing. 300,000 years of human culture, shifting organically as they spread across the globe, innumerable shades of difference, ways of co-operating, organising into a society, all of them 'natural', and all of them opportunities to wonder at how expansive human culture can be, but all the Toff and his Two Sidekicks can muster is 'left wing is shit' and 'my team won the fooey!'

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GuySmiley Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 9:52pm

Stu on fire tonight, loving your work

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 11:49pm

Its impressive the amount of time an effort goes into trading insults but would appreciate a bit of comedy built into the insult it has way more impact.

Blowin back some way you were reasonably good but seem to be off form at the moment haven't had a laugh for a while.

Problem throwing out the confrontation / anger thing all the time is your brain is listening not good for the mental health.

arcadia's picture
arcadia's picture
arcadia Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:13am

Spot on there I focus. Although, BB's 'the polymath rolls on' post a page back and Stu's most recent contribution were both pretty decent efforts.

etarip's picture
etarip's picture
etarip Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:13am

Same same ifocus. It’s good when there’s some pointed and clever banter that makes you laugh. It’s crap when it’s just personal vitriol.

I had a chuckle at fitzy’s “Dick Vocal” call the other week. No offence to VL… but it made me laugh. Hutchy19 has copped some funny ones too. Seems to bounce off him or go over his head tho.

Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19 Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:14am

BB - Don't try and change 180 degrees too much too quickly re this as you might hurt yourself "-"Personally I like to be on the right side of history, take the long view, see it the way people will in a hundred years when the evidence can be considered without the emotional kick. "

Stu -" shifting organically as they spread across the globe, innumerable shades of difference, ways of co-operating, organising into a society, " . Yes Imperialism .

No I didn't misrepresent you . You did say there were are myriad of different ways other than capitalism that have been used in the past and will be used in the future .

You STILL haven't shown one new system that has or can work better than Capitalism . Innumerable shades of WHAT ?

All these shades of difference are different shades of Capitalism !!!!! Throw in some missteps of Feudalism and Communism which were rectified .

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:18am

Stu - the nasty personal attacks you mount don't suit your position as Editor of this fine publication. You should really have a look at how you handle opposing views. Suggest you take a step back and leave discussion to those who can engage in a mature and considered manner.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:23am

"No I didn't misrepresent you"

I give up with you, mate.

Few weeks back I said we were talking at cross-purposes, to which you apologised for making me cross. That's the level of comprehension you bring to the table, and it's a waste of anyone's time to engage.

Recently, I've been replying to you, only to stop your name appearing multiple times on the homepage, as has been the wish of longtime readers. Now I'll have to take other actions.

Michael Adam's picture
Michael Adam's picture
Michael Adam Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:25am

SENSOR HIM!!!!!!

etarip's picture
etarip's picture
etarip Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:26am

Good one Michael.

See, who said comedy was dead?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:38am
D-Rex wrote:

Stu - the nasty personal attacks you mount don't suit your position as Editor of this fine publication. You should really have a look at how you handle opposing views. Suggest you take a step back and leave discussion to those who can engage in a mature and considered manner.

Nah mate, you get cut slack constantly. For instance, this morning's crass homophobic slur would've been enough to get you banned from many publications, so tolerance of your intolerance is being tested.

Like Hutchy, you come in with insults, then cop out when confronted.

Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19 Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:38am

Stu - I will take a few days off and wait to hear what you decide .

etarip's picture
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etarip Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:46am

Are you a subscriber Hutchy?

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:51am

The Swellnet shit fight rolls on, not even stopping for the weekend. It's amazing how sustained the anger is from some commnenetrs. See you all in two weeks for the same.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:51am
D-Rex wrote:

Stu - the nasty personal attacks you mount don't suit your position as Editor of this fine publication. You should really have a look at how you handle opposing views. Suggest you take a step back and leave discussion to those who can engage in a mature and considered manner.

You know when people start throwing insults around or belittling people, it's generally because they dont have any real counter argument.

As Hutchy has said what's this great alternative to capitalism from history ?

Im honestly curious.

We havent been provided a name or link, because he knows it will be easy to expose it's flaws, because there is no known better system from history, if there was countries currently would use it successfully and other countries would also adopt it once they see this great alternative.

adam12's picture
adam12's picture
adam12 Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 9:55am

Here's how to fix Capitalism. Free and fair markets. Unsustainable growth is bad, gets taxed highly. There you go, fixed it.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 10:02am
indo-dreaming wrote:

what's this great alternative to capitalism from history ?

FFS, I'll explain to you as you have history here and at least attempt to understand ideas.

I've never said there's a better alternative to capitalism, but instead that capitalism works best when the extremes are kept in check. This point gets ignored, accidentally or otherwise, when certain others reply.

I also said that capitalism is only a recent iteration of social organisation, that we have 300,000 years of other systems, some of which displayed aspects of capitalism, some of socialism, some of systems that don't exist anymore. We'll also move beyond this current system to something else. Those who claim current capitalism is 'the perfection of humanity' display a most short-sighted view of history, as change is constant.

Also, it's bollocks to say that hunter gatherers were capitalists. Whoever utters it doesn't know the first things about anthropology and is only looking to bolster a dumb argument. Such tribes also worked on a division of labour similar to 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs'.

Now where have you heard that before..?

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 10:16am

'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs'.

Now where have you heard that before..?

Isn't that a basic tenet of right wing politics? Acknowledging that no man is equal and in order for a society to flourish a natural hierarchy must be established?

Anyhoo, I've been accused of being a conservative thinker on here but I like to think of myself more as a centrist.

Was gonna write a big post but time is getting away from me.

Till next time.

Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19's picture
Hutchy 19 Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 10:24am

Yes Etarip . Well worth it for the uninterrupted surf cams .

I am off the air for a while SN ( self imposed ) so may I ask for no more questions please ?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 10:43am

You are right Zen, right wing neoliberalism is a return to the laissez-faire economics of rhe late 19th and early 20th Century which was based on the idea that the upper classes should control the wealth of the nation as they were better educated and had better manners. Even Keynes held onto this view, but believed better economic management could produce a high standard of living for all.
Neiliberalism abandoned the policies that Keynesians used to create a more equal society after WWW2 when they realised that the "lower" classes were threatening their financial dominance. So we have the "born to rule" attitude of the LNP. Have a look at where they live, where they went to school what their parents did etc etc. The majority particularly as you go up the hierarchy come from a very narrow background that makes a joke of "representative" democracy. So the real tenet of the right wing is " from each according to his class, to each according to.his class". In practice this translates into the unlucky and the unskilled working for a pittance, while the fortunate offspring of the privileged classes rake it in, quite often for doing nothing more than periodically checking their investments. Before travel became cheap you used to meet them around the place on an endless holiday.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 11:10am

I was going to add to that BB in terms of eliminating the extremes of both the right and the left as mentioned by Stu but again, pressed for time.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 11:24am

Info says "..... You know when people start throwing insults around or belittling people, it's generally because they dont have any real counter argument...."

I might be old fashion but talking complete and utter bollocks fresh from resurching some bogus social media site or youtoob while being all prissy and nice is equally no way to present an argument. In short a total waste of time to engage making the refreshing charge of a well directed insult all the more satisfying.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 11:24am

No Zen, it's a slogan popularised by Karl Marx to support the basic principles of Communism. It also describes early division of labour - athletic men hunt, dextrous make tools, resourceful are shamen, women nurture and cook etc - which is contrary to recent descriptions of hunter gatherers as purely capitalist.

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 11:27am

"You are right Zen, right wing neoliberalism is a return to the laissez-faire economics of rhe late 19th and early 20th Century which was based on the idea that the upper classes should control the wealth of the nation as they were better educated and had better manners...

a bit like now... similar attitudes from certain quarters...

and that explains why you are such a neoliberal stooge

sorry, couldn't resist

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 11:37am

sypkan, I was going to comment that the moronic contributions of some here do, from time to time, cause me to feel a momentary sympathy with the neoliberal view. But there is a huge difference between believing that a privileged class should control the wealth of the nation and believing that the views of the educated and well informed are more likely to coincide with reality than the semi-literate ramblings of those seeking only to justify their prejudices. That's not snobbery, it is common sense.

brutus's picture
brutus's picture
brutus Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 11:55am
indo-dreaming wrote:
D-Rex wrote:

Stu - the nasty personal attacks you mount don't suit your position as Editor of this fine publication. You should really have a look at how you handle opposing views. Suggest you take a step back and leave discussion to those who can engage in a mature and considered manner.

You know when people start throwing insults around or belittling people, it's generally because they dont have any real counter argument.

As Hutchy has said what's this great alternative to capitalism from history ?

Im honestly curious.

We havent been provided a name or link, because he knows it will be easy to expose it's flaws, because there is no known better system from history, if there was countries currently would use it successfully and other countries would also adopt it once they see this great alternative.

easy a benevolent King or dictator !!