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chocolat steve

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Everything posted by chocolat steve

  1. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    These MAGA hats are repeatedly being synonymous with bigotry of all sorts. It may not be what Trump or many of his supports wants or intended but it seems bigots feel comfortable that the symbolism and Trump represents their feelings. For the record, I hope every college this kid applies to sees this video. I also gotta question the parenting. Not saying he doesn't have the right to do it. We have free speech but free speech also comes with responsibility and consequences (such as loss of job, career, as we have seen happen).
  2. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I think it's defnitely within Trump's character to tell Cohen to lie but I think he's way too smart to provide any proof of such a conversation. Doesn't matter what Cohen says, if there is no proof it won't matter.
  3. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Steve King per se was only a worry in that he previously had a say in the government via his vote and committee. But the three things that worry me the most are 1. the 4th district in Iowa that elects him. His election and re-election over the years speaks volumes on the type of people there and 2. since he's said what he has said not a peep from the President. His silence speaks volumes. King's comment is worthy of a comment from the titular head of the party. And 3. Sadly, his comments won't change a thing including galvanizing Blacks. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/26/hes-so-openly-racist-why-does-iowa-keep-electing-steve-king-to-congress
  4. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I have to wonder why AOC (Alexandria Ocasio Cortez) triggers the right as well as the establishment Democrats so much. She is a freshman Congressperson from a district in the Bronx. No power whatsoever on the face of it. Assignments in committee are handed out by seniority. This is the House of Representatives where you can live in obscurity for years on committees such as Indian Affairs. My guess is her potential. She is the face of a new wave of very progressive, far left of center, even left of Democrats, and they are not beholden to the status quo. The left's version of what the Tea Party was supposed to be for the right (but has since been bought by special interest). I think everyone is looking for her to be a major force as a candidate perhaps in 2024. She gets scrutinized more than a priest at a a playground. The standards for her are unfairly set high in what she is supposed to know. She's young and just starting out and every small misspeak is shown as proof positive she doesn't know anything or a fraud and there are fake stories about her all the time. I've rarely seen anything like this. I'm guessing JFK went through something similar perhaps. I wasn't around back then. . Am I a fan? Yes to some extent. I like seeing new blood and I like seeing David vs Goliath stories. But that's about all there is to it for me. She came from humble beginnings, took on a person who was embedded in the Democratic machine and slated to be the Majority whip possibly. It's a huge defeat and a huge accomplishment on her part. So, in that context I thought it was a good story. I have thought the same about some on the right. She was placed on the Financial Services committee which overseas Banking and that is a high profile committee. That surprised me. The establishment Democrats don't like her because she is not beholden to the machine. I would have thought a committee like House Administration or Natural Resources and have her buried in obscurity there for the duration. But had they, I think they would have come under a lot of backlash perhaps.
  5. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    The state of the union was actually written up till President Wilson. Wilson was a former professor and president of Princeton so liked to hear his own voice, so he started the tradition of speaking to the entire government in the Congress chambers.
  6. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I'd be shocked if Bill ISN'T having affairs..haha. Really. He's always been philandering. Not saying its a good thing, but it's a given. We all know about JFK but there is a story that when LBJ learned of JFK's many affairs said something to the effect he's forgotten about more women than JFK ever had. lol. While not a president, Ben Franklin fathered a number of out of wedlock children.
  7. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I had a British boss who was on an overstayed tourist visa. She got sent back after 9/11. After 9/11 there was an increased crackdown. She appealed but didn't get to stay. Tourist and student visas are how almost all of them are done.
  8. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Wow. I had no idea. I knew it was a lot but but didn't realize how much of a problem visa overstays are. https://www.npr.org/2019/01/16/686056668/for-seventh-consecutive-year-visa-overstays-exceeded-illegal-border-crossings?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20190116&fbclid=IwAR3Ws-nueKXxn_cg3cEI32HSs4uHWarRYdc-UWjO1nARVrWuqn_VX76U-_g
  9. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I have gotten the most accurate information about America from sources outside America. The Guardian UK and Al Jazeera America has some fairly unbiased coverage. The Daily Mail is a bit right of center but they can be very accurate. Even though its Russian run, RT News gives accurate information and has guests that mainstream media won't bring on the air or let them write articles in their online editions. That said, if CNN is fake news, then what is 'real news'? Is there "unbiased" news in America that doesn't have an obvious political slant?
  10. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    America has a mixed history on handouts to immigrants. The ones in the city survived by forming their own communities. Little Italy, Chinatown, Greektown, Jewish neighborhoods, etc. the truth is it was the 2nd or 3rd generation that integrated. Anyone who has lived in the northeast knows that Baltimore all the way up to Boston are basically still ethnic enclaves. South Boston is Irish, the North End is Italian, to the west is Roxbury, Black and Puerto Rican. The handouts came in the far west. Everywhere pretty much west of the Mississippi were GIVEN to European immigrants. Millions and millions of acres of land, taken from the native Americans were simply given. They weren't bought. It must be said Blacks were denied these land grants as well. So, all this heartland of America, pulled themselves up from the bootstraps is only partially true. The government supported these land give aways with setting up land grant universities, farmer's bureaus that helped them in cultivating the land. The land taken in war with Mexico that gave America, Texas and the far west were the same. These were all land given freely away to european Immigrants. We tend to romanticize our history, which is great to build pride and nationalism, but its often a bit away from the real truth.
  11. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    This is my attempt at complete balance, and fairness. I think the best thing about Trump's election was that it is now feasible for a non politician, who isn't a General (Washington, Grant, Ike) to be President. We have had way too many "professional politicians". So, Trump breaking that mold is great for the country in that sense. However, is he the right non Politician? There are tons of people I would suggest who would be much, much better for the job. Warren Buffet is one person that comes to mind. Jesse Ventura...don't laugh, yes, THAT Jesse Ventura comes to mind. Colin Powell would have been good, Iraq war support notwithstanding. Trump simply lacks any moral and ethical standard for the job. His supporters have lowered or eliminated any standard for him. Standards that are hypocritically applied to everyone else. Standards that were applied to Obama, rightfully so, but removed for Trump. Things work both ways. If or when we ever get the left version of Trump, and what that entails, we will have deserved whatever havoc he brings to the office, because we allowed his or hers counterpart on the right. Putting a person above morality, the law, the Constitution and America itself, is basically conceding the Republic is a Republic in name only and not in practice. I supported Obama twice. The second time weakly as a lesser of two evils between him and Romney. Any illusion I was under he would be a great president was gone by that time. I would have supported his removal for a few things he conducted such as the extrajudicial killing of American citizens abroad via drone strikes or special ops operations. As much as we want to see American citizens conspiring with known terrorists killed, they were denied their constitutional rights. As much as it angered me that Bill Clinton didn't have bin Laden kidnapped and brought to America during his presidency when a foreign leader (can't recall, but I think it was Somalia) gave him that opportunity, Clinton, and I say this grudgingly knowing the havoc bin Laden caused in 9/11 but Clinton was right in that he could not legally do it and would have not been able to convict him in a fair trial due to a lack of evidence, witnesses and having to compromise top secret information. It's how a democracy and a Republic works. You have to trust that it in the end, it will all be for the long term good if we adhere to the laws we all agreed to follow. Violate those laws wantonly and you give any future despot the precedence to violate your progeny's rights. I actually agree with Trump about certain aspects of the so-called 'deep state" (not all but some). I actually agreed with him during thhe election that the economy and jobs numbers and the stats were all "cooked" numbers. I think this is one of the reasons he was voted in. He didn't continue the lie that both sides were using. However, e is simply the wrong man for the job. Not even close to being the right man if the known history of him is anything to go by. His conduct as President proved it. This is not a post about Trump per se but the abdication of moral standards. When that democratic woman called him a 'MFer', that was the standard that Trump himself lowered the rhetoric to be. Had she said that sans Trump, the Dems would have censured her for the lack of respect to the office. He really had no cause to criticize with his own name calling. One can be brash and even a bit "rough" as President. I think there is room for that. A slight lack of perceived dignity. Johnson wasn't the most dignified person. He was a Texas good ol boy who used corrupt small town politics and applied to the Speaker of the House when he was speaker and continued a certain lack of civility as President at times. Nixon used the term MF liberally in private. FDR was said to use language not consistent with his patrician background. The American people will make allowances for a certain coarseness IF it's from a person who is morally and ethically sound. Nixon knew about the vote fraud in the 1960 election but for the better good of the nation, he didn't challenge it. Johnson had proof the same Nixon talked the South Vietnam leader into rejecting a peace deal for an "October surprise" in 1968 that would give a boost to the Democratic challenger but didn't do anything about it because it would make the people not trust in the democracy. Nixon in '60 and Johnson in '68 both took losses for what they perceived as the greater good for the Republic. Obama could have rightfully make public Trump''s campaign connection to Russia and hand the election to Hillary but in doing so it would always be questioned. Trump doesn't have an ounce of that in him. The electorate, at least portions of it, is way too short sighted and way too married to identity politics. This is in no directed at Cav. I am not including you in that. It's just a general statement. There are some people who support Trump in earnest. I just believe there are too many who do but accept clear violations of tradition and ethics.
  12. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Hmm...
  13. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Just my guess is, they won't find anything that will sway enough Republicans to vote for impeachment or for him to resign like Nixon did. Just my guess. My guess is the economy will tank and that will make running again tentative. I also think his family will tell him 'is it going to be worth it going through another 4 years of this shit?" My guess is he won't run in 2020. The only way he'll run is if two things happen. We avoid a recession by that time and there isn't any smoking gun to get his base and the Congress GOP to kick him to the curb.
  14. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    https://www.factcheck.org/2018/06/illegal-immigration-statistics/?fbclid=IwAR34RLYivv-WabrrDk6plshyFMn2FMGxA4XlT-nRp5UQqub-eBV6zvlr6fs
  15. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    lol...All Blacks 346 , Wallabees 0.
  16. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Today kids can not decipher this. My cousin, who is a school teacher, said its not taught in elementary schools any longer in pretty much all school districts.
  17. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    The immigration laws of 1965 opened it up globally but Africa and the Caribbean were colonized in the 1800s and emigration from those areas were almost exclusively to the countries that colonized them. Even today, its more or less that way. In the 1800s the concept of "white" was vastly different than today. Eastern and southern Europeans were not deemed the same "white" as they are deemed today. In the south, only Blacks were lynched. Whites who raped, etc ,were not lynched. It was deemed a act for "blacks". Nevertheless, a Jew was lynched in Georgia as well as Sicilians in Louisiana. They were not deemed 'white" as we know it. But "quasi white" if I have to invent a phrase that characterizes what I am trying to convey. Even today, within the supremacist and nationalist movements they differ greatly as what constitutes white. There are arguments pro and con to include Jews, Portuguese, Sicilians, white Moslems from the Balkans, northern Africans, Turks, Persians, fair skinned latinos such as Cubans and Argentinians, etc.
  18. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    America is no longer or will soon no longer be the world's biggest economy. That is no shock. It was always going to be a matter of when not if China overtakes us. I read estimates of 2025 to 2030. I think even with a global recession it won't change much. Both China and America will be massively hurt by the impending crash but it must be said that China has been preparing for it. America hasn't. China is attempting to reduce its debt. America's debt is increasing at even faster rate than we were under Obama and Obama ran up debt like my ex Thai gf. https://www.businessinsider.com/us-economy-to-fall-behind-china-within-a-year-standard-chartered-says-2019-1
  19. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Has an elected official argued in favor of illegal immigration? My issue is with Stephen Miller setting immigration policy. In my humble opinion the guy is a closet (or maybe not so closet) bigot of the highest order. His main focus are latinos but in my experience, someone as triggered as him harbors the same feelings about minorities in general if you know what I mean. He's the one coaching Trump on immigration and he's the reason Trump doesn't like people such as myself who originated from the so-called "shit hole" countries. Miller wants immigration solely from white countries. And that kind of thinking means he has an issue with those of us who have been here for 400 years as well. Nigerians are the most educated immigrants. https://www.chron.com/news/article/Data-show-Nigerians-the-most-educated-in-the-U-S-1600808.php There is nothing wrong with wanting specialized immigration and skilled applicants but we have never, ever been that kind of nation where its all we are. The writing on the Statue of Liberty says different. We already do bring in skilled. There is a special visa for those with computer programming skills which turned out to be mostly sub continent Indians. Steve Bannon was against doing that. So, if we're not bringing in skilled Indians, then this whole policy of "skilled" is mainly a call for skilled european ancesty. Let's call it what it is. The white low birthrate has scared a lot of Americans. That is the real driving force behind the immigration issue. Do you know long it will take 180 million people to be extinct? Your grand kids, grand kids, won't even live long enough. This also assumes birthrate rates stay the same and that has never been that way in history. The economy, change in culture, etc, can and do change. The black American birthrate is also below the replenishing level. It's roughly 1.8, (https://www.statista.com/statistics/226292/us-fertility-rates-by-race-and-ethnicity/)which is well below the replacement percentage needed. We aren't crying about it either. haha....sorry had to go there. So, lets (and I mean America, not necessarily this forum) be honest about why this is an issue. Despite how we have always marketed ourselves as a "nation of immigrants' the real history says we have ALWAYS resisted immigration from anyone different than the ones already here. I've stated this several times in previous posts. There was much, much more animosity to immigrants in the 1800s from anyone who wasn't from the UK (excepting the Irish), and some acceptance for the French. Swedes and nordic people were "generally" accepted but they didn't congregate in the cities, the vast majority went to the north central states (look at the phone book 50 years ago for Anderson in many Minnesota and Wisconsin cities...it took up a quarter of some towns). Germans were hated even as far as back as the founding of the country, who Ben Franklin himself called "stupid, swarthy Germans" (swarthy? I would never think swarthy applied to Germans but that's me). Jews, any Eastern European people, ALL Catholics were hated far, far more than Latinos ever were. In fact there was a real concern that the country would be a vassal state of the Vatican if we let in too many Catholics and that belief was a whispered issue in the JFK campaign. So the point is we have always had an issue with immigrants and we have always been wrong about them. And let's be honest. there was a far, far greater reason back then to keep the Irish and Italians out. At one point in the 1800s, 69% of the crime in NYC were committed by the Irish. In fact, so many Irish were being arrested at one time, the police wagons were nicknamed "paddy wagons". The Italians of the 1900s formed the American version of the Mafia they had in Sicily and the size and scope of their criminality is well known. MS13 has nothing on them. Before the 2016 campaign, 99% of Americans never heard of MS 13. Again, illegal immigration needs to curbed. That's a given. But let's not overstate the issue as well. Especially when at one point there were about 50,000 Irish living illegally in NYC and Boston and living openly(https://www.thejournal.ie/undocumented-irish-trump-3906479-Mar2018/). There are about 100,000 Canadians living illegally in northern states (https://nationalpost.com/news/world/northern-aliens-around-100000-canadians-live-under-the-radar-in-u-s-as-illegal-immigrants) It must be said ICE has been going after everyone. Haitians the most I believe I read once. Anyway, lets at least be frank and honest about why.
  20. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Cav, just from how these things are, I don't think this Muler lawsuit is going to go anywhere. If it had legs, you'd hear Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the more famous conservative talking heads talking about it. I doubt it will go anywhere. Special counsel as well as in courts where you have prosecutors are given a wide berth. It's very, very difficult to prosecute someone in America on prosecutorial malfeasence. Very, very difficult. There are people wrongfully convicted for murder and the prosecutor doesn't even get finger wagging from the bar or any ohter governing body. The government and courts protect themselves. I know I'm not privy to the fact as well as you are, because you are obviously following closely but when you have an America where cops can legally lie to you to get a confession, the chances of this panning out are slim and none and wil ony have legs if the Republicans in Congress think it has an ounce of merit.
  21. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Is it time to go for a straight popular vote? It won't help the big states as much because right now its all or nothing. New York goes blue even if 51% of the vote is Dem but if 51% of the vote is Dem in a popular vote, the Republican would actually gain if the state normally goes 60% Dem. It will force the candidates to address all Americans and some brave souls may go mining for votes in the red or blue states. Another thing that I would love to see both parties come together and make it apolitical is some form of uniformity in voting or at least making voting as secure as possible. We have 50 different means. Why not all agree to spend federal money making ALL of America as uniform as possible and if not all uniform as secure and advanced as possible? Anyway, back to voting. The swing states and the concerns of the swing states get the attention of not only the candidates but also the winner once they are in office. Farmers, the auto industry and auto parts industry as well as citrus, will always get special treatment because of Iowa's caucus where they can make or break you from the start as wel as Michigan, Ohio and Florida in terms of getting elected. No one gives a shit about Kentucky or Connecticutt because they are going to be red or blue no matter what, so no need to go there. I recall Obama being chastised by Calfornia pols for not visiting there. He pretty much told them its a waste of time to go when he could be spending time in battleground states. Same with Texas, Mississippi, etc.
  22. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Because they decide their own benefits. Congress creates its own salary and benefits. It has to be made part of a budget that the President must sign but it can be overrriden if its vetoed. The only entity in America other than can vote itself its own salary that off someone else's money. A CEO ro business owner who creates his own company can do that because its his. In case that example is put forward to contradict it. It's why I think there should be a movement that whatever state or district voted you they and they alone should be responsible for their representative's salary and benefits. If SF and its tech billionaires want to give Pelosie a million a year and whatever, its their money. But why should the rest of us have to pay for it? She and the others are NOT there representing all of America. ONLY the President represents all of America. In their committees and such they legislate things that affect all of us but they do so under the auspices of that the legislation is good for their constituents who voted them in.
  23. chocolat steve

    The End of Pax Europa?

    Brexit is already going to happen. At some point Le Pen is going to win in France and the first order of business is to leave the EU. Merkel's party lost seats on recent Bavarian elections to the ultra right, in an area Merkel used to dominate. Austria, is now gone far right and will probably leave the EU. Italy is under financial crisis and may leave. Spain is next after Italy if it doesn't fall first and they have two regions (Basque and Catalonia) that want to set up their own shop. All over Europe, and I haven't named all the countries with far right governments or leaning that way. The EU has been a historic success given the history of Europe. If you go back at least 700 or 800 years, Europe was at war with 2 or more countries at least once every generation (roughly every 30 years) and one of those wars was famously and accurately named The Hundred's Year's War. Europe eventually got to the point (WW1 and 2) where they mastered killing on a mass scale that afterwards they decided a 1000 years (roughly) of constant war has lost its value. There may not be a war like we see in the past but is the EU destined to end? Right now the EU is Germany. It really is. The irony is Germany spent 2 world wars trying to dominate Europe and in 70 odd years or so did it without firing a single shot. If the EU is doomed and with the next recession (and its a when not if) , Italy and Spain may be flung into a full fledged depression, along with Greece. And if that happens and its more likely than not. What will be future of the region be? China will emerge the big winner, eastern Europe, already financially fragile, will see some of its states become as bleak as they were during the USSR days. What will happen?
  24. chocolat steve

    The End of Pax Europa?

    The EU survived the Red Brigade and other anarchist groups and such in the '70s into the '80s. This threat is economic. The French yellow jackets is really about a society that has moved from its social democratic roots to something similar to America. The rich. The rich may be taxed on paper at a high percentage but what they pay is a fraction of that and the dwindling middle and working classes are nickel and dimed or rather "euroed" to death. Marcon was an investment banker. People forget that. He is accused by many to support regulations and changes that rewards them and other rich folks. Europe as a whole has moved far right than where it was 40 years ago. Also, the economies of member states are in the worst state ever since joining the union (Italy, Greece, Spain). New members from former Soviet republics remain the 'western 3rd world' in terms of their respective economies. It's why England has seen a flood of eastern europeans over the last several years and for the first time in London there are Polish neighborhoods where you are lucky if you hear a word in English. (Not saying its a bad thing, just stating facts).
  25. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Remember that letter that former Senators and Congresspersons wrote to the current Congress regarding their inablity to work with each other? What this country is yearning for is for someone, someone take some leadership and gather the Speaker of the House (Democrat), Senate majority leader (Republican), a representative from the white house if not hte president himself and meet away from the press, prying eyes and say "This country is going to shit. Let's come up wtih 2 or 3 items on a 'to do' list that transcends party. Eveyrone agrees that neither party will take credit for it when it comes to fruition. It won't be used in campaigning unless as an example of both parties working together." Come with 2 or 3 things that as a country we won't politicize, because if it doesn't get done, we all suffer. I would recommend these things, if not these something else but for me. 1. A plan for the infrastructure. This can target areas of both parties, red and blue states, but make it areas that are needed urgently and monies will be committed. No pork barrell, just fix the damn things. 2. If the Republicans are okay to it, reverse Citizens United vs. U.S. and remove legalized bribing. This is going to be a tough one and may be a non-starter. We can come up with others. I suggest, start with just one. I posted before about how going to space and the moon was beyond politics. When we discuss it, we don't say it was a Democrat or Republican accomplishment. JFK gets mentioned with it only because he was in the White House at the time we planned to go to the moon, but as we know, It was Republican Richard Nixon who was there to meet them when they returned. It was seen by all as not only as an American accomplishment but on behalf of the world. In American history books it was "mankind" went to the moon. Not even America went to the moon. We saw it as a continuation of advances throughout history....gemoetry from Greeks and Arabs, Newton, the airplane, etc. If we don't get back to that type of thinking about a few things, we will slide into those nations that "used to be".
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