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Log from 2019-10-08:
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[14:26:21] <Z-Man> But Lucifer, Ukraine != Russia. He only asked Ukraine and China. An nicely, too! No pressure involved at all, that the aid money was withheld was just a coincidence.
[15:05:07] <kevinh> Just a coincidence.
[15:06:44] <kevinh> "Russia, if you are listening...", just a coincidence they actually were listening.  Just a coincidence they had the information he was talking about.
[16:12:29] <Lucifer_arma> Ah, but we only know about the Ukraine/Chine/Italy/Australia/Gondwallaland connections because they've been revealed to us.  We can take it for granted he's either making the same request of Russia, or he knows he doesn't even need to ask
[16:13:05] <Lucifer_arma> Honestly, I actually got a little angry when he said that Rick Perry told him to make the call.
[16:13:23] <Lucifer_arma> True, Rick Perry is saying he told him to make the call, he just didn't tell Trump to make the call about the Bidens
[16:13:51] <Lucifer_arma> but as much as Rick Perry is a shill for corporate interests, and as much as he'd do anything for power, the one line he wouldn't cross is treason
[16:14:15] <Lucifer_arma> he may be a douche, but he is a Texan, and that means he's my douche, and he wouldn't cross that line
[16:15:15] <Lucifer_arma> but man, this whole impeachment thing is really starting to look like John Cleese got with Harold Ramis's ghost and Dan Ayckroyd and wrote the script
[16:15:33] <Lucifer_arma> I'm not even terrified because it's so surreal
[16:16:33] <Z-Man> But clearly, you must see that Biden is despicable and would be a worse president than Trump. So Trump is acting in America's best interest when he gets perfectly legal investigations against him going that may take him out of the picture.
[16:18:24] <Z-Man> In the end, the impeachment is probably not going to succeed. It's still correct to start it, as a mark for the future of how far you can push it before action gets taken against you.
[16:47:52] <Lucifer_arma> I don't think the impeachment will succeed during his first term.  In fact, I think the reason Nancy Pelosi's been trying to drag her feet on it is because she also doesn't think it'll succeed in his first term, not when he can still go for re-election
[16:48:29] <Lucifer_arma> and we're too close to the election to do it properly, anyway.
[16:48:51] <Lucifer_arma> ...aaaand, then if it were successful, close to the election, that'd leave the republicans without an actual candidate
[16:49:07] <Lucifer_arma> so, if it's going to succeed, it has to start in 2021, and Trump has to win re-election
[16:50:41] <Lucifer_arma> the primary purpose of waving it out right now is to tell our friends and allies to hang in there a bit before doing anything they might regret later
[16:50:42] <Z-Man> Maybe the hope is not to actually succeed, but just to have it ongoing and looming during the next election? Dunno what an impeachment does psychologically.
[16:51:07] <Lucifer_arma> with Johnson, it rendered him a lame duck (he's the president who succeeded Lincoln after her was assassinated)
[16:51:14] <Z-Man> Here the closest thing we have is a Misstrauensvotum, where the parliament essentially decides it is time to repeat the election of the chancelor.
[16:51:32] <Z-Man> They're over quickly, usually.
[16:52:12] <Z-Man> And don't need to be based on misconduct of any kind.
[16:53:02] <Lucifer_arma> that's one of the issues with impeachment, actually.  The constitution uses the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors".  The 25th amendment (I think) is the one that provides a way to remove the president due to incompetence, and basically any reason
[16:53:12] <Lucifer_arma> but it requires people who serve at the pleasure of the president to remove him
[16:54:00] <Lucifer_arma> but Bill Clinton was impeached for obstruction of justice, not just because he lied under oath, but also because he told other people to lie under oath
[16:55:01] <Lucifer_arma> in keeping him, the Senate determined (rightfully, I believe) that the specific reasons he was obstructing justice were insufficient to remove him from office, and they didn't indicate he was behaving badly as President, even if he was behaving badly as a husband
[16:55:18] <Lucifer_arma> because the president actually is allowed to break the law as part of his job
[16:56:12] <Z-Man> The law, but not the constitution?
[16:56:12] <Lucifer_arma> he's not above the law, necessarily, but he's not going to jail for failing to pay his traffic tickets
[16:57:08] <Lucifer_arma> it's more that he can't break laws willy-nilly, but we don't want laws stopping him from doing his job correctly
[16:57:45] <Lucifer_arma> for example, we didn't prosecute Bush for his torture policies, even though we all agree that it was torture
[16:58:19] <Lucifer_arma> there's a significant portion of the country that believes that was criminal, and that we could prosecute him, now that he's out of office
[16:58:26] <Z-Man> Makes sense.
[16:58:46] <Lucifer_arma> however, at the time, he and a lot of people thought the water-boarding and stuff was actually resulting in actionable intelligence that kept us safe
[16:59:04] <Lucifer_arma> if, and only if, that were objectively true, we want our president free to pursue such measures.
[16:59:45] <Lucifer_arma> now that he's out of office, we're not prosecuting him because that would potentially intimidate a future president from trying something that seems to work and could keep us safe
[17:00:05] <Lucifer_arma> at the same time, we're generally rejecting of candidates who support torture (remember Trump lost the popular vote!)
[17:00:38] <Lucifer_arma> we also won't turn Bush over to the international court for prosecution, although he could easily be prosecuted in the Hague
[17:01:21] <Lucifer_arma> so. Clinton obstructing justice over a blowjob is fine, but Trump obstructing justice over deliberately inviting foreign interference in our elections is not fine
[17:01:55] <Lucifer_arma> for the record, I think we should prosecute Bush for war crimes
[17:02:16] <Lucifer_arma> anyway, the Senate and how it's constructed is a vistigial trait of slavery
[17:02:50] <Lucifer_arma> we have two senators per state as a compromise between free states and slave states made back in 1788 or so.
[17:03:13] <Lucifer_arma> as a result of that decision, republican senators have a majority in the senate, but they represent somewhere around 40% of the population
[17:04:16] <Lucifer_arma> we could very well be in the transition phase from a "for the people, by the people" government to a minority-rule banana republic
[17:05:09] <Lucifer_arma> and there are a lot of us that think that removing Trump and letting Pence take the oath will hasten our transition to minority rule
[17:05:54] <Lucifer_arma> if I am correct, that means that Trump's astonishing idiocy is the only thing protecting us for now, but if we don't fix the senate, I don't think we can stop this tide
[17:10:07] <Lucifer_arma> so, sadly, I'm working on more of a plan B with my family.  I'm assuming we slide away from freedom for awhile and am working on preparing my kids and I to live in a non-free US
[17:10:45] <Lucifer_arma> we're asking questions like "How do we preserve our family values if our government system doesn't allow us?"
[17:11:06] <Lucifer_arma> and "If we can overthrow, what/when/how/etc will we do?"
[17:11:08] <Z-Man> There is always (I hope) the option to live in a free non-US.
[17:11:22] <Lucifer_arma> and, of course, how are we going to live through the climate change apocalypse?
[17:11:42] <Lucifer_arma> we're voting and doing what we can, and we're talking about ways we can get more involved in the political process
[17:11:53] <Lucifer_arma> plan B is still the secondary plan, after all
[17:12:32] <Lucifer_arma> we just can't take it for granted the US will stay free.  My parents could, in their lifetimes, take that for granted.  That's one of the things different in our generation.  :(
[17:13:36] <Lucifer_arma> going with the German comparison, heh heh, we're like political dissidents in 1930 Germany asking how we're going to survive the next two decades
[17:13:47] <Z-Man> I don't think Freedom as a hole is at stake in the US. Sure, power can be distributed inequally because the system is optimized to *WORK* in an era where it would take a week for a message to cross the country.
[17:13:51] <Lucifer_arma> because we know what's happening is temporary
[17:14:14] <Lucifer_arma> I don't think we're headed to totalitarian rule, or even extreme authoritarian rule
[17:14:57] <Z-Man> That shit hopefully does not fly any more.
[17:15:37] <Z-Man> What you see here in Europe a bit is that as soon as the populist right wing get some power, they immediately deconstruct themselves.
[17:15:54] <Lucifer_arma> I don't think we'll have a nazi-style holocaust, either, but the older concentration policy (including the japanese internments we had here in the US) could be on the table again
[17:17:09] <Z-Man> Even for that, you need a "likely enemy of the state" label to stick to people you want to intern.
[17:17:16] <Lucifer_arma> well, from where we started in 2016, and where we're at now, there's definitely plenty of room for us to stay completely free and even enhance and extend liberties to our historically oppressed minorities
[17:18:06] <Lucifer_arma> ah, we've got "socialists" as such a label right now
[17:18:40] <Lucifer_arma> so we have the label, and the people willing to use the label to attack their enemies
[17:19:02] <Lucifer_arma> we've also had "liberal" fit in for that, as well as the "communist" crap during McCarthyism
[17:19:11] <Lucifer_arma> so it's not like we haven't slid this direction before
[17:19:46] <Lucifer_arma> what's unprecedented is the relative lack of power the majority of people in this country actually have
[17:20:16] <Lucifer_arma> maybe I'd feel better if I studied the senate makeup during the fifties
[17:20:51] <Lucifer_arma> but between the lack of majority power and the concentration of minority power (the minority here being rich white people), we're in new territory for the US
[17:21:22] <Z-Man> What ticks me of is the amount of people who don't WANT power, i.e. who don't vote.
[17:21:23] <Lucifer_arma> our other saving grace is the fact that the power concentration is also intensely focused in older people like Mitch McConnell
[17:21:44] <Lucifer_arma> I had that conversation with my youngest the other day :)
[17:22:11] <Lucifer_arma> I told him that voting was a group power.  He's right that individual votes don't count, but he's wrong to put expectations on his individual vote counting
[17:22:40] <Lucifer_arma> votes are powerful as a group action, so we're duty-bound to do our part as a tiny part of the group
[17:22:56] <Z-Man> Yep.
[17:23:31] <Lucifer_arma> and if we want individual action to count, then we're looking at becoming political.  Running for office, becoming a lobbyist, joining somebody's staff, etc.
[17:23:41] <Z-Man> Anyway, bedtime for me, need sleep or I fully get a cold.
[17:23:47] <Lucifer_arma> 'night :)
[17:24:01] <Lucifer_arma> and don't worry, it's not as dire as I make it sound.  I called it "Plan B", after all ;)
[17:24:46] <Z-Man> Yeah, I figured :) We all need something to keep our brain busy. Not enough sabre-toothed tigers around any more.
[19:42:56] <Lucifer_arma> Why do we call the so-called Greatest Generation the ones who started WW2?
[19:43:13] <Lucifer_arma> doesn't that make them the Shittiest Generation Who Caused The Biggest War That Nearly Brought On An Apocalypse?
[19:43:38] <Lucifer_arma> that's like celebrating Trump for being a great president everytime he reverses his own bad decision
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