Monday, August 31, 2015

America Is So in Play: Note for a lecture, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"

Donald Trump’s staying power in the polls reflects a change in the electorate only now coming into focus.

Donald Trump and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos face off in Dubuque, Iowa, Aug. 25.ENLARGE
Donald Trump and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos face off in Dubuque, Iowa, Aug. 25. PHOTO: CHARLIE NEIBERGALL/ASSOCIATED PRESS

So, more thoughts on Donald Trump’s candidacy, because I can’t stop being fascinated.
You know the latest numbers. Quinnipiac University’s poll this week has Mr. Trump at a hefty 28% nationally, up from 20% in July. Public Policy Polling has Mr. Trump leading all Republicans in New Hampshire with 35%. A Monmouth University poll has him at 30% in South Carolina, followed 15 points later by Ben Carson.
Here are some things I think are happening.
One is the deepening estrangement between the elites and the non-elites in America. This is the area in which Trumpism flourishes. We’ll talk about that deeper in. 
Second, Mr. Trump’s support is not limited to Republicans, not by any means.
Third, the traditional mediating or guiding institutions within the Republican universe—its establishment, respected voices in conservative media, sober-minded state party officials—have little to no impact on Mr. Trump’s rise. Some say voices of authority should stand up to oppose him, which will lower his standing. But Republican powers don’t have that kind of juice anymore. Mr. Trump’s supporters aren’t just bucking a party, they’re bucking everything around, within and connected to it.
Since Mr. Trump announced, I’ve worked or traveled in, among other places, Southern California, Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and New York’s Long Island. In all places I just talked to people. My biggest sense is that political professionals are going to have to rethink “the base,” reimagine it when they see it in their minds.
I’ve written before about an acquaintance—late 60s, northern Georgia, lives on Social Security, voted Obama in ’08, not partisan, watches Fox News, hates Wall Street and “the GOP establishment.” She continues to be so ardent for Mr. Trump that she not only watched his speech in Mobile, Ala., on live TV, she watched while excitedly texting with family members—middle-class, white, independent-minded—who were in the audience cheering. Is that “the Republican base”? I guess maybe it is, because she texted me Wednesday, saying: “I registered to vote today! I am a Republican now!!!” I asked if she’d ever been one before. Reply: “No, never!!!”
Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways. My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”
“He’s the man,” Cesar said of Mr. Trump. This week I went by and Cesar told me that after Mr. Trump threw Univision’s well-known anchor and immigration activist, Jorge Ramos, out of an Iowa news conference on Tuesday evening, the “El Vacilón” hosts again threw open the phone lines the following morning and were again surprised that the majority of callers backed not Mr. Ramos but Mr. Trump. Cesar, who I should probably note sees me, I sense, as a very nice establishment person who needs to get with the new reality, was delighted.
I said: Cesar, you’re supposed to be offended by Trump, he said Mexico is sending over criminals, he has been unfriendly, you’re an immigrant. Cesar shook his head: No, you have it wrong. Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you.”
He added, “We don’t bloc vote anymore.” The idea of a “Latin vote” is “disparate,” which he said generally translates as nonsense, but which he means as “bull----.”
He finished, on the subject of Jorge Ramos: “The elite have different notions from the grass-roots working people.”
OK. Old style: Jorge Ramos speaks for Hispanic America. New style: Jorge Ramos speaks for Jorge Ramos. Old style: If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America. New style: How touching that an American president once thought if you lost a newsman you’d lost a country.
It is noted that a poll this week said Hispanics are very much not for Donald Trump. Gallup had 65% with an unfavorable view of him, and only 14% favorable. Mr. Trump and Mr. Ramos actually got into that, when Mr. Ramos finally questioned him after being allowed back into the news conference. Mr. Trump countered with a recent Nevada poll that has him with a state lead of 28%—and he scored even higher with Nevada’s Hispanics, who gave him 31% support.
I will throw in here that almost wherever I’ve been this summer, I kept meeting immigrants who are or have grown conservative—more men than women, but women too.
America is so in play.
And: “the base” isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.


On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”
Mr. Miller added: “People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.”
Support for Mr. Trump is not, he said, limited to the GOP base: “The molecules are in motion.” I asked what he meant. He said bars of support are not solid, things are in motion as molecules are “before combustion, or before a branch breaks.”
I end with this. An odd thing, in my observation, is that deep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged. They don’t disagree, and they don’t like what they see—corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them. Their odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around. They see the American voter as distracted, poorly educated, subject to emotional and personality-driven political adventures. They sometimes refer to “Jaywalking,” the old Jay Leno “Tonight Show” staple in which he walked outside the studio and asked the man on the street about history. What caused the American Civil War? Um, Hitler? When did it take place, roughly? Uh, 1958?
Both sides, the elites and the non-elites, sense that things are stuck.
The people hate the elites, which is not new, and very American. The elites have no faith in the people, which, actually, is new. Everything is stasis. Then Donald Trump comes, like a rock thrown through a showroom window, and the molecules start to move.
Corrections & Amplifications
Georgia voters are not required to register by party affiliation. An earlier version mischaracterized one of the texts from the woman in Georgia.

Что означает слово "развиртуализироваться"?

Что означает слово "развиртуализироваться"?

mafii Ученик (102), Вопрос закрыт 1 год назад
Отключить Инет-и выйти в реальную жизнь..))
вроде, в реале познакомиться с тем, с кем общался в инете )
Такого слова нет, потому что его нет в википедии.

Наверно, "лишиться анонимности, раскрыть своё ФИО"
Может из виртуального мира возвратиться в реальный.
Выключить компьютер

Quotable: Graeme Wilson on "What ISIS Really Wants"

Donald M. Bishop,

Sunday, August 30th 2015

The March, 2015, issue of  The Atlantic included an essay, “What ISIS Really Wants,” by contributing editor Graeme Wood.  The editors introduced the article by saying, “The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.” 
Graeme’s long essay described:
--  how the “very Islamic” Islamic State differs from al-Qaeda, Wahhabism, and Salifism;
--  the justifications for the caliphate in Islamic scripture, especially as a condition for salvation;
--  the religious obligation to revive the caliphate, and the caliph’s obligation to implement shari’a;
--  “the prophetic methodology” and views of the apocalypse;
--  devotion, executions, punishments, slavery, apostacy, prophecy, and jihad.
Public Diplomacy practitioners, even those serving in countries far from the Islamic world, need to understand the contours of the Islamic State in the realm of ideas.  Graeme’s article provides an introduction.
We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. First, we tend to see jihadism as monolithic, and to apply the logic of al‑Qaeda to an organization that has decisively eclipsed it. The Islamic State supporters I spoke with still refer to Osama bin Laden as “Sheikh Osama,” a title of honor. But jihadism has evolved since al-Qaeda’s heyday, from about 1998 to 2003, and many jihadists disdain the group’s priorities and current leadership.
Bin Laden viewed his terrorism as a prologue to a caliphate he did not expect to see in his lifetime. His organization was flexible, operating as a geographically diffuse network of autonomous cells. The Islamic State, by contrast, requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.)
We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. * * * *
There is a temptation to rehearse this observation—that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise—and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse. * * * * *
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. * * * * *
The United States and its allies have reacted to the Islamic State belatedly and in an apparent daze.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

EU declares information war on Russia

via MAK on Facebook

image from
Task force will start trying to win hearts and minds in eastern partnership countries next month.
8/27/15, 5:28 PM CET
The European Union’s foreign affairs department said Thursday it was launching a rapid-response team to counter what it considers biased Russian media reports. 
The unit, which will include up to 10 Russian-speaking officials and media professionals from EU member states, will be fully operational by the end of September and will be part of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Officials say it is a first step in the EEAS’s response to growing concern in eastern Europe and EU Baltic states about the destabilizing influence of Russian-language news reports. 
The EEAS was tasked by the European Council in March with coming up with a response to what EU leaders described as “Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaign,” with a specific request that the EEAS establish a “communication team” as a “first step” in fighting back. 
The team, which will be based in the EEAS’s Brussels headquarters, falls short of requests from Latvia that the EU establish a full-blown, EU-funded Russian-language television channel, to provide an alternative source of news to Russian-speakers in both EU and “eastern partnership” countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus). Officials Thursday stressed the limited scope of the team and were adamant its role would be to improve EU communications with Russian-speaking communities and not to be producing Brussels-funded propaganda.“This is mostly about reinforcing our existing actions,” said an EU official. “It’s more about reallocating resources and doing more to reinforce that and communicate better.”
The team’s role would be to improve EU communications with Russian-speaking communities — not to produce Brussels-funded propaganda.
The unit, which includes Russian-language experts from the U.K., Latvia and Sweden, will be attached to the EEAS’s existing communications team. The EU member states will pay the salaries of the personnel, but the unit has not been allocated a budget. 
“The team will carry out media monitoring and will work on the development of communication products and media campaigns focused on explaining EU policies in the region,” the official said.
However, the EEAS said it has neither the resources nor the mandate to go beyond the capabilities of the new unit and the funding of TV channels in Russian was not on the cards. 
“This is not about engaging in counter-propaganda,” the EU official said. “However, where necessary the EU will respond to disinformation that directly targets the EU and will work … to raise awareness of these activities.” 
The unit’s daily routine will consist of monitoring Russian media and suggesting ways for EU institutions to tailor their media strategy to counter Russian broadcasts, in a bid to win the hearts and minds of eastern partnership audiences.
In June, a study funded by the Dutch government recommended the creation of a Russian-language “content factory” that would produce entertainment and documentary programs, alongside news and current affairs broadcast from a “news hub.” 
An EU official said the department had not been approached by Euronews, a multilingual broadcaster which last year received €25.5 million from the EU, to expand its Russian- and Ukrainian-language programming as part of the EU’s response.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The death of conversation

[TeX] The death of conversation


Tex Harris

8:20 AM (53 minutes ago)
to Tex

Sad but True!