Hope........

Hope........
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Hello everyone, I was here briefly in the past but lost the time to write and now have more time so I wanted to write a story I have been chewing on after the 2016 election but is still significant today especially after the meeting between Trump and kim jong un and that is my feelings and how I see society circle around this concept of Hope.

 

First of all I would like to admit as a Conservative/Libertarian I tend to avoid  emotion based debates and discussions because I mostly like to talk about politics and technology and science and taxes but after over 30+ years of involvement in politics and sales and mixing with tens of thousands of different people and their views on the world I have come to understand that Hope is the most powerful motivation for human beings, not hate or anger as I previously thought.

 

Human beings have this ability to pretend and imagine a world where things are "different" and more importantly "Better"..  They see the reality around them and even if it truly horrible, they can imagine a world where things are better and this is what keeps them going.  I think of slavery and why all those people treated like animals and abused and living a life of the most horrible kind but in everything I have read suicide did happen but was not really a large issue.  Why?  We have seen rich people toss themselves off buildings and actors with billions of dollars overdose when they seemed to have other things to live for but these slaves did not kill themselves?  It is difficult to imagine why, unless you consider their belief that "maybe" things would get better, if not for them then maybe their children.

 

Now to the 2016 election, I watched a lot of coverage on election night and the days after (I usually avoid any Network news) and was truly entertained at the emotional breakdown of most of the Left over Trump winning but CNN did a series of stories shortly after that got my notice.  I do not recall the title but they sent the race hustler Van Jones to the homes of families who had voted for Obama twice but in that election voted for Trump.  I was intrigued by the concept and was wondering how CNN would handle it and I have to say that Van Jones did not disappoint my expectations for his condescending and  rude commentary but what really struck me as profound was listening to these families talk about why they voted for Trump instead of Hillary.

 

They explained they believed in Obama because of his message of Hope, a promise of a better tomorrow and he sounded sincere and made them believe in his message of Hope.  

 

When they talked about Hillary their feelings were that Hillary was in this for herself, it was all about Her, even her campaign slogan was "I'm with Her" and this was about Her breaking the glass ceiling and Her being the center of attention, this was not about "us",

 

But Trump with all his flamboyant and sometimes crazy commentary was also selling Hope.  "Make America Great Again" was delivering a message of a better tomorrow and how he would put Americans and America first when so many Americans have been suffering from Globalization and jobs leaving America.  the message of Hope that drew them to Obama was the same message of Hope that drew them to Trump.

 

 

People, not just Americans, want to Hope for that better tomorrow, even if they know deep down inside that it is most likely not going to happen, we can't help ourselves.   I believe this is a root cause for why so many people in the world have some form of religious beliefs, they Hope for something more, something deeper and more meaningful from life and no matter if you agree with them or not it is a feeling of Hope that perpetuates it.

 

 

Current events, this meeting with kim jong un and Trump, the pragmatic and Conservative in me wants to say that North Korea can't be trusted and they have a lot of bad actions in their past to account for and we should not give them the optics of normalcy  to the World....... 

 

But Hope, what if they can change?  What if they come back to the normal world and join together for a better future?  Hope.  I do not believe we do this for kim jong un, no, we would all support his elimination or isolation if we could save his Country without him, but I don't believe this is possible.  If there can be peace and trade in exchange for giving up their nuclear war aspirations, is it worth it?

 

Hope?

 

I believe the majority of human beings in the World do not want a war with North Korea.  Asia certainly would suffer greatly if we had that war and maybe North Korea gets a nuclear warhead off the ground to hurt others further away?  We know how bad wars are, we do not want wars if we can help it but we can't turn a blind eye to unstable Nations building nuclear weapons either, ignoring a threat does not make it go away as we found out with Germany.

 

So Hope, we Hope that maybe this new avenue can work out, and while I am skeptical I find myself feeling Hope too.  Not for kim jong un's sake but for his people who live in severe poverty and the entire world that fears a nuclear war.

 

Hope.

 

It certainly does not always work out, my best friend died of brain cancer at 39 years old, she saw her daughter graduate high school but then died a slow and painful death where she lost control over half of her body and her bodily functions.  I can imagine no worse way to go.  But we had Hope, we fought the disease, we did all the alternative stuff, radical changes in diet and treatments but in this case, Hope did not work out.

 

After seeing that happen to someone you care so deeply about it would be easy to give up on Hope and become bitter and cold but if anything it shown me just how important Hope is for humanity because without Hope, how could we keep going?

 

Hope.

 

Hope.

 

Hope?

Comments

Louis E Weeks Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:03am
Sorry about the spammed articles, someone please delete the extras, when I try to delete them nothing happens.
Dino Manalis Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:30am
 Hope keeps us alive and hopeful for better days ahead.
TexasLynn Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:34am
Enjoyed the article and will comment soon.
 
But first, let me try to help Autumn out a bit as a technical/programmer type.
 
Everybody... one of the technical issues with the site right now seems to be an auto-refresh function.  Before, when you submitted an article it gave you a message and gave you an option to go to the newly posted article.  That's broken for now.
 
Hitting submit on your article two, three, ten times is what a lot of us are doing... each time, that creates a posting.
 
When you hit submit and nothing happens... DON'T hit submit again.  Your article likely posted.  Just go to the main page and make sure it's there.  NOW... having said that, have your article saved elsewhere so you can copy, paste, and try again just in case it didn't.
 
For now, the extra versions of the article cannot be deleted, but I'm sure Autumn is working on that.
Mustafa Kemal Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:36am
Louis, I have learned that when submitting an article, to click the submit button only once, even though it looks like it did not  recognize your submittal.   Save your work and back out. Last time I did this I only had two copies published. Time before 9.
 
Per Hope,  I had plenty of that with Obama. Didnt work out so well IMO.
 
Mustafa
 
 
TexasLynn Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:38am
Louis,
Really enjoyed the article; it was very insightful concerning the motivation of many voters in the last election.  I only hope some on WB can get past the fact that you mentioned Trump in this post and look at what you had to say objectively.  We'll see...
 
Hillary's election was indeed perceived as being "all about her".  Trump (genuine or not) pushed the message that he was in it for the little guy.  I remember right after Hillary came out with "I'm with her"... Trump countered "I'm with you".  Criticize the man all you want, but he is politically astute.
 
I hadn't thought about the power of Hope in terms of Trump vs Hillary before, but I see the connection between what Obama was selling and what Trump was selling (and Hillary was not).  We might add that with Reagan... it was "Morning in America".  Note that Trump has already hinted that his next campaign message will be "Keep America Great".  When something sells... stick with it.
 
I was also impressed that you acknowledged that Hope can be dangerous when applied to dictators like Kim Jong Un.  I agree that there was a measure of that before WWII, we called WWI the "war to end all wars" after all.  I think Obama may have had that with the Iranians.
 
Still, I'm with you.  I hope progress can be made and Trump succeeds in de-nuclearizing North Korea.  Only a fool would not hope that.  Still you cannot pretend a scorpion is not a scorpion; which gets back to what Reagan did with the U.S.S.R .... "Trust but verify".  Hope is a positive force, but not at the expense of reason.
 
As a Christian, let me say that you are correct in that "[we] Hope for something more, something deeper and more meaningful from life".  Hope is an integral part of our faith.  If I may...
 
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
 
1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NIV) For now we see only a reflection (of reality) as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 
Again... really enjoyed the article... stick around if you can. :)
Ryan Messano Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:40am
Obama was all about false hope.
 
Real hope is based on truth, and truth is often painful,  so most people want to be fooled.  They want to be told nice things about themselves.
 
Trunp is about reality, and you can’t have hope without reality.  
 
Too many prostitute the truth for unity and mirages.
 
All that glitters is not gold. 
Leroy Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:46am
One of my favorite quotes is, "The triumph of hope over experience."  Samuel Johnson had that to say about second marriages.
 
I spent a fair amount of time in Ohio before O was elected the first time.  Ohio is a political microcosm of the US.   What you heard from just about everyone was the word "hope."  Hope is indeed a strong motivator.  But, hope does not mean change.
 
Excellent article.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jun 12, 2018 - 10:47am
Welcome back. Louis. I agree this was a good and thoughtful post.
 
For the multiple posting problem - I keep two sessions going when I am posting. One is the article. When I hit post, I immediately go to the other session and refresh it sorting by submission date. If I don't see the post, I submit the post again. If by some chance it does not show up the second time, I copy the post into memory, go to My Profile, and once it shows up, hit new article again and paste it in. Add the title, and any other info, and post, and it seems to go the first time then. Don't know why that occurs. I agree with TexasLynn, there's definitely something wrong that could be fixed.
Luther Wu Added Jun 12, 2018 - 11:06am
Louis,
Thank you for that insightful and enjoyable read.
Dave Volek Added Jun 12, 2018 - 12:16pm
Louis
 
That was a thoughtful article. It covered a lot of issues in a respectful way. This attitude could be useful in solving the world's problems.
 
In 2008, I remember a celebrity celebrating Mr. Obama's win, saying big change is going to happen. I thought, "No it's not."
 
In 2016, when Mr. Trump was in first place of the R primaries, I thought: "This foolish man could become president." Not too many talking heads were thinking this way--right up to election day.
 
I don't think Mr. Trump is politically astute. It is only his perspectives have meshed with a lot of Americans. I don't think he had a plan to capture these voters. He put himself out there as he was, and coincidences of political and social forces produced a certain result. It was a fluke shot.
 
Part of that successful fluke shot was the D Party not being able to proffer a candidate to capture the hearts of Americans. That probably had more to do with Mr. Trump being elected than Mr. Trump.
 
 
 
 
 
Pardero Added Jun 12, 2018 - 12:32pm
Louis E. Weeks,
I am sorry that I can't recall the source, but I read a fascinating article, some time ago, in which a capable author made the case that most groups will select the candidate that is perceived as the most altruistic. 
 
We are all aware of all the strongmen in historic times, but the author made a good case that primitive societies relied on a general consensus, on who was the most altruistic, not necessarily the best warrior.
 
A strongmam-led group would not be as stable as one that chose a chief by consensus. The era of strongmen and divine right of kings, would be an aberration, and choosing a leader by popular vote, based on altruism, is a return to an ancient pattern, for which we are supposedly hard-wired. 
 
I am curious if all, the likely spurious, reports of Hillary's atrocities and outrages, that were plastered on so many blogs, and exchanged in emails, were contrasted with the flood of mostly urban myths concerning Trump's extreme generosity, and setting people up for life, because they showed him a kindness. Do you recall all the 'I love you's at the end of his rallies? 
 
I can't speculate on what you received in your mailbox from friends and relatives, or noticed on obscure conservative blogs.
I received a flood of descriptions of Hillary's obscene atrocities and depredations. 
Dave Volek Added Jun 12, 2018 - 12:52pm
Pardero
I have recently read an interesting evolutionary social analysis. If we go back to our primate cousins, most of the "tribes" are led by alpha males (sometimes females) and members of that tribe have to submit to the leader. That is how the tribe stays together.
 
When human beings started evolving away from our cousins, that alpha approach did not work out so well. Evolution favored those humans who were more consensual in nature. And the consensual groups passed more of their genetics than the alpha-led groups.
 
When we moved from hunter-gatherers to city states, our societies become more complex and it became more difficult to make decisions by consensus. But there was still enough alpha genetics around to find leaders who could make those decisions. And these leaders quested for power and control over others.
 
The theorist proposed that humanity has moved from alpha-led to consensus and back to alpha-led. Yet much of our collective genetics is still for consensus. But our political structures are more based on alpha-led societies. I guess this is good for people with alpha tendencies.
 
This is my third foray on WB, and it has lasted a year. One thing I am gleaning from this stay is that people with psychopathic tendencies strive for some kind of dominant position. When they have some degree of control over others, they get a little fix. Management and politics are good places for these tendencies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 12, 2018 - 1:53pm
@TexasLynn - Thanks for the reply and I am happy that my story resonated with you, I have really put a lot of thought into Hope these last few years and I believe a lot of people are missing the power of it by concentrating on negativity.  
 
@Leroy - Thanks for the reply and I completely agree that Hope does not equal change, and a lot of people would most likely agree even on the Left that what they had Hoped from Obama did not actually turn out to be true but that does not mean people were suckers for holding out Hope for his time in office and I feel the same for Trump.  We can Hope and it is natural to Hope.  Assuming the worst to me takes too much energy to maintain.
 
@ Even A Broken Clock and  Luther Wu thanks for positive replies, it is always nice to get feedback on stories and thoughts, good or bad.  I was trying to focus on middle ground because this was more general of a view for me but I can get a little more slanted on politics, lol.
 
 @ Dave Volek - Thanks for the positive comment, but I would not agree on your assessment of Trump not being politically astute, without getting too partisan I would just point out 1 or 2 times could be considered luck, but time after time Trump seems to come out on top of the many political stands he takes, like the Government shutdown for example, Democrats decided to demand for a DACA fix vote before anything else, but there was no actual DACA fix written for anyone to actually vote on or sign, Trump came out and actually stole the DACA conversation away from them and they looked foolish and had to back down.
 
You can't call all of these things pure chance, the man may be crazy and flamboyant  and out of control sometimes, but there seems to be a method to his madness that works.
 
And "IF" (and let me agree it is a big, massive "IF") Trump pulls off this deal with North Korea to end hostilities and give up their Nukes to get trade deals and modern prosperity it will go down in history as one of the greatest diplomatic successes of all time.
 
And certainly no mistake.
 
We have to wait and see I suppose.
 
Pardero - I am no Historian so I can certainly be wrong, but I can't recall any leaders who were known for being particularly altruistic.    I think back to the few historical leaders I remember like Roman leaders and Stalin or Pol Pot or Churchill or Cleopatra, or Hitler and none of them seemed very selfless to me, but they were certainly charismatic or forceful and calculating and competent. Most of those were known for their brutality as well.
 
Then I think of modern leaders abroad and domestic and again I can't really think of selflessness being their primary trait, Obama I suppose had the longest time as a community organizer and such but was still a fairly standard career politician.  Merkel, Trudeau, Macron,  May, Abe, etc do not seem to be known for any specific selflessness that I have ever heard of but maybe in their own Nations they are.
 
 
That said sure, Trump was known for his helping people and even his City helping to fix the ice skating rink after the City had lost all hope trying to get it done but if you watched the new you certainly did not see any mention of his charitable past so I do not know if that played any part or not.  
 
 
Hillary on the other hand had this monster Foundation that was reported to be handling hundreds of millions of dollars every year all over the place so if what you mention is true, should she not have gotten credit for that or do you think money from Russians and other questionable donors tainted it?
 
 
 
And thanks to all of you with information about the multi posting, I will be more careful in the future.
 
 
 
William Stockton Added Jun 12, 2018 - 3:34pm
Hope is a chemical trick given to intelligent living beings -- fooling them into believing there is a chance they will successfully avoid death.
 
Although that is true, hope is a pretty useful thing while we live.
Don Allen Added Jun 12, 2018 - 5:15pm
On many ventures we have hope going in, followed by hope to get out.
Steve Ford Added Jun 12, 2018 - 5:32pm
But Trump with all his flamboyant and sometimes crazy commentary was also selling Hope.  "Make America Great Again"
 
Okay... I can see a grain of logic in the notion that the slogan "Make America Great Again" may suggest hope... But that's where it ends with Trump... He is selling one thing... just one thing... Donald J. Trump... and he does that by promoting the antithesis of hope... HATRED!!!
Dave Volek Added Jun 12, 2018 - 5:35pm
William
 
I like your chemical trick analogy. We put a lot of hope in our favorite sports team.
 
My workplace recently set up a lottery pool. I didn't want to left out if they won, so I put my $5 in. I had a lot of "hope" in the days previous to the draw. Chemicals were indeed being activated in my brain.
 
There's only false hopes in the political process as far as I can see. But I guess chemicals are working their magic on political junkies.
 
 
 
Luther Wu Added Jun 12, 2018 - 5:40pm
Don Allen said: "On many ventures we have hope going in, followed by hope to get out."
------
You married her, too?
TexasLynn Added Jun 12, 2018 - 5:49pm
Dave >> My workplace recently set up a lottery pool. I didn't want to left out if they won, so I put my $5 in. I had a lot of "hope" in the days previous to the draw. Chemicals were indeed being activated in my brain.
 
An office I worked at did that. And I kicked in my "donation". A coworker, Alex, told me he was surprised that I would join in; knowing my general opinion of the lottery and such like. My reply was "Oh... no... I'm not playing the lottery, I'm just buying Alex insurance. I just can't stand the thought of that guy getting rich and not me... so just in case, Alex insurance is well worth it." :)
 
Maybe WB needs such a pool.  There are plenty of you guys I'd feel the same way about... so I'm in. :)
Don Allen Added Jun 12, 2018 - 6:16pm
To Luther Wu:  Yes indeed.  Will add to list.  :)
Jeff Michka Added Jun 12, 2018 - 8:48pm
Hey, Dave...you mentioned a book, was it Amy Chua's "Tribes?"  I keep forgetting to start comments with "oogah boogah," so  tribalists can connect.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:03pm
Steve Ford - I mentioned more then just the slogan, we can certainly debate if Trump (or any other candidates) will keep their promises, but just on the surface of what Trump was pushing for people to "Hope" for there was a lot more than just a slogan.  Working on unfair trade deals that has cost America millions of jobs, currency manipulation, other Countries paying their fair share for NATO and not forcing America to pay their share, illegal immigrants suppressing wages (we can debate benefit/cost of having slave wage workers but there is no debate on the fact they do suppress wages in certain fields) and many others.  Trump like Obama was selling "Hope" and Hillary was not, and there was your difference.
 
I get it, you hate Trump, but as with all human beings we are a mix of good and bad, Trump is not all bad just like Obama was not all good.  We should be more realistic and less partisan.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 12, 2018 - 9:07pm
Jeff Michka - I deleted your post, spouting conspiracy theories and claiming people on the Right are murdering people of color is not rational or productive to any conversation among adults and will not be allowed on my threads, please try to control yourself a little better.
 
Have a nice day  :)
Katharine Otto Added Jun 12, 2018 - 10:09pm
Louis,
Good article.  I hope you will write more.
George N Romey Added Jun 12, 2018 - 10:25pm
Hope I fear is getting thin because despite the supposedly awesome financial stats too many Americans are being left behind. Try living on a $13 an hour job. Social mobility is in the can. Debt peonage continues to take over. We’re becoming a society of narcissistic jerks. Moreover what people and the private sector used to provide is being dumped at the government’s store step.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 12, 2018 - 10:43pm
@ George- Sir, I have debated these financial issues for a long time and one thing I always mention is how labor value can only increase when that labor is rare.  Poor people will never improve their lot as long as we have plenty of low skill and low education workers to fill those jobs.  No matter what side of the illegal alien debate you fall on, there is no debating the fact that illegal aliens suppress wages in the low skill/low education industries.
 
That said there is also no debate on the fact that today the poor spend so much more money on things they do not really need.  Cellphones and high speed internet and streaming services, even paying monthly for World of Warcraft sand other video games and $5 cups of coffee at Starbucks, if you added it all up and they saved that money instead their financial situations would be much better.
 
But I completely agree on the narcissistic jerks observation,  if not there would be no such thing as facebook, or twitter.
 
Just how many selfies do we need anyway?
James Travil Added Jun 12, 2018 - 10:56pm
From what I can tell Trump seems to have pulled off a good deal with Kim. Of course the neoliberals want only war but fuck them and their neocons brotherhood they are useless. Instead here are the more sane thoughts of a Progressive I admire regarding this - US foreign policy elites have invented a whole slew of meaningless phrases to justify a state of permanent militarism & aggression in the world, then trained people to recite them. That US should avoid negotiating with Bad Guys because it gives them "legitimacy" in a good example https://t.co/sSPZZq0luZ — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 12, 201
Oh and good article, welcome (back apparently?) Louis. 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 12:23am
@ James - I also believe Trump made a good first step.  These people dumping negative energy at Trump are actually scared that he will pull it off and look so good doing it they will suffer politically.
 
But that is their own fault because if they would support Trump in this they could share in the successes.
 
It is perfectly reasonable for Democrats to oppose Trump on some things but opposing Trump on possibly bringing peace to the Korean peninsula is insanity in my opinion.
Flying Junior Added Jun 13, 2018 - 2:30am
Allow me to explain Hope and Change.
 
We were hoping that y'all would change.
Flying Junior Added Jun 13, 2018 - 2:36am
If I can just jump in on the bromance summit of the year...
 
What has happened so far was entirely predictable.  Maybe both men truly do admire each other.  Promises can be empty.  How long did they chat?  One hour?  I can't really call it a summit.  Maybe a dirtpile would be a more accurate metaphor.
 
My prediction was that Trump was ready to give away the store without anything solid in return.  So far I am the only one who has been proven to be correct.  The little weasel got Trump to promise to end military exercises between the South Korean military and the U.S. Navy.
 
Why would Trump agree to that?  Short answer.
 
Trump is like a gigantic penis that wishes to be stroked and petted.
 
Is this the tough stance that brought Jong-Un to to bargaining table?
James Travil Added Jun 13, 2018 - 3:25am
Let us consider the fact that in general when enemies of the USA disarm they are immediately attacked and destroyed. Why would North Korea agree to such a suicidal plan? Only a neoliberal Clintonite warmonger like Flying Junior would expect such madness. 
Mark Hunter Added Jun 13, 2018 - 3:28am
Louis, that comes back to something I've thought from the beginning. That Trump didn't win the election at all: Hillary Clinton lost it. Nobody was more surprised than I was.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 4:32am
Louis
 
The only problem I see in Trump is his ego and his unpredictability. Nobody knows which tweet will probably fuck up that newest progress.
 
And as I said in another comment:
 
Could it be that a united Korea would allow the US to station troops right up to the border of Russia and China ? Just a thought....
Luther Wu Added Jun 13, 2018 - 5:41am
Stone-Eater said: "Could it be that a united Korea would allow the US to station troops right up to the border of Russia and China ? Just a thought...."
------
In my opinion, that would be a yuuuge mistake.
To be sure, there will be some heavy- hitters within the military structure of many nations who would welcome such an event. They are looking for fulfillment of that which they have spent their life focus.
Such is not the case with this historic agreement. We're trying to end the enmity between players on the world stage, not poke 'em in the eye with a stick.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:00am
Luther
 
I'm not so sure. The Pentagon and the arms industries around the world are not blue-eyed. They have a world map in front of their eyes LOL
opher goodwin Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:18am
Hope is indeed a very powerful force and we usually fall for it. Politicians rarely produce the goods they promise.
But I live on hope. I think we can build a better world and that one day we might all elect people who aren't megalomaniacs, psychopaths and sociopaths, and who really mean what they say.
I live in hope.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:29am
Hope is indeed a very powerful force
 
When hope is not followed by action it is useless.
Don Allen Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:53am
Trump is getting much advice, much imagery, an occasional compliment, and plenty of detraction.  But shouldn't we all hope this venture with NOKO works - if only for the NOKO people?  Below is an excerpt from a hypothetical letter to the President...
 
... From both your party and opponents, the pundits and college professors, all self-professed NOKO experts, express mostly universal trepidation.  They read a lot, write a lot, and love to lecture a lot.  However, you will note the biggest deal ever consummated by most of these folks was to buy their teenager a used car.  So, be careful of whose advice you take. ...
 
Hope and opinion sometimes stumble over each other. 
Kurt Bresler Added Jun 13, 2018 - 8:45am
Fantastic Article, I really enjoyed this perspective for it is really the only one to wish and hope for.
I also agree and believe that Trump is much more savvy than he acts, in fact, I think much of the craziness is an Act just like keeping his enemies wondering what he will do next.
I was glad he seemed more humble when he was able to get the signed agreement to denuclearize,  or maybe he was just too tired to brag.  Nevertheless, he deserves credit for the things he accomplishes no matter his personal shortcomings.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 8:53am
@ flying junior - How many times did Obama personally meet with Ali Khamenei while the Iran deal was worked out?  How long did their meetings last?
 
These kinds of deals and their specifics are done through others, the meeting was more about making a personal connection and establishing two things:  First Trump laid out the fact the road North Korea was on had a huge cliff ahead, then Trump showed them the off ramp with all the wonderful things they could find on that alternative road.  Then he made it clear he was more than happy to help them down either choice of direction.
 
 
I personally find it interesting that Democrats today are demanding provisions in any deal that they did not demand for Obama's Iran deal.
 
 
You can best Trump will not let them off scott free mostly because Trump will set the outline but others with more knowledge of specifics and details will handle it, just like how Obama had no direct handling of the Iran deal.
 
 
 
@ James - Yes, many enemies have been attacked, and North Korea knows this so one of the most important deal makers will be how they establish some guarantees of keeping kim jong un as the leader.  I believe that can be done and if that is really the only big hurdle to denuclearization I say it is worth it.
 
Other things like human rights and such can be dealt with as we go and over time, but eliminating the possibility of nuclear war should be our first priority.
 
 
 
@ Mark Hunter - I would agree Hillary Clinton was a poor choice considering that before Trump was even an official candidate voters used words like "Dishonest" and "untrustworthy" to describe Hillary Clinton but at the end of the day she had more than twice as much money, thousands of professional paid staff members, a massive army of ground troops to energize their base and get out the vote while Trump had only 100 paid staff and zero ground game but still dragged the largest crowds of any candidate during the election even in areas where the Left was openly attacking those who attended Trump events.  People did not show up because they hated Hillary, they showed up because they liked Trump so it is really disingenuous to discount Trump's accomplishment to defeat the single most powerful professional politician and well funded politician in a generation. who had the help of Hollywood, the media, and Obama and his very popular wife campaigning for her.
 
 
@ Stone-Eater - Obama going on television to demand Russia leave Crimea instantly and drawing his famous "red line" showed he was pretty darn egotistical him self, in fact anyone looking for that job would have to be fairly self-centered considering all the abuse they face so Trump is no different in that, his difference is how he expresses it and while it is disruptive, what has the stuffed suits really accomplished with their pretty words and no action?
 
 
I see no problem with letting a guy who is not preoccupied with being politically correct over all things to give it a go and see how things shake out, we can always election one of those professional class politicians again if this change does not work out.
 
 
And parking troops on the Russian border would be a non-starter.  North Korea would not agree to a massive occupation force.
 
 
@ opher-goodwin - I want to Hope as well and why I wrote this story, My brain wants to not trust, by my heart wants to chase down this possible better path even if it is unlikely, and if I can feel this way I am sure a lot of others do too.
 
 
We can always go the invasion/destruction route later, I see no reason why we can't plan for both possibilities.  but hope for the better one.
 
 
 
@ Don Allen - Excellent point and I completely agree.  I recall the media making a big deal of  Robert De Niro  saying "Fuck Trump" during the Tony awards but this man is a Highschool dropout, why is anyone listening to him?  He is a great actor but how does that make him a trusted political analyst?
 
I personally believe it was Trump's unpredictability that brought North Korea to the bargaining table  because they knew the days of weakness were over.  there was going to be an end, either good or bad for North Korea.
 
Thanks for the positive comment.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 9:03am
North Korea would not agree to a massive occupation force.
 
Hm. Did Iraq or Libya accept to be being bombed by the so-called NATO "defense force" ?
Mark Hunter Added Jun 13, 2018 - 9:22am
Not at all disingenuous, although it was too much to say he didn't win it "at all". I'm well aware of what Trump did right and wasn't putting him down. But the fact remains that he has an abrasive personality, and almost all of the news and entertainment media was using that to make him look as bad as humanly possible. That's my whole point: Clinton had huge advantages in numbers, support of the mainstream media, a polished political experience, and the willingness to say and do whatever it took to win. She went up against a man with no political experience, who was unwilling to change his style or words for votes.  Any number of other Democrats would have won big under those circumstances. While Trump knew exactly what people were looking for and supplied it fearlessly, Clinton did her share to help him win.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jun 13, 2018 - 10:19am
 Only a neoliberal Clintonite warmonger like Flying Junior would expect such madness. 
 
He got ya there FJ.
 
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 10:28am
Louis
 
we can always election one of those professional class politicians again if this change does not work out.
 
Makes no difference. They do what the shareholders tell them in the end.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 11:54am
Hope and pray
 
I neither hope or pray. I try.
 
(The song is nice although .... not quite the subject. But I think the harmonies are touching)
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 12:22pm
@ stone-eater - I am not sure of your point?  nobody who is attacked wants to be attacked but we are discussing two different things.  One is a declared (or not declared) open hostilities, the other is a part of a negotiation.  North Korea would never agree to a occupying force under any treaty, this was my point.  Now if North Korea refuses to negotiate a deal where they give up their nukes, an occupying force could certainly be in their future.....
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 12:35pm
@ Mark Hunter - Yes you are being disingenuous because you claim Trump was "abrasive" but why was he "abrasive"?  Could it be the fact every major news outlet lied when they claimed he called "all" Mexicans rapists?  They took his comment out of context then edited that comment to dishonestly alter its meaning and then attacked him millions of times with that dishonest claim.
 
The purpose was clear, they tried to bully Trump out of the race.
 
Trump had two options, let them bully him out of the race or fight back, Trump decided to fight back.
 
Then almost instantly we saw thousands of stories comparing Trump to Hitler.  Hillary eventually came out and name called Trump voters "Deplorable" and lacking any redeeming quality in America (I personally believe this is what lost her the election) and then the media then started calling Trump voters Nazis.
 
 
Obama even told Blacks that if they did not turn out in force to help Hillary he would take it as a personal insult..... of course they did not turn out in force showing some of the worst turnout for Black voters in many years but the point remains Hillary had all the power, all of Hollywood, all of the major media, and twice the money and infrastructure, but Trump still beat her.
 
He deserves credit for beating her and when you claim well he did not really win that just shows that you are disingenuous, I can't speak to your motives so I will not even try.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 1:03pm
Louis
 
Now if North Korea refuses to negotiate a deal where they give up their nukes
 
Let's be clear: Which legal "right" gives the US (NATO) the right to have nukes while others aren't allowed to it, even more so when the US is the far more aggressive player on the world stage ? Ok, you can say that the Chinese and the Russians have nukes too. But they never "forbid" another nation to have them. 
 
If you can tell me....
Don Allen Added Jun 13, 2018 - 1:51pm
Stone-Eater: Not pray? Years ago, I learned that one level of prayer is to look within, to find another recourse or pathway, or to find a deeper meaning, or perhaps to embrace another notion.   It's more than, "Now I lay me down to ..." 
Give it a shot.  It becomes the origin of hope. 
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 2:44pm
Don
 
Maybe for you, that's ok, I respect that. But I have seen too much bullshit in my life to even consider that a god exists (apart from my interest in science). You see, my wife prays 5 x a day, she's Muslim. But even after 22 years of marriage she didn't succeed to made me believe in a hologram floating in outer space LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 2:47pm
Louis
 
Now if North Korea refuses to negotiate a deal where they give up their nukes, an occupying force could certainly be in their future.....
 
Yep. And that's the problem. I mean I respect the Boss. But he's called Springsteen, not Trump.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 3:42pm
@ Stone-Eater - What law?  Do we need a law to act in our own self-interest and the interests of our friends?  If you live next to me and you know I am building a bomb, do you just ignore it because whatever I do is none of your business?  Or do you consider the fact that should I set the thing off it will kill you and your family and do something about it?
 
What is the world if not a large community of neighbors?  Sometimes one of those neighbors gets involved in something that could possibly end the world as we know it, it is just logical to not want the world to end.
 
 
Let's be honest, do you really want a Nuclear war?  You are certainly posturing and acting like you prefer a nuclear war over acting to stop one but I find it hard to believe any rational human being really wants a nuclear war.
 
 
How about if you saw a toddler walking down the street with a shotgun, would you think that maybe that much potential harm in the hands of a toddler is not acceptable or would you believe that because adults can have shotguns, it is okay for toddlers to have them too?
 
 
Honestly your stand makes no logical sense at all.  Of course we should all be concerned.
 
 
 
 
And Trump did not begin this idea that an unstable and unpredictable North Korea should not be trusted with world ending weapons, the Liberal gods Bill Clinton and Obama also agreed with that idea and Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize so this is not about Trump, not even close to being about Trump, Trump is just the guy who had this problem dropped in his lap by both Democrat and Republican Presidents who failed to take actions before it was an Earth extinction issue.
 
 
 
Ignoring things do not make them go away.  Europe would be all German speaking if not for America so i believe we have earned some degree of standing to help decide when some elements are behaving poorly.  No we have not always acted perfectly, but at least we are in the game trying to do good while so many others sit on their lazy behinds pointing fingers at those willing to be in the game trying.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 3:59pm
Louis
 
If you live next to me and you know I am building a bomb
 
Well...does Canada or Mexico intend to build a bomb ? Korea is not quite next door and Russia has had intercontinentals for ages. 
 
Do you put aside that the mess in the ME is largely caused by the US ? Where do you live ? Pink Floyd style dark side of the moon ? I'm not a newbie on politics, and I'm European, means I'm closer to it.
 
Europe would be all German speaking
 
So what ? Without the Brits, the Irish, Italian and German immigrants the "US" would be speaking Navajo, Sioux, Comanche.......
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 4:00pm
BTW: My mother tongue is German, and I can wonderfully communicate in it LOL
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 4:32pm
@ Stone-Eater - Why do you keep dodging the points made?  Hard to have a conversation when I respond to your points but you dodge all of mine.
 
 
North Korea is the neighbor with the life ending bomb, we as neighbors know this is unacceptable, I have no clue what canada or Mexico have in this conversation, how about we stick to the points?
 
 
 
And no, America did not cause the mess in the ME, as I can see with my own eyes, the ME has been embroiled in chaos long before any Europeans came into the picture.   Do a little research, sure I will gladly agree we contributions on some of the mess sure, but the cause?
 
 
So you really believe the Middle East was all peace and sunshine before America came into existence?  I really wonder at how some of you guys think sometimes, lol. 
 
 
Like dodging the real point I made about all of Europe speaking German, why do you have to dodge and pretend not to understand?  I know you are smart enough to understand the point was how WW - 2 would have ended differently if not for America stepping in to save Europe.  You really believe it would be better had Germany won?
 
How about the Holocaust, you think that is a myth too?
 
 
 
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 4:50pm
Louis
 
North Korea is the neighbor with the life ending bomb, we as neighbors
 
I didn't know that the US has borders with North Korea. Must have missed something...
 
The holocaust ? Frankly I don't give a shit about that old stuff. I'd rather talk about recent genocides like in Ruanda, South Sudan or problems in Myanmar (Burma). But that goes unnoticed. And since I see your hint......no, I don't agree of Israel and AIPAC policies. Should I ?
 
I have no contact to Jews. They are not known to be too social with other people here in Switzerland. They keep to themselves. So I don't know their arguments. But to me a Jew who likes the life in Tel Aviv is not the same as an orthodox Jew who hangs all day on the Klagemauer.
 
Generalization does not help. Being an asshole, a fanatic or a good person does not depend on race or nationality.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 5:00pm
You really believe it would be better had Germany won?
 
It wouldn't be a difference. We spoke German (a dialect called Swiss German like the Bavarians) before and we would still speak it no matter who would be in power.
 
And, believe me, we have a lot of guns here, more than any other nation in Europe. We know how to defend our borders, be it the mountains or the rivers that divide us from Germany, for example. But as I said the Germans are our cousins, and we have a French and Italian speaking part, which means our neighbors are not strange to us.
 
I mean nobody wins a war, in the end there's only losers except the economy (Marshall plan for example....).
 
You see, US-Americans have no idea about what a war is because they never had one on their own soil for a long time. They are smart enough to lead their wars abroad LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2018 - 5:05pm
BTW: I know a lot of Germans. And believe it or not, Hitler and his regime created a lot of work for a people who just tried to recover from the crisis of 1929. Not only the arms industry.
 
I'm not talking of holocaust stuff now, but:
 
When you have a family, no work and almost no food, and suddenly you get a job in an arms factory, do you say, no thanks, I don't want that job because I'm against war, and my family prefers not to eat if I have such a job ?
 
Be realistic.
George N Romey Added Jun 13, 2018 - 5:07pm
Like in the ME the US might not have started the problems but it’s involvement makes matters far force. We should be making peace while defending our borders. Generally if you others alone they won’t bother you. What Trump has done is a good thing.
James Travil Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:19pm
Human Rights concerns in North Korea are a joke. No one gives a shit about human rights unless there is a political issue at stake. Otherwise why does no one care about human rights in Saudi Arabia or Israel? Pure hypocrisy. 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:31pm
@ Stone-Eater - Okay, if you want to dodge every point made and play stupid that is certainly fine but that makes it clear that you are not interested in an honest discussion.
 
Clearly unstable Nations having the capacity to destroy the world is not a good thing, most rational people would agree and I believe you agree too and that is why you refuse to engage on that point.
 
So if it makes sense to be concerned about a rogue Nation having the capacity to destroy every life on the planet, then it logically also makes sense for those who can act to prevent said total destruction should act to do so.
 
 
Turning a blind eye to it just makes it worse.
 
I wish you a great day sir  :) 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:36pm
@ George - How do you figure America made anything "far worse"?  Not knowing what would happen without America it is actually impossible to make such an outlandish claim.
 
For example, part of what we did was enable Afghanistan to resist Russian invasion, if we had minded out own business and /Russia took over the region then what?
 
America has been instrumental in helping them to develop their oil reserves and sell them bringing a lot of wealth to the region, take that involvement away and how different is the Middle East today?
 
Considering how the entire Middle East was clueless on how to resist ISIS and Obama was clueless on ISIS as well, Trump came in and crushed ISIS in a few months with only a partial cabinet, why could the various elements of the Middle East not do away with ISIS?  Only America can fight extremists in the Middle East and win?
 
So no America and the extremists rule the entire Middle East?  Is that what you consider to be much better if America stayed out?
 
 
James Travil Added Jun 13, 2018 - 6:42pm
Obama wasn't clueless on ISIS. The Obama regime gave aid and support to ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria to bring about "regime change". And Trump didn't single handedly defeat ISIS, the Russians did most of the work there, the US only assisted to a lesser extent. 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 10:31pm
@ James - So Obama was telling lies when he said he wanted to defeat ISIS in your opinion?  That is eve worse than incompetence.
 
As much as I disliked Obama and his suppression of the private sector, I really do believe he wanted to defeat ISIS, he just wanted to play politics with it.
 
 
No, Trump was no master military mind, all Trump did was walk in and tell the military minds ot handle it, I have it first hand that local leaders were suddenly told to do what it takes to win and that is exactly what they did that was completely different from what Obama let them do.
 
 
James Travil Added Jun 13, 2018 - 10:49pm
Look I really don't have time to dig it up right now, it was from years ago during the last administration, but it's pretty well known by most people that Obama’s "moderate rebels" in Syria were CIA funded ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists. I give credit where credit is due, but blame where it is due as well. Obama wanted to use ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists to overthrow Assad. It flopped, especially when the Russians got involved. Then Trump got in charge and reversed the previous stance on supporting terrorists. But regardless always the truth is what I am about. Just so you know I am a moderate independent, I loath both the Democrats and the Republicans. But I give Trump his due when he is in the right and I did as much when Obama was in charge as well. Obama wasn't all bad, but he sure did make some serious mistakes. Trump isn't a saint either, but is doing better overall in Syria and for certain will regards to North Korea. 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 13, 2018 - 10:58pm
@ James, you offer a conspiracy theory and zero support for it?  But I need to just take your word for it?
 
Obama gave speech after speech detailing out he wanted to stop ISIS, so either he was telling lies the entire time or he was just incompetent or too scared to do what was needed for political reasons, but again as much as I did not like Obama I do not believe he lied about a thousands times about wanting to defeat ISIS.
 
 
Yes, I am sure the CIA was working with rebels and some of those rebels did join ISIS, but ISIS started out in Iraq and was actually overpowering the Iraq military and took a lot of their equipment to get started.
 
 
Obama during that time called ISIS the "JV Team" so no, your "origin story" seems unlikely at best.
 
 
 
James Travil Added Jun 13, 2018 - 11:13pm
Tell you what, if I find the time this weekend I'll dig it up. I don't hold on to old stuff like that which most people in the know are aware of. Quite frankly I'm surprised this is news to you. But yes Obama lied thousands of times. He lied about his so call "democratic rebellion" in Ukraine as well, he instead backed an illegal coup that installed Nazis there. I get a lot of people questioning that so if you are clueless about the Ukrainian situation I DO have a good link proving that available now. 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 12:37am
@ James - Now that was silly, ISIS as I said before was operating before our operations to train and support opposition in Syria, in fact there were those like McCain  who was calling for supporting some rebels and complaining about Obama dragging his feet in supporting those groups.
 
Most people I know of are aware of the hesitancy of Obama to support those Syrian rebels and I am shocked you do not know this:
 
https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324906004578290060794022912
 
 
 
As I said above, yes some of those rebels did "join" ISIS, but that does not mean all of ISIS was created intentionally by Obama to overthrow Assad as you claimed.
 
James Travil Added Jun 14, 2018 - 12:48am
Louis I never said Obama created ISIS, I said that Obama’s "moderate rebels" were comprised of ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists. Almost entirely, probably upwards of 90%. There is very little real rebel resistance to Assad in Syria because most of the negative news about him is fake neocon propaganda (like the barrel bomb nonsense and the crap about him gassing his own people for absolutely no reason). The only way Obama could get a "resistance" together to fight Assad was to recruit trained terrorists. Just like the only way Obama could get a force together to overthrow the Democratically elected government in Ukraine was to recruit Nazis (which resident amoral warmonger neocon John McCain backed as well). Those are just the facts. 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:13am
@ James - Now you want to change your words?  you originally claimed Obama never tried to eliminate ISIS because he created ISIS to force regime change in Syria, but ISIS happened in Iraq and before our actions in Suyria.
 
 
You offered this claim to try and refute he was clueless on how to defeat ISIS, so you can't have it both ways, either Obama created ISIS to take out Assad or he did not, but it does seem he would be cluess either way being as they did not take out Assad either right?
 
 
No, I am sorry my friend but you are wrong, Obama did want to eliminate ISIS and was just too worried about politics or just was clueless to get it done and the only thing Trump did differently was he let the military leaders take over and do what they do best.
 
 
 
 
But again, yes I do agree many of those rebels we helped train and arm in Syria did in fact join up with ISIS, I have said this three times now, but just because they later joined ISIS, that does not mean Obama was originally working with ISIS all along.
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:21am
Louis E Weeks,
You said, "Trump came in and crushed ISIS in a few months"
 
Not exactly. The Russians crushed ISIS and Trump took credit. Obama's characterization of ISIS as "the JV team" is apt, and the US did a lot of griping when Russia took the liberty of taking out some of the varsity terrorists that the Saudis, Israel, and the US were covertly supporting.
Flying Junior Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:38am
Thank you for the honest response, Louis.  Naturally my first instinct is to ridicule and minimize Trump's accomplishment.
 
Talking to the conservatives, I learn that there is nothing to be gained by condemning all of this.
 
It's even more tempting to laugh at Trump for having a bromance with a ruthless dictator.
 
But, okay.  I will hope for the best.  I will support Trump in his efforts to prevent nuclear war.  However, traditionally we hold responsible the president who allows things to happen on his watch.  GWB was the sitting president for the inhuman attacks on September 11, 2001.  But we do not paint him as responsible any more than FDR was responsible for December 7, 1941.
 
But Trump's initial responses did give NK the license and wide latitude to pursue nuclear ICBM capability.  If it ever does happen, Goddess forbid, it will be entirely on DJT.  Let's just hope he doesn't fuck it up this late in the game.  He has distinguished himself as a snake who willingly turns against erstwhile allies and supporters on a thin dime.
 
What happens when the clever and ruthless Jong-Un pisses of the child-dictator?
James Travil Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:53am
So you are just another lying slanderer huh Louis? I never "reversed myself" YOU said (LIED) that I said Obama created ISIS. Please quote where I said this you slandering liar. I don't appreciate being slandered or lied about, but I guess that is what you are about. Good to know you piece of shit. 
James Travil Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:55am
P. S. Fuck waiting for the weekend here is proof of Obama arming and supporting terrorists in Syria NOW
Article: How America Armed Terrorists in Syria | OEN - https://www.opednews.com/populum/pagem.php?f=How-America-Armed-Terroris-by-Gareth-Porter-American-Hypocrisy_Armed-Forces_Assad_CIA-170623-437.html 
Now fuck you Louis! 
Mark Hunter Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:11am
I have no motives, Louis, I'm merely pointing out that Trump has an abrasive personality. And he does. So does Hillary Clinton, but as a professional politician she's much better at hiding it from the public. I agree with you about the media and Clinton, but don't put words in my mouth. I can do that all by myself.
Flying Junior Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:39am
Just a reality check for those who are thrilled.  If you can find it in yourselves to trust either the UN or the NYT.  The brutal dictatorship of NK's president leaves something to be desired.  This is no fault of Trump, but perhaps indicative of the stripe of leaders that he likes to befriend.
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/world/asia/north-korea-human-rights.html
 
With the meeting of President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea on Tuesday in Singapore, human rights groups are watching for Mr. Trump to bring up North Korea’s widespread crimes against humanity.
 
Mr. Kim rules with extreme brutality, making his nation among the worst human rights violators in the world.
 
In North Korea, these crimes “entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” concluded a 2014 United Nations report that examined North Korea.
 
Here are some of the atrocities that have happened there.
 
A network of prison gulags
 
Many North Koreans live in fear. That is by design, and it is reinforced by the country’s ruthless police state.
 
People accused of political crimes are arrested and sentenced to prison camps without trials, while their families are often kept in the dark about their whereabouts. Up to 120,000 inmates were in the country’s four major political prisons in 2014 and were subjected to gruesome conditions, according to the United Nations report.
 
Prisoners are starved, forced to work, tortured and raped. Reproductive rights are denied through forced abortions and infanticide. Some are executed — sometimes in public. Hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have died in the camps over the past 50 years, the United Nations report found.
 
Mr. Kim’s enemies, and family, have been executed
Since Mr. Kim assumed power in 2011, taking over from his father, Kim Jong-il, he has consolidated his power through executions. In the first six years as leader, he has ordered the executions of at least 340 people, according to the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank arm of the National Intelligence Service.
 
In 2016, Kim Yong-jin, the deputy premier for education, was killed in front of a firing squad after showing “disrespectful posture” in a meeting. Hyon Yong-chol, a general over the armed forces, fell asleep in a meeting. He was executed with an antiaircraft gun.
 
North Korea considers the spread of most religions dangerous, but Christianity is considered a “particularly serious threat” because it “provides a platform for social and political organization and interaction outside the realm of the State,” according to the United Nations report….
 
Christians are barred from practicing their religion, and those caught doing so are “subject to severe punishments,” the report found. North Korean leaders also conflate Christians with those detained in prison camps, those who try to flee and “others considered to introduce subversive influences,” the report stated.
 
In interviews with The New York Times in 2012, four North Koreans said that they had been warned that the gulag awaited those who spoke to journalists or Christian missionaries. “If the government finds out I am reading the Bible, I’m dead,” one woman said.
Flying Junior Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:50am
That said, Kim Jong-Un is smart enough to know that he can never deliver on his promises to the NK people unless UN sanctions are lifted.  Perhaps he truly would like to become a savior to his people and he needs Trump's help to bring it all about.
 
/Pollyanna
 
Take note that Trump was impressed by Jong-Un's love for his people.
James Travil Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:55am
Flying Junior I'm sure glad to see how concerned you are about human rights. I remember how you have spoken as well about the human rights violations of Israel against the Palestinian people and against Saudi Arabia. Oh wait, you didn't seem to care about them. An oversight or are you just a hypocrite who use "human rights" as a political weapon but in fact couldn't care less about actual human rights victims? 
Flying Junior Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:57am
I was involved in some conversations about Palestine and Israel, but it was before you arrived.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 14, 2018 - 5:20am
Louis
 
you are not interested in an honest discussion.
 
I am. But you are deeply prejudiced. I understand that some people think that all their own country does is the RIGHT thing, but it should not keep them trying to look from the OUTSIDE.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 14, 2018 - 5:25am
For example, part of what we did was enable Afghanistan to resist Russian invasion, if we had minded out own business and /Russia took over the region then what?
 
Is it YOUR business to care about countries thousands of miles away ? No. Sweep your own yard and stay there. What you seem not to be able to understand is that countries don't act AGAINST the USA. They merely try to DEFEND themselves because they have figured that regime change is only allowed for the US but not for other countries (-> Ukraine).
 
This is what WE think in Europe on a large scale. Not that anybody would care about that.
 
It's the economy, stupid ! Wasn't that Bill who said that ? And he was right. It is ALWAYS the economy. Religious or -ism blather is bullshit.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 14, 2018 - 5:30am
BTW: If Afghanistan would have become another USSR province would the US then have stopped to exist ? Tell you what: The Taliban (whatever "good" or "bad" they may ever be in whoever's eyes) stopped the drug trade. And some in the US didn't like that because they imported a lot from them. Means drug trade was cut off. Just one of the reasons....
 
....and by the way: Afghanistan is on the doorstep to Russia. Libya or Iraq are not on the doorstep to the US.
 
Why the fuck are you so stubborn ? Check a world map and see realities. North Korea has a border to Russia and China.......now think the rest for yourself.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 14, 2018 - 5:32am
James
 
Thanks for doing the work for me LOL
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 9:50am
@ Pardero - No Russia is not the ones who crushed ISIS, I actually have close family in leadership roles involved and they were specifically held back by Obama not wanting to "look bad" when Trump came in office specific changes came down rapidly freeing them up to do their jobs and only American troops saw drastic changes and those new changes are why we saw the sudden destruction of ISIS.
 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 9:58am
@ Flying-Junior - You are still being unfair.  While Bush was President for 9/11, it has been proven beyond doubt that those who planned and conducted the attack were doing soe for most of Bill Clinton's Presidency.  Bush was only President a few months when an attack that took over 6 years to plan, train and execute happened.  
 
 
The same is true for North Korea, all of the research developing the nuclear warheads and missile delivery was under Obama's Administration, sure we may have seen a few tweeks right after Trump took office but I believe this was done to see if Trump was as weak as Obama.  When Trump made it clear he was not as weak as Obama and was willing to take this to the next level suddenly we saw a massive change in North Korea.
 
 
But again, I freely admit that considering North Korea's past it is very difficult to believe them or trust them .......  but Hope ........
 
We should hope for changes to avoid nuclear war, looking for excuses to attack Trump on an issue several former Presidents kicked the can down the road is simply not fair, no former President had the solution, so why do you expect perfection from Trump?
 
 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:06am
@ James - Grow up, you may not have used the word "created" but you clearly said Obama never tried to stop ISIS because he wanted ISIS to eliminate Assad for him.
 
You are wrong, Trump said many, many times he wanted to stop ISIS and my own link crushed your weak link to a first of not credible sources and is all about conspiracy theories.
 
So that is what you operate on James?  Conspiracy theories?  I gave you a credible link proving Obama did not want to help the rebels, he resisted giving them arms and other help, so if he really wanted ISIS to eliminate Asdasd for him why resist arming the rebels?
 
 
You make no sense at all, I already agreed that those few rebels Obama did agree to help had some join ISIS, but that does not support your assertion Obama did not act on ISIS because he wanted them to eliminate Assad for him.
 
 
But again, either way it proves Obama was clueless and incompetent because even if your conspiracy theory is true, Obama failed to help ISIS to remove Assad for him.
 
 
I have family in that decision making circle for the operations in the region.  Before Trump there were massive restrictions placed on various entities but once Trump took over new orders and engagement rules were sent down telling them to do what needed to be done to eliminate ISIS.  The only real difference between Trump and Obama is Obama tied our military leaders hands and Trump untied them.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:08am
@ Mark - You leave out context as to why Trump seemed more combative.  It was either bow down and let the media bully him out of the race or fight back, Trump decided to fight back and yes that gave him this warrier persona but that was thrust upon him by the media and Hollywood and even the Republican Elitists who were all viciously attacking him.
 
Swords are forged in fire.  No fire, no sword.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:12am
@ Flying-Junior - Damn, really?  "This is no fault of Trump, but perhaps indicative of the stripe of leaders that he likes to befriend."
 
No, maybe this shows Trump is trying to befriend the people of North Korea?  You are so desperate to hate on Trump you forget that millions of normal North Korean people will see massive changes in their lives if this deal goes through.
 
You on the left really disappoint me in that you would rather toss hate at Trump than hope for peace and a better life for the North Korean people.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:23am
Louis
 
You on the left
 
That simple phrase shows me that you are influenced, ideologized. If not, you would neither use a label in your discussion but just talk using your mind and experience, and not "left", "right". Study history, economics or read Tolstoi, Nietzsche, Chomsky or whatever and go places and talk to people there. But don't use that "left/right" bullshit stuff, ok ?
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:24am
@ Stone - No you are clearly the one who is biased when you claim everything America has done is bad and evil and always ended up making things worse.
 
All I did was point out that you can't know that.  Nobody can rewind the past and run it again with a different set of facts, so for you to claim everything would be much better in the Middle East if America did not get involved in anything is not fact, it is biased claims due to your own prejudices.  
 
 
I fully agree we have made mistakes, but we have done good things too and the cold/hard facts on the ground prove to me that the hostilities and wars and strife in the Middle East was not created by America and is not perpetuated by America.
 
So first of all, it was Europe who conspired to overthrow the democratically elected Ukraine, all America did was agree to recognize the new leaders.  And why did you Europeans force violent overthrow of Ukraine?  Because the existing elected officials would not sign off on your trade deal.  So do not try to preach to others about regine changes, lol.
 
Second, yes fighting the spread of Russia was indeed important to American security.  Russian weapons platforms and intercontinental missile systems installed all over the planet is life/death for Americans.  Russia gaining a foothold in the Middle East and spreading would give them complete control over the Middle East oil production and that is a National security issue as well.
 
Not to mention that you Europeans used to show concern over Human rights issue and Russia at the time was well known for some brutal acts against their satellite nations to keep them under control.
 
 
 
 
It was turning a blind eye to what is happening elsewhere that allowed Germany to snowball into the massive problem it became, if we had jumped in from the start we could have saved tens of millions of lives and harms in the region.
 
 
An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:28am
you forget that millions of normal North Korean people will see massive changes in their lives if this deal goes through.
 
You lived there to judge how they live and feel ? Or you just watch CNN or Foxy stuff which tell you what you have to think ? GO THERE. But I guess you're the kind of guy who thinks when there's McDonalds and Gangsta Rap introduced they will all cry freedom.
Don Allen Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:32am
Louis.  Those using conclusions predicated on "If I had" or "If he had" or If we had" or "If only" are all premium subscribers to HNN, the Hypothetical News Network.  Such exist under other names but smell the same. 
Stone-Eater Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:35am
Last word:
 
I'm fed up with this shit. There are too many people here who just blather around about politics or other cultures without even having been there, and above that they think they know it all. I would like to hear people talk who have EXPERIENCE on what they talk about.
 
Not TV "knowledge" or hearsay. I don't need WB as a prolonged arm of propaganda TV stations or newspapers.
 
Sorry, no insult. Just ..... yawn.
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:53am
Louis E Weeks,
Tell us how much better Afghanistan is, with all the pedophilia and opium production, that the Taliban had virtually eliminated. They were better off under the Taliban, whether or not your sick and twisted world view can see that.
 
Libya was better off under Gadaffy. You need to take some ownership of the ongoing tragedy there, since you approve.
 
Yes, there had always been strife in the Middle East, but we took it to a whole new level.
 
That is rich, blaming the illegal coup in Ukraine entirely on Europe! You are particularly dishonest or hopelessly misinformed.
 
You mention the former "German problem," and seem to be obsessed with Russia. Why on earth did we give Eastern Europe to the Soviets, then? The Soviets won WWII, and then the Cold War began. We didn't save shit, dumbass. We fought the wrong enemy.
 
Middle Eastern oil? Are you daft? We don't need it, and neither does Russia. 
Syria has a modest amount of oil. Did it cross your little programmed mind that something else was going on?
 
You offer the same old neocon talking points, but you are not a very effective neocon parrot. Get back to your programming and conditioning because your knowledge is pretty shallow.
 
You know what, Louis, you are just about as inconsistent and crazy as US policy has been.
 
I am disappointed to see a despicable neocon getting a fair amount of likes, but it ain't like there is a shortage of you people. 
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:57am
By the way, I am not a leftist, I am to the right of any filthy neocon fake conservative.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 10:59am
@ Stone-Eater - You are parroting far left propaganda, so if you do not want to be viewed as part of the left, stop repeating their propaganda.
 
 
So let me get this straight, I mention how bad the lives of the North Korean people are and your rebuttal is "how do I know"?
 
Do you read your own comments?
 
How about reports of even their military people being infested with parasites?  Do you discount every news story that details the many challenges of life as a North Korean citizen?  It is all lies and we should assume north Korea is a great place to live for their people?
 
 
I simply do not understand how you on the left think and talk this way as if any fact that does not measure up to your political ideology or need to hate Trump is to be ignored and doubted?
 
You on the left are simply ruled by your emotional need to hate Trump, I am sorry to expose this and i am sorry you feel bad when this fact is pointed out but maybe you should stop and consider that if pointing to this fact hurts your feelings, maybe you should re-evaluate why you are behaving this way? 
 
 
 I am not biased against you as a person, I am only calling out your commentary for what it is, I do not know you or how you live or even if the words you type are just you playing the troll?  All I can respond to is the words on the screen and that is the only thing i am considering when I reply.
 
 
By the way I notice how you attack a single comment but dodge all the points I make and flat refuse to respond to those valid points, that is another far left tactic using distraction to avoid honest debate on an issue.
Luther Wu Added Jun 14, 2018 - 11:10am
Pardero,
Have mercy. I never figured out what a neocon really was.
Luther Wu Added Jun 14, 2018 - 11:21am
Pardero,
I can't figure out if you're being sarcastic, or...
The Taliban ended opium production and homo- pedophilia? The people were better off under the Taliban?
Opium production is one of the Taliban's chief sources of revenue and as for that almost unthinkable other thing; I'd suggest you go watch some movies about life in Afghanistan. I know, they're movies, but still... The Kite Runner would be a good place to start.
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 11:23am
Luther Wu,
Sorry.
Pacifism motivates me more than any other issue. 
 
Neocon is a vague term, but support for perpetual interventions and wars, along with spreading democracy, seems to be their core belief. 
 
Most of their original thinkers were former Johnson Democrats. They support big government except for social programs. I am able to tolerate principled liberals and libertarians, but not war-mongering neocons. 
 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 11:28am
@ Pardero - Well you start out with a pretty common Liberal tactic, misrepresenting what I said and name calling, why do you need to use such weak crutches?
 
You may not be Liberal but you certainly wallow in that mindset of being a victim of America, lol.
 
 
I never claimed Afghanistan was "better off" based on any of their internal behaviors, I only responded to America assisting in the defense against Russian invasion, you clearly did not bother to read my comment for comprehension, lol.
 
 
Why are you so angry?  I personally see those investing their emotions on strangers on the internet to be pretty pathetic.  You do not know me and I do not know you, why are you inserting so much raw emotion into a conversation with me or anyone else you do not know?
 
 
Yes, Germany was a problem, twice in fact and America had to occupy Germany and impose peace on them.  We had to let generations grow up and die and more generations take their place before Germany learned to leave their violent past behind them.  Germans are much better people today than they used to be and they have America to thank for that fact.  All of Europe owe their freedoms and prosperity to America, America still provides most of their National defense and most of the trade route security America pays for that makes international trade possible.
 
Do these facts hurt your feelings?
 
Sorry, but I tend to stick to the facts and I have had the radical left name calling me for a very long time now so you won't get to me with name calling, lol.
 
 
So I will wish you a good day, and if all you can offer is name calling I will not bother to waste my time on you.
 
 
Facts not emotions Pardero.
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 12:42pm
Luther Wu,
The Taliban resorted to opium production, in desperation, after the US adventure in Afghanistan. 
 
Before the intervention, opium production was minimal, and carried the death penalty. I don't care to make an effort to provide links, but the internet is saturated with authoritative accounts of opium production skyrocketing after US intervention. Russia experienced a sharp increase in heroin addiction, well documented, that began after the US entered Afghanistan. None of this is secret, it is all well documented. Indeed, this information is hard to avoid. 
 
I am disappointed that the Taliban went against their own former beliefs, whether out of necessity or desperation, but they once opposed narcotics with a passion. 
 
The penalty for pedophilia under the Taliban was also execution. A person would have to be willfully blind to avoid all the articles and programs concerning the explosion of the pedophilia culture in Afghanistan. I go out of my way to avoid learning about such horrors, and still stumble across articles.
Bill H. Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:22pm
 
Using labels for people simply because their viewpoint differs is not only childish, but simply promotes and continues the hate and division in our country. I totally understand that our present leader enjoys and promotes this type of shit, but for anyone to go along with his requirements for entertainment that just brings down our country even more is absurd.
I've been nailed with all kinds of stupid labels pertaining to both political brainwashing extremes, many times for agreeing with just one or two cherished platform views from both parties. Yes, I am not a promoter of abortion, Yes, I am for the death penalty, Yes, I believe  in tighter border security (on both borders), Yes, I believe in sensible gun rights,  Yes, I believe that our recent climate change event is mostly human-induced, And Yes, I believe Trump is an ignorant Orange Buffoon that will leave a damaging scar on our country.
So give me a label if it makes you feel comfortable.
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:41pm
Bill H.
Louis deleted my last comment. Maybe your polite comment will escape his censorship.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 1:46pm
@ Bill - the human brain naturally classifies the solid things in our lives that can be defined in at least general ways.
 
To correctly identify that certain kinds of beliefs and behaviors tend to fall into certain political leanings is just intellectual honesty.
 
 
For example calling Trump Hitler and anyone who voted for him a Nazi is something only the left does.  Are there exceptions on the left who do not call Trump Hitler and his supporters Nazis?  Sure, but they would be the exception to the rule, not the standard.
 
 
Any rational discussion must stick to the norms, not the exceptions.
 
 
 
I find it interesting some cry about being called Liberal but have no problem at all in calling Trump Hitler or an Orange buffoon, seems pretty hypocritical to me.
 
So a correct classification of political beliefs is bad to identify, but profanity and name calling of a personal nature, now that is good and proper?
 
 
You definitely sound like a typical far lefty with the name calling and crying about being identified for your beliefs correctly, lol.
 
 
 
And let me make this clear, I attend a monthly political dinner where many classic Democrats attend and I have nothing but respect for them.  But they never call Trump an orange buffoon either.  I see no reason why you can't disagree with people without hating them but that is in my opinion the true difference between classic Democrats and this modern Left that relies on hate and name calling.
 
 
When even Hillary Clinton called anyone who would not vote for her "Deplorable" and lacking any redeeming quality in America the name calling was proven to be mainstream on the modern Left.  
 
 
So you will get no sympathy from me, facts are facts.
 
 
Now if you want to talk facts and logical assessments or current events or policy I am your man and can do so with great skill and enthusiasm but this emotion stuff, I guess I need to leave that to people like you, lol.
Bill H. Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:06pm
L.E.W.-
Your comfortable with your labels and bubbles, so continue to live with them if you must.
Both parties have lost track and need to be eliminated. I was/am certainly no Hillary fan. Hillary/Obama/Bush are all past history - get over it! Maybe you can't because they all come in handy as "past examples" when required to sling the mud and reinforce the labels.
Just saying............
Many out here seem to simply adapt a certain party's platform commandments and agree with the entire list. Even if an item or two on the  "platform" flips 180 degrees from what it was a year or so ago, they will also accept the flip and stand by it totally. Now that Trump has commanded that we must abandon and demean our former allies while quickly cuddling up with our enemies, Trump minions are sticking right on track with him and cheerleading every single move, right or wrong. I can bet that if Trump decided one morning to cancel the second amendment because his daughter/advisor said he should, the Trump minions would all of a sudden become anti-gun. I can almost guarantee it!
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:36pm
@ Bill - I am comfortable with facts and yes I will continue to rely and refer to facts.
 
I agree both parties have issues and this is why I am no partisan, I hold zero loyalties to any party.
 
 
But you are a confusing person Bill, first you attack prior professional (corrupt) politicians but then you toss bile and hate at Trump for being everything they are not.  You can't have it both ways, if the politicians before Trump were bad and party loyalties need to be eliminated then the only other option is to support the outsiders like Trump and Bernie.
 
There is nothing for me to "get over" I am not name calling anyone, you are, you are the one getting all emotional, not me, lol.  You complain about labels then apply your own labels, you are a hypocrite. 
 
 
Now your last part is pure partisan lies by the left and you prove yourself more interested in spreading propaganda than truth.
 
 
 
Trump is not "abandoning' our allies, you on the left are so filled with sensationalism and emotional outbursts it is difficult to take you seriously at all.  I can remember many times these other Countries did not blindly support America on certain things like our Iraq war but just because they did not agree with us on some issues that does not mean they were no longer our friends right?
 
 
For you on the Left it is always all or nothing, any lack of agreement on any issue means the end of the world.  Only you on the left think this way.
 
 
Conservatives know we can disagree on some things and still be friends.  If anyone attacked Canada we would be there to save them, the same is true for Europe, so clearly your claim that we have abandoned our friends is absurd and dishonest.
 
What we have done is raise legitimate questions concerning unfair trade issues such as the 270 percent tariff on American dairy in Canada.  You believe that just because we are "friends" America has no right to raise questions of any trade issues?
 
 
 
LOL, your story of Americans gladly giving up their 2nd amendment if Trump said so is laughable, we do not idolize and worship our leaders the way the Left does.
 
We support Trump because he is mostly doing what we want him to do, nobody follows him, well maybe a small number of fanatics do, but most people who voted for him do not.
 
 
As I pointed out, most people want to Hope for a better tomorrow, Trump is selling that Hope so a lot of Americans are buying, but if Trump decides to do what typical politicians do and flip on many of his objectives and stated beliefs he will lose support very quickly.
 
 
All that said I support Trump a great deal, mostly because I see the job more as someone trying to set a course of a ship but sometimes being trapped in winds blowing that ship in directions he can't completely counter.
 
Trump's supreme court picks alone will provide many years of support for Conservative values and defense of the 2nd amendment.  Trump does not treat the private sector as the enemy the way Obama did and we see the improved economy as a result.  Sometimes it is what a President does not do as much as what they do. 
 
 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:40pm
@ Padero - I delete personal attacks and rage, if you would care to join the conversation in a more productive manor I will gladly engage you, I just responded to you in a supportive way in another thread, I hold no grudges or anger to strangers on the internet, this is all about words and if you choose words that are unproductive or profane and personal attacks I will not allow those words on my threads.
 
 
Looking above you see many comments from you up there, so try to consider the fact it is not personal, lol.
 
 
Have a nice day  :)
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:45pm
Louis E Weeks,
I am anti war and intervention. Few things get me as worked up. I did exceed the bounds of even the most passionate debate and disagreement.
Peace.
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 2:55pm
@ Pardero - all is okay my friend, i take nothing personal.  Thanks for admitting you went a tad too far, it shows you are a good person at heart.
 
I believe we are all anti-war most of the time, the question is, at what point can we say it is okay to use violence to prevent more violence or harms?
 
You are showing support for the right to self-defense with firearms in another thread so it is really that different to consider wars and other interventions as a similar concept?
 
If we accept the fact North Korea now has nuclear weapons and the capacity to end all life on the planet Earth, is it reasonable to want to keep them from using those nuclear weapons?
 
As I told someone else earlier, it was America's refusal to act sooner that allowed WW2 to expand as far as it did and cost endless death and destruction that could have been prevented if we had the courage to act sooner.
 
 
So I also want less strife and wars, but I try to take a more common sense approach and understand that some bad things are not prevented by wishful thinking.
 
 
Peace back at you.
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 3:03pm
Louis E Weeks,
Here is a link to an article. I think you will find the site interesting. I get a good portion of my news there. The comments are more valuable than the stories, in many cases.
 
You could describe the site as somewhat conservative libertarian anti-war sound money, with a pinch of conspiracy, on what was once an avante garde financial blog. It is one of the last bastions of unfiltered news and commentary.
 
I use Brave Browser, and used to use NoScript with Firefox. The mass of ads will really bog down a computer unless running something to thwart them, even if only a simple adblocker program.
No viruses, just too many ads. 
 US Back To Funding White Hats In Syria
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 3:58pm
Wow, I see what you mean by ads, not sure I would spend time on a site that heavily loaded with ads......
Pardero Added Jun 14, 2018 - 4:07pm
That site sent me straight to Brave Browser. Fantastic site, though. Those ads are the only income. 
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 14, 2018 - 9:30pm
Thanks for a great comment Fernando.  Yes we should cultivate Hope, and I strive to do it in my own life both big and small.
George N Romey Added Jun 14, 2018 - 9:50pm
I think in the US people are searching for a leader of the people but finding none.
Bill H. Added Jun 14, 2018 - 11:58pm
I will leave you to your labeling. You are obsessed with it like many out here.
Have fun, adios!
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 15, 2018 - 12:27am
@ Bill - Once again you dodge valid points.  You labeled Trump "an ignorant Orange Buffoon" so you are a hypocrite, you feel your labels are okay to use, but if someone else uses a label well that is just evil .... right?
 
You people make this too easy, lol.
Bill H. Added Jun 15, 2018 - 11:15am
"You People" Said it all in two words for me!
Thanks!!
Louis E Weeks Added Jun 15, 2018 - 11:17am
Keep dodging Bill, you prove me right, lol.